Climate Change Conference: Carrow Road
Spent the day on 8th of June
at a Climate Change conference at the Top of the Terrace venue at Carrow Road: Norwich City’s football ground.
It was pouring with rain when we got there – that’s climate change for you…
The conference was organised in association with a number of groups, including the engineering firm MWH.
Into the venue, which was very pleasant, a long bar and lots of lights in the ceiling (which curiously stayed lit the whole time despite not really being needed…)
Collected a delegate pack – small amount of paper, and handed out in a hessian shopping bag. Also badged with the “Act on CO2” campaign (TV ads at the moment)
Some useful contents from Anglian Water and the Recycle Now campaign.
Outside, the stage for a George Michael concert was being prepared – my wife is going to it next week.
Anglian Water were present with a Waterwise display with ideas for reducing water use, and MWH distributed a CD of information / presentations rather than using paper.
Question: Which is more eco-friendly in the long term ?
Good to see a few familiar Geography faces present, including Katharine Hutchinson from Chesterton College, Cambridge.
There were a number of sessions: some speakers and some (jargon coming up) “break out” groups during the day…
Alice Baillie, who was 15 years old and a member of Youth Parliament for S. Norfolk was the chair and introduced the speakers and sessions.
Dr Bruce Tofield of UEA was first: he is involved in CRed – went through the changes and the possible actions that we could take. He stressed that a rise of 2 degrees Celsius was a key figure.
Professor David Balmforth and Charles Ainger gave an engineers’ perspective on climate change.
- 2 million properties are at risk from flooding
- £1 billion of damage, and £460 million spent on flood protection
- 80 000 at risk of sewer flooding
- Carbon emitted when spending money on infrastructure projects
- Rainfall intensity predicted to rise by 40% by 2080
- Interested in idea of sustainable transport – car sharing e.g. Glastonbury, 10 million empty seats on UK’s roads every day (nice image of empty car seats)
Suggested that the existing 3 R’s should have an added 4th which is ‘Reject’: buy less stuff !!
Also mentioned TRANSITION TOWNS and town in Devon that had ‘banned’ plastic bags.
Focussed on a number of areas where students could make a difference.
Unfortunately, this first session dragged on too long and the speakers over ran: not ideal when your audience includes 13 years olds. The slides also needed to be adapted to cut out figures and sources (we don’t need references to IPCC documents on each slide – put them at the end…) – perhaps could have a separate KS3 and KS4 event or focus ?
A break for drink and biscuits: gannets descending on the plates.1. Personal Transport
David Sprunt: Norwich Area transport co-ordinator for Civitas.
Civitas is an EU funded scheme to encourage sustainable transport.
Went through the nature of the change – focus on CO2 / sea level rise. Importance of economising on energy use and using efficient transport.
London Underground likely to experience flood events: flash flooding…
Train reliability an issue: puts people off using it.
Flying: local flights – Norwich Airport – gave some comparisons of how much CO2 was emitted by making certain journeys by different methods.
How did delegates travel to the conference – er, they were groups of students travelling from school: they came in a minibus…
Bus: better than individual cars…
Other issues to do with cars:
- Way that you drive
- Acceleration and braking
- Carrying stuff around in the boot
- Tyre pressures
- Type of car ? Fuel supply ?
Low emission zones in cities.
Buses and cars by Norfolk police are fuelled by bio-fuels (more on that later)
Differential pricing for tax and parking: 4x4 bans ?
Removing lorries from city centre - ensuring that lorries deliver to lots of places – consolidating the deliveries.
Orbital bus network
New interchange at the railway station to encourage integration of transport network – removing a barrier to the use of public transport that it is inconvenient
Bicycle storage facilities – somewhere safe to leave bikes having cycled in to work.
Buy a ticket before you get on the bus so that the bus is idling, and which also delays the journey e.g. Curitiba – also a scheme to text the code on the bus stop which tells you when the next bus will arrive at that bus stop.
Business use: Car sharing – can buy access to car – pooling – buy some time and pick it up from certain points
Park and Ride schemes in the city: encourage their use – problem of a scheme where rewards are based on consumption.
Travel Planning – schools involved in this: identifying different ways of getting to school.
Attleborough – Website to encourage car pooling – find places where people are travelling to and sharing the cost and taking
Individual travel action
UEA: suggesting to people alternative ways of how they might get to that location – perhaps in the workplace – some places perhaps charge
Real time information boards – Dundee was an example of this working very well – information on internet and by mobile phones, to warn people of delays so that plans could be changed.
Transport affects everything you do…
Parents – part of that change…
Then into groups to discuss some key questions:
- What can we do to lesson or remove the impact on climate change ?
- What could you do ?
- What would you do ?
George Monbiot’s ‘Heat’: luxury coaches on motorways suggestion…2. Homes, Energy and Waste
John Meredith of CABE not present: he was going to talk about homes and climate change.
One particular innovation which needs to happen is the use of meters which show how much energy is being used by particular appliances so that the impact of using particular equipment can be identified.
Then had an unfocussed teacher ‘discussion’, which turned into an anecdote swap rather than getting some ideas for innovative future actions: my colleague, who was a waste management consultant before she went into teaching was not impressed…
Then had LUNCH: rather nice food: apparently ‘locally sourced’ as well (see next session…) – nice meringue with fresh fruit…3. Food Production
Tully Wakeman: East Anglia Farmers Link.
“How food impacts on climate change and how climate change impacts on food.”
Peak Oil issue: peaked in 54 out of 60 oil producing countries
Food a source of energy (converted solar energy), but sometimes more energy is used to transport the food than its actual calorific value.
Energy is used in its production and to ‘replace’ land…
1 calorie of food, takes 10 calories of oil/gas.
Use of energy
- Agriculture – 25%
- Home: storage and cooking – 25%
- Transport and distribution and storing – 50%
Need to reduce the use of energy in food system - use local shops instead of supermarkets.
Tesco lorries cover 60 million miles a year.
We should eat food from the UK – and none of it flown.
Source locally – eat seasonal foods – have changing expectations of what we can get…
Demand driven system at the moment.
Packaging or no packaging ?
Key areas to identify:
- Water problems: droughts, groundwater issues, and flooding caused by glacier melting.
- Soil erosion and desertification
- Switch to biofuels – maize in the USA / Mexico raised the price of tortillas
- Building on good agricultural land.
- Change in diet.
- Food waste – see the
- We eat 40% more calories than we need…
- Local shops for local people
- Unprocessed food.
Droughts in Australia (1000 year drought)
Cows: methane – vegetarian diet ?
1 metre sea level rise – lose agricultural land to sea level rise – Fens / river estuaries traditionally the most fertile - could we make new land ?
Nitrate fertiliser: added to field to increase yields.
Movement of food: food miles4. Tourism
Sustainable Tourism: Ecotourism Consultant
EDP: writes a column on the environment…
Ecotourism consultant – “diversification consultant” – help turn ideas into projects – could be businesses, farms, looking for alternatives…
Runs Burnham Deepdale bunkbarn…
Impacts of holidays (6 things to concentrate on…)
- How far you travel ?
- The way you travel ?
- Where you stay ?
- What you do ?
- How you travel while on holiday ?
- How do you treat your destination ?
- Long Haul – USA , Japan
- Short Haul – EU
- Domestic – UK – car commonly used – jams and congestion to SW
Flights – put into the higher level atmosphere – low-cost airlines – Ryan Air recent discussions on profits and numbers of flights…
Green credentials of accommodation.
Towels – saving water…(or saving the hotel money ? )
Consumer choice – has power to change - if people ask they might take notice
We left just before the end, and headed off back to King’s Lynn in the minibus. It had been a valuable experience for the students, and they had had a chance to feed in to the Government’s climate change bill…
Labels: Carrow Road, Climate Change Conference