TEQs Update - 12 August 2013 - The climate/energy crisis...

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Heather Bennett
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:12 am

TEQs Update - 12 August 2013 - The climate/energy crisis...

Post by Heather Bennett »

Copied from the TEQs mailing list:

The climate/energy crisis begins to hit home

As readers of this newsletter recognise, we are collectively caught in a bind - as we become ever better at extracting and burning the more easily accessible fossil fuels, we are left scraping the barrel for what remains. Prices rise accordingly. The natural response is to "drill, baby, drill" in search of more supplies, hence the previously unthinkable drive to frack England's green and pleasant counties. Yet from a climate change and wider environmental perspective, successfully unlocking new fossil fuel reserves is a disaster. The only sensible approach is to rein in our usage, yet our economic system will not countenance such an approach, and our politics is firmly in hock to it.

Hence it comes as no surprise to hear that the UK and US security forces have been bracing for ever more protests over these issues, as Ofgem warns of increased risk of blackouts in the next couple of years, and the public begins to realise the extent of the energy and climate shocks that existing policies are locking in for us. The protests over fracking in Balcombe are the latest example (and their concerns are legitimised by bans on the process in France and the Netherlands). Yet systemic attempts to undermine legal protesters (categorised by the police as "domestic extremists") are nothing new, as recent revelations of immoral undercover police tactics have shown. As Franny Armstrong, director of films McLibel and The Age of Stupid, pithily put it, "If eco protestors had not been targeted by destructive police tactics for 50 years, would the climate be on the brink of collapse today?"

Yet the chasm between the reality observed by scientists and the response decided on by politicians is becoming lethally vast. We have an Environment Minister who doubts the severity of climate change in a world where 9,500 tonnes of ice per second are melting from the ice sheets, half a million species have gone extinct just since the start of the year 2000 and ever more parts of the world are becoming officially "uninsurable" due to the rising likelihood of weather catastrophes...

Perhaps we should consider bridging the divide (and physics remains implacable - it is politics that will have to change), rather than suppressing those who dare to point out its existence?

The new TEQs team

With that in mind, the big news for TEQs is that we have appointed two new team members, Heather Bennett and Matt Finch, to help drive our campaign forward. Their profiles will be added to the website in the coming weeks, but they have written a little here to introduce themselves:

Matt Finch: I recently returned from living in Paris and wanted to work at the juxtaposition of the environment and politics, so TEQs was a fairly easy choice and a good fit. I also previously set up a company, and enjoyed being in at the beginning of things, so it's a good time to join as the TEQs campaign ramps up. I think TEQs is an eloquent scheme that solves a lot of problems, so am happy to get behind it.

Heather Bennett: I'm currently in the middle of completing my MSc in Environmental Management, writing my dissertation about the effect of wind turbines on birds and bats. I believe in TEQs - It offers us a clear path to reducing our emissions and has the potential to play a central part in our environmental future.

Our board is also still seeking one further member with inside experience of policy change. Candidates should contact <jules@flourishingenterprise.org>

Spreading the word

Meanwhile, team members have given presentations on TEQs at events as diverse as the 2nd International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems in the Netherlands, the Resource Cap Coalition's workshop on innovative tools for limiting resource use in Brussels, and the annual meeting of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. We have also submitted an abstract for the Tyndall Centre's forthcoming Radical Emissions Reductions conference this December.

Translating the word

The final versions of both the Spanish and Italian translations of the Parliamentary TEQs reports have now been uploaded to our website. All versions (including the English pdf) have also had their links updated. Any help volunteered with further translations will be much welcomed.

Finally, apologies to anyone who tried to sign up for our mailing list between November and February - it seems that our webform was having technical difficulties. If you know anyone who did not receive email acknowledgement of their subscription they're not on the list and won't have received this email.

Thanks, as ever, for all your support and encouragement,
Shaun Chamberlin and Heather Bennett

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"A concept of brilliant simplicity, offering a predictable and orderly reduction of greenhouse gas emissions year-on-year, with flexibility in an enclosed system, independent of taxation and providing complete transparency between goals and delivery."
- Colin Challen, Founder Chairman, All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change
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