Earth Day event Saturday 20th April plus addressing our borough council


Please spread the word!

Our press release:

The fourth annual free Earth Day event in St Nicholas Chapel on the Saturday of Easter weekend, 20th April, is both the same and different. This year it is in the middle of the day, 12 noon to 3pm, to draw in Saturday shoppers. There will be an outpost in Broad Street in the centre of town with a penguin and a polar bear. Species under Threat and Climate Change are this year’s twin themes. The event will again feature informative displays and short films, a children’s art competition, refreshments and the ever popular smoothie-making bicycle (plus this year, a free Easter egg hunt!) As usual a range of local groups will be represented, including the Soroptimists and the Gaywood Valley Conservation Group. The event’s organisers, King’s Lynn Climate Concern (KLimate Concern) see local collaboration as vital in the very serious situation that faces our planet and the next generation.

As local councils across the country, including Suffolk County Council and North Norfolk, declare climate emergencies, KLimate Concern is pressing the borough council at the April 11th full council session to work with them and show a real sense of urgency in setting up a Climate Change Liaison Partnership. This is something the borough council had committed to previously.

Daphne Sampson of the KLimate Concern group urges, ‘We absolutely can’t delay any longer. We have a lot of concerned and skilled people in our community. The Tomorrow’s Norfolk, Today’s Challenge report talked about drawing together representatives from industry, transport, retail and education – and that includes pupils, including those involved in the school strikes- to work with councillors to address the challenge of moving to a low carbon economy. I would add others to that list, including representatives of our excellent local environmental groups like the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and of faith communities.

‘We can give people guidance on cutting their personal carbon footprint but in this situation that is not enough by itself. We have to work through local and national government too if we want to be able to continue to celebrate our planet.’

Climate Change for once makes top story – UN report- 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe


Overwhelmed by climate change (or know others who are)? Here’s what you can do
From campaigning to installing insulation and solar panels, some practical steps you can take to help avoid climate breakdown

UN report: We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe.

The report talks about the enormous amount that needs to be done at governmental level. But it doesn’t downplay the choices made by individuals. Along with choices about transport, diet, re-use as well as recycling, there is our choice to raise our voices to our politicians. It’s far too easy for them to believe few people are really concerned about the issue.

Our group has been too quiet over a summer when unusual weather might have might made some people more ready to listen. We did combine with the Norwich based Climate Hope Action in Norfolk (CHAIN) to email all our local politicians individually asking what they were doing about climate change. Response has been thin- and CHAIN are giving it a second try before talking to the press.

The things we all can do include the old ‘REDUCE, RECYCLE AND REUSE’. Repair cafes have sprung up- Of course we need more but there’s as great one at Stoke Ferry:Sat 13th October 10am -2pm All Saints Church, bike, electrical and clothing repairs amongst others.

Best ever Earth Day event!

We think it really was the best Earth Day event we’ve run- thanks to so many people- all the groups with displays from The Green Britain Centre in Swaffham to King’s Lynn Civic Society, from the College of West Anglia to the Quakers. There was exciting art with a Groundwork Gallery/4Transform Waste Transformed project, and Karen Whiterod with the wire Nest of Hope made in King’s Lynn last summer plus Highgate, Reffley and St Edmund’s Academies with splendid posters and junk models. St Martha’s school choir gave great pleasure and it was encouraging to see people’s pledges of new actions to help care for the Earth covering our pledge tree!

Best ever King’s Lynn Earth Day event!

Saturday April 21st 4.30-7.00pm St Nicholas Chapel PE30 1NH

For the 3rd year running we are holding an informal drop-in event, both informative and enjoyable, to celebrate International Earth Day, at St Nicholas Chapel. There will be displays from a wide range groups taking part (Norfolk Wildlife Trust, beekeepers, political parties, Gaywood Valley Conservation Trust, the Civic Society among others), free food, art- linked to the themes of waste and climate change, music, activities to involve children and a bar.

‘Recycling can sometimes be confusing for people’, says Bob Brady, an active member of our group with a background in plastics science, whose wife is running an entertaining rubbish sorting game at the event. ‘We need to encourage people to see waste, not as waste but as a valuable resource that could potentially create new products. Unless we put all our efforts into tackling environmental problems, things will be far, far worse for our grandchildren.’

Another fun activity will promote pedal power in a light-hearted way, making smoothies by pedalling a bike!

Earth Day started in the USA in 1970, when a huge gathering in Washington seems to have persuaded an unlikely president, Richard Nixon, to back a whole raft of environmental legislation. This year the international theme is ‘Cut Plastic Pollution’, one that clearly resonates with many many people, particularly after viewing the David Attenborough ‘Blue Planet 2’ scenes of ocean pollution.

Our group has remained focused, above all, on the single environmental issue of climate change. It seems to us- and to scientists around the world- that this is an even more serious, though much less visible issue than plastic pollution. But Earth Day gives a really great opportunity for us to bring together lots of groups with environmental concerns, at the very time that the public’s response to the plastic pollution issue gives real encouragement that people power can make a difference.

Trump’s appalling withdrawal from Paris just may have one positive- galvanising enough others to fight climate change actively.

The response from many US cities, states and businesses was encouraging. We need to keep working.

The Leonardo DiCaprio documentary, Before the Flood, remains a good tool. (DiCaprio gave a copy to Ivanka just after the election. It may have affected her attitude.) Invite friends and family round to watch it! Get in touch if you want help setting it up.

After a very busy few months the group has a chance to look ahead. Do send thoughts for our meeting on Monday 12th June (Friends Meeting House barn at 7.30pm) if you can’t come.

Climate Change and Sea level -useful websites from Alex Kirby

An interesting meeting. Well attended.  Thank you to those who came.

Environment Agency – What’s in Your Backyard?

http://apps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/default.aspx

Flood map for planning – https://flood-map-for-planning.service.gov.uk/

Climate change tools to support local flood risk management strategies –http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140328084622/http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/planning/135749.aspx

Wash East Coast Management Strategy – Public Consultation

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/340816/Final_Wash_East_consultation_document_final_180714.pdf

 

Association of British Insurers – Flooding

https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/flooding/

 

UK Committee on Climate Change

7 December 2015 – https://www.theccc.org.uk/

 

UKCP09

UK Climate Projections, Met Office: http://ukclimateprojections.metoffice.gov.uk/

 

Met Office: Extreme weather, 1990 to 2016

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/interesting/

(Shows rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures &c)

 

Skeptical Science

https://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise-predictions-basic.htm

( a US site focussed on “Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism”]

 

Emissions limit “is 20 years away”

http://trillionthtonne.org/

 

C40 Cities (megacities)

http://www.c40.org/

 

UKCIP [UK Climate Impacts Programme: with Case studies and Exchanging knowledge & ideas]

http://www.ukcip.org.uk/

 

Transition Network [transition towns]

https://transitionnetwork.org/

 

The Ecologist magazine [Top 10 . . . greenest UK cities] http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/home/807176/top_10_greenest_uk_cities.html

http://www.greensuffolk.org/assets/Greenest-County/Adaptation/General/Summary-of-climate-change-risks-to-

 

Should we be worried about sea level rise living round here?

Alex Kirby, former BBC journalist and environment correspondent will engage with Brian Long of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council (environment portfolio holder before he became leader of the council) on climate change issues in terms of our local response.

This discussion will have two aspects:

  • our response to the effects of climate change, especially projected sea level rise and more extreme weather events, asking whether we are tending to work with over optimistic estimates
  • our local response to the challenge of reducing our carbon footprint in areas such as transport, recycling and use of renewable energy.

Now there is a new way to force action on climate change – the courts

Taken from Greenpeace – Energy Desk

Today, something incredible happened in the Netherlands. In a landmark court case, in which NGO Urgenda along with 900 concerned Dutch citizens sued the government for failing act on climate change, the Dutch court ruled in their favour. It was a brave and necessary verdict.

The Netherlands is widely known for being progressive on social issues (gay marriage, soft drugs etc) but we are unfortunately far from that when it comes to tackling climate change. The wet and soggy lowlands have been lagging behind on renewables, with only 4% — one of the lowest in Europe.

But today’s verdict is a game-changer in the fight against climate change. The Dutch court ruling is clear: The government has a legal duty to protect its people against the threat of climate change. Litigation against governments who fail to take climate change seriously will spread around the world.

The implications will be felt for years to come. The Hague Court ordered the government to cut CO2 emissions by 25% from 1990 levels by 2020. That is an additional 10% CO2 reduction in the next five years.

The Netherlands is not the only country failing to take the necessary measures to tackle dangerous climate change. The arguments made in this landmark ruling are applicable to other countries, and in the run-up to the Paris climate conference, governments around the world should take note.

And this is just the beginning. There is a case being brought in Belgium, and Greenpeace hopes to bring about a similar action in the Philippines, which suffered terribly from Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Greenpeace, the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement and other local NGOs are requesting the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines to open a critical investigation into the responsibility of big carbon polluters for human rights violations that have or will result from the impacts of climate change.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia launched the demand for the investigation on World Environment Day by asking Filipinos and others to show their support for the investigation by signing on to this petition.