CARFREE LIVING

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A Monthly Car-Free Work-Day Planet a force forward for #climateaction

Will the president of the European Union ban private cars in the urban environment?
Many people and community groups in transition are positive to this and want to ban private cars in city centres, so the streets will be safer and there will be less damaging pollution.

If all the private cars disappear, there are big plans for how all the space currently taken up by cars can be used for something better with the aim of making much needed urban behavioural change happen.

Mission
How do we allocate and transform public street space in cities and towns into public spaces?
2016 is the time for a more radical approach to end fossil fuels. Our aim is to ban private cars from town/city centres and reallocate road space to active travel such as walking and cycling to reduce congestion and address the damaging health impacts of air pollution, inactivity and obesity. Also, if all private cars were banned 12 days a year would be equal to 12 out of 365 days decrease in world private vehicle gas, petrol and diesel consumption ~ 3%!

The new car free movement
Many of us grew up cycling in the countryside when there were very few cars on the road and have never owned a car. We saw cars as the future, more people = more cars (less air quality), in a limited space, how is this going to work?

Each new road erases the natural world and we believe we have a duty to respect our natural environment. We have not always been sensitive to the damage car culture has on society and our environment. We do not accept that people are killed from air pollution; road casualties, inactivity and obesity are the price we have to pay or collateral damage.

There is a need to establish a platform of decision makers who acknowledge we have all the tools to achieve, implement and conduct. We have support from businesses, even corporations can cope with one CFD per month.

If we can agree to one year of monthly car-free event then we can also tackle the need for radical behaviour change.

Public health reasons to ban private cars in city centres
Great work has been done with Ken Livingstone’s congestion charge initiative in London but over time it clearly has not worked. 2016 is the time for a more radical approach.

Road charging has some benefits but if you raise the charge to the eye watering amounts required to clear traffic, you will end up with just the wealthy able to drive cars in cities. This is already statistically the case and we believe not good for social cohesion. The next stage is to ban private cars in city centres and free up public street space for walking and cycling, the great equalisers.

Ban of cars in all of city centres or just parts of the city?
E.g. London – The 2011 census marked a tipping point in car ownership in Central London. The majority of households for instance in Westminster (63%) The City (69%) Islington (65%) do not own a car.

Car owning households in Central London were now the minority. Finally there was a political opportunity to make the case for a car free London in zones 1 & 2. The picture is different in the outer boroughs where public transport is not as concentrated and journey distance to the centre is longer. Here car ownership is still in the majority.

The project Monthly Car-Free Work-Day Planet does not advocate the banning of public transport and commercial vehicles as they are essential to running the new economy and maintaining the city services. However we do want these modes rationalised, reduced in number and upgraded to the cleanest models available. Costs and availability of licenses would be based on lowest pollution and environmental footprint and whether the license was deemed to be necessary. All vehicles would have to be diesel free and with low emissions. All paved tarmac and stone surfaces would be examined with a view to increasing the green areas and thus air conditioning/micro climate control.

Owning a private car however is not a necessity and private electric cars and scooters don’t address the underlying problems of congestion, road casualties, inactivity and obesity. Clean tech cars may pollute less (silent oil spills!) in the direct environment but the electric grid is only 19% renewables and still polluting elsewhere whether coal and gas emissions or nuclear waste.

E waste from Electric vehicle batteries en masse would present a new challenge for toxic waste and the batteries are very expensive to recycle.

A successful car-free day project is going to study fossil fuels alternatives to the cars that already have private owners
Unfortunately diesel will have to be crushed, a very bad mistake and all who bought into or promoted the switch to diesel will have learnt a difficult lesson, unless diesel cars can be recycled into bikes?

Cleaner models will have some resale value. Perhaps possible to incentivise people to ditch their diesel immediately and join an electric car club or receive a bike.

It is also important to make active travel and public transport as accessible and inclusive as possible for people with disabilities and older people. Active travel benefits a wide range of people; customised cycling bikes promoted by, for instance, Wheels for Wellbeing give a variety of options for many people with disabilities, including hand cycling and assisted.

Being socially inclusive creates a society that is more cohesive.

FIGURES AND KEY FACTS The public space usage of all the empty roads and empty parking space is our common realm and will benefit the general public
Making space on the roads for a quality, safe, inclusive cycling experience is paramount. Whether that is protected lanes, filtered permeable or active travel corridors (whole roads for bikes) is down to what works best in each location.

It also occurred to us that freeing up vast amounts of space used for parking private cars (6.8 million parking spaces in London use up 78.5 km sq, based on minimum parking space) could unlock car parks as brownfield sites for key worker housing, at reasonable rents, linked to their jobs in the vicinity (linked to commuting). A good idea would also be to plant more trees on previously car lined streets.

KEY DRIVERS FOR ACTION Time frame for getting rid of private cars off the roads in city centres

Hopefully we could move fast to ban private diesel in Central London, one years notice; 9500 deaths per year requires a proportionate response.

  • 2 years to ban private diesel in the outer boroughs and commercial diesel in Central London
  • 3 years to ban commercial diesel in the outer boroughs and all private cars from Central London

How to implement a one year trial for a regular Car-free Day on a Workday worldwide? Logistically this is radical change. The city would not be able to build cycling protected lanes on main roads fast enough, but road closures of rat runs as alternative car free cycle routes could be implemented within the time frame and space saved would allow local agriculture to grow urban farming.

How to get around in your city, London
If you are not a car owner you mostly walk in London, with the odd bus and tube for longer journeys. Occasionally you may cycle using a Boris bike or on a friend’s tandem, but as part of the majority that feels very uncomfortable cycling in London with congested streets, mixing with large HGVs and buses and very poor cycling infrastructure.

People would love to cycle more, yet Londoners  live in very small flats so are on the lookout for somewhere practical to park and ride, maybe a folding bike or with a basket, or even a cargo bike combined with safe parking!

Trains are the way forward for longer internal journeys in the UK and we would like to see more investment, more incentives and ultimately prefer railways to be nationalised for the good of the nation rather than for profit. Londoners travel by train mostly out of London. Bike provision on trains is an issue and one that needs addressing.

Inhabitants of London occasionally catch a lift or use taxis where there is little or no public transport provision. There is general sympathy with the ideal that public transport should be a basic human right, but it is difficult in very rural areas. Sharing taxis might provide a more flexible option than buses. The idea of connecting urban areas with dedicated cycle lanes like the proposed HS2 for bikes is very likable.

What should happen to cars outside London?
Outside London we believe the banning of private cars in city centres and banning diesel are important for the health of the urban environment. Prioritising demotorisation and active travel is the way forward for the 21st century.

Nearly half of commuters in the UK live less than 5 miles from their work, an easy distance to cycle. These journeys must be made safe and inclusive to encourage as many people as possible to choose cycling as the healthy option. In the London outer boroughs, 66% of journeys under a mile are made by car.

We are doing something very wrong if it is easier/ more comfortable/cheaper for someone to take the car rather than cycle or walk under one mile.

Cars should never work out cheaper than public transport so taxing car use through fuel or road usage or road tax are all options and ploughing that back into public transport and active travel infrastructure. Residents parking permits need to be at least £1,000 per year (Southampton Central charges) to represent their cost to the public highway.

On long term private cars could potentially be banned everywhere in the UK
Currently most people are living in urban environments, but for those who live in rural areas it is far more difficult to ban private cars. Sharing taxis may provide a more flexible option than bus routes.

There may be long term solutions that can’t be conceived of yet, but if we do maintain some presence of private cars it needs to be done with respect for other road users and we believe presumed liability enshrined in UK law would be the most efficient way of ensuring that.

PLATFORMS AND PROJECTS A Monthly Car-Free Work-Day Planet is part of a wider global movement to go car free in city centres, this will this impact on climate change, direct and indirect
Fantastic global networks of Climate Action, Urban Thinkers, City Planners, Global bikers, Changemakers, Youth forums, Transport Think Thanks etc. 50+ Nations are developing car-free districts in urban areas.
Yes there is a worldwide movement to go car free in Cities that includes politicians and grass roots campaigners, From Al Gore to Richard Branson and even perhaps more unexpectedly Jeremy Clarkson who said ‘Get rid of your car, you don’t need it’ in a recent Sunday Times article. We have the connections to bridge the project and collect 2 million signatures together with organisational support.

This global city trends needs to be addressed with planetary coordination and best way force forward is to bridge incentive for behaviour change. We propose implementing a one year trial for a regular Car-free Day on a Workday worldwide;

Highlighting the third Wednesday of every month through the year as Planet´s Monthly Car-Free Work-Days, 20/5, 17/6, 15/7 etc.

HELP sign the petition here: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Changemakers_MONTHLY_CARFREE_WORKDAY_NATIONWIDE

Carsgrey_blue-logo2

Transport and in particular private cars are one of the fastest growing contributors to CO2 emissions. Some predict that 1 billion cars today will rise to 2 billion by 2020. It is crucial and pressing that we curb this rise in car use as well as addressing other contributing factors. Cycling and walking are vital to transforming not just our cities but also our planet.

/Climate Change Centre reading (CCCRdg) supports R V Readhead, Goldsmiths College, U. of London 1996-98 Wants To Be Mayor of London And Ban Private Cars

ICEBIKE.ORG thanks

More information

7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free – http://www.fastcoexist.com/3040634/7-cities-that-are-starting-to-go-car-free

Paris Will Dramatically Reduce Car Traffic To Fight Air Pollution Emergency –   http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/22/3637317/paris-smog-car-ban/

TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD: THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/7891TRANSFORMING%20OUR%20WORLD.pdf

A Common Approach for developing SDG integrated indicators –  http://www.unep.org/post2015/Portals/50240/Common%20approach%20for%20developing%20SDG%20Integrated%20indicators.pdf

Study on car-free day
http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/globalassets/documents/raise/publications/2015/regdev/2215.pdf

 

Sharing and mixed use of a human caused economy – where we share as much as possible, from our whole infrastructure to jobs, this happens in the Anthropocene room between public space and cyberspace.

Togethernessship – All about inspiration and agreement, being truly inclusive and Safeguarding the future. The complex nature of our environment makes it hard to focus on preventing GreenHouse Gases, which are directly related to global warming. The downside of the problem is that everything is interlinked and needs to be backtracked http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backcasting, but we have the time scale which is rapidly shrinking, so an agreement at #COP21 in Paris, in December is probably a must.

 

Reading, United Kingdom, August 24, 2015:

Solving climate change is possible- but only if we believe it is | Notes from the Anthropocene

Over Christmas I had a interesting conversation that got me thinking. I was chatting with someone about climate change, and we agreed on a lot. They accepted the science, and understood that it spelt disaster for future generations. But we differed on one crucial point: whether we could actually do anything about it.

Climate catastrophe is inevitable, they said, because governments would not take meaningful action to cut carbon emissions. They ‘couldn’t see the point’ of the global climate marches in September, because politicians ‘wouldn’t listen’. It was ‘too late’ for us to do anything about it, because we’d just be ‘moving deckchairs on the Titanic.’

In my view, this is the most dangerous type of climate scepticism there is. The flat-earthers who question the science are becoming increasing irrelevant, and the ‘no-alternative to fossil fuel’ crowd are seeing their arguments weaken with every new solar panel or wind turbine installed. But what do you say to someone who acknowledges the problem but simply doesn’t believe in the solution?

I can think of three reasons why someone might believe that climate change is inevitable. Firstly, they might think we’ve already burned enough fossil fuels to lock in climate catastrophe. Secondly, they might believe the technical solutions are beyond us. And thirdly, they may believe that while we have the technical capacity to avoid climate change, we lack the political agency to force the issue onto the agenda. All three are wrong.

Let’s start with the idea that we’ve already emitted too much carbon. To force 2C of global warming, the internationally agreed (and heavily contested) limit for ’safe’ global temperature rise, we’d need to release approximately a trillion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. But if you look at how much carbon we’ve actually emitted, you find we’ve released 60% of this amount. At current emissions rates, assuming we don’t cross unpredictable tipping points beforehand, we won’t technically be ‘too late’ to avoid dangerous climate change until September 2039, when we’ll release the trillionth tonne of carbon. And if we cut emissions by about 2.6% a year, starting today, we’d never reach that limit at all.

What about the argument that while we can cut emissions in theory, we don’t have any viable alternatives? Well, the latest report from the IPCC looks at precisely this question, and concludes that a transformation to clean energy is not only possible, but can be achieved without any dip in living standards. This is important, because one of the barriers to people supporting climate action is the mistaken belief, propagated by climate deniers, that a sustainable world will mean giving up modern life.

The IPCC shows this to be the nonsense it is. The report found we could completely abandon fossil fuels by transitioning to a cleaner mix of solar, wind, hydropower, nuclear, and biofuels while improving energy efficiency. So a sustainable energy revolution is entirely possible, and what’s more, it wouldn’t even cost that much: the report found the necessary investment would trim just 0.06% off annual economic growth rates.

But this rosy scenario comes with comes with a big caveat. None of this will happen without a significant shift in political momentum, which brings us to the third cause for climate pessimism – the idea that, even if we accept we have both the time and the tools to transform the global energy system, our politicians will never make the commitments required.

After all, for governments working on five-year election cycles, tackling threat of climate change is a nightmare – the issue is remote in time and space, impersonal, requires unprecedented international cooperation, costs money, and delivers no immediate benefits to the electorate. When you add in the immense pressure exerted by the fossil fuel lobby to maintain the status quo, you begin to see how the single most pressing issue facing humankind has remained at the bottom of the political to-do list.

But it doesn’t have to stay there, because in the world’s growing number of democracies, politicians are bound by public opinion: they can only ignore us if we fail to build the critical mass required to turn tomorrow’s climate crisis into today’s political hot potato. If we accept that man-made climate change is the threat the science tells us it is, and that politicians aren’t doing enough to counter it, it follows that must ask ourselves a simple question: have we taken political action to bring us closer to a solution?

If everyone who believes that the British government isn’t doing enough on climate change (78% according to this poll) were able to answer yes to this question, the issue would be at the top of the political agenda. So we face a choice: we can stay locked in the learned helplessness of political disengagement, afraid that our voices won’t be heard, that our fears for the future do not count, and be proven right by our own apathy. Or we can get out there and start doing something.

Abraham Lincoln, a man with a better grasp of politics than most, once observed: “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.” In other words, we’ll get the politics, and the future, we deserve. A better world only becomes possible when we believe it is.

Source: Solving climate change is possible- but only if we believe it is | Notes from the Anthropocene

Everything you wanted to know about the UN climate talks but were afraid to ask

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COP 21: Road to ParisEditor’s note: 2015 is shaping up to be a pivotal year with respect to climate change as growing concern about impacts converges with a critical stage in the decades-long process of shaping an international agreement to change our trajectory. To help us all prepare for the potentially game-changing 21st gathering of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris beginning Nov. 30, by reporter Fiona Harvey. This first installment answers some basic questions about the U.N. talks.

Why 2015 could be the most important year ever for curbing climate change

Climate change negotiations seem to crawl along interminably at the pace of the glaciers they are meant to protect, with little perceptible progress as meeting follows meeting and conference follows lackluster conference. But this year we are seeing remarkable momentum building toward a historic conference in Paris in the closing days of 2015, by the end of which we will either have a new international agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, or we will have seen the last of truly global efforts to strike a deal on saving our planet.

We began the year with the outcome of Lima, last December’s United Nations gathering at which delegates drafted the outline of such an agreement that would come into force starting in 2020. That in turn followed a landmark deal between the U.S. and China in November to set limits on their greenhouse gas output. By the end of spring, all of the world’s major economies should be coming up with similar plans. Then, after some months of considering these proposals, and as 2015 ends, Paris will host COP 21 — the most important meeting on global warming since the Copenhagen talks six years earlier. What is decided there will determine the future of Earth’s climate for decades to come.

What is supposed to happen in Paris?

Governments will meet for two weeks to hammer out a new global agreement that will establish targets for bringing down global greenhouse gas emissions after 2020. Both developed and developing countries are expected to bring stringent goals to the table: absolute cuts in greenhouse gas emissions for industrialized countries, and curbs or relative reductions — such as cuts in CO2 produced per unit of GDP — in the case of poorer nations.

Why after 2020?

The world’s major economies, and many smaller ones, already have agreed on targets on their emissions up to 2020. These were settled at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, which marked the first time both developed and developing countries had agreed on such aims at the U.N. But that meeting was overshadowed by scenes of chaos and bitter fighting, so the 2020 targets — while still valid — could not at that time take the form of a full international and legally binding pact. The hope is that Paris will see less discord and a more constructive approach to continuing action on emissions to 2030 and beyond.

What is at stake?

With the publication of the fifth report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2013–14, we know more about the science of climate change than ever before, and what we know is troubling. The research embodied in that report put it beyond doubt that the climate is changing under human influence, and warned of the dire consequences — in the form of widespread droughts, floods, heat waves and other weather extremes — if greenhouse gases are left unchecked.

What is also at stake is the future of international action on global warming. As the Copenhagen summit showed, there are deep rifts among leading countries and among populous blocs over what action should be taken, by whom and how quickly, and how to pay for it.

The U.N. process of negotiations on a global accord has been going on for more than 20 years, since the first IPCC report in 1990 summed up our knowledge of climate science and concluded the world should be seriously concerned. That led to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed by virtually all countries in 1992 and committing them to make efforts toward “preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with Earth’s climate system” without specifying what or how much they should do. The Kyoto protocol of 1997 was intended to flesh out those preventive actions by stipulating cuts in emissions from industrialized nations, but that collapsed when the U.S. Congress refused to ratify the protocol because it did not impose emissions targets on developing countries such as China. There followed years of stagnation in the talks, until at Copenhagen in 2009 major developed and developing economies agreed jointly for the first time to cut their emissions or curb their rise, respectively.

After the damage done at Copenhagen, the talks limped on. But the process is fragile. If Paris witnesses scenes of discord and high drama anything like those of 2009, and if there is no clear outcome, it is hard to see that faith in the U.N.’s ability to hold nations together on this issue could survive.

What should governments agree on?

They should agree on post-2020 emissions targets for all the leading economies, and less stringent actions on emissions for all nations. Three of the leading players have already set out their intended emissions targets, which bodes well for the outcome of Paris. The European Union has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, compared with 1990 levels, by 2030. By 2025, the U.S. will cut by 26 to 28 percent, compared with 2005 levels. And China will ensure that its emissions peak by no later than 2030.

Will these targets be enough?

No. After nations have submitted their proposals for cuts or curbs, due to the U.N. in April, the plans will be subject to close scrutiny for several months to give all countries a chance to judge them. There is a degree of gamesmanship here: No country wants to pledge too much too soon, lest it give away a competitive advantage. The results of the scrutiny will be a key part of the talks in Paris and could be a stumbling block to agreement.

This all sounds depressingly familiar. Haven’t we been here before with Copenhagen?

There are some reasons to be cheerful. Copenhagen did produce an agreement, though not in the full legal form many countries would have liked. Officially, at least, the world is committed to meeting those aims by 2020. So if Paris produces a fresh agreement lasting into the 2020s, it is a step forward.

What legal form will an agreement take?

We don’t yet know. There are three main options on the table, laid out at the U.N. conference in Durban in 2011 at which it was agreed that the Paris meeting should take place: “a protocol, another legal instrument, or an agreed outcome with legal force under the convention applicable to all parties.” The third is the most likely.

What does that mean?

We don’t quite know that, either. Some countries take it to mean that any targets agreed at Paris will be legally binding on the countries adopting them, so countries could be subject to international penalties if they are not met. Others argue that the framework agreement — a core agreement setting out the principle that countries must take on post-2020 targets — could be legally binding at an international level, while the targets themselves would be recorded separately and so not strictly binding under law.

The question of the legal form of an agreement has been a vexed one at these talks, and has a checkered history. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 was fully legally binding under the foundation treaty, the UNFCCC, and signed by the U.S. and nearly every other country. But that meant nothing in practice when the U.S. Congress immediately refused to ratify it and left the protocol in limbo. Other nations that did ratify later reneged on their commitments. None has suffered any sanctions as a result.

Copenhagen’s “political declaration,” outlining the pledges on emissions made by the world’s biggest economies, had to be relegated to an unofficial appendix in the legal outcome of that summit, and so was derided by some. But, though technically it had less legal force than Kyoto, it is at least still in place six years later and countries are still committed to meeting those pledges by 2020. It also forms the basis of the Paris talks.

Paris will not produce a fully articulated treaty like the UNFCCC — there is not enough time or appetite for that — but as long as it produces a definite outcome, with all of the major parties agreeing to targets even if they are not legally enforceable in the strictest sense, then it will represent significant progress and should be enough to keep the U.N. process intact.

What if the talks collapse at Paris?

That is likely to mark the effective end of international action on the climate coordinated by the U.N.

There are divergent views on the centrality of the U.N. talks to preventing dangerous climate change. These are “top-down” talks: Governments decide at an international level how much of an emissions reduction they will contribute and draft national policies to cascade this through their economies. An alternative is the “bottom-up” strategy, which posits that businesses and civil society organizations are more effective in taking prompt action and will do so in their own interests while governments still argue over semicolons in an international treaty.

Ultimately, these two approaches are closely linked. Top-down targets can spur bottom-up actions, while successes in bottom-up projects can encourage governments to be more courageous in setting national climate strategies. The reverse is also true: Without top-down negotiations, some companies are likely to see a commercial advantage in acting as a free rider, stalling on emissions cuts and refusing to take part in bottom-up actions.

So it is likely that some element of both will be necessary. The U.N. is not the only top-down forum: the U.S. leads the Major Economies Forum, and the G7 and the G20 also discuss climate actions. But the U.N. is the only arena that draws all developed and developing countries together and gives small nations a voice to challenge the biggest.

And after Paris?

That is anybody’s guess. No sooner had President Obama, late last year, toasted his deal on emissions with the Chinese president than Republicans vowed to strike it down. Any commitment made now for action until 2025 or beyond, in any country, runs that risk.

What can go wrong?

Lots. Although China has set forth its commitment, other key developing countries — India chief among them — have yet to do so, and may stretch the deadline. The process by which countries will review each other’s targets between now and the Paris gathering is also fraught with uncertainty, and it is not clear what will happen if countries cannot agree how to judge the targets.

Another key question is over finance. Developing countries were promised at Copenhagen at least $30 billion in “fast-start financing” by 2012 to help them make the investments needed in low-carbon infrastructure and begin adapting to the effects of climate change. That promise was broadly achieved — but by 2020, those finance flows are supposed to reach $100 billion per year. Where will the money come from? Rich countries are adamant that only a minor amount will come from their taxpayers, and the rest from the private sector. Poor countries are demanding more, and not cash redirected from existing aid budgets. It may be possible to find some middle ground, but this could be a breaking point.

Paris will be a crunch conference in every sense. The fragile U.N. process could emerge resurgent if nations can come together, or it could be battered to an effective end. Either way, global emissions are likely to continue rising for years more, increasing the risk that warming will exceed the 2 C mark that scientists posit as the threshold beyond which climate change becomes irreversible. Paris will not be enough in itself to prevent that, but it could go a long way to deciding our fate. View Ensia homepage

 

This article originally appeared at Ensia.com.

Car-Free Days UK participation in the National Climate March, London 7th March

Why CCCRdg has launched a campaign for a national
“Monthly Car-Free Work-Day in the UK”.

Reflecting on BBC4´s “Climate Change and Numbers”, Climate Change Centre Reading (CCCRdg) has launched in Reading a campaign for a national “Monthly Car-Free Work-Day in the UK”;

Following the Deep Decarbonisation route set out for a successful climate agreement in Paris at COP21, CCCRdg hope the National Climate March, London on Saturday 7th will stake out actions necessary to divest from dirty energy that not only adds to already high greenhouse levels but also pollutes the air, our common realm, which directly and utterly affects our health. The right thing to do in order to comply with changing to zero carbon fuels is to slow down our “business as usual” (BAS) behaviour.

With a regular Car-Free Work-Day, can UK take a lead on behaviour change divesting away from fossil fuels? That is the question.

The People’s Climate March last September was huge. With around 40,000 people marching in London, 400,000 in New York and many thousands more taking part across the world, together we made history.

2015 needs to be even bigger. The climate talks in Paris this December are crucial if we’re going to protect all that we love. Our movement is growing, and we’re more diverse and determined than ever before.

With a regular Car-Free Work-Day, can UK take a lead on behaviour change divesting away from fossil fuels? That is the question.

CFDUK

Across the UK people are already building change – from divestment of funds which prop up the fossil fuel industry, to front-line communities fighting unsustainable energy extraction and fracking, through to those paving the way for a transition towards a 100% renewable energy future which would bring about an estimated one million new climate jobs in the UK alone. 

Meet the CAR-FREE WORK-DAY BLOC on the 7th March to make the link between climate change and switching to zero carbon fuels. Put the climate on the agenda ahead of the 2015 General Elections and the December 2015 Paris United Nations COP21 climate talks.

ATTEND THE CAR-FREE WORK-DAY BLOC RALLY OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT ON 7TH MARCH https://www.facebook.com/events/632679746859395/

How to fins us: The Car Free Days UK Bloc will be under the Protecting Our World theme (No.6) http://www.timetoact2015.org/#!blocs/c7hs Look out for the Orange flag to find the general area -then we’ll be there with the CAR FREE DAYS UK BANNER

Details

12.30pm, Saturday 7th March

Lincoln’s Inn Fields [map]

Nearest tube: Holborn

Join the facebook group here

Let´s work together to help achieve this, it will be an important step in solving and laying a just and fair developing pathway, switching to zero carbon fuels.

[A regular car-free work-day in Reading and UK could fuel an International monthly Car-Free Work-Day which could be an astonishing example of traffic development and public realm. Reading has great potential to embrace the sustainable pathway and become a British role-model in climate change (the air is our all urban common) to honour a successful climate change agreement taking place in Paris December 2015.]

And together let’s continue to power up and celebrate our movement – locally, nationally and internationally – throughout 2015, and beyond

7 MARCH – Join the Car-Free Work-Day Bloc @ Time To Act National Climate March!

In our efforts to motivate as many people as possible to leave the car for a day and join in our Car-Free Days, Climate Change Centre Reading (CCCRdg) has taken a huge lap forward by campaigning for Car-Free Days until the end of the year.

Yes, we are proud of announcing CCCRdg supporting the Join the Car-Free Work-Day Bloc @ Time To Act National Climate March!

BREAKING: Please see our press release below, we hope you will find the piece interesting,

Climate Change – It’ s time for decisions now! not waste billions on campaigning.

The Future of Places

Join us at the Car-Free Work-Day Bloc on the Time to Act Climate demonstration on 7th March!

Details

12.30pm, Saturday 7th March

Lincoln’s Inn Fields [map]

Nearest tube: Holborn

Join the facebook group here

Let´s work together to help achieve this, it will be an important step in solving and laying a just and fair developing pathway, switching to zero carbon fuels.

Learn about the fossil fuels problems, that causing climate change in our local community and further afield, and what we in the local community are doing, and can do to help tackle such matters.

2015 CHANGE will honour the 2-degree Celsius limit as a limit to safeguard the world environment in Togethernessship 😉

BREAKING: CCCRdg has launched a campaign for a national “Monthly Car-Free Work-Day in the UK”  

A regular car-free work-day in Reading and UK could fuel an International monthly Car-Free Work-Day which could be an astonishing example of traffic development and public realm. Reading has great potential to embrace the sustainable pathway and become a British role-model in climate change (the air is our all urban common) to honour a successful climate change agreement taking place in Paris December 2015.

CLIMATE CHANGE IT´S #TIMETOACT2015 – MARCH 7TH – SAVE THE DATE

#TIMETOACT2015

Every day more and more people are waking up to climate change. What scientists predicted decades ago is happening right now. And we have little time left to advert catastrophe. But those in power have not yet woken up, or are unwilling to act.

On March 7th, two months before the election, we will take to the streets of London in a creative mass action. We will set out clearly what must happen now to cut emissions and build a better future. No more half-hearted promises: it´s Time to Act on Climate change.

Join the Car-Free Work-Day Bloc @ Time To Act  National Climate March!
Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/632679746859395/

2015 is a crucial year for the climate. in the UK, we must tell politicians seeking election that there is no mandate for climate-wrecking business as usual. Then at UN talks in Paris in December, governments will come together to strike a deal for the climate.

Our future is at stake.

Find out how you can help:
www.campaigncc.org

Welcome to Join our local facebook group “Climate Change Reading”https://www.facebook.com/groups/CCCRdg.community/

Why Commuters Will Soon Become Extinct… | LinkedIn

If the rest of the world follows the example of the Swedish city of Gothenburg, the long commute and work weeks that many face may become a thing of the past. The year-long study will have one group of city employees working for 6.5 hours, while another works for the traditional eight hours a day. A car factory in Gothenburg has already experimented with this model with great results.

I’m not saying that everyone has to offer a 6.5 hour workday for their agents to be happy. I do feel, however, that executives in North America could learn a lot from Gothenburg’s proactive approach to experiment with a solution outside of the standard "nine-to-five" model.

Unfortunately, most of the world’s workforce isn’t lucky enough to live in Gothenburg, and with the ever growing number of commuters in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) where 3C is located, the typical commuter can face a staggering 80-minute commute to and from work every day—one of the longest commutes in North America! And even in other cities in North America, commute times can range from 20 to 45 minutes. Stack that onto an 8-10 hour workday, and you have one frustrated employee.

Spending that much time sitting in grid-lock can take its toll on your tank – and your wallet, since the price of gas is soon expected be twice what it is today. With more and more employees spending their limited budget on gas to commute to and from work, this will doubtlessly lead to less time with their family, which amounts to less sleep, throwing their balance of life into chaos.

The job market isn’t like it was 30 or 40 years ago, where if you lost your job on Monday, you’d have a new within walking distance from your home by Friday. More and more job seekers are being forced to take jobs farther away from home, potentially for smaller wages. Many households report that they spend much of their budget on fuel and car insurance, with less money for food, clothing and activities for their children.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself: Do they have a job that allows for a flexible start/end time? Do you have a technology solution that can allow them to work from the cloud, reducing their time in the office to 1-2 days per week? If a full time solution is out of the question, can a part-time solution be established (1-2 days per week)?

We have worked a “reduced hour incentive package” into a few employee plans within 3C, and preliminary results have already shown an increase in efficiency and productivity, as well as a reduction in sick days.

The year-long experiment involving city employees in Gothenburg only started in April 2014, so it will remain to be seen how it pans out for them.

I encourage you to take a page out of the Gothenburg play book and be proactive with establishing a plan that takes ‘balance of life’ into consideration, while you still can.

via Why Commuters Will Soon Become Extinct… | LinkedIn.

Climate Change – Urban areas most at risk

Climate Change – Urban areas most at risk

A new report has established that cities now contribute to 37-49% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The report also reveals that urban infrastructure accounts for over 70% of global energy consumption.

climate Change: Implications for Cities

The report entitled Climate Change: Implications for Cities – Key Findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (Cities Summary) includes the following conclusions;

• Many emerging climate change risks are concentrated in urban areas.

• Climate change impacts on cities are increasing.

• The world’s urban population is forecast to almost double by 2050, increasing the number of people and assets exposed to climate change risks.

According to ICLEI President David Cadman, “This Cities Summary succinctly summarises the key implications for urban areas. It is a must read for all local decision-makers”. The report was published jointly by The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Judge Business School and ICLEI with the support of the European Climate Foundation.

To read the complete summary click here

The European Commission has long recognised the important role that local authorities play in improving the environment, and the significance of their high level of commitment to genuine progress. The European Green Capital Award has been conceived as an initiative to promote and reward these efforts.Bristol, European Green Capital 2015 has demonstrated a long term commitment to improving its urban environment. The city has been working since 2000 to reduce its contribution to climate change by developing and delivering a series of strategies and action plans, such as the Bristol Climate Protection and Sustainable Energy Strategy and the Local Transport Plan to 2026.

via European Green Capital.

Time for the topic “Climate News” in the daily news flow

Time for the topic “Climate News” in the daily news flow

May 12, 2014

DEBATE. Party leaders’ debates is an embarrassing evidence of how little interest the first generation of climate-conscious shows in the subject environment. It writes Helen Rosell who is the writer and composer with great interest in environmental issues.

After only 50 years of intensive industrialization, we have found out that with current politics and lifestyle will pass the 2-degree target and instead are heading for 4 degrees.

We have found out that it means a disaster for all humanity.

We have found out that we already would have to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and that human civilization can not handle 4 degrees (desperate message on 2-degree target, SVT.se September 28, 2013).

We have learned that we are close to many “tipping points” where the climate can shift to a mode of self-reinforcing mechanisms, and never able to recover.

We know that climate change is already negative for food production in the world, crop yields are affected, increasing emissions.

We have heard about the risk of future mass migrations, strife, rising sea levels, fires, droughts, floods, water scarcity, ocean acidification, melting of ice … but there is no policy that indicates that we are on track to break the trend.

Instead, increases carbon emissions in an exponentially rising curve.

SO WHAT? Who cares?

One feature of CLIMATE NEWS in the daily news flow – and no longer would be able to miss the ocean acidification and impoverishment, whisk away the food question or dilemma melting ice affecting the global climate and ecological balance. It would kick start vital debates, bringing the population and provide “the sleeping people” something extremely important to talk about and get involved in. No one could escape the questions anymore.

… Not even the politicians.

What news could well be more important?

Text: Helen Rosell

via Helen Rosell: Time for the topic “Climate News” in the daily news flow.

According To A Nasa Funded Study, We’re Pretty Much Screwed by I Fucking Love Science

by Stephen Luntz
Aralship

Photo credit: Staecker. The demise of the Aral sea could be a foretaste of the future if we don’t change the way society works

Our industrial civilization faces the same threats of collapse that earlier versions such as the Mayans experienced, a study to be published in Ecological Economics has warned. The idea is far from new, but the authors have put new rigor to the study of how so many previous societies collapsed, and why ours could follow.

Lead author Mr Safa Motesharrei is no wild-eyed conspiracy theorist. Motesharrei is a graduate student in mathematics at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation-supported institution, and the research was done with funding from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

“The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent,” the forthcoming paper states

Two key social features are identified that contributed to the collapse of every civilization studied: “The stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity,” and “The economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor]”.

If these look familiar, so do the factors that make up the resource side of the equation, with climatic change, and scarcity of water and energy key among them, although for others climate variation was a matter of bad luck, rather than their own actions.

The model Motesharrei used, Human And Nature Dynamics (HANDY), explores the relationship between population and resources, drawing heavily on predator-prey models used by ecologists. Four key factors were included in the model: Elites, Commoners, nature and wealth. Equations of how these interact were created with varying inputs. The outcomes were not pretty. The timing and shape of collapses varied, but the societies that most closely resembled our own doomed themselves, through overuse of resources exacerbated by economic stratification.

In one scenario many commoners do make it into the elite population at year 750, but the “scarcity of workers” caused a collapse by year 1000. In another so many of the Earth’s resources are consumed that society, and the ecology of the planet, are doomed by the year 500.

“It is important to note that in both of these scenarios, the Elites — due to their wealth — do not suffer the detrimental effects of the environmental collapse until much later than the Commoners,” the paper notes.

If those year numbers seem comfortingly far off, be aware that the year zero in these models is well behind us. Nevertheless, contrary to much of the reporting, the model does not provide a useful timeline for when we can expect to see the world we live in turn into something that resembles a post-apocalyptic nightmare, although studies of the convergence of climate and resource challenges suggest we may witness drastic food crises within a little over a decade.

In every economic bubble people looking back to past crashes are told “this time it is different”. Certainly some things have changed for modern civilization compared to the others Motesharrei has looked at. Technological developments that provide access to greater resources is the most frequently mentioned difference. Motesharrei responds, “Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use.”

One advantage we do have, however, is much greater knowledge of what has gone wrong in the past, and therefore the capacity to build models like HANDY. In a presentation of an earlier draft of this work in 2012 Motesharrei noted, “Simple models provide a great intuition and can teach us invaluable points. It is crucial to have a measure that can give us an early warning of collapse. Carrying Capacity tells us when overshoot happens, and this can be defined by noticing the decline in wealth.”

Some coverage of the announcement has described disaster as inevitable, but that is not the paper’s conclusion at all. “Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion,” it argues.

Although the study has reportedly passed peer review it is yet to be published. It received global attention after a pre-release version was provided to The Guardian.

Update: NASA has issued a clarification stressing that this study does not necessarily represent NASA’s viewpoint. Noting that they fund many studies they stress it “was not solicited, directed or reviewed by NASA”. The funding came about because the project was “utilizing research tools developed for a separate NASA activity.” The clarification points out, “As is the case with all independent research, the views and conclusions in the paper are those of the authors alone.”

via According To A Nasa Funded Study, We’re Pretty Much Screwed | I Fucking Love Science.