Lammas Newsletter, November 2007

Comment: Climate Chaos, affordable housing and earth healing

 

By Larch Maxey
(Co-founder and Committee member)

Lammas and Low Impact Development don’t offer all the answers to all the world’s problems, but they are part of solution to many problems, from Climate Chaos to affordable housing, from western world obesity epidemics to global food shortages. And the solutions LID offers are real and there for us to create right now, not in some mythical future when we get the technical fixes just right and we’ve spent billions on R & D!

Awareness of human impact on climate change is growing, but not fast enough, the latest research suggests we may need a 90% cut in UK emissions within 10 years! The UK Gov target is 60% by 2050, though an 80% target is on the cards if they get lobbied enough (email Gordon Brown and your MP, attend the climate Demo London 8th Dec)! The reason even 80% by 2050 may be too late is Positive Feedbacks – once things warm up enough Gaia kicks in: ice melt increases, Carbon sinks slow down, forests die, methane is released from permafrost, etc, etc! We have a ten year window to reduce emissions, before human activities become irrelevant next to the natural feedbacks which would kick in with another 10 years of business as usual!

The challenge is big, but it’s do-able and LID can offer one clear path where we can show how and why! Take Carbon Neutral Housing. The UK Gov has a world leading policy for all new housing to be carbon neutral by 2016, but its own watchdog, just found that it is falling behind its own targets on energy efficiency in housing (http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/article/?id=1449598). Even worse, ‘carbon neutral’ in the Government’s targets ignores the energy it takes to make, transport and dispose of housing. LID offers truly affordable, truly carbon neutral housing NOW, complete with low embodied energy and full cradle to cradle sustainability!

Lid is also a hothouse for testing out new ideas – from green architecture to food production, there is a wealth of ideas, tried and tested in LIDs, which are now being taken up by the mainstream. So this is where we get to do something: spend a little time each day promoting LID and addressing climate change, write to:

Jan Dominquez,
Chair, Technical Advisory Group
Planning Policy Branch
Rural Division
Dept. of Environment, Sustainability and Housing
National Assembly for Wales
Cathys Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Email is fine and saves paper, time and money: Jan.dominguez@wales.gsi.gov.uk

For draft letters see the Lammas website or email me L.Maxey@swan.ac.uk


Lammas News

Resubmission

The Lammas team has been very busy rewriting the planning application. In light of feedback from the planners we have revisited and reassessed every aspect of the project.


Hoppi Wimbush

One of the aspects we were turned down on first time was based on a very critical report from Highways. We have been working with Highways to turn this situation around.

Quote of the month.
This is from highways department regarding our revised traffic plans:

“You have now provided sufficient detail to which I feel this authority can secure a commitment from you regarding traffic generation, subject to final
details regarding my earlier comments. Furthermore, subject to seeing the plans in the flesh, it appears that you can provide a suitable access. Therefore I can say we are at a point where highways would be in a position to in principle not raise any objections to your application.”

The revised application will feature 5 year cash-flow forecasts for every land-based enterprise and
an even greater level of detail and depth throughout.



New Episode – Ecovillage Pioneers

The latest episode of ecovillage pioneers should this be living in the future is currently being edited and will be available on the undercurrents website in the next few days:

http://www.undercurrents.org/visionon/livinginthefuture.htm


Undercurrents Beyond TV Film Festival

For anyone who has not yet seen “Ecovillage Pioneers” it will be screened on Saturday Afternoon on December 1st at the Taliesin Art Centre, Swansea as part of the Undercurrents Beyond TV festival. The latest episode will also have its first screening there.

Buy your friends and family a share for Christmas

Rather than clutter up your homes with more useless junk, why not buy shares for your loved ones and help low-impact development flourish.
Shares can be put into any adult’s name, or held on behalf of a child.
Funds raised through share money will be used to further the wider aims of the project.


Low-Impact News
from around The UK

Leeds Ecovillage Launch

A new ecovillage project was recently launched at a weekend workshop event in Leeds. They were
joined by Jonathan Dawson, Director of the Global Ecovillage Network. Anyone interested should join the yahoo group:

 

Primary School builds low-impact

The pupils at Edwardsville Primary School, already familiar with the concepts of environmental footprints and global citizenship, having devised their own eco-code to remind them how to tread lightly on the earth and already built an eco-wildlife garden, are now going on to build the first cob outdoor classroom in Wales.

 

Climate Change March

Saturday December 8th, begins at 12 noon.
Millbank, London

Straw/ Clay Building visit Opportunity

Jim Wallis and I run the Alternative Building Company has offered Lammas the opportunity to have a look around one of their buildings and pick up a tip or two. Interested in a day out in Hay on Wye, January 25th?

Contact Paul Wimbush (paul.wimbush@lammas.org.uk) to book a place. Limited places available.

www.alternativebuilding.co.uk

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