Our Carbon Conversations group met for the first time on Friday April 17th. Ben, one of the two facilitators, thought it would be a good idea if we blog about our meetings. Below is his report on our first session.
Ten of us gathered for the first session at PECT. After tea and flapjacks we settled down for two hours of deep and rigorous conversation!
The introductions session raised some important issues, and, it must be said, a general feeling of despondency. How can we tackle this problem, when even we (who are trying to take action) cannot stick to the CO2 reductions we have set ourselves? And why does this burden have to fall on us, our generation, here on planet earth? Why do we have to shoulder the burden of all this?
But from this point on the mood definitely picked up.
We discussed who should take responsibility for tackling climate change. The verdict here seemed to be that as individuals we should do all we can, and then, when our options are exhausted, take it to the next level.
We discussed why we bother to take action on the issue. Most people expressed a concern for the environment and for future generations. Others were turned on by the sheer challenge of it all.
Finally we did a mix and match game, learning about the carbon footprints of everyday things, from a text message to a new Land Rover. This was nothing short of revelatory for certain participants!
Looking ahead, we discussed the latest literature on climate change, and our next session on domestic energy.
The good news was that as we left the door, our spirits were decidedly higher than when we arrived. We may be facing a daunting task, but there’s nothing to beat standing up and facing it head on.
Speaking for myself, while I was pleased, though not entirely surprised, to discover that (according to Ben’s calculations based on a questionnaire the group members filled in before the first session) my carbon footprint is well below the UK average, it is still much higher than what is sustainable. A substantial proportion of my footprint is my share of the footprint of the UK’s infrastructure. So while I still need to take further action myself, it’s also important to do what I can to encourage government and businesses to take action.