"To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing." - Raymond Williams

‘Climate Change – The Solutions’ event

by Shaun Chamberlin on November 14th, 2007

Climate Change - The Solutions

Last night was an exciting one for me, as an event that I dreamt up actually came to fruition. I have been feeling for a while that the public mood has moved on – virtually everyone is now aware of the challenge of climate change, but very few people actually feel like they know what they should do about it.

Indeed, I was in a similar position a couple of years ago, and it took me about a year’s research before I felt I had found the initiatives which could effectively deal with the nature of the challenges we face.

As a consequence, most people are just left with the nagging uncomfortable feeling of an unresolved – and seemingly irresolvable – issue, which probably only makes them less likely to want to learn more about the area.

So I wanted to hold an event that moved on from “look, this is really serious folks” to a realistic, optimistic view of “these are the things we should be doing and supporting”.

As I put it on the event website:

“This event is about explaining the innovative frameworks designed to turn our individual actions into a wave of change, and pushing to make them a reality.

It is about addressing climate change at the level scientists say is necessary, not at the level politicians say is feasible.

Within such frameworks, individual actions find the power to address our global problems.

Most people care and want to help, so join us in creating a happier, thriving future.

Something better is on the way.”

I am an active member of my local World Development Movement (WDM) group, and working together with the Richmond Environment Network we were able to organise a great venue and lineup of speakers.

The head of WDM, Benedict Southworth, agreed to chair the meeting, and the leader of the local Council gave an introductory speech covering their work to date on climate change.

Then Aubrey Meyer spoke about his international framework – Contraction and Convergence, I spoke on the national framework required – Tradable Energy Quotas, and Mary Holdstock spoke about an example of local-level action – Woking Council.

Unfortunately, on the evening of the event the local train station was closed by a suicide, and I know a number of people were consequently unable to attend, but we still had over a hundred people in attendance, and the feedback on the event was almost universally positive. I have also heard of a number of useful contacts that were made between members of the audience that night. Hopefully the unknown consequences of the event will continue to ripple outwards for some time!

For me personally, to see so many people attending an event that would never existed but for my initiative was deeply inspiring, and has motivated me to redouble my efforts to spread the word about TEQs and the other solutions which could help us bring about a more desirable future.

Full details of the event itself can can be found at the ‘Climate Change – The Solutions’ website.

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