Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change (FOR TWELVE YEARS!)

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


The climate safety report will be officially launched on Thurs 27th Nov'08, with debate held at 7pm at Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ. Event is free,  open to general public. Speakers include Caroline Lucas, Tim Helweg-Larsen, Jeremy Leggett and others. Report available to download free from website, on or shortly after launch date. If you are in London, come to this important event, let others know it's happening and invite them along too!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Feels like the 1950s ...

Player's wall Mitcham Road, Tooting Broadway by ramson.
Our heating doesn't work. Feels like the 1950s. Great for saving on energy bills, and for bowls of warm porridge in the morning, but look forward to a smidgeon more heat.

Off on Thursday to the Transition City Conference in Nottingham which is being held specially for communities working to set up Transition Initiatives in Cities. That's us. The progamme looks really interesting and includes sessions on: The Sustainable Communities Act, Energy Descent Plans, Diversity in Cities, Transforming Cities into Hubs of Sustainable Food and Working with Conflict. Will report how Hilary Jennings and I get on there. Anyone else feel like coming, there are still spaces. This excellent article in the Times speaks in detail about transition initiatives sprouting up all over the globe - a growing army of 'local heroes' determined to turn challenges of climate change and oil depletion into 'our finest hour'.

In the last week Transition Town Tooting's heroes have been in contact with Capital Growth; London Sustainability Exchange, London 21, Sustain. There's interest in linking up with any TTT initiatives we can get off the ground around carbon reductions, food growing, health programmes and so on.

We have begun a conversation at Tooting Bec Lido around renewable energy for the site. The Cold Water Swimming Championships will be held again there on January 24th. Registration by Dec 24th if you want to enter!!! An excercise in resilience if ever there was one.

Just found some very fine photos of Tooting on flickr. If anyone recognises the one above as theirs give a shout to

Sunday, 16 November 2008


We are well and truly into autumn, my lilac tree has shed most of its leaves and I can now see my neighbours garden again; winter feels close at hand. What's news?

A good friend of TTT, Polly Higgins, recently made a very inspiring speech to the United Nations (UK and Northern Ireland) Climate Change Conference in Belfast calling for a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights. You can keep up with progress on that campaign at the Trees Have Rights Too site. What a great idea. How can mankind really have superior Human Rights that are not balanced by the rights of every one of this Planet's wondrous elements from trees to mountains to ... even wasps? Yes why not, we can't leave wasps out? Polly has a climate change speaker event at Conway Hall on Tuesday Nov 18th - details here.

This blog is just starting up and I know that all those involved with the TTT project would like to extend special thanks to the support that has so far been provided by the brilliant Project Dirt team who have been actively supporting TTT since its inception and providing a place on the web where people can go for information not just on Tooting but on loads of other environmental initiatives springing up across South London. Loads of interesting stuff on their site.

In Upper Tooting, (is that the posh part? oh I like to think so!) the tomatoes stayed resolutely green in our postage stamp garden so this "bacon & eggs is my speciality" bloke decided to try his hand at making spicy green tomato chutney for the first time. Made a mess but it was fun and initial tasting is promising! I'll will update this blog with a health warning if anyone gets poisoned!

Friday, 7 November 2008

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing". Arundhati Roy

'Another world' - maybe we don't need such a quiet day to hear her breathing now. Maybe now she can be heard quite clearly - even above the celebratory din of the wheels of change clunking into action? With Barack Obama bouncing onto stage this week as President elect of the US, suddenly all manner of things feel manifestly possible - for all manner of people, ourselves included. The Great Turning - from the dying days of the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining, ecological revolution - seems to have just been given one great big new swing. Hurray Hurray. Now's the time to maintain momentum and pressure to keep moving in this more hopeful direction.
Here's how Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement, sums up the changes Barack Obama's policies, despite their challenges, can bring:
" I never thought I would see a US President who actually took climate change seriously, talked about a Green New Deal for the US, and whose policies included;
• Reduce the US's carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and play a strong positive role in negotiating a binding global treaty to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol
• Withdraw all combat troops from Iraq within 16 months and keep no permanent bases in the country
• Establish a clear goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons across the globe
• Close the Guantanamo Bay detention center
• Double US aid to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015 and accelerate the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculoses and Malaria
• Open diplomatic talks with countries like Iran and Syriam, to pursue peaceful resolution of tensions
• De-politicize military intelligence to avoid ever repeating the kind of manipulation that led the US into Iraq
• Launch a major diplomatic effort to stop the killings in Darfur
•Only negotiate new trade agreements that contain labor and environmental protections
•Invest $150 billion over ten years to support renewable energy and get 1 million plug-in electric cars on the road by 2015"
So for each piece of negative news that comes crashing through about collapsing markets, global recession and negative equities, there is the speedy arrival of good news to support the evidence that the beginning of a more sustainable way of living is worth working towards whilst we still have time to plan.
Rosie Boycott launched her Capital Growth project with the Mayor Boris Johnson this week in Battersea Park. Check out for how she is planning to support 2012 new food growing spaces in London by 2012. How many of these could be in Tooting? Get looking.
2 very successful Transition Town Tooting meetings took place on Nov 2nd and Nov 4th giving added momentum to plans and visions. Notes on these and other Tooting meetings to date on this site. Next up a Sunday Swap on Dec 7th at the Tram and Tooting Social. 2-3pm. Over to you Claudia..If you're reading this and wondering how to get involved contact