Author Archives: steve@sector39.co.uk

2050 Vision

The evidence is all around

The Paris agreement creates a vision for 2050 of a carbon negative future. We should be challenging our selves now to what we want our future to look like.       One School One Planet

consequences

Preparing for a different future, based on what we know is coming.

We are planning a community scale permaculture course to build a vision for a sustainable future, join us!

Plotting the path to the future

Paris accord targets graph 0- part of Images of Paris competition

Future Generations

Future Generations will have to embrace the Paris Accord as the minimum we need to achieve collectively to avoid climate catastrophe. Wales now has the Future Generations act and it is very much in line with the vision of the One School One Planet schools project and reinforces the timing and objectives of the project

That is quite something. Halving emissions in decade then repeating that twice more is only the beginning of what is required of us over the coming three decades. Poverty, inequality, health, education, jobs and community all tie into this bigger pictures.

One School One Planet is working with Llanfyllin High School and with schools in Africa to create a vision for 2050 the time by when we are supposed to be entering a carbon negative economy what is that going to look and feel like and more importantly how are we gong to get there? We are leading our community to build a vision for its truly sustainable future.

We want the school and its pupils to see themselves as the leaders who will bring in the new era. We live in such dramatic times we hope to present a positive take on that. An opportunity and renewal. A transformational journey even.

Please help us publicise our work and network with those who can help us.

Steve Jones

Creating a positive view of the future

Pupils at Sabina School, Rakai Uganda in their permaculture designed food forest

These school girls at Sabina School Uganda are in the forest garden planted back in 2010 which has since grown into a jungle of edible plants surrounding the campus. There are coffee bushes and papayas in the under-story, a ground cover of squashes and pumpkins, you can also see amaranth and herbs in the foreground as well as banana and citrus growing happily in the shade of the towering avocado trees above.

Surely this is a vision of the future we must now realize we are heading for? A school garden such as this can not only provide a significant boost to the nutrition of the pupils and represents cost saving on all sorts of resources the forest can also mop up excess rainfall and soak up the nutrients from the compost and organic wastes produced by the school.

This forest of food is a

  • A class room
  • a play space
  • a recycling centre and
  • a nature reserve – all at the same time.

Every year it becomes a little bit more productive and every year it takes a little bit less work to maintain it. As schools and communities alike begin to consider the realities of the transition to low-carbon, climate friendly lives and economies we will have to learn how to

The Ski jump to uncertainty

We have been using this graph on the project a lot. It maps the emissions reduction required to give our selves a chance of avoiding run away climate catastrophe and maps the transition to a low-carbon future.

The problem with the graph is that it looks like a plunge into the unknown,  Halving CO2 emissions each decade is gin to get progressively harder and demand more and more creativity from us to find ways to resolve our resource needs in new and different ways. So via this project we are inviting people to look at the future somewhat differently.

paris graph

The ski jump of uncertainty

Re-imagining the future

We have to embrace change as an opportunity.. it is one of the core ideas in permaculture, change is inevitable and fighting against it will always fail ultimately. Lets us see this differently —  just by flipping the graph upside down we instantly get a different picture. Rather than something diminishing into uncertainty, lets us see this as a rising out of the depths of fossil fuel addiction and pollution to a new dawn of low-carbon and increasingly sustainable world.

The human project as a whole needs to begin to find ways to think and behave as a single species with a common destiny. The more I have been thinking and researching into climate change the more I have come to realise that in solving this challenge we will have to face and solve a great many other challenges at the same time.

Following the Paris targets still only gives us something like a 66% chance of avoiding climate catastrophe and each new report published seems to bring ever more urgent cries for change with it. So change we must and if we can embrace this change as a transformation journey then we have the opportunity to create a much netter, fairer, interconnected and more localised society and economy in the process.

 

I see it as a win win but however we see it we certainly need to get on with it.

The Dragons Sessions

We are planning some informal evening sessions at the Dragons gallery 
on Thursday evenings.
I am planning a couple of introductory ones first, then a series of 
12 starting in September. 
The One School One Planet project is keen to facilitate a discussion 
about how we are going to make this transition?

The first two of a series of evening events discussing permaculture, education and transtion at Dragons Co-op in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant.

Nyero school, Eastern Uganda joins in One School One Planet Permaculture

permaculture at Nyero

Work day at Nyero school, Uganda. Permaculture in Practice. The participants from our recent PDC in Kamuli Uganda led on this workshop in Nyero.

Congratulations to Godfrey and Helen and their team members for this wonderful work at Nyero school Uganda. Helen and Godfrey attended the Sector39 PDC in Kamuli in May this year and are now working through their local community to help promote permaculture in schools.

Here together with 60 pupils and staff and NGO workers they have begun a school permaculture make over. Planting the first trees of their food forest, digging swales, making biochar and designing and planting tree guilds. We believe every school should be talking about Climate change and building a more resilient landscape. Schools can use their buildings and grounds to trap water, build soil and develop useful yields from what they already have and without significant investment other than that of time and energy of the students and teachers.

Sector39 are training practitioners who can lead on this practical and inspirational work to help build capacity t fight climate change and build a more secure and localised food supply.

Our next full PDC will be at Sabina School in Rakai District of Uganda.

PDC advert Sabina PDCUG18

Advert for Sabina School PDC May 2018 #PDCUG18

From Paris to Llanfyllin

The Paris Accord is our chance, we must take it. When Trump announced that he wanted the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement this month even the US coal industry advised him against it. ‘We need to be at the table, not out in the cold’ they told him. 195 countries signed the ground breaking global treaty in December 2015 and to date 142 countries have ratified it. It must be the single most important piece paper ever signed.

So what does it say? At the Llanfyllin Transition project we have been stopping people in the street and asking them what the Paris Agreement means to them. It is revealing that very few have heard of it enough to know exactly what it says or what the huge ramifications are as we begin to implement it.

The core ideas are this: every region, city, state and nation needs to work on its own carbon reduction plan. We have until 2020 to develop these ideas and be ready to implement them.

paris targets

This is the path laid out by the Paris Agreement

Between 2020 and 2030 we are required to halve our CO2 emissions.

Then we need to do exactly that again the following decade and then again. By 2050 our emissions need to be close to zero and not only that but farming, one of the most significant sources of green house gasses needs to move from being a big emitter to a net carbon sink. Yes, we have to transform agriculture into a carbon sequestering process, one that also protects biodiversity and feeds a rising population. It is a huge challenge and one that will over-ride all our other concerns or objectives as the seriousness of the encroaching climate crisis bights ever deeper.

Will this save us? Science gives us a 66% chance of avoiding run-away climate change if we achieve these targets. That is like playing Russian Roulette with 2 rounds in your 6 shooter, it is still far from safe. Every day we delay facing up to this challenge is a day wasted and a day our children and grandchildren will live to regret.

Before you all get too gloomy I have to say I think this is a fantastic opportunity.

Achieving our Paris commitments has the potential to rejuvenate our economy, creating numerous opportunities for the next generations in a way that will revitalise our communities at the same time. Facing up to this requires a complete transformation of food, energy, farming, transport, housing and economy. The era of economic growth at all costs and throw-away consumerism is already over. The evidence is all around us, solving climate and biodiversity challenges will require new economic models and new thinking creating a whole raft of opportunities.

Greening local Politics

With the encouragement of colleagues and I friends I have put my name forward as a Green Party candidate in the local elections on May 4th, not least because I believe we need to register our recognition of the new directions required. My work with the Llanfyllin Transition Project and in permaculture education means that on a daily bases I am immersed in the reality of the challenges we face as well as the many responses and strategies at our fingertips to set us in a new direction. I am convinced this is a change we can embrace and benefit from. We are gong to have to!

Join us, we are organising on-going events and publishing regular articles on our website and blog.

Steven Jones
steve@dragons.cymru
www.llanfyllin.sector39.co.uk

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Image attached: Paris targets graph

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Are you ready? Big change is coming!

This is the Paris Accord,

  • 195 nations signed the Paris Accord
  • If we follow path it sets out the planet gets a 66% chance of avoiding run-away climate change
  • The accord says we have to halve our emissions in the next ten years
  • Then halve them again and then again in the following two decades
  • It also says we need to find really creative ways to take carbon from the air and put it back into the ground.

This is the Paris Agreement

Ex High School student wins Grow Wild grant for Llanfyllin

grow wild

Grow wild, is a project by Kew Gardens to support wild plants and landscapes across the UK

Protecting Wales’ wildlife and biodiversity is an essential part of fighting climate change. Plants trap carbon from the atmosphere and build it into fertile soils where it becomes an asset rather than a danger.

Cae Bodfach is a community space for exercise, recreation, fun and specialising but it is also planned as an essential part of protecting and enhancing biodiversity in the area. It contains more than 50 heritage fruit trees as well as many more support plants, willow coppice and now ex Llanfyllin High School student Grace has secured funding from Grow Wild to add more dye plants, herbs and meadow species to the field.

Many of our wild plants can be sued as dyes as well as being good for nature and wildlife.

Grace at Cae Bodfach pruning fruit trees back in February

What was once a ‘green desert’ monoculture of rye grass is slowly turning into diverse rich space that can help feed the community and the surrounding wildlife. This is great news and a big credit to those who drafted and submitted this application, congratulations!

‘It is not an investment if it is destroying the planet’

Yet here in Wales we are still proposing new roads that destroy increasingly rare habitat.

The M4 relief road key points:

The Welsh Government wants to build a £1.1bn six-lane motorway to the south of Newport.

The 14.23m (23km) highway will be between the current M4 junction 23A at Magor to junction 29 near Castleton.

The Welsh Government plans to begin construction in 2018 and open the new road in 2021.

The Welsh Government said the current M4 around Newport, opened in 1967, “does not meet modern motorway design standards”.

Environmental campaigners and local residents claim the scheme will devastate the ancient marshlands of the Gwent Levels and four sites of special scientific interest.

There have been 335 formal objections, compared to 192 letters of support.

A public local inquiry is expected to last five months.

Wales/ Africa, links between Llanrhaeadr and Llanfyllin and Kamuli, Uganda

Wales based educational enterprise Sector39 are teaching permaculture design in Uganda, building on the success of their 2106 course an with support from the Wales Government via their Hub Cymru Africa programme

The course will also coincide with a visit from a group of teachers from Llanfyllin High School who wil be visiting the area with Dolen Ffermio, a Llanfyllin based farming support charity. We are excited to be meeting teachers from our own community while we are out in Uganda running our permaculture design course

as it presents an excellent opportunity to develop links between this project adn the work of the school.

We hope to raise funds to support participants on extremenly low incomes attend this ground breaking course. Any support is welcome! Steve Jones

We are working in partnership with the Permaculture Reseasrch Institute of Uganda, PermoAfrica and Dolen Ffermio to create new opportunities for farmers, teachers, project leaders and social innovators.

 

Your roadmap to a 66% chance of survival

Climate change and run away green house emissions are here, exactly as predicted. What next?

It is actually not hard to understand the basic premise of climate change, you burn stuff made out of carbon and the amount of carbon in the air increases in direct proportion.

Carbon in the air combines with oxygen forming CO2, this acts like a blanket and traps more of the sun’s thermal radiation in the atmosphere, hence global warming. This warming effect energizes climate systems which in turn changes the weather, ie climate change.

The earth’s bio-systems are actually pretty resilient and able to tolerate a lot of stress whilst remaining relatively stable. This self-regulating effect, much as how our bodies regulate temperature, only works within a narrow tolerance range, when we step outside of the warm/ safe zone, things get really unstable quickly and outcomes become impossible to predict.

Scientists are certain about all of this, the only uncertainty is just how bad and how dangerous is the situation exactly and what will it be like this time next year? We will only know these answers with hindsight. The key point is: Science is certain about what is happening and when confronted with the amassed evidence governments are forced to agree with it, hence the Paris Accord.

The escape route it short and sharp,
We will have to crash-land the carbon economy over the next three decades and think up some other way of doing things pretty quickly. This is none negotiable, in terms of the science and in terms of our economy,

paris targets

This is the path laid out by the Paris Agreement

which also has to change rapidly to reflect our sudden shift in priorities.

 

GDC Gross-De-Carbonisation

We wont be able to sustain the same kind of GDP growth we became accustomed in the last century in this one. GDC will drive the future economy. Gross de-carbonisation. The future economy will reward innovators not in the through-put of energy and materials (GDP) but in fnding economically efficient ways of carbon sequestration and substitution.

Trump can trumpet for coal all he likes but he is rolling stones uphill and gravity will always win out in the end.

The final thing to know about Climate chang and the Paris Accord is that when confronted with all the evidence and with no way to escape the reality, 195 governments around the world agreed to sign it.. but they only agreed to committing to 50% of the measures required to avoid climate catastrophe, (in effect 4 degrees of change when the agreed target is 1.5 with an absolute ceiling of 2). Politics in its bigger sense has therefore failed us.

Democracy and economics

Governments therefore are not the leaders, they will have to follow.

Permaculture is a global phenomenon as people around the world realise the future is working with local and natural resources.

It is down to community, individual action and our collective political and economic impact to shape and form the future. Together we must find a way to forge the road to a carbon neutral 2050.

Only permaculture, regenerative agriculture, ecological and cyclical design processes can get us to where we need to go. These approaches are generally bottom up, niche market led and decentralised approaches but they are popping everywhere. It is if a mycelium of ideas has permeated the very substrate of our society and as it all starts to unravel around us a whole new set of options and approaches are popping up like mushrooms on a damp autumn morning.
Next Transition Event

We are celebrating Earth Day in Llanfyllin Town Square

narch for science

Global actions are planned in support of the scientific community

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