Report from last month’s AGM

 

No change of officers: Jules Tennick continues at Coordinator, Catharine Browne as Treasurer, and Virginia Fassnidge as Chair.

 

Catharine presented the accounts for 2010-11. Total expenditure - room rental, website and various other expenses - was £334.46 against total income of £413.29 - memberships, donations and takings at events (these last mostly from previous year however). Copy of accounts can be supplied on request.

 

We reviewed our activities since the previous AGM.

  • Meetings included:  presentation on waste prevention in West London, visit from Friends of the Earth Network Developer who led a discussion on attracting and keeping members, and an illustrated talk on Perivale Wood by Nic Ferriday.
  • We discussed a variety of issues including factory farming and animal welfare, and local planning applications. Friends of the Earth provided an exercise around their mid-term review where we attempted to identify with a number of statements and attitudes. We spent some time prioritising the proposed motions to FoE Local Groups conference.
  • We took part in FoE’s recycling day of action, asking the Government to set a target to halve the amount of rubbish going into black bags, and got a photo and short news item in the Gazette.
  • Some members visited Virendra Sharma, MP for Ealing Southall, to talk about the Energy Bill.
  • Several of us went to FoE events, including the Local Groups Conference.
  • We took part in the “Food and Faith” conference organised by A Rocha, the faith-based environmental organisation, giving a short presentation on the destruction of human and wildlife habitats to grow crops such as soya for animal feed, and the harmful effects of monoculture.
  • Stalls: Animal Welfare Bazaar in March, Perivale Wood Open Day in April, Litten Nature Reserve Open Day and Hanwell Carnival in June. We joined Hounslow & Brentford FoE for Osterley Day and Brentford Festival.
  • Our main activity was to engage the public on energy issues, using the FoE “Plug us in to what you think” questionnaire. We also got members of the public to sign postcards about changes to the planning system. Nic has been very busy representing Ealing FoE in hearings on the Local Development Framework.
  • We had a Christmas get-together at La Siesta tapas bar in Ealing, and a summer walk along the canal from Boston Manor to Brentford, finishing with a meal at La Rosetta Italian restaurant.

 

 

It’s time to make our final demand

 

Have your energy bills rocketed this year? It's because the Big Six are keeping us hooked on dirty, expensive fossil fuels and because our homes guzzle power and leak heat.

Just six big energy companies supply 99% of our homes. And they've got the Government wrapped around their little fingers. They want to maintain their massive profits and keep new firms out of the market.

Politicians and regulator Ofgem have questioned the power and dominance of the energy companies - but nothing's changed.

Friends of the Earth has launched a petition calling for:

  • a public enquiry into the power of the Big Six energy companies.
  • urgent action to stop the Government killing off our clean British energy providers.

 

You can sign the petition to David Cameron on the FoE website. Paper copies will be available at the meeting on 16 November, when we will be discussing the campaign.  This issue has become even more pressing in view of the recent announcement that the new Feed-In Tariff review will cut solar incentives in half, threatening our newly thriving solar industry. We need to lobby our MPs!

 

 

Energy Newsflash!

 

Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to alter its plans to slash subsidies for households and communities that install solar panels, or face legal action.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker announced plans last week to impose lower feed-in tariff payments after 12 December this year.

But Friends of the Earth has written to him, saying that unless the Government agrees to amend its proposals by 4pm on Friday 11 November, it will commence court proceedings.

Many solar energy projects across the country, including community energy projects that would benefit schools and hospitals, are under threat or have already been cancelled.

And schemes that would have seen thousands of social housing tenants benefit from lower fuel bills through having solar panels installed have already been abandoned.

The Government has launched a consultation on its proposals, but the deadline for responses is 23 December, nearly two weeks after the new tariffs are to be introduced.

Source: FoE website

 

Did you watch Panorama this week?

 

It included a claim that Britain could save £34 billion if it ditched plans for offshore wind energy. The figure is from a report by accountants KPMG. It has not yet been released, but Friends of the Earth say their energy experts have had a look at the claims and don’t think that the numbers add up.

 

The £34 bn figure is based on the cost of setting up different energy types, not the cost of running them on an ongoing basis. Clearly, supplying power stations with gas is different from supplying wind turbines with wind.

For more on this visit http://www.foe.co.uk/news_events/policy_blog.html

 

 

 

Are we too many? 7 billion reasons to think

Public meeting Monday 5 December, 7 pm at The Polygon

 

As discussed last month, Ealing FoE and Population Matters are jointly hosting a meeting to discuss the issues raised by increasing world population.  We’re hoping for some lively and interesting debate, so please spread the word: there is a poster advertising the meeting attached with this newsletter.

 

Campaign against Climate Change

Stand Up for Climate Justice March and Rally in London, Saturday 3 December

More details will be made available on www.campaigncc.org soon

 

7% of the world's population produce 50% of the world's emissions
7% of the world's emissions are produced by 50% of the world's population

This year the floods in Pakistan have returned displacing 5 million and killing hundreds. Last year's floods were the worst in living memory with 20 million affected and 2,000 killed. Last year also saw record breaking temperatures in Russia with wildfires and crop failures while this year we have seen the latest in a series of exceptional droughts in East Africa causing famine in Somalia.   

 

The frequency and severity of weather related disasters is on the increase and scientists tell us this is due to human-induced climate change caused overwhelmingly by the high emissions and high consuming lifestyles of richer countries like our own. Its the poorest and most vulnerable around the world - many of them in Africa where this year’s climate talks are being held - who have done the least to cause the problem but who are suffering the most. And all this is set to get worse. Yet climate change and the conversion to a low carbon economy are routinely dismissed as minor concerns.

 

Stand up for climate justice on Saturday 3rd December midway through the Durban Climate Talks.

It would be good to have an Ealing FoE presence there!

 

 

Consultation on the Future of Ealing’s Green Spaces ends Monday 14 November -

so be quick if you want to let the Council know what you think

 

Information on the Green Space Strategy and an online consultation form can be found here: http://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/200073/parks__open_spaces/949/ealing_green_space_strategy

 

 

Recycling Petition

 

There is a petition to the Council asking that they abandon plans: to charge for garden waste, to withdraw the white sacks for plastics collection, and for the option in the contract to collect waste and recyclables fortnightly. If you want to sign, it is at:

http://ealing-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal/petitions/keep_recycling_free_weekly_2

We did talk about this at the last meeting, but we might want to return to it on Wednesday.

 

 

Ealing Transition Film Night Sunday 13 November: The Future of Hope

7.30 pm at St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road, Ealing W5 5RH

 

This film explores Iceland as a microcosm of the world's financial ills, focusing on its attempts to build a sustainable, people-centric economy in the wake of the banking bubble and crash which brought the country to its knees. The film follows developments in organic farming, business, innovation, renewable energy and the environment, and paints a positive vision for the future from which we can all learn. You can watch the trailer at http://www.futureofhope.co.uk

 

Autumn Leaves

Even if you don’t have any deciduous trees in your garden there are plenty of leaves around just now. When they have rotted down they make excellent mulch.  Collect them in a bin liner, sprinkle with water, tie loosely and punch holes in the liner. Then just leave them somewhere out of sight and forget about them for a year, when they should be ready to spread on the garden.

 

 

Love Food Hate Waste Workshop

 

apple cores,boxes,empty box,fish bones,fishbones,garbage,garbage cans,households,trash,trash cans,wastesThe sustainable charity Wastewatch has recently teamed up with six West London boroughs to launch a Love Food Hate Waste programme. Every year in the UK we throw away £12 billion worth of food - 8.3 million tonnes. This has serious environmental implications, and not just the problem of waste disposal:  if we all stopped throwing away food that could have been eaten, the CO2 benefit would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 4 cars off our roads.

 

Wastewatch are offering free workshops to local community groups and organisations. These workshops are interactive and informative, and at the end of each session the participants will go away with sound knowledge of the environmental, social and financial issues surrounding food waste as well as practical tips to help them reduce their food waste.

 

We thought that this would make an interesting topic for one of our meetings, and we’re hoping that they’ll be able to come in February.

 

Meanwhile, you can find out more at http://www.westlondonwaste.gov.uk/category/news/, where you can also make a pledge to reduce your food waste and be in for a chance to win a prize!