Some 50 people crowded into Sutherland Memorial Hall on 20th January for a presentation on climate change organised by Adrian Thompson of the Guildford Environment Forum (GEF). The speaker, Henrietta Stock, is a Climate Reality Leader who worked with Al Gore. She outlined the current views on climate change and its causes, and the fact that she was listened to in absolute silence gave testimony to the bleak prognostications for our future.
Here is a brief summary of the major points:
- The burning of fossil fuels is the largest source of global warming.
- The last 19 years have been the hottest on record.
- Serious droughts lead to food shortages – Syria has lost 60% of its fertile land to desert.
- Water scarcity affects nearly 40% of the world’s population.
- Climate change is the biggest global health threat.
The presentation was followed by a very lively discussion which looked at what measures can be taken to help offset global warming. Governments can invest in green energy. Local authorities can take action to ensure all new builds are energy efficient. What can we as individuals do?
Here are some suggestions from the GEF. Firstly, find out your carbon footprint – this is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of community or individual activities. The annual UK average per person is around 10 tonnes. There are several websites you can visit. One of the simplest is on the WWF website – it only takes five minutes. If you want something more detailed, try: www.carbonindependent.org
What can people do to reduce their carbon footprint?
- Air travel is a big culprit – can you cut down, for example, going by rail.
- Try and make your home as energy and water efficient as possible. Even small changes like swapping halogen lights for LEDs and not leaving appliances on standby can make a difference.
- Can you cut back on driving ‐ perhaps walk or use public transport. Or cycle – the discussion groups agreed that local cycle lanes need drastic improvement to encourage more people to use them.
- Try and reduce the amount of red meat you eat – and out of season produce which is often flown in. You can find out more about food on the BBC Climate Change Food Calculator which offers some surprising information – for example, eating three to five avocados a week will add 41kg to annual greenhouse gas emissions which is equivalent to a 105 mile car journey or heating an average size house for six days.
For more information about the GEF, contact Adrian Thompson via email – firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07929 138650
Sutherland Memorial Park – playground for grown‐ups
Now you have no excuse to avoid the gym! This is the new outdoor exercise area at Sutherland Memorial Park. At the time of writing (late January) there is a little more work to be done but the Parks Department hope it will be ready for use by early March.
Don’t forget that Sutherland Memorial Hall is available for hiring afternoons, evenings and weekends (weekend evenings in winter). Kitchen available. £15 p/hour. Contact Tricia Squibb on 01483 300404.
One Secretary for the BCA to take over in May when the current incumbent retires. Anyone who thinks they might be able to take this on or would like more information please email Chairman@burphamca.org.uk
Dates for your diary
March: Our newly elected MP, Angela Richardson, has kindly agreed to come and speak at our March public meeting. Because of parliamentary demands, Friday is a more convenient day so the meeting will now be held on Friday 20th March in the Village Hall, starting at 8pm.
May: The AGM will be held on Monday 18th May, 8pm in Sutherland Memorial Hall. The AGM of the Burpham Neighbourhood Forum will follow. There will be a speaker for the first part of the meeting – we hope it might be someone from the Clinical Commissioning Group to talk about GP surgery provision in Guildford.
July: We hope to have some kind of Summer Social – details in the next Burpham Pages.