Sustainable Blewbury is concerned with climate change and other environmental issues. Due to rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, as well as depletion of natural resources, we must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We need to explore ways in which we as a village can adapt to a lower-carbon way of living, yet maintain a good quality of life. In 2013 we are celebrating our 20th anniversary!
New on our websites
- The Energy Initiative’s page on choosing an environmentally friendly car has been thoroughly updated.
- The Energy Initiative’s page on nuclear power has been also been updated, and its section on the current UK situation describes the controversial recent deal between the government and EDF Energy for new reactors.
- There is also a new document (pdf) with advice on choosing and installing air-source heat pump systems.
Newsletter 9 – September 2013
The latest edition of our Newsletter (pdf) reports on progress made by our projects, including the Downland project, the current situation with the Cleve and Millbrook, Blewbury Garden Market, Woodway Permaculture project and Transition Together – Blewbury. There is a full contents list on our news page.
Blewbury Garden Market Extra
Every Saturday morning at the Post Office, from 9.30 am: After our most successful summer of the Garden Market, during the winter season we are again selling bread, pastries, free-range eggs and preserves at the Post Office. More information and producer’s forms can be found on our food page.
Cheese made from our own cows’ milk – postponed until after Christmas: A talk and tasting by Mike Smales, who makes Lyburn Farmhouse cheeses. There will be samples of the 7 different cheeses he makes, along with home-made bread and a glass of wine. The total price is £7.00 per person – tickets will be on sale at the Post Office.
Details of our events, and some others run by nearby groups, can be found on our events page. Events elsewhere (and much else) can be found on ClimateXchange, and Oxfordshire events on CAG (Community Action Groups) Oxfordshire, which we are affiliated to.
- A very clear summary of the global climate in the decade from 2001 to 2010 (World Meteorological Organisation – available here) describes the warmest decade of the modern era, extreme weather and decreasing ice cover. Although many of these events and trends can be explained by the natural variability of the climate system, it is clear that rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are also affecting the climate. The bar chart below is from the report.
- In May 2013 the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere reached a record 400 parts per million for the first time in the modern era. That is higher than it’s been for about 4 million years, when the Earth’s climate was much warmer than it is now – the Arctic was ice-free and sea level was up to 40 metres higher. Before the industrial revolution it was 280 ppm, and in the 1950s it was 318 ppm. There is more information on our Energy Initiative’s global warming page.
- The summer melting of Arctic ice in 2013 was not as extreme as in 2012, but the minimum ice coverage was still well below the 1979–2000 average. The seven summers with the lowest minimum ice coverage have all occurred in the past seven years. There is more information on Arctic ice here.
- Many experts now believe that the goal of keeping the global average temperature rise below 2 degrees C may not be possible, due to carbon emissions continuing to increase. In addition other effects, such as extreme weather and rising sea-level due to warmer oceans and increased melting of ice in Greenland and Antarctica, are worse than most predictions.
- Details of the government’s much-delayed Renewable Heat Incentive for domestic properties have at last been published. It won’t start until in spring 2014, but systems installed from July 2009 are eligible and the interim Renewable Heat Premium Payments will run through March 2014. See our Energy Initiative’s domestic grants page for more information.
- The government’s Green Deal is aimed to be its flagship policy for improving the energy efficiency of homes, in order to reduce carbon emissions and the use of fossil fuels. The Green Deal will provide loans to pay for a wide variety of measures. We explain how it works, its cashback deal for early adopters, and some of its problems.
Click on these links to find out:
Our activity is organised around five main themes: