Sir David Attenborough & Professor Johan Rockstrom speak at WWF UK’s Living Planet Lecture 2016.
If you have not seen it yet, this is a brilliant lecture. Information dense but brilliantly presented, Prof Rockstrom presents a torrent of evidence, yet sticks to key memorable points helping you navigate through the detail. We still have time to act meaningfully but that window is rapidly closing he warns. The final chapter of his presentation is challengingly positive, as he talks about the exponential nature of change and the global responses to this huge problem. A journey of 35 footsteps takes me to the exit of this theatre he tells us, but a journey of 35 exponential footsteps takes me to Mars!
We staged this talk in a build up to Earth Day next month and as part of the Llanfyllin Transition Project launch. We have the specific aim of facilitating a positive dialogue about how we as a community can channel these tectonic shifts coming our way towards positive outcomes and new opportunities for our community. The climate/ energy story is reshaping our economy as well as the geography of the planet and by steering the economy in the right direction we can also begin to formulate much more meaningful responses to this challenge.
We are experiencing the ecological problem of climate change as an economic problem, caused by a failure to see the whole picture. GDP growth at all costs is a limited and unimaginative way to see the world.
There can no longer be such a thing as an economic externality, argues Prof Rockstrom.
Hiding the true economic cost of production by externalising those costs onto either society or the environment is no longer an option as we have saturated both to the point of implosion. Solving this will involve learning how to think differently, to think bigger and much more long-term. It is going to an incredible journey and we invite you to join us…
We also launched the first edition of the Llanfyllin transition Handbook at the event, we had printed 10 early editions for sale, all of which sold on the night.
Here is some feedback from one of attendee’s
Morning Steve, just wanted to say thank you for last night, I really enjoyed the talk and would be lovely to get a copy of the book if you decide to get more printed. Wondered if it would be a good idea to arrange a more relaxed way of talking following the next event. I could see that people wanted to talk and perhaps an informal talk around tables with a cuppa would work well? So many lovely people with ideas to share. Anyway its just a wee thought. Sending lots of happy wishes your way!
We are already planning the follow-up event and will be listening to this and other feedback to create a space where we can have more discussion and debate and can pick up on some of the many issues raised by the film and the climate Change agenda.
This Vox article sets our decade by decade the challenges before us. This is what we should be aiming to give our selves a chance of avoiding run away climate change.
We have a limited number of preview copies of our Llanfyllin Transition Project Handbook available for just £3 each. Come along to our climate change event at Llanfyllin High School, this Thursday at 7pm to get one! The aim of the handbook is to inspire positive community change, no matter how small or how large, to help tackle the challenge of Climate Change using ideas from permaculture, the transition movement and deep ecology.
“It is exciting to discover a Welsh community that has already done so much to pioneer these practical solutions using permaculture design and the power of the Transition Movement: influencing school curriculum, creating local community orchards and gardens, establishing a housing co-op and associated enterprises, storytelling, offering cutting edge training to spread this knowledge far and wide, and grounding all of this with an understanding of our deep interconnection with all species as humans alive at this critical time in our history. Reaching out, Llanfyllin Transition Project have gathered stories about their approach and shared it in this book. Prepare to be inspired.”
– Maddy Harland, editor of PermacultureMagazine and a co-founder of Permanent Publications.
“The Llanfyllin Transition Project (which embodies both pragmatic daily wisdom, and myth inspired storytelling), is a vitally important means to invite our participation toward eliminating the variety of eco-crises threatening all life on planet Earth. I encourage all of us to support this project and read this book.”
– Mark A. Schroll, PhD,author of Transpersonal Ecosophy, Vol. 1: Theory, Methods, and Clinical Assessments.
Creating a 25 year Vision for Llanfyllin,
can we be carbon neutral by 2042 ?
Rising to the climate challenge can create new opportunities and new possibilities, all it takes is imagination – we can be leaders not followers!
Many people try not to think about the climate challenge as it is either too scary or contentious for them. The future will indeed be dark if we don’t work together to build a vision of what we do want, inaction is no longer an option. The longer we wait to rise this challenge then the harder it will be to make the changes required of us.
Science is warning us not to wait any longer to make the changes and adaptations to the unfolding crisis, inaction only means an even more rapid and severe transition is required.
None of us has a crystal ball but we do know that the future will be very different from now. If we use current science to make predictions, what does that tell us?
The Science underpinning the Paris Climate Accord tells us that we need to achieve net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible, we should be well on our way to that target by 2042. We can be sure that the way we plan and deliver essential services like transport, food, energy and buildings will be entirely different by then. The key sources of green house gas emissions are food, energy and transport and what many specialists in the area are predicting is that:
‘the future is going to be local.’
More than simply finding creative solutions to food and energy issues we are told that we must develop strategies to actually capture carbon from the atmosphere and return it to the soils where it is no longer a problem. They call this carbon sequestration and the target we have to hit by the end of this century is to drive atmospheric CO2 down to 350ppm.
Before we started burning coal and chopping down forests the level was 285ppm and today, it stands at close to 410ppm. Don’t let these numbers baffle you, it is a huge challenge and one we simply have to achieve if we are to have a chance of a secure future.
This graph shows data from the 2017 COP22 meetings held in Marrakech Morocco earlier this year and show the extent of the changes we all will need to make to secure our futures. This is the available science and contrary to impressions you might get from the media, is widely agreed and accepted, there is a clear consensus amongst scientists regarding these assumptions and our government is signed up to the global agreements requiring action.
Paris is not enough!
195 countries signed the Paris agreement in December 2015 accepting the science and the urgent need for climate action, however governments, including our own have only committed to about half of what we are actually required to do. They have admitted that on their own it is too big a challenge for them to achieve and therefore the need for leadership to come from us, the people has never been stronger.
Perhaps older people are more complacent facing up to problems they perceive won’t affect them directly but whatever the reasons for this I strongly believe the younger generations have an amazing opportunity to rise to this challenge.
Make the climate challenge the defining issue for this generation!
If we don’t plan and work for the future we want then in all likelihood we will have something last-minute and ill thought through imposed on us from above. The world is waking up to the fact that Governments and industry are too embedded in the current system to be able to make the changes required. It is up to us to build a vision of what we want our future to look like.
Lets create a different vision of the future!
We want Llanfyllin, the school and community to be leaders, rather than waiting to be told we should be planning for an exciting low-carbon future. Jobs, housing, food, finance and so many other opportunities are going to be defined by this increasingly urgent agenda. If we can see these changes as a big opportunity then I believe people’s attitudes can be quickly changed.
Did you know there are ways to build houses that lock up carbon from the atmosphere for many decades? Using timber, straw, wool, earth and lime plasters we can build modern homes for less cost that also sequestrate carbon.
Did you know there are ways to grow food and manage land in ways that also suck down tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere and lock it up in the soils?
Soil carbon, like compost and humus doesn’t just make land more fertile, it helps it absorb and hold onto moisture, reducing flooding and the need for irrigation.
There are even Search engines that plant trees on the revenue generated
Did you know there are ways to produce heat and electricity that are many times more efficient than the current technologies we use?
We need new ideas, new stories, new inspiration to help people’s understand grow and with the clock ticking we need find ways to be creative and inclusive in how we do this.
Saving the planet also means creating lots of new opportunities
for ourselves, new jobs, more interesting work, new and innovative ways of doing things that both embrace new technologies and methods but also that are informed by tried and tested ways of being that draw on centuries of history.
Send us your vision for 2040!
How old will you be then?
Use your imagination to create a story or description of what Llanfyllin school or community will be like at this time.
Can you think of ways to inspire, inform and change people’s attitudes to be more respectful of climate change issues and aware of the potentials to make positive change.
Feel free to talk about any aspect of life in our low carbon future, work, school, food, economy, entertainment, technology, its up to you.
Write an essay, draw us pictures, record a talk or video. We and keen to hear your ideas in what ever form you would like to share them in.
One rule, keep it positive!
We want to inspire people that we can rise to this challenge and at the same time make big contributions to the Llanfyllin school, community and Wales as a whole.
We believe Llanfyllin can be leaders and an inspiration to the rest of the world, do you?