About us.....

Abingdon Carbon Cutters is a Community Action Group formed to help reduce the carbon footprint of Abingdon in response to climate change, and to promote a sustainable and resilient lifestyle for our town as fossil fuel stocks decline. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at St Ethelwold's House, which is here.

At some meetings, we have guest speakers to present various topics, and at others we discuss our own personal actions to address climate change. The group has a focus on encouragement, both of one another, and of the town community.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Copenhagen talks

As you may know one of the few things that might actually be agreed at the Copenhagen climate talks is "enhanced action on technology"... Last time we were told that carbon trading would save the planet.. now We'll be told that 'new technology will save the planet'.

In reality this is likely to mean that huge global funds will become available to help companies develop and transfer what are considered  climate-relevant technologies. While some of those technologies (some types of solar, wind, energy efficiency etc) may be fine, we can expect the bulk of this money to flow to support and transfer questionable and controversial technologies - including biofuels, biomass to electricity, GM trees and crops, biochar, waste incineration, nukes, 'clean coal' and even high risk geo-engineering technologies.

At present there is NO language requiring any assessment of which technologies should or should not receive these funds or setting any criteria to assess against. This is a dangerous gaping black hole that will be exploited by dirty industries and could lead to a massive increase in support for exactly the risky and unjust developments many of  us are  fighting against.

Below is a civil society declaration calling for  Technology Assessment to be part of any deal coming out of Copenhagen - with initial sign-ons, in three languages: English, Spanish, French. Chinese and Italian are forthcoming.  Other offers to translate most welcome, especially to other UN languages (Russian, Arabic).   All these documents will be on our website later today, laid out with a bit of design and a cartoon around the title!  (www.etcgroup. org).

If you are associated with an organisation please do consider signing that organisation on to this statement.

Please circulate this call widely in your networks, post to relavant listserves and pass on as appropriate. Please send any new endorsements to francesca@etcgroup. org


We plan to release this statement at a press conference in Copenhagen on the 10th so we need as many groups as possible to sign on before then.

Technology transfer is one of the four key topics being discussed under negotiations on Long-Term Cooperative Actions in Copenhagen (the others are mitigation, adaptation and financing).  The inter-governmental negotiating text that is under discussion contemplates various measures for accelerating the diffusion of technologies. It will most likely create an ʻAction Planʼ as well as a ʻTechnology Bodyʼ and various technical panels or innovation centres that will prove influential in the coming years in deciding which technologies get financial and political backing.  We need to make sure the right technologies get the support they need and the wrong ones are discarded.  That wonʼt happen without a comprehensive social and environmental assessment process.
We, civil society groups and social movements from around the world, understand the urgent need for real and lasting solutions to climate change. We recognise the deadly consequences that we all face if these are not achieved. We must urgently strengthen our resilience to meet the climate change challenge while dramatically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
Some corporations, individuals and even governments are fostering panic and helplessness to push for untested and unproven technologies, as ‘our only option’. However we do not wish to see a proliferation of unproven technologies without due consideration of their ecological and social consequences. Some technologies being promoted for their capacity to store carbon or to manipulate natural systems may have disastrous ecological or social consequences. Technologies that may be beneficial in certain contexts could be harmful in others.
In many cases, action to address climate change is within our reach already and does not involve complex new technologies but rather conscious decisions and public policies to reduce our ecological footprint. For example, many indigenous peoples and peasants have sound endogenous technologies that already help them cope with the impacts of climate change, and to overlook these existing practices in favour of new, proprietary technologies from elsewhere is senseless.
Technologies assessed as both environmentally and socially sound need to be exchanged. Intellectual property rules should not be allowed to stand in the way.  But some technologies that are being promoted as ‘environmentally sound’ have foreseeable and serious negative social or environmental impacts.   For example:
·       Nuclear power carries known environmental and health dangers, as well as a strong potential for nuclear weapons proliferation.
·       Crop and tree plantations for bioenergy and biofuels can lead to large-scale displacement of farmers and indigenous peoples, and destruction of existing carbon-dense ecosystems, thus accelerating climate change.
·       Agricultural practices involving genetically modified crops and trees, use of agrochemicals and synthetic fertilisers, large-scale monocultures and industrial livestock rearing present dangers to climate, human health and biodiversity.
Intentional, large-scale, technological interventions in the oceans, atmosphere, and land (geoengineering) could further destabilise the climate system and have devastating consequences for countries far away from those who will make the decisions.
·       Ocean fertilisation could disrupt marine ecosystems and disturb the food chain.
·       Injecting sulphates into the stratosphere could cause widespread drought in equatorial zones, causing crop failures and worsening hunger.
·       Biochar is unproven for sequestering carbon or improving soils, yet strongly promoted by certain commercial interests.
In Copenhagen, a new international body responsible for climate-related technologies is likely to be created and new funds will be made available to it. But so far, the negotiating texts make no mention of the need for this new body to assess the socio-economic and environmental impacts of these technologies (which are frequently trans-boundary) , or to consider the perspectives of populations likely to be affected, including women, indigenous peoples, peasants, fisher folk and others.
Precaution demands the careful assessment of technologies before, not after, governments and inter-governmental bodies start funding their development and aiding their deployment around the globe. There is already a precedent in international law: the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, ratified by 157 countries, gives effect to this principle on genetically modified organisms. National and international programs of public consultation, with the participation of the people who are directly affected, are critical. People must have the ability to decide which technologies they want, and to reject technologies that are neither environmentally sound nor socially equitable.
We therefore demand that a clear and consistent approach be followed internationally for all new technologies on climate change: States at COP 15 must ensure that strict precautionary mechanisms for technology assessment are enacted and are made legally binding, so that the risks and likely impacts, and appropriateness, of these new technologies, can be properly and democratically evaluated before they are rolled out. Any new body dealing with technology assessment and transfer must have equitable gender and regional representation, in addition to facilitating the full consultation and participation of peasants, indigenous peoples and potentially affected local communities.

This document is signed by:
Asian Women's Indigenous Network, International Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, Philippines
Biofuelwatch, UK
Centro ecologico, BrazilCentre for Food Safety, USA
Eco Nexus, UK
ETC Group, International
Eco Pax Mundi, International
Food Secure Canada
CESTA -Friends of the Earth- El Salvador
Friends of the Earth -USA
Friends of the Earth (HABURAS FOUNDATION), Timor-Leste
Gaia Foundation, UKGender CC- Women for Climate Justice, GermanyInternationa l Centre for Technology Assessment, USA
National Farmers Union, CanadaNGO Working Group on the Asian Development Bank, International
SEARICE, PhilippinesSmartmem e, USA
Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, USA
Tebtebba, Philippines
Third World Network, International
To add your organisation’s signature, send email with subject line: Look Before You Leap toFrancesca@etcgroup. org.

... Read this ...

Christmas present wrapping - 15 Dec

Tuesday 15 December
7.30 – 9.00 PM

Ethelwold’s House, 30 East Saint Helen Street, Abingdon

Mince Pies  - Christmas Brownies - Open fire
Bring your presents (any shape or size) and Allie Hudson will show you how to wrap them stylishly using old paper, fabric, magazines, string, wool and this and that.
Please bring scissors and bits and pieces for decorating
e.g. old ribbon, string, wool etc, paper carrier bags of all sizes.

Wrapping paper (up-cycled) will be provided

Cost £3.00

... Read this ...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Words for the vigil - TODAY

Here is the text of the community affirmation we plan to read at the vigil on Saturday (5.30pm in the Market Place round the Christmas Tree). Do come promptly to get in the picture, which will be beamed round the world to the Copenhagen Summit, where a special vigil led by Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu and former UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson will be held outside the negotiation headquarters in Copenhagen.

If you are coming, please bring a copy of the affirmation with you.

Today, we gather here, and with communities in every corner of the world, to commit to work together to save our planet. The fragile balance of the earth that has always sustained us is changing. We are changing it.  
We are causing warming that leads to more warming, icecaps melt and rainforests die, and this cycle could move beyond our control within just five years. Climate change is far away, but close at hand. Many of us have slumbered until now. But for others, climate change is already a living devastation.

  • It is the dying light in a child’s eye, as advancing deserts turn a farm to dust, and a family starves. 
  • It is a home, a livelihood, and a lifetime of memories wiped out by ever-rising floods and bitter storms. 
  • It is the deadly battle between desperate neighbouring tribes clinging to the last remaining water holes. 
  • It is a whole proud island nation fleeing, its water poisoned by the sea, its lands sinking beneath the waves. 
  • And it is the tension of thousands of refugees driven from their lands to cities across the poorest nations.

These are the bitter foretastes of the gathering storm. This is the future that threatens us all – for no-one will be untouched by these ravages, rich or poor, north or south.  
But we can save ourselves, by changing the energy that powers our societies. We can stop burning all this oil, coal and wood. We can shift to the natural energy of the sun, the wind, the water. But we must do this all together, and we must do it now.  
The decisions we make today will decide the future of humanity. This is why we have come out today to 2000 events in 130 countries across our planet, to light up the world with a call to action, a signal of hope. We call on our leaders to take urgent action and agree a Real Climate Deal:  
A real deal must be ambitious. We want a deal that will stop and reverse the growth of harmful carbon emissions within 5 years, and quickly return the world to a safe level of 350 parts per million of carbon in our atmosphere.  

A real deal must be fair.
We want a deal that commits $200 billion per year to help poor countries do their part to fix this crisis which was not created by them.  

A real deal must be binding
. We won’t allow empty promises. We want a deal that makes the protection of our planet the law of all lands.  
This is the most important deal of our time. Every country must be part of the solution. We will accept nothing less. Tonight we gather as global citizens with common purpose and shared fate. This is a chance to build a world we can be proud to leave to our children and grandchildren.  
The hour is darkest before the dawn. Our movement is awake, this moment is ours to seize, the future is ours to build and our message is clear: 
The World Wants A Real Deal!

... Read this ...

Candlelit vigil - TODAY

Carbon Cutters will be holding a short candle-lit vigil in the Market Place in Abingdon (round the Christmas Tree) at 5.30pm to support the negotiators in Copenhagen.

This is part of a world-wide action called by Avaaz.org who I guess you know already.

Please come promptly, if only briefly, to get in the photo! Bring a candle or night-light in a jam-jar (or a lovely decorated lantern if you have one! Hope to see you at 5.30pm.

This is the message from the organisers:

I'm organising a candlelight vigil in Abingdon as part of a huge international day of action on climate change. We need a bunch of people to make it work. It’s going to be fun, short and super easy - will you come?

Events like ours are happening simultaneously in every corner of the world just as our leaders gather in Copenhagen for the most important climate negotiations of our time. Our message is clear: The World Wants A Real Deal: a treaty strong enough to tackle dangerous climate change.

Come and join me! Check out the event and RSVP here:

If you can't make it to mine, check out this map showing events across the world.


See you there?

... Read this ...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CAG Newsletter - December

Here is a link to the CAG newsletter which features a mention of our Eco-Christmas meeting, although the ideas we had were much more varied!

... Read this ...

Send and bend

There were some send and bend cards from Local Roots at the last Carbon Cutters meeting, but there was not time to see them.

Local Roots work with the local producers and make utmost efforts to provide low carbon alternatives to the food as well as locally crafted gifts, etc.

Also in terms of Christmas cards they have put a lot of effort into developing the 'send & bend cards' which are sold with a 10% donation to local charities (ACWT). The key concept of these cards is that the majority of wastage is through envelopes with the consumer and through the paper and printing process at the production end. We use only 100% recycled and biodregradable card, no envelopes (min waste and postage weight) the inks are all vegetable printing pigments and any wrapping is cornstarch and fully compostable.

... Read this ...

Eco Christmas ideas, and Christmas Feast on Dec 16th

If you missed our last meeting here are some of the ideas we discussed for making your Christmas presents and festivities more sustainable without losing any of the fun (in fact it will increase the fun!).

You are also warmly invited to the Carbon Cutters Christmas feast on Weds Dec 16th at 7.30pm in the Hearth at St Ethelwold's. Bring a festive dish to share of something you love to eat, the lower the food miles the better!


Eco-Christmas ideas

1.    Reduce the giving of unnecessary cards
2.    Design and send one by email
3.    Recycle cards for gift tags
4.    Recycle cards via national outlets FOE, Woodland Trust via WH Smith (248,000 trees would be saved if no cards were sent!)

5.    Decide as a family on a maximum value of any presents exchanged
6.    Secret Santa – everyone gives and receives one present. Requires some organisation
7.    Exchange events/experiences eg theatre tickets for the whole family
8.    Subscription to organisation eg RHS, Soil Association, Organic Research Centre, National Trust
9.    Send a cow, goat, flock of chickens
10.    Give a piece of woodland (Woodland Trust) or sponsor a hare with the Wildlife Trust, or a piece of land where Heathrow runway would be built
11.    Get things from swap shops, EBay, charity shops etc
12.    Christmas vouchers - other
13.    Give presents made by local potters, artists, craftsmen
14.    Try and buy locally before going further afield
15.    Open one present a day, rather than all together, for the 12 days of Christmas (young children)
16.    Recycle boxes, jars – fill with sweets, biscuits, coloured pasta, nuts etc and wrap a ribbon round
17.    Make or buy homemade jams, preserves etc and edible gifts from Farmers Market, Local Roots, National Trust shops etc
18.    Make own hamper with above or on a theme eg Italian
19.     “Silly” presents.  Everyone brings an unwanted present received in the past, beautifully wrapped up.  Each person chooses one and opens in turn.
20.    Wrap stylishly (see workshop below) with up-cycled paper, string wool, ribbon, raffia – decorate with paper ‘snowflake’ or use old paper carrier bag held together with a peg.  Make gift bow (http:/howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2009/10/makegift-bow-from;magazine-page.html)
21.    Wrap presents in squares of cloth (Japanese) google Futoshiki
22.    Use shredded newspaper to pack out present

Christmas tree /Decorations
23.    Buy a small one with roots in a pot and keep from year to year (keep watered particularly  when inside)
24.    Re-cycle (Market Place after Christmas) or shred for you own compost heap
25.    Don’t use preservative sprays to stop needle fall
26.    Keep it as cool as possible
27.    Buy a locally grown one – recently cut ones also hold their needles better
28.    Real trees are more eco-friendly unless the artificial tree lasts a long time – well over 10 years
29.    Don’t buy any new decorations – if you are bored with yours swap them with someone else
30.    Decorate your tree with only natural objects, dried slices of orange, lemon, small red apples, cinnamon sticks etc
31.    Reduce the amount of time the lights are on
32.    Buy LED lights if you need to replace them (use 10% of the power of traditional ones and the whole lot don’t go when a bulb breaks)
33.    Decorate a tree branch or foliage from the garden instead of a tree
34.    Decorate the house with natural foliage from garden, cut out festive shapes (stars, angels, snowflakes etc) paper chains from magazines, surplus paper etc

35.    Don’t eat meat – lower carbon & saves cooking time – eat lasagne!
36.    Cook a smaller bird
37.    Buy local, organic, unfrozen bird and veg – Farmers Market, Farm shops (Millets) veg box schemes etc
38.    Avoid over-shopping by sticking to a list and not going to the supermarket - use local shops as above
39.    Use up left-overs – see ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ website
40.    Buy dried fruits from Uhuru in Cowley Road
41.    Buy Tradecraft food from 35 Ock Street – open 1- 12 daily
42.    Buy online from Alternative stores.com
43.    Celebrate Christmas a week late buying ‘best before’ stuff

44.    Buy in  big containers with real corks
45.    Don’t buy too much
46.    Make your own punches, squeezed juices etc

47.    Use liftshare.com



Tuesday 15 December
7.30 – 9.00 PM
St Ethelwold’s House
30 East Saint Helen Street

Mince Pies - Christmas Brownies - 0pen fire

Bring your presents (any shape or size) and Allie Hudson will show you how to wrap them stylishly using old paper, fabric, magazines, string, wool and this and that.

Please bring scissors and bits and pieces for decorating
e.g. old ribbon, string, wool etc, paper carrier bags of all sizes.

Wrapping paper (up-cycled) will be provided

Cost £3.00          For further information please ring     01235 555486 or email ethelwoldhouse@btinternet.com

... Read this ...

Do you want to try country living?

If you fancy trying the rural idyll for a year near Witney, or know someone who might, see the note from Susie below. She doesn't say when the house will be free - contact her direct on susiehoward1@googlemail.com if you're interested.

“My sister and husband are trying to let their house for a year.  They're
wondering if it would appeal to someone who would like to let their town
house and try country living for a year. It's very rural, 2 miles from
Witney. It's got quite a large veg garden with fruit trees / bushes etc.”


... Read this ...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Some interesting websites...

Browsing my "Good Energy" newsletter I came across a website www.everyactioncounts.org.uk which has a video showing (among others) HEAT - Hungerford Energy Action Team, having a stall in the middle of Hungerford promoting growing your own food! Sadly the DEFRA funding has run out so we can't sign up, but we might get some ideas from it.

Also Good Energy itself has a shop where you can buy energy saving gadgets on-line - www.goodenergyshop.co.uk

It also links to another Good Energy website giving advice on micro-generation - www.generateyourown.co.uk

They are a small firm based in Chippenham, I buy my electricity and gas from them and they pay me for having a solar panel on my roof!
... Read this ...

If Copenhagen can't provide the answer to climate change fears, what can?

Some of you might be interested in the debate on the last part of last Tuesday’s ‘The World Tonight’ on Radio 4 entitled:

‘If Copenhagen can't provide the answer to climate change fears, what can?’

You can listen again for 7 days by clicking here.

... Read this ...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sustainable Construction

The Oxfordshire Economic Partnership is hosting a Sustainable Construction Conference on Wednesday 18th November 9.30 - 5.30 at the Said Business School (adjacent to Oxford Railway Station). Participants at the event will learn about energy efficient construction, sustainable site waste management and building for climate resilience as well as have the opportunity to meet individuals and organisations working in these fields. This event will be of interest to anyone involved in sustainability and the built environment. Anyone interested in further information or booking a place can contact daniel.dempsey@oxfordshire.gov.uk.


... Read this ...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

How to enjoy an Eco-Christmas.

New Picture (4)

The latest in our series of "How to.." meetings will explore how to have a festive time which doesn't cost the earth. We will look at non-material present ideas, home-made presents and cards, and festive food with low food-miles. Please come prepared to share ideas!

Wednesday November 18th, 7.30pm in St Ethelwolds House, 30 East St Helen Street, Abingdon.

Clicking on the poster above will enlarge it. Can you put one up somewhere prominent?

... Read this ...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

ClimateXchange update #54 - Oct 09

The latest news and upcoming events from ClimateXchangecan be found here.

This update features info on the recent Four degrees and beyond conference held at University of Oxford, a round up of some of the community events, plus more info on the Oxfordshire Big Climate Event on Sat November 7th. This event plus the many street wide demonstrations, will be an opportunity to engage with the ‘road to ... and beyond, Copenhagen

Happy reading, and if you would like to contribute to the next one please email jo@climatex.org by 2nd November
... Read this ...

Triodos bank visit next Tuesday

The Carbon Cutters has recently formed a Food sub Group. The aim of this group is to work towards rebuilding a diverse, resilient local food network by encouraging Abingdon to eat seasonally, grow food and eat it and engage the community in local harvesting schemes and other events.

We thought the first action might be a visit to the Organic Research Centre in Newbury (please see details below). Would anyone like to either join this group and or come to Newbury on Tuesday 10 November 2009 from 9.30am to 12.30pm? If so please let me know.

Susie Howard


The Organic Research Centre - Elm Farm develops and supports sustainable
land-use, agriculture and food systems, primarily within local economies,
which build on organic principles to ensure the health and well-being of
soil, plant, animal, man and the environment. It has played a central role
in the development of organic methods, research, policy and standards since

The Centre undertakes an extensive programme of research on crops and
livestock systems, their interactions with each other and with the
environment. As an educational charity the Centre work with local schools,
community and special needs groups and the wider public to help
understanding of food systems and sustainability, as well as advising
farmers and growers by way of conversion planning, farm management plans,
agricultural appraisal and technical advice.

A loan from Triodos Bank has helped the Organic Research Centre to
transform a 17th century Grade ii listed barn into a new, modern Conference
and Educational Centre. The restructuring and refurbishment of the
traditional barn was carried out using state-of-the-art environmental
technologies together with traditional construction methods and materials,
from ground source heating and solar panels to sheep's wool insulation and
rainwater harvesting. The centre will provide a much needed facility for the charity's conferences and events, as well as offering a welcome space for
its partners and local community groups to use.

For further details about The Organic Research Centre please visit

The visit will start at 9.30am and finish at 12.30pm and lunch will be
provided. Places on this special visit are free but are limited and allocated on a
first come, first served basis. To reserve your place please e-mail
events@triodos.co.uk or call 0117 980 9631 by Friday 6 November.
... Read this ...

Home energy monitors

There's a review of energy monitors in Ethical Consumer magazine no. 120 for Sept/Oct 2009. There's a range of models on the market, including the OWL. There are different levels of sophistication - some can be connected to a computer for analysis of the data, and some can monitor individual appliances - someone was asking about this at the meeting.

Natural Collection are currently offering the OWL at a reduced price.

Here are the websites and telephone numbers for the various manufacturers:

Owl - www.theowl.com 01256 383430
Eco-eye - www.eco-eye.com 01903 851905
Efergy - www.efergy.com 0845 017 7769
Current Cost - www.currentcost.com 01483 604517
Wattson - www.diykyoto.com 02077 297500

Top of the range is the Wattson, which can monitor individual appliances, has a memory function, can be connected to a computer for recording and analysing data, and can measure home electricity generation as well as consumption. It also works with both single phase and three-phase supplies. It costs around £100.00.

At the other end of the range is the Owl Micro, which simply measures consumption in kw and cost in £. This costs £24.99.

Other models from the above manufacturers cost between £34.95 and £49.99 and have different levels of functionality depending on how much you pay. The Current Cost CC128 Envi can monitor individual appliances and the basic kit costs £39.95, but I think you have to buy additional sensors for each appliance, which obviously increases the cost.
... Read this ...

Have you measured your carbon footprint yet?

At our last meeting, Richard gave us a wonderfully clear report on how he has reduced his house's use of gas and electricity over the last 30 years.
At the end of the meeting we looked at a website http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx which is very easy to use (I did it in 10 minutes in my lunch-hour!) and gives a visual representation of your overall carbon footprint compared to a) other people in the UK, and b) what we need to aim for. All you need to know is how much you spend on gas and electricity and the annual mileage of your car.
It's tempting when your footprint comes out large (mine did!) to blame the calculator. But having chosen one, it's better to stick with it and see how you can start to reduce your footprint size!
The Guardian has compared different calculators at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/feb/19/carbon.web - see Richard's comments below.
It would be interesting to hear your experience of using any of these calculators - do add a comment to this post.

Hello Sally

You asked me last night if I could compare different carbon footprint
calculators. I made a start then found the Guardian has already done it:
As mentioned, personal footprints are bound to have limitations, because we
do not live isolated lives. Whenever we work or shop in a building shared
with other people, for example, or in the services we receive that are paid
for out of our taxes. In principle it may be possible to allot a carbon
content to every activity but it would get impossibly complicated.

... Read this ...

Didcot in the news

This local action should have got more publicity than it did. Follow the link below for photos and also a really useful, clear exposition of why we need new coal-fired power stations like a hole in the head... and how the "energy gap" need not even happen.
Climate Campers have scaled the Chimney at N Power's flagship coal power station:

Amy Johnson (one of the climate campers) said:

“In every country CO2 emissions are linked to economic growth, so in countries like the UK our insatiable hunger for more and more products and consumer goods is driving climate change. The world’s finite resources need to be shared more fairly, and the richest countries which got us into this mess need to take the lead in reducing emissions. We’re on this chimney to demand climate justice as the world prepares to meet in Copenhagen. We’re defending human life and people’s property around the world that’s in immediate need of protection from the ravages of rising temperatures.”

While N-Power claims that new coal is necessary to ‘keep the lights on’, in reality its push for new coal plants at Tilbury and Hunterston is motivated by profit, with coal-burning being cheaper than other fuels despite its enormous climate impact. Consultants at Poyry - Europe’s leading independent energy experts - found that Britain could easily meet its energy demands without resorting to new coal as long as the country hits its renewable and energy efficiency targets.

* As we close old coal-fired and nuclear power stations in the next decade we will lose capacity currently providing around a quarter of our electricity output. But Gordon Brown recently committed to targets which will require us to generate about 35-40% of our electricity from renewables alone by 2020, and the UK also has fairly ambitious energy efficiency targets. According to Europe’s leading independent energy experts, Poyry, if the UK was to hit these existing renewables and efficiency targets, there will be no ‘energy gap.’ We can keep the lights on and cut emissions, and in the long run bring down fuel bills too – all without new coal-fired plants like Kingsnorth.

* The world’s most respected climate scientist, Dr. Jim Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is so concerned about plans for new coal plants in Britain that he took the unprecedented step of writing to the Prime Minister to say that with the decision over whether or not to allow Kingsnorth, Brown has the potential to influence “the future of the planet”
... Read this ...

Transition to Low Carbon weekend in Winchester

The transition to low carbon: policy frameworks and community action
The Winchester Discovery Centre, 20-21 November 2009

For full program details and to register please visit
Abstracts of talks are now available online.
... Read this ...

Sit up and take note... this is very possible!

... Read this ...

Wood burning stove advice please

This note has been sent to Carbon Cutters - if you have a response, maybe you could add it as a comment?

I'm sorry I missed the Carbon Cutters meeting again last night. I hope it went well. It had completely slipped my mind until my husband mentioned it at dinnertime!

I'm hoping someone can recommend a builder/company to install our wood burning stove. We are desperate to get it in before the weather turns really cold.
... Read this ...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Invitation to sustainable transport symposium 7th November

An Invitation to sustainable transport symposium, hosted by Oxford
University, Brookes University and Oxford Contemporary Music - 7th November
at 2pm

We'd like to invite you to an afternoon of talks from artists,
environmentalists, planners and composers around sustainable transport,
inspired by the composition 'Vauxhall Pleasure' (which will be performed at
the Holywell Music Rooms that same evening).

The symposium will be held at the School of Geography and the Environment,
South Parks Road, OX1 3QY. There'll be refreshments and looking at the
contributing speakers and artists, it promises to be a really good event.
We're co-hosting this together with Oxford Contemporary Music and Brookes

Could you register for the afternoon's symposium (3pm) by emailing
info@ocmevents.org or phoning (01865) 488 369? Please do circulate this to
anyone in your organisation who you think may be interested in issues of
sustainable transport (and art and performance...) in Oxford.

Hope to see you there!

OxTran Coordinator
Transport Studies Unit
School of Geography and the Environment
Oxford University
South Parks Road
(01865) 275986
079268 06698
... Read this ...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wednesday this week

A short notice reminder about two things that are happening tomorrow (Wednesday 21st October)

It's the monthly Carbon Cutters meeting at St Ethelwold's house - "How to measure your carbon footprint". It will perhaps be helpful if you can think about finding some of your utility bills and knowing how much you travel before the meeting....

Also tomorrow, the author of the previously reported free book, Saving Energy Without the Hot Air, the chief scientific advisor to the government department on Climate Change is speaking at Brookes, in Oxford. Prof David McKay is speaking from 6pm-7pm, so speedy cyclists might make it back to St Ethelwold's in time for Carbon Cutters at 7.30!

There's more information here.
... Read this ...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Carbon Cutters action groups

Dear all,

This is an invitation to join one of four small groups of people who are going to really make something happen in Abingdon, and about something you care about.

The BikeWeek Group did a fantastic job this summer of making us visible in town, and getting people to think about using their bikes more instead of their cars. The model that really worked was of a group which decides when, where and how often to meet to suit themselves, and keeps in touch by email in between.

If you have enthusiasm and/or expertise to bring to any of the groups below, (you don't need both!!), GET IN TOUCH WITH THE CONVENER to express an interest, and try to get to the first meeting, where the future meeting times and places will be decided. You are not committing yourself at this stage!

Energy Group: practical ways of helping people save energy; and how about a mini hydro in Abingdon?
Contact: Richard at richard.riggs@iee..org Ab. 521931

Schools Group: helping to bring environmental issues into the curriculum ..... ecoschools
Contact: Cliff at candpmarshall@btinternet.com Ab. 530480

Food Group: growing, harvesting, storing, eating, sharing, and not wasting food.
Contact: Susie at susiehoward1@googlemail.com, Ab. 533278

Bike Group: Bike week and encouraging bike use; reducing car use, using buses, walking.
Contact: Eleanor at eledanger@hotmail.com Ab. 531857

Come and get involved and join in the fun!

And a reminder of our Autumn programme:

Weds 21 Oct, “How to measure your carbon footprint”: practical help
Weds 18 Nov, “How to have an ecoChristmas”: practical suggestions
Weds 16 Dec, “Carbon Cutters Christmas feast”: bring and share

All at 7.30pm at St Ethelwold's House, 30 East St Helen Street.

Contacts: Susie on 01235 533278, or Sally at sallyreynolds@btinternet.com
... Read this ...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Oxfordshire ClimateXchange update

Check out the fantastic number of meetings, groups and initiatives happening in Oxfordshire this Autumn! It's truly humbling (and not a little overwhelming). Hopefully we can be represented at most - do let other people in this group know if you are going to any particular one, and give feedback to the carbon.cutters@googlemail.com address so that it can go on the blog.

The latest news and upcoming events from ClimateXchange. Also available on www.climatex.org

A proper autumnal welcome to the ClimateXchange update – featuring your opportunity to invest in Low Carbon West Oxford’s share offer, and introduction to the numbers game – featuring 10:10, 350 and tcktcktck – in the Countdown to Copenhagen. Talking of which, the meeting hosted by Oxfordshire Climate Alliance on 3rd September saw an impressive turn out of 77 people representing over 35 groups across Oxfordshire – all discussing how we could work together to raise the profile of the importance of the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen and beyond. Some Action dates have been planned (see events below), and there will be further opportunities to come together and discuss throughout the autumn.

Happy reading, and if you would like to contribute please email jo@climatex.org by 12th October


1.1 Wind Turbine

Oxford City Council has earmarked a potential site for a wind turbine, and aims to submit a planning application by 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/oxfordshire/8210840.stm

1.2 Opportunity to invest in West Oxford Community Renewables Ltd (WOCR): A sister organisation to Low Carbon West Oxford (LCWO)

Residents in West Oxford have set up West Oxford Community Renewables Ltd (WOCR), a Green Building Society, to slash local CO2 emissions and help combat climate change. Shares cost £1 each and are available in groups of 10, 250, 1,000 or 20,000. All the share capital raised will be spent on community-owned renewable energy schemes in West Oxford.

The electricity generated by these schemes will be sold and the income used to fund community projects run by Low Carbon West Oxford, which will further reduce C02 emissions.

Anyone can buy shares for further info and to request a prospectus email lowcarbon.hotmail.co.uk, see www.lowcarbonwestoxford.org.uk or phone Lois Muddiman on 01865 203550. Come to the Event at Science Oxford on 23rd September (see below)

1.3 10:10 – have you joined up?

10:10 is a national drive by individuals and organisations to cut carbon emissions by 10% during 2010. 10:10 is a project from the team behind the climate blockbuster The Age of Stupid. Anyone can sign up to 10:10, from ordinary people, schools and hospitals to councils and government departments, from corner shops to high street banks and from scout troops to premiere league football clubs. Recent sign ups have included ClimateXchange, Oxford City Council, the NHS, the Cabinet…. Sign up today: www.1010uk.org

1.4 350.org - have announced October 24th as a Global day of Action http://www.350.org/ - there will be events in Oxford

1.5 tcktcktck is another global campaign focusing on Copenhagen – their Day of Action is 21st September – see Oxford events below, and check their website http://tcktcktck.org

1.6 IIED adaptation costs report
The International Institute for Environment and Development published research to suggest that the global costs of adaptation may be 2 or 3 times greater than previous estimates. The report can be viewed at http://www.iied.org/pubs/display.php?o=11501IIED, and some of the media coverage is at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8224823.stm

1.7 Lightbulb campaigner in Witney - Richard Mackenzie has launched a one-man campaign to turn the lights out in Witney.


1.8 The wisdom of crowds - Climate change is inherently a social problem — so why have sociologists been so slow to study it? Kerri Smith reports.

Article in Nature:


1.9 And a question from the ClimateX website:

How do perceptions of Climate Change differ between age groups?

A researcher posted this question: Do you think younger or older people are more likely to take action to tackle climate change problems. It would be really interesting to hear you views and experiences? Thanks

Responses welcome here: http://climatex.org/forums/climate-change-in-media/58/


2.1 The Eco-transport resource: www.oxoncarts.com have just revamped their website – take a look – then take a ride!

2.2 New Movie: "In Transition 1.0"

We have high aspirations for this movie. We're hoping it can stand alongside movies like "Power of Community", inspiring people with stories of transition work going on right now in many places around the world. This is the solution-orientated movie to follow the films that do such a good job at identifying the problems, such as "Age of Stupid" and "Inconvenient Truth". http://transitiontowns.org/TransitionNetwork/TransitionMovie

If you think you’d like to screen it, contact jo@climatex.org – we could purchase a group licence.

2.3 New book: The Carbon Diaries 2015
It's January 1st, 2015, and the UK is the first nation to introduce carbon dioxide rationing, in a drastic bid to combat climate change. As her family spirals out of control, Laura Brown chronicles the first year of rationing with scathing abandon.

Joost Vervoort from the ScenarioCommunities project is conducting a short
bit of research on Oxfordshire's perspectives on the future and the
environment. It's a short test that should take people no more than five
minutes to complete, and it uses some interesting visual metaphors.
Participants can win a creative ZEN mp3 player.
There's also a trailer on the scenario storylines we're developing.

2.5 Oxford Garden Project: has now consolidated and formed a
social and community (not for profit) company with the aim of high
quality education concerning local food, its growing, distribution,
cooking and allied sustainability issues, offering training to
individuals, groups, social groups, volunteers and trainers.

To achieve this we plan to upgrade our established acre garden and 2,500 sq. ft. building in Longworth, Oxfordshire to provide a fully equipped multi-purpose teaching facility. Further info: Robert Longstaff: 01865 820206

2.6 Design teachers ahoy!

Interested in joining a Teach In about Ecological Literacy in design on the 12th October at the V&A. The Teach-In intends to function as a catalysing force within design education. .. and challenge institutions to use their
resources, expertise and skills to respond to environmental imperatives and work towards embedding ecological literacy in design education by 2012."
http://www.teach-in.co.uk/ please contact Jody Boehnert email: Jody@eco-labs.org

3. COMMUNIITES UPDATE.. there are so many events put on by the fantastic arrays of groups across Oxfordshire this autumn. Here’s a taste of past and future activity:

3.1 New Group in Fulbrook –

A small group in Fulbrook (near Burford) met recently to consider what practical steps we could take to focus attention on climate change in the village, and outlined three areas for the group to

1. Act as an information forum to help evaluate information about the causes and impact of climate change and potential remedial actions

2. Explore and comment on the efficacy of measures that might be adopted both individually (e.g. household insulation, waste recycling, etc.) and collectively (e.g. periods of reduced street lighting, possible formation

3. Seek to influence decisions made by outside agencies, public and commercial, that can affect the level of ‘energy use’ at a local level

Further info: Molly & David Woolley d.woolley@lineone.net

3.2 Sustainable Wallingford – Greening Wallingford

On October 10th Sustainable Wallingford is going to launch their ‘Greening Wallingford’ Campaign.

This involves getting as many households as possible, in Wallingford, to agree to undertake five simple Co2 reduction challenges for a year.

All the challenges have been given a Co2 and money saving allocation, by the Energy Saving Trust. We are providing every household with a Challenge Card, which they display in their window if they are undertaking the challenges & then we can count the cards & work out how much Co2 we have saved as a community. We have the town council, school, churches & several other community groups supporting us and each has taken on a challenge to promote at the Launch.

For more info see www.greening-campaign.co.uk

The Launch will be in the Regal Centre Wallingford from 2 -4 on Oct 10th. – other groups welcome to attend


3.3 Goring wins Oxfordshire Village of the Year

Goring won the Oxfordshire Village of the Year for 2009 last week, winning the Sustainability prize and the overall prize. It was the sustainability activities of GSSG including thermal imaging, removing plastic bags, allotments, car sharing, talks etc., and the clincher was the hydro-power project with the working Meccano model of it.


3.4 Transition Eynsham Bring and Share

On a warm and sunny Sept 5th Transition Eynsham Area held a bring&share local produce picnic at the Sports Pavilion. Approximately thirty people turned up, most bearing tasty dishes made mainly from local produce. The has recently formed four working groups: Waste; Coping with Change; Food, and Energy. These groups have started looking into how we as a community will cope with the changes brought about by climate change and by increasingly expensive fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal).


3.5 Brightwell Cum Sotwell’s Apple Survey

Brightwell cum Sotwell have conducted an apple survey of the village, finding approximately 250 apple trees. The village lies within 1 mile of Waitrose in Wallingford and 3 miles of Tesco in Didcot and we have 34 different varieties of apple; something the supermarkets could never compete with. They’ve got an apple day coming up on Sunday 18th October – see events below for further info.



Abingdon Carbon Cutters are launching four groups – aimed at practical action:

  • Energy Group: practical ways of helping people save energy; and how about a mini hydro in Abingdon? Contact: Richard at richard.riggs@iee.org Ab. 521931
  • Schools Group: helping to bring environmental issues into the curriculum ..... ecoschools Contact: Cliff at candpmarshall@btinternet.com Ab. 530480 Food Group: growing, harvesting, storing, eating, sharing, and not wasting food.Contact: Susie at susiehoward1@googlemail.com, Ab. 533278
  • Bike Group: Bike week and encouraging bike use; reducing car use, using buses, walking.Contact: Eleanor at eledanger@hotmail.com Ab. 531857



Sat 17TH October, West Oxford Community Centre – What could a sustainable Future Look Like? A packed agenda of talks and workshops: http://www.thrivingsustainably.org.uk/ - see info below.

And Sat 7th November – Oxfordshire’s Big Climate Event – where you can meet and learn from inspirational climate change groups in Oxfordshire.

Further info in the next update, organised by Oxfordshire ClimateXchange, CAG Oxfordshire, with the support of Oxfordshire Climate Action Network.


4.1 The Eco-buildings Open Days in Oxfordshire have been and gone. Details about the homes can be seen on www.ecovation.org .

4.2 Oxfordshire Eco-renovators Club

The Oxfordshire Eco-renovators Club will be launched at the beginning of October. Joining the club is free – all you need to have is a wish to progress on eco-renovation and a willingness to measure your energy savings as you do so. In return we’ll provide events, tools and access to expert info.

Want to find out more or sign up? Contact jo@climatex.org or see www.climatex.org/ecorenovation

4.3 Oct 23-25th – Big Green Home Show at National Self Build and Renovation Centre, Swindon. Full details: www.buildstore.co.uk/green

For budding self-builders, renovators or home improvers it brings
everything green together under one roof, enabling them to learn more about
making homes more sustainable - both in construction and day-to-day living.

Visitors can bring their plans to life with the help of a CAD design team,
take a tour of the EDF Energy Renovation House, get hands-on with product
demonstrations, check out hundreds of products, find out about project
financing and benefit from exclusive offers. They can also consult a raft
of experts to get tips and advice from architects and planners to eco
consultants, project managers and other self builders. They'll all be here
to share their experience, expertise and enthusiasm on every aspect of
sustainable building....and it's all for free.

4.4 A plug: – for more detailed Eco-renovation info and events, join the Oxfordshire Eco-renovation Mailing List. Email jo@climatex.org with ‘Ads to Eco-ren list’ in the subject heading.


5.1 10:10 director London

Are you an inspired, original and highly organised strategic thinker with a passion for fighting climate change and experience running a major campaign? 10:10 is looking for a DIRECTOR to capitalise on its hugely successful launch that saw thousands of individuals and hundreds of businesses and organisations pledge to cut their carbon emissions in 2010.

Applicants should send a cv plus 500 words memo on what 10:10 should do next to jobs@1010uk.org

Job URL:http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/job/907541/director-1010/

10:10 Deadline: 20 September www.1010uk.org


We’ve got loads of events coming up in the next 12 months.. and we need some helping hands. If you can offer between 2 hours – 1 day on a regular basis we’d love to hear from you.

Here are particular roles that need filling:

1) Oxfordshire Eco-renovation Project assistant

2) Big Climate Event assistant – to help coordinate the event and compile follow up materials.

3) One day only! Volunteers for the Oxfordshire Big Climate Event on Nov 7th

4) Plus eco-renovation Facilitators – see below

5) Events calendar updates – Uploading events onto the ClimateXchange website calendar – can be done from home in spare time

We can cover some expenses, and provide a workspace.

Contact jo@climatex.org / call 01865 275 856


also available on www.climateX.org/events


Sept 16 – 23rd Oxford Streets for People events: Plenty of events happening around the City including Divinity Road Area Residents Association - Close the street and show open-air films Evening of Saturday 19th September.. and Low Carbon Headington’s Car Free Day on Tues 22nd Sept Full list: http://oxstreets.org.uk/ (you’ll need to click on open Streets 2009, then Participation 2009 )


Sat 19th September The Low Carbon Community Network conference – Birmingham. The last conference in Wales was inspiring, this one looks set to be the same – and is much closer. For more info and booking, see their web page: http://lowcarboncommunities.net/2009/06/29/conference-booking-2009-now-open/


Sept 21st Worldwide Wake Up Call

The organisation Avaaz.org which campaigns on climate change and many other issues is organising a world wide 'wake-up call on Monday September 21 at 12:18 PM Place: Bonn Square, Oxford, OX11LQ, Oxford, United Kingdom Host: Paul Swift

Please think about attending. More info at http://www.avaaz.org/en/sept21_hosts/?cl=315222893&v=3912

The Global Wake-Up Call is a joint effort of the TckTckTck Campaign -- an alliance, named for a "tck"ing clock, of organizations and individuals around the world working for an ambitious, fair, and binding global climate treaty. More info: www.tcktcktck.org


Wednesday 23 September 7.30 pm

£3/Free to Science Oxford Live members

For the last year the residents of West Oxford have been competing to win £1
million of government money, by reducing their community's CO2 emissions.
Come and find out how they've got on so far. There will also be an
opportunity to buy shares in the project. Booking is recommended. For further information please contact:
rebecca.salvesen@scienceoxford.com 01865 810016
Science Oxford Live, 1-5 London Place, St. Clements, Oxford, OX4 1BD


Tues 29th Sept – Screening of ‘a time comes’
7pm – 8.15pm Oxford Town Hall
Contact:Pete Barker (Oxford Greenpeace)
Contact email: pbdelphiee@hotmail.com
Website: www.greenpeace.org.uk/groups/oxford

'A Time Comes' - The story of the Kingsnorth Six. An inspirational Nick Broomfield film about the Greenpeace action at Kingsnorth power station and the subsequent landmark trial and acquittal.
We plan to start the event with a short but hard hitting animation (10 minutes) about climate change and then the main film (20 minutes) followed by a short talk from our local group about taking action and what we can do.
Opportunity for Q&A and discussion after.


Weds 30th September, 7:00-9:30pm Age of Stupid showing in Kidlington
Following on from their recent eco-fair, Kidlington vs climate change are
now organising a showing of the new climate film starring Pete

At Exeter Hall, tickets for £3 (£2 concessions) including complementary
glass of wine. Limited places available - to book please contact
kidlingtonvsclimatechange@yahoo.co.uk or phone 01865 841146 (evening).
There will be an expert for Q&A afterwards for those who wish to stay

"Knocks spots off An Inconvenient Truth" The Ecologist "The first
successful dramatisation of climate change to hit the big screen" The
Watch the trailer here www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dTyTTFgluk


30th Sept 7.45pm Wantage Area Climate Action

Wantage Area Climate Action will be holding a short AGM on 30 September at 7.45pm in the King Alfred’s Head, Wantage, in the upstairs meeting room. All are welcome to attend. We will be electing new officers: Chair, Treasurer and Secretary, have a quick review over the activities over the last year and then have a brainstorm on ideas to focus on next year and play a climate change game!

Further info: culshaws@talktalk.net


Sunday 4th October 2009 1-6.30 pm Be the Change Workshop

Hopeful new perspectives and possibilities.

Join us for a workshop on Climate Change, Sustainability and Social Justice.

Attend the Be the Change Workshop and look at the biggest challenges and opportunities we face today:

• The state of our industrial world.

• Our impact on the developing world.

• Where we go next.

Featuring video insights from inspiring philosophers, scientists, community leaders and input from local people.

At: North Moreton Village Hall, High Street, North Moreton, Oxon OX11 9AS

Please register in advance with Sarah Mook: Email: sarah.mook@btopenworld.com 0780 829 4669 or 01235 516654

It’s free but a contribution for afternoon tea would be very welcome.


Sat 10th October, 2-4pm – Greening Wallingford Launch

Regal Centre Wallingford . See item 3.2 above


Sat 17th October Event: What could a sustainable future look like?

at West Oxford Community Centre OX2 0BT

A wide variety of expert speakers as well as local people engaged in sustainable initiatives will provide information, inspiration and practical advice on Peak-Oil, Energy descent, Transition and the Re-ruralisation of Britain.

* An inspiring and visionary community event towards co-creating our sustainable future.*

Lectures, workshops, stalls, information, organic wholesome food, music and more. Further info here: http://www.thrivingsustainably.org.uk/ or contact Michael Soth: thrivingsustainably@gmail.com 01865 725 205


Sunday 18 October Apple Day in Brightwell cum Sotwell –

12noon- 6pm Red Lion Pub

Each October many villages and communities take part in an Apple Day, a celebration of apple, orchards and local variety distinctiveness. Brightwell cum Sotwell, in south Oxfordshire, plan to hold an Apple Day at their village pub, the Red Lion, on Sunday 18 October.

Brightwell cum Sotwell, just one mile from Wallingford, lies in a fruit-growing line just north of the Berkshire Downs from Harwell in the west to Thame and Chinnor in the east. The Apple Day will showcase the impressive range of apples and orchards in the village. There will be a Sunday menu with an apple theme as well as an opportunity to taste traditional ciders, different apple varieties grown in the village, this season’s apple juice pressed locally, jams, chutneys, honey and more.

There will also be fruit swaps. Apart from apples, the village has many other fruits such as figs, pears, walnuts, quince, damsons, plums, medlars and cobnuts.


Orchard survey - Alison Bloomfield – acbloomfield@googlemail.com – 01491 835408 Apple Day – Sue Robson - Red Lion - www.redlion.biz – 01491 837373 – sue@redlion.biz


350.org International Day of Climate Action – For Oxford events contact communities@ousu.org


Sat Nov 7th – Oxfordshire Big Climate Event, Oxford Town Hall

Further info coming soon, but will involve workshops, skillshares and networking for the 40+ climate community groups.


For further info and to get involved, contact info@climatex.org

Email upcoming events to info@climatex.org or upload them yourself: http://climatex.org/whats-new/

Subscribe to this update by sending a blank email to: climatex-subscribe@climatex.org

Jo Hamilton
ClimateXChange Coordinator
Environmental Change Institute
Oxford University Centre for the Environment
Dyson Perrins Building
South Parks Rd
Oxford OX1 3QY
See our latest update: www.climatex.org/whats-new/
Subscribe to our fortnightly email updates : send a blank email to: climatex-subscribe@climatex.org
... Read this ...

Artworks bike ride - 27th September

Art Works Cycle Ride - Sunday 27th September - 2p.m. - starting at St Nicolas Arch by Abbey Close, Abingdon.

This circular cycle ride will take us around the art works and sculptures of Abingdon. Find out who made these art works and when and why they were made. A leisurely ride with plenty of stops for viewing and explanations.
Contact Eleanor on 01235 531 857, e-mail eledanger@hotmail.com
Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
You are responsible for your own safety.
Helmet wearing recommended.
... Read this ...

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Dear all,
Do you have any windfalls on your lawn, or do you know a neighbour who does? We need as many as possible this Saturday 19th as we are in the Market Place from 10am - 2pm with the splendid apple press loaned by Robert Longstaff of Longworth. Any apples can be used, the brown bits can be cut out!

If you can bring them on the day that's ideal, but if not, let us know and we will be round to collect them!

And if you can spare an hour or so to help with the juicing, even better! Please contact Cliff Marshall if you think you can, on candpmarshall@btinternet.com . It's great fun! And a good way to capture people's imagination about wasting less food, thus helping to cut our carbon footprint.

A photo of our really successful stall at the Fun in the Parks day is on the Abingdon Blog - http://www.abingdonblog.co.uk look at Monday 14th Sept.
there are more photos further down this blog entry.

Recipes from our wonderful "How to use all your apples" evening last night will be posted here shortly. A big thank you to all who contributed food - especially Richard for his heavenly blackberry and apple (and orange and lemon and cherry cordial!) crumble, and Susie for the most scrumptious Tarte Tatin I've ever tasted. Those who came had a real treat...

... Read this ...

Low Carbon West Oxford & West Oxford Community Renewables.

Please see the email below from fellow CAG Low Carbon West Oxford. It’s an innovative way of local communities reducing their carbon emissions and funding future projects. Feel free to pass around those you know.

Opportunity to invest in West Oxford Community Renewables Ltd (WOCR):

A sister organisation to Low Carbon West Oxford (LCWO)

Residents in West Oxford have set up West Oxford Community Renewables Ltd (WOCR), a Green Building Society, to slash local CO2 emissions and help combat climate change.

Shares cost £1 each and are available in groups of 10, 250, 1,000 or 20,000.

All the share capital raised will be spent on community-owned renewable energy schemes in West Oxford .

The electricity generated by these schemes will be sold and the income used to fund community projects run by Low Carbon West Oxford, which will further reduce C02 emissions.

You don't have to live in West Oxford to be eligible to buy shares. You can request a prospectus by emailing us at lowcarbon@hotmail.co.uk and one will be sent to you.

Further details available on our website
www.lowcarbonwestoxford.org.uk or phone Lois Muddiman on 01865 203550.

Renewable Energy Projects

The share capital will be spent on:

Large-scale solar photovoltaic roofs

WOCR has already begun development and installation of 196 kWp of solar PV cells on large buildings in West Oxford .

A micro hydro to make power in the Thames at Osney. WOCR has a full design study for a 49 kWe installation at Osney Weir. The Environment Agency has committed to working with us to make it happen.

Small-scale wind turbines (15kW) on Cumnor and Harcourt Hill

WOCR has quotations and is about to start taking readings of the windspeed at the site to make sure that they tally with predictions based on the national wind energy database.

WOCR expects to generate a 10-11% return on investment

Returns to Investors

Investors in WOCR will receive

· Reductions in carbon dioxide and other environmental benefits achieved which will be presented to members in an annual carbon account

· 6% of the reductions in carbon dioxide emissions will be available for allocation amongst members.

· Social benefits arising from sustainable living projects run by Low Carbon West Oxford which will be presented to members in an annual social account.

· Financial benefits in the form of possible future interest rate payments, if any. The directors do not expect to make interest payments for the first 5 years. Thereafter it is expected that a rate of up to 5% will be paid depending on the performance of the society.

Every investor will have a vote at WOCR AGMs which will operate on the ‘one member, one vote’ principle whereby all investor members will have one vote regardless of the size of shareholding.

Forecast carbon savings generated this year are:

· 155 tonnes from 38 local households – a 30 % reduction on the previous year

· 64 tonnes from tree planting over their life time

· 170 tonnes from two PV roofs installed in August over their 25 year life


West Oxford Community Renewables Ltd was registered as an Industrial and Provident Society on 16th June 2009. It has a set of rules for governance approved by the Financial Services Authority.

It’s sister organisation, Low Carbon West Oxford was formed in November 2007 and is currently registering as a charity.

Low Carbon West Oxford is one of the ten finalists in The Big Green Challenge, a £1 million pound climate change competition run by NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) which aims to encourage community-led organisations to slash CO2 emissions and show how local schemes can grow or be replicated across the UK .


... Read this ...

Thriving sustainably

This sounds a very energising and creative day - just what our group needs! What about a going as a group? - add comments to this blog post if you're interested

Thriving Sustainably is a visionary community event that brings together more than 40 expert presenters to address the questions ‘what could our next 50 years on this planet look like?’ and ‘how can we thrive sustainably and end up with healthier, more fulfilled lives and with more harmonious and stable communities that work better for everybody?

Taking place in West Oxford on October 17th, the day will be packed full of activities, including lectures, workshops, stalls and practical demonstrations for all ages.

The event is free, though donations on the day will be very welcome.

Please visit www.thrivingsustainably.org.uk

... Read this ...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CLIMATE RUSH is coming to Oxford this weekend

Dear Carbon Cutters, Please see below for exciting events in Oxford this weekend! Guardian report http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/sep/04/climate-rush-horse-cart
Climate Rush on the Run, is a horse-and-cart tour designed to raise awareness and get people involved with campaigning to reduce emissions for climate change.. At least two of the campaigners – Tamsin Omond and Deborah Grayson – have form. Tamsin was one of the five up on the Houses of Parliament last year, while Deborah is still awaiting trial after supergluing herself to a statue inside the Houses of Parliament. They have the support of plenty of other campaign groups too,

Dear all,

Please send this far and wide:


CLIMATE RUSH is coming to Oxford this weekend - excitement includes a
protest at Oxford Airport, Mark Lynas's 6 degrees - the opera and much much
more. It promises to be everything from fun to angry to factual to
entertaining so please do come along.



Join us as we protest against the proposed airport expansion in style. To
include an interactive audience-participation rendition of David Mackay's
'Sustainable Energy: Without Hot Air'.


Climate Change Improvised Comedy, Jo Smith from the OU and all manner of
mish-mashed entertainment/deeply serious factual climate change stuff.



Climate Rush gives Oxford's Sunday shoppers an unexpected welcome.


Interactive eating experience.


Various, to include '6 Degrees: The Opera' with Mark Lynas

Email: oxford@climatecamp.org.uk
Tel: 01865 243 121
c/o Room 1, EOCC, Princes Street, Oxford, OX4 1HU.
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

We need your apples

Dear Carbon Cutters,
At the Carbon Cutters stall at Fun in the Park next Sunday 13th September, in the Abbey grounds in Abingdon, we are going to have fun making juice from windfall (or otherwise surplus) apples. We have been lent a mincer and apple press, so all we need now is LOTS OF APPLES.

If your garden ( or your neighbour's garden!) is full of apples, and you were wondering what to do with them, worry no more!

Ideally we would like you to bring them to the Abbey Gardens on Sunday between 12.30 and 2.30 (we'll be there from 12.30 and Fun in the Parks is from 1.30 to 4). If you bring a clean bottle you can take some fresh juice away with you - but be warned, a pint of juice needs several kilos of apples! We are talking industrial quantities here.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE APPLES YOU ARE WILLING TO GIVE. If you can't bring them on Sunday, please contact me to arrange where to drop them off, or when we can collect them from you.

If you can help on the stall, even for an hour, that would be even better! Please let me know if you can.

Hope to hear from you this week..

Sally Reynolds
01235 526265
... Read this ...

New book by local author

The Alternative Kitchen Garden, an A-Z is a new book by an Abingdon author.

Full details of the book can be seen here, along with details on how to order a copy....
... Read this ...