GF Blog 2022 – Week 18

5th MAY 2022 – Week 18

Every week I write about problems and potential solutions, STEM projects that could change the world.

But it is hard to balance sometimes. When there is a ton of bad news to sort through I will never overload the blog with it. That’s cos my whole motivation for writing is to give people hope.

So this week, to provide lots of positives, I’ve decided to feature individuals who have made impressive contributions and continue working hard to make a difference. I hope you will enjoy the slightly different flavour this brings. Perhaps, additionally it can make you reflect on whether you could volunteer to help on the journey too.


The journey of GREEN CAMPAIGNS so far 

is from lone eco-warrior in 2019 to today’s situation with a growing number of supporters and plans for a new charity.

A year ago, before I even thought of writing a blog, I was like Robinson Crusoe on my ‘island’ here in the meadow, with only one Man Friday to help me, Louise – who I shall forever thank for her listening skills, encouragement, vision and (as you can see here) her magnificent artwork.

lone eco-warrior
Louise’s stained glass

This lonely status changed significantly in November 2021, with the arrival of David Skelhorn, as a partner-in-crime. He has brought so many skills & tons of support. Yesterday, we went out (as we 1st did last year) to a local climate event, where we delivered Messy Play and Sustainability Stories at the Portreath Village Hall.

David Skelhorn by his new inclined plane at Meadow Barns
Learning to direct wind carefully onto the sails for constant turning
One of many designs, incorporating glass skylights for heat gain

We have it down to a fine art now. I tell the 21st century version of the tale of 3 little pigs, where a straw-bale house turns out to be the winner. This is followed by setting a small team the challenge of designing & building a new highly insulated house, to which they add a wind or water turbine.

David has invented an activity of retro-fitting insulation to an older house and putting a solar panel on the roof. The children (from babies upwards) love taking part. But so do the adults!  

Straw-bale building
Skelhorn House – stick-on insulation panels

It is this education development, along with the sudden highly welcome surge of support at the Tywardreath Methodist Church last Sunday, which now leads us to visualise a new charity. This would be a world-wide Association of Green Awareness Teachers (or AGAT), in which members would be predominantly retired people from a wide range of careers, not only teaching. They would register as members, offering to be volunteer demonstrators/facilitators at climate events in their own area. We would help to prepare and support with learning materials and session plans, so that a team of e.g. 5 or 6 people could deliver Green Awareness activities for their locality. If you would like to discuss this further, please either email or write a message in the Comments box.

Instantly and unexpectedly, this has now leapt to top of the list of our Green Campaigns for Meadow Barns 2022.

SECTION 2 – the Hydro campaign This also would not have got started without adding a 3rd expert supporter to our activities. Rupert Armstrong Evans has already been an extra-ordinary inspiration to work with. He has a wealth of experience and his particular brand of caustic humour is very refreshing. You will experience his qualities soon, if you live in the BBC TV South West region and can tune in to Spotlight next week at 6.30 (probably Tuesday). Rupert hosted the film crew at a leat near Launceston Steam Railway; then they travelled to Meadow Barns to interview our local county councillor, Colin Martin and myself. We wait with not a little anxiety, to see if their edit will achieve a good balance between bashing the government & Environment Agency (who please note, have experienced an eye-watering 75% reduction in funding since 2010, so should not be held entirely responsible for all ills) and putting across a vision for exciting hydro opportunities for the future.

Below, Rupert is left, Colin Martin centre & John Carley right.

HOW the HYDRO PETITION is looking today

In one week, we have just reached 260 signatures. I love that they are spread so widely, lots in Wales, north of England and especially Lancashire and the Lake District. Those have come about, with support from you – the blog readers – plus members of the Community Hydro Forum, to which David & I belong. Only 99,740 to go. If you haven’t signed and shared already, PLEASE DO!

SECTION 3 – Following on from CHACEWATER

John Carley has just emailed me, hot off the press, the first draft summary of action points from last Thursday’s conference.

The meeting made the following 8 point demand to Her Majesty’s Government and to Cornwall Council:-

1) It is essential that Cornwall Council develop a Renewable Energy Plan. This must be done within a maximum of three months due to the climate emergency and threats set out in the IPCC report.

2) The plan must encompass the right technology mix, and improved connection capacity. The Public sector should install renewable assets as a priority. The grid must become more resilient.

3) Government must update the Electricity Act to make it fit to counter the climate emergency.

4) Cornwall should become a significant exporter of green electricity to the National Grid.

5) The energy plan for Cornwall must include a strategy to reduce energy consumption, by methods that include better insulation and glazing of existing housing. Eliminate Fuel Poverty.

6) Instigate voluntary parish energy / biodiversity wardens, like we have parish tree wardens

7) Make it easier to purchase green electricity locally, and roll out “V2G” storage.

8) Engage with schools and young people to lower climate anxiety.

I shall stop here, with a small apology that the content has become so Cornwall orientated.

But also a promise. Next time there will be a guest correspondent writing from South London. So a Cornwall-free edition, it shall be!    

Have a good weekend.  Caroline

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