Category: Climate crisis

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Dorset Council environmental decisions: moral and economic madness?

Sarah Cowley

Moral and economic madness? That is the charge being laid at the door of Dorset Council, by local environmental activists, who question whether the Council understands the realities of the climate crisis. Just six months ago, the UK hosted the UN Climate Change Conference (‘COP26’) in Glasgow, in November 2021. That conference concluded with a […]

Portreath-based charity raises money by recycling the ‘unrecyclable’

Editor-in-chief

Upcycle Kernow, a Portreath-based community interest company, has raised more than £2,000 by collecting “unrecyclable” waste from the community to be recycled.   The waste collected includes cheese packaging, bread bags, personal care and beauty products and packaging, oral care products, home cleaning products and packaging, biscuit and snack wrappers and much more. This waste is not included […]

The joys of printing and XR

Leslie Tate
Tree of life

I interviewed Stroud-based printmaker and artist Nat Morley about her unique processes, her protest art and her time spent with Barrel Well Aboriginal Community, Australia. Nat was a prize-winning geographer at Oxford University, sings with Tewkesbury Abbey choir, and her artwork is on permanent display at the Cotswold Craftsmen Gallery in Nailsworth. Leslie: What are the main artistic medium/areas you work in? […]

How to solve climate change AND end our dependence on hostile regimes

Simon Oldridge
graphic of man with empty pockets held up by a fuel pump as if it were a gun

Earlier this month, the UN expert panel, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a major report detailing the impacts of the crisis. Inger Andersen, head of the UN Environment Program, told us that ‘climate change isn’t around the corner waiting to pounce – it is already upon us raining down blows on billions of people’.  […]

Cop 26 and ‘the fierce urgency of now’

Phil Shepherd
Storm - made out of rycled materials - at Cop 26

It would have been much cheaper to fly, particularly as the UK government had recently reduced air passenger duty on internal flights, but John Potter and I took the train to Glasgow for COP 26.   We didn’t have passes, or any kind of access to the conference, but wanted to see what ideas and […]

The paradox at the heart of capitalist growth

Jason Hickel
stockmarket price screen

There is an extraordinary paradox at the heart of capitalist growth in rich economies, which is important to understand. Here’s how it works: First, capital seeks to privatise and enclose key goods that we need in order to live – healthcare, housing, energy, transport, etc – making these things increasingly expensive for us to access. […]

Energy prices – what’s going on? Letter to David Warburton MP

Editor-in-chief
wind farm

Dear Mr Warburton, I am writing to you – with copies to local news outlets – about the recent large rise in gas and electricity prices. I am old enough to remember the oil crisis of the mid-1970s. During that period the government brought in a number of energy-saving measures; these included banning the heating of […]

Supply and demand

Tony Whitehead
power station chimneys

We are addicted to fossil fuels, so the news that European oil and gas supplies may be interrupted by the current global geopolitical situation linked to the unravelling humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is focusing minds. ‘Something must be done’ before the lights go out and the home fires stop burning. However, in a myopia we […]

Latest dire warning from the IPCC report – what are we doing locally to counter climate breakdown?

Belinda Bawden
IPCC report cover

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest report this week. The UN secretary general, António Guterres, described it as an “atlas of human suffering”. Alice Bell, co-director at the climate change charity Possible, wrote in the Guardian: “The key findings are bleak, if familiar. Climate breakdown is accelerating rapidly; many of the […]

“Better without Barclays!” Extinction Rebellion in Plymouth

Tony Whitehead
XR protestors, Plymouth

Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion in Devon and Cornwall gathered with Plymothians today to stage a symbolic silent funeral procession through Plymouth to Barclays bank. This was part of a “Better Without Barclays” campaign, a UK-wide movement calling out the investments that Barclays make in the fossil fuel industry. The funeral march, complete with coffin, […]

XR urge Devon County Council to stop funding fossil fuel companies

Tony Whitehead

Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) staged a protest today [Friday 25 February] outside Devon County Hall in Exeter to highlight the county council’s continued investment in fossil fuels through its pension fund. XR rebels scaled scaffolding above the entrance to County Hall and lowered a huge banner emblazoned with “Stop Funding Fossil Fuels”. The […]

UK to miss emissions target by a mile: letter to Anthony Mangnall MP

Editor-in-chief

Dear Anthony On the Government’s own projections, the UK is set to miss the 6th carbon budget and our Paris commitment by a huge margin. We will be approximately 100 per cent over the 6th carbon budget! You have said that work is ‘underway’, but that work clearly falls far short of what’s required. You can see from the […]

More than words

Jim Funnell
neon art "all we have is words"

Words matter. Every second around 6,000 tweets are sent worldwide, equating to 500m a day – that’s 200bn tweets of 280 characters every year – you can watch it happening in real time at Internet Live Stats. It’s a lorra words. And 2021 was full of them. 2021 was the year of what was said […]

A monumental COP-out

Tom Scott
'climate criminals': Putin, Morrison, Bolsanaro masks at COP26

“It’s hard not to see the Glasgow Climate Pact as an elaborate suicide note couched in the language of blah-blah-blah”: Tom Scott’s powerful COP26 report. I returned home from a few days at COP26 in Glasgow more bone-tired than I think I’ve ever been in my life, and watching the news coming out of the […]

Don’t be seduced…

Mike Walton

Decarbonising transport – we’ve got it sorted. The UK government has been vocal in its support for electric cars as THE carbon-free future for travel. The transport carbon challenge solved! Or is it? The generously-funded motor lobby is powerful at getting its message across. We could be forgiven for thinking that electric cars are the […]

The rain in Spain falls… oh, wait! It doesn’t!

Mike Zollo

We are all being showered with news and comment about COP26 … but what is the Spanish context regarding the environment and climate change, and how is the climate conference viewed in Spain? Crucial! El Mundo reported on 30 October that the COP26 ‘guerra del clima’ (climate war) was starting in Glasgow “in the midst […]

Time to use our roads to reduce our carbon emissions

Caspar Hughes
light trails on a motorway at night

We’ve seen Insulate Britain emerge onto their M25 stage in the last couple of weeks with their brave and dangerous protests. They are prepared to go to prison as campaigners try to wake the population up to the fact we are careering headlong into the worst crisis humanity has ever faced. The M25 is an […]

The COP26/COPnes26 edition. Two weeks which will shape our future

Editor-in-chief
Gaia by Luke Jerram, art installation

The next two weeks are absolutely critical for the planet and West Country Voices will be featuring articles on the climate crisis, the conference and the parallel event being run in Totnes with our support. We will be watching closely to see if this government lives up to the green credentials it so frequently claims […]

Seagrass meadows, carbon capture and the hidden costs of pollution

Sadie Parker

Did you know that seagrass meadows are thirty-five times more effective at carbon capture than the typical tropical rainforest? Seagrass meadows account for only 0.1 per cent of the sea’s bed, but an estimated 10 per cent of its carbon capture. They are great for biodiversity, too. Scientists have found that they provide a habitat […]

COPnes26: what’s on!

Editor-in-chief

COP26 is set to dominate the news over the next two weeks. Where does this leave our region and local communities? Totnes has started its own parallel environmental event to COP called ‘COPnes26’, continuing the town’s now well-established tradition of environmental and sustainability awareness. Here are some highlights: One of COPnes26’s roles is to enable community […]