Climate Week Drop-in Session Thursday 24 March

Climate Week Drop-in Session, Thursday 24 March 2011

One week to show how we can combat climate change

Transition Ely is planning to hold a drop-in session on Thursday 24 March at the Ely Library Meeting Room between 10:00 and 1:00 to coincide with the General Market.   The public everyone  is invited to watch some short videos and take a look at the displays, take a climate quiz and, most importantly, talk to group members regarding this and related important issues.

This drop-in session is part of Climate Week, 21-27 March, which will be a national occasion that offers a chance to gain a wider understanding of climate change effects and highlight the positive steps being taken or which can be taken to help mitigate it.  Join with Transition Ely to see how the power of real, practical examples  – the small improvements and the big innovations – can help.


Rob Hopkins in Cambridge in March

Mark your calendars!!  Rob Hopkins will be giving a talk in Cambridge.  I heard him speak at the Soil Assoc Conference a couple of years ago and he was so down to earth.  It is worth going!  For more information here is the link.

Let us know what you thought of the night.

Chris Martenson’s Crash Course Condensed

What is the difference between a problem and a predicament?  How do the economy, energy and the environment fit together?  What are some of the implications for the modern world?  Chris Martenson produced an excellent 3 hour video explaining it.  “Who has 3 hours to watch it?” I hear you say.  Well, fear not because he has made a 45 minute condensed version which is very helpful and understandable.   It comes in 6 parts.  You can also visit his website: for lots more.


Zero Carbon Britain 2030 Report

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) has just published its new report called Zero Carbon Britain 2030 providing ‘political and economic solutions to the urgent challenges raised by the climate science, outlining how we transform the UK into an efficient, clean, prosperous zero-carbon society’.

You can download the report for free from:

To read some of what it has to say, go to:

Spread the word!  We can do it!

Chris Martenson’s Crash Course: Peak Oil

 Here is a video of an explanation of peak oil from Chris Martenson’s ‘Crash Course’.  You can visit his website: to view the entire series which discusses how ‘…our economy, energy systems and environment interact — how we got to where we are today, and some reasonable expectations for the future. ‘   

Transition Ely online video club – March 2009

There’s a whole bunch of good video clips for us to watch this month.

Matt Harvey on Transition Towns

Poet, funny man and broadcaster Matt Harvey takes a look at the Transition Town movement. He talks to Transition people in Totnes, Stroud and Brixton.

Interview with Dmitry Orlov

Dimitry Orlov is the author of ‘Reinventing Collapse‘.  In his book, Orlov examines the  the demise of the Soviet Union, comparing it to today’s United States and offers insights into how we might prepare for coming events. His blog is well worth reading, this recent post in particular.

To finish on a more hopeful note…

Natural World – A Farm for the Future

Recently shown on BBC2, this is a wonderful programme on energy, food and agriculture

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?

Film Night: Ideas, thoughts, feedback…

Our film showing of The Power of Community (29/10/08) attracted 25 people and was thoroughly enjoyable.

the audience

After the film, which went down very well, we spent some time discussing our reactions to the issues raised.  We then asked people to jot down comments and suggestions on ‘post-its‘ in response to three statements:

  • One thing I can do to prepare for Peak Oil
  • One thing Ely can do to prepare for Peak Oil
  • One thing the Government can do to prepare for Peak Oil

These post-its were then posted up on A3 sheets of paper we’d stuck on the walls.  Here are the results of the exercise:

One thing I can do to prepare for Peak Oil

  • Join an organization so not just a single voice
  • Learn the facts and share them around
  • Finish my highly insulated eco home
  • Pray – build trust – talk – raise awareness
  • Publish a booklet about what we are facing (peak oil/climate change) with steps towards zero carbon Ely
  • Develop practical skills and teach others
  • Make more use of garden space to produce food
  • Reduce amount of gas I use, heating and hot water – completely stop using plastic bags and packaging – grow veg in my parents garden
  • Get an allotment, garden or convert garden to allotment
  • Share my car with someone
  • Buy locally
  • Leave the car at home as much as possible
  • Transition Town work
  • Have more veg and less lawn
  • Keep growing the veg on our organic allotment plot!  Cycle there!
  • Cut down on fossil fuel use
  • Get fit and healthy – grow own food – learn how to can food – get to know neighbours
  • Use my bike in place of the car
  • Raise awareness – cultivate my own veg – share my car more
  • Use public transport
  • Build a strawbale house with no requirements for heating!  (Already underway….)
  • Downsize (further)
  • Use less – Waste less
  • Learn a new skill and pass knowledge on e.g. bike maintenance, repairing clothes/furniture etc

One thing Ely can do to prepare for Peak Oil

  • Energy audits for businesses, schools, council offices
  • Pedestrianise the city centre and plant food and trees
  • Plan a wind turbine like Swaffham in Norfolk so self-sufficient in electricity
  • Collect supermarket waste food and distribute via the church
  • More wind power – the fens were drained with wind power
  • Support schools to grow their own
  • Share an allotment between a group
  • Community gardening – raise awareness – stop plastic bag use
  • Plant fruit and nut trees around town
  • Community care sharing – community vehicle
  • Community debate – organise coops
  • Improve availability of public transport
  • Turn land over to growing food – more allotments – food coops
  • Encourage farmers markets and swap shops – low rates for charity shops – more allotments
  • Think about having their own energy supplies i.e. combined heat and power or wind farms
  • Develop and adopt an energy descent plan
  • Encourage community activities
  • Bad growing practices
  • Improve recycling
  • Address having the worst performance on recycling locally
  • Encourage more local employment to prevent Ely becoming a commuter town
  • Waste less

One thing the Government can do to prepare for Peak Oil

  • Invest more in renewable energy
  • Be truthful about the need for change – educate
  • Develop some of creative ideas into industry – creative jobs
  • Put more money into alternative technology
  • Develop alternative power use
  • Tell the truth about Peak Oil
  • Invest in sustainable energy
  • MASSIVE subsidies for and investment in public transport
  • Face up to the problem – raise awareness – cut advertising rubbish we supposedly need
  • Encourage development of renewable energy systems
  • All new builds have energy saving.  This would bring down the cost.
  • More free passes and cheaper transport
  • Reclaim rail transport for all people
  • Support regions, cities and towns to localise production/markets and services
  • Raise awareness – improve public transport
  • Reverse the aim of achieving economic growth and aim for economic reduction (sustainability)
  • Foster and listen to community initiatives as well as create network-style administrative systems that feed each other (in all senses)
  • Support/enable district councils and the like to actively support ordinary people to make far reaching changes in their communities
  • Well, there are so many things – trying to take the crisis out of the arena of party politics would be good
  • One thing? Difficult to know where to start….
  • Standardise glass bottles.  Very cheap to wash, but we smash and melt
  • Better public transport infrastructure
  • Not to support Transition Town formally but enable them to grow and mature
  • Waste less
  • Put public information films/ adverts regularly in the media to inform and educate/encourage change in lifestyle and consumption

It was wonderful to see so many positive thoughts and ideas, this is the one of the core concepts of the transition model, that ingenuity and creativity is alive and well within the community, all that is needed is to encourage it to blossom and grow.

Many thanks to all those who turned up on a cold night and to the Ely Methodist Church for an excellent venue.

We’re planning another film showing before Christmas, stayed tuned to this website to find out more.