Practicing What We Preach: Swansea University plays key role
in Cutting Carbon at prestigious Conference.
A Lammas director and Swansea University academic invited to
speak at the National Mall, Washington DC on Friday 26th July
has declined an all expenses paid VIP trip and will attend by
video conference. Inspired by this innovative stance other key
speakers, including WAG Minister Jane Davidson and UWIC's Molly
Scott Cato will also have their presentations streamed by staff
at Swansea University.
Dr. Larch Maxey's first response when he was invited to the
prestigious 43rd Smithsonian Festival on the National Mall,
Washington DC was to dismiss the idea out of hand because of
the carbon emissions the flightalone would entail.
'It's the irony of our times!', Dr. Maxey explains 'I was invited
to speak because of my research and practice into sustainability,
and this same commitment to sustainability means I never fly
to conferences as just 4 hours in a plane gives a year’s emissions!'
The conference, entitled 'Convergence on Zero' is organised
by Wales' Centre for Alternative Technology and working with
them, Dr. Maxey has developed a green alternative: presenting
by video link.
'Swansea University has excellent video conferencing facilities
staff are so great, even I can manage it! I now regularly use
phone and video conference meetings, but this is the first time
I've used it to present at an international conference, may
it be the first of many!'
Dr. Maxey's presentation entitled 'The Future in Our Hands:
Low Impact Development and Sustainability Transitions'. It draws
on his recent book and current research project funded by the
Leverhulme Trust and is available to stream here
For further information on Larch's book see the
For further information on the Conference see www.convergenceonzero.org
Glandwr Primary School up
The former school is very near the proposed Lammas
eco-village site. It has planning for conversion to residential
units with grounds of approx 1 acre. This is a large building
with full plumbing and heating. £150,000 01437 764551
The hearing had echoes of David Dimblebys Question Time with
seats rising to the heavens and a horseshoe of “panellists”
sat at the front. Lammas representatives comprising of Paul
Wimbush of Lammas, Simon Fairlie of Chapter 7, Andy Goldring
CEO of Permaculture Association of Britain, Rupert Hawley and
John Gower planning consultants from Quiet Water Consultancy
sat to the right of the inspector and David Popplewell, Chief
Planning Officer for Pembrokeshire County Council to his left.
Mr Andrew Poulter, the planning inspector himself, positioned
like a fulrum point to a huge scale of justice….the scale from
my perspective hung heavily in the balance of Lammas from the
very start. Andrew Poulter spoke outlining the order of the
day which, until this moment, had been a disconcerting mystery
to us all…
Paul opened the hearing, then, with a moving opening speech
which raised a tear in most eyes present. The Inspector received
all the suspicions, doubts and fears with a welcoming air, acting
as a deft arbitrator. Every single point that was expressed
was given space and was bounced back primarily to Paul and then
opened out to general comment. I had a sense of a vital bridge
being constructed by the whole process. Indeed by mid afternoon
the points raised by opposing locals began to fizzle out and
dry up. Seeds of understanding had been sown on that bridge.
And intermingled with this were the three miniscule points
that were grounds for refusal by the LPA and cause for the appeal
in the first place. Andrew Poulter presented deeply probing
questions to both sides, but to my eyes the most penetrating
and exposing questions seemed to be levelled at David Popplewell
who squirmed more times than a warmed up worm. In the absence
of local terrors and dark imaginings, I suspect that the planning
process would have taken around an hour to resolve, yet as it
evolved, the day began at ten on the dot and was completed a
gruelling eight and a half hours later.
The whole process for me personally was riveting and intense,
and awe inspiring and challenging and stimulating and gutting
and jaw-dropping and moving and astounding and humbling and
useful and phenomenal, and absolutely exhausssssssting…….
We should hear on or before 26th August.
30 acres of flat pasture
Near Preseli mountains (North Pembrokeshire).
Directly next to Lammas project.
Would suit tree-planting project/ long term permaculture vision.
Offers around £100,000
Contact Su Burke on 01994 419432/ 07774251967
Climate Camp Cymru
This summer people all over the world will join together and
take action against climate change. The growing climate camp
movement aims to inspire, educate, inform and take peaceful
direct action against the greatest threat we face.
Wales' first climate camp will pitch its tents near Merthyr
Tydfil this August (13-16). The camp will be a living example
of sustainable and radical alternatives, while providing a space
to meet people and learn new skills. In order to make this happen
we are calling on everyone who is able, to get involved. Climate
Camp is built upon inclusive democratic decision making, and
relies on the contributions of all those that attend. If you
would like to run a workshop, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can help with structures and transport, legal or media,
we need you! If you have any specific skills and want to put
them to good use, get in touch:
See you at the camp!
On The Web
The latest episode from the 'living in the future' mini series
is now available online:
It covers the latest news on the Lammas project.
Undercurrents are seeking sponsors for future episodes in the
series. So if you are interested in advertising (£500
per episode) please contact Undercurrents. The series currently
has over 20,000 subscribers.
Talks on Low-Impact Development
A note to say that Lammas residents/ organisers are available
to give talks and presentations on topics surrounding low-impact
us for further details.
Lammas holds monthly meetings and we welcome
people interested in supporting both the ecovillage project
and the wider vision of Lammas (as an umbrella organisation
promoting low-impact development) to come and contribute to
The next meeting will be held at 10am on 8th August 2009 at
Pontygafel. If the weather is good we will meet outside. If
the weather is poor, it will be in a tent.
For more details please use our
Lammas meeting, spring 2009