Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Tree Decoration

If we get the extra dog waste bins that we've been promised for the Open Space and down by the brook, will this quaint little custom continue?

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Into the Electoral Fray. Again.

I've been selected to stand for election as one of Stockwood's city councillors next May. The Green Party page about it is here.

Fortunately we don't do 'dirty' electioneering in Stockwood; I get on fine with our current councillors, Jay and David, even if we are poles apart on some issues. So here's hoping for a clean and fair election - same as last time, but with the top two places reversed!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

What are Bristol's three green 'Benchmarks of Excellence' ?

It's been suggested that Barbara Janke and co's flying visit to Copenhagen has little to do with the talks or even the banquets. Instead, she might find time to lobby for euro-cash for new energy projects in the city. She'd do it through the 'Covenant of Mayors' - a European Commission initiative of 1,000-plus European Cities aiming to exceed the EU's own targets for CO2 cuts. Apparently Bristol is a member, though who made the decision to join is unclear.

The Covenant of Mayors is also inviting member towns and cities to publish three 'Benchmarks of Excellence' that they're proud of.

So what should Bristol's three be?

Hmmmm.... food waste collections could be a contender, though it's not directly energy related. But after that ?

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Babs' Banquets - and other things to do in Copenhagen

Turns out it's the 'Climate Summit for Mayors' that's Barbara Janke's must-go destination next week - together with her counterparts from London, Birmingham, Manchester, and 70-odd cities throughout the world.

What they're all getting up to is listed here (pdf file). Looks like a long week of royal receptions and other bunfights, corporate presentations and tours - plus a good few events that many of us in Bristol would get a lot from, helping to see how we can make a low-carbon future actually happen.

Still, no doubt Babs will be writing an extensive report on the plane trip back, so we won't have to bother.

"Labour is flying in the face of the spirit of Copenhagen" says Hughes - as Janke jets to the Summit

Bristol's Liberal Democrat council leader, Barbara Janke, is jetting off for a couple of days in Copenhagen. Meanwhile her website condemns government officials for travelling to the climate change talks the same polluting way.

Just another example of LibDem hypocrisy. Makes a change from wanting prestige buildings on the green belt, or new roads to bring more traffic and congestion.

Bristol City Council has made no official announcement of the council leader's trip, so its purpose and justification - if any - is unclear.

But you have to ask why the city (on our behalf) will pay the environmental and financial costs of Janke's junket when they're desperately searching for ways to cut spending on essential public services and to reduce our carbon footprint.

Maybe Babs didn't have time to read what LibDem front-bencher Simon Hughes had to say about flying to Copenhagen before she quoted it on her web site.....

"At least half of the 38 Ministers and officials that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are taking to the Copenhagen Conference will be travelling by plane, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The information was released in answer to Parliamentary Questions.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Simon Hughes will be travelling to the Copenhagen conference by train next weekend. The cost of his travel will be cheaper than the average £460 that DECC is paying to send each of its ministers and civil servants to the Conference.

Commenting, Simon Hughes said:

It’s a disgrace that ministers and officials are flying today to attend the Copenhagen Conference.

“They are supposed to be discussing how to save the world from a climate crisis and yet many of them are using the most polluting form of transport available - and at a very high cost to the public.

“I will be travelling to the conference by train, a method of transport far less damaging to the environment. It may take a little longer to get there, but it certainly will cost less than the people at the Department of Climate Change are spending on their travel.

“Labour has to wake up and realise that words are not what is needed to avert a climate crisis, it is real action that counts.

[Added 10.15 on 10/12/09]:
Jankepage link above now working - until the item drops off the page, anyway.

Meanwhile, the view from the cockpit - it's not my usual reading, but here's the story from the Bristol chapter of the Professional Pilots Rumour Network