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 celebrated our 20th anniversary!
Film evening – ‘Thin Ice’: Wed., 23rd April 2014, 7.30 pm, Melland (Community) Room – Climate science has been under attack, so Oxford geologist Simon Lamb took his camera to film climate scientists at work around the world to find out what’s really going on. The result is a unique look at the science behind global warming. Followed by a panel discussion led by Blewbury scientists Dr. Emily Black and Prof. Paul Whitehead. Admission and a glass of local wine free (donations welcome).
Green May Fair: Sat., 10th May 2014, 11 am – 3.30 pm, Blewbury School – A joint event with the school and BVS. Enjoy a home-made lunch, tea and cakes, and local produce. Fun activities for the children and live music. Find out how to reduce your bills and your carbon footprint, eco-renovate your home, encourage bees into your garden and grow your own vegetables.
Blewbury Mini-Festival Event – Community Energy projects and the Blewbury EcoCentre: Thurs. 19th June, Blewbury Manor Barn – Details to be announced, watch this space.
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.
New on our websites
- The government’s much-delayed Renewable Heat Incentive for domestic properties is now running. It covers solar thermal hot water, biomass boilers and stoves, and air-source and ground-source heat pumps. Note that systems installed from July 2009 are eligible.
- The Energy Initiative’s page on nuclear power has been been re-organised and updated. Its section on the current UK situation includes the controversial recent deal between the government and EDF Energy for new reactors as well as other developments.
Newsletter 10, February 2014
Contents: (click here to read the newsletter)
- Editorial: How do we engage with the climate change debate? – Mike Edmunds
- Whatever happened to peak oil? – Eric Eisenhandler
- Why we do not need shale gas – Mike Edmunds
- Nuclear power: pros, cons and UK status – Eric Eisenhandler
- Community energy – an option for Blewbury? – Ian Bacon
- Leaf bays at the Blewbury allotments – Angela Hoy
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.
- in the past few years the rise in global average surface temperatures has levelled off, leading to some people claiming that climate change has stopped. But many other indicators show that this is due to natural variability of the weather. More of the added heat has gone into the oceans – see the graph below, and this will soon have a big effect on the surface temperature, as explained in a new and very readable Royal Society/US National Academy of Sciences summary.
- In addition, a very clear account of the global climate, available here, shows that when we view the climate a decade at a time each decade in recent years has been warmer than the last. We also see increasing extreme weather (not least this past winter) and decreasing Arctic ice cover.
- 2013 was the sixth warmest year since records began more than 160 years ago, tying with 2007. The warmest year on record was 2010, and 13 of the 14 warmest years on record have occurred in the 21st century. Some parts of the globe were exceptionally hot in 2013 – Australia experienced its warmest year ever.
- The seven summers with the lowest minimum Arctic 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 was 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 provides loans to pay for a wide variety of measures. We explain how it works, its cashback deal for early adopters – recently extended and improved, and some of its problems that have led to extremely poor take-up of Green Deal finance.
Click on these links to find out:
Our activity is organised around five main themes: