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

Thursday, 25 February 2010

First Tuesday Film Night

We start our series of First Tuesday events on Tuesday March 2nd with a film night, where we will show several short films with relevance to transition and environmental issues.  There’ll be time afterwards for a discussion and the award of the Tooting Palme Verte to the evening’s favourite film.  Bring food to share if you'd like.

Come and enjoy The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard, Rob Hopkins TED talk: Transition to a world without oil, Jo Brand’s Save Money & The Planet, and Survival’s Mine - story of a sacred mountain, plus some random special extras!   
 Tuesday 2nd March - 7pm Start; Mushkil Aasaan, 220-222 Upper Tooting Rd.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Our Green Champion

Lucy makes the front page as the Wandsworth Green Champion!  And below is the relevant part of the article on the Green Guardian pages.  Great publicity for Transition Town Tooting!  Well done Lucy!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Are we getting anywhere?

What a week!  Susan Venner (Venner Lucas Architects) and I collecting our Awards at this week's Wandsworth Green Champions Awards from the Mayor and Konstam's cook Oliver! Thanks to those that nominated us and many a cheer for our Tooting work to get a Transition initiative off the ground. We always talk about acting as a catalyst for imagining how we'll put our head, heart and hands to positive solutions to the challenges we face in building a low carbon society and holding these sparkly awards on Thursday night it felt as though it wasnt just talk: others also believe we are making a practical difference too. Hurrah!  Working hard day by day, week by week, you have to trust your instincts that you're getting somewhere so it's uplifting to be recognised - and that goes for the whole TTT team - in this way. No stopping us now.

Many a week in transition world has a roller coaster feel.  The last has been no exception. Monday was spent preparing for a gi-normous 'stake holder' meeting with representatives of Emergency services, Fire, Ambulance, Police, Transport for London, London Traffic Control, London Buses, Tooting Town Centre Management, our Carnival artists Emergency Exit Arts and a number of Wandsworth Council employees to discuss closure of Upper Tooting Road on Sunday July 4th for the Trashcatchers' Carnival.  Road  closure of any of London's main roads is a very complex business and traffic management plans have to be worked out with incredible care and precision, to divert buses, fire engines and ambulances. The first meeting made progress - we are not there yet, but hopefully more work, more plans, more meetings and we can get there. In a nutshell we're proposing that a community that has heavy traffic pass through it 24 hours a day for 365 days a year, is given the chance to celebrate itself, see itself, hear itself, know itself, renew and re-imagine itself for a few hours as a spectacular, inventive, creative, non polluting Carnival passes through.

Today we spent some time visiting shops and businesses along the High Road letting them know about the Carnival and asking if they had any trash we could start collecting...We met with positive responses and many smiles. It seems the Carnival gives pleasure to people simply imagining it. Fingers crossed the real thing will prove memorable and magical for all. Email Transition Town Tooting if you'd like to know about the Feb Carnival workshops being held Feb 27th/28th to design and build the Carnival story.

The Copenhagen Climate Change talks back in December were of course more than disappointing. But for me they made one thing crystal clear. It is on the ground, person by person, house by house, shop by shop, heart by heart where the real changes are made. It really really is down to us in local communities. As Gary Snyder the American poet says 'Find your place on the planet. Dig in and take responsibility from there.' How proud and glad I am that's Tooting for me!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Easing The Transition

Coverage in today's Wandsworth Guardian of our recent Energy Talk with Jeremy Leggett & Rex Cassidy.  Good pic - we should sign that photographer up for the Carnival!

Brief highlights are now on our video channel

Monday, 1 February 2010

Talking Energy & Recycled Oil

TTT held a very interesting and well attended talk on Thursday with Solar Century's Jeremy Leggett and Rex Cassidy the Facilities Director at Springfields Hospital responsible for all St Georges Trust buildings. Some video excerpts will follow on our youtube channel.  

Jeremy reminded us that how human brains work is key and that we tend "to be blind to depletion of resources, expecting steady growth in supply to meet ever increasing demand."  Scary, but we obviously derive some comfort from being in a state of denial!  Meanwhile the UK government apparently has an equally scary attitude to the coming oil crunch telling Jeremy that "it would be risky to do a risk assessment" of the situation!  And the government's 2009 Wicks Report tells us "there's no crisis", assuming oil companies will just find more and more prehistoric fossilised algae and zoo plankton from 100s of millions of years ago (yes that's what oil is according to wikipedia anyway).  Thankfully Jeremy said solutions abound in renewable energy, the clean tech revolution and localised resilience, mobilising just as people did in the straightened times of 1930s and 40s.  A very Transition response we think.  Loads more info on Jeremy's site HERE.

Rex meanwhile explained the energy challenges of looking after 90 buildings used by 3,000 staff in the Tooting area.  Indeed it was the hospital staff who provided key impetus behind drafting the Trust's Carbon Management Plan, to which Rex introduced us.  There was time for questions and it was sobering to discover that the UK sits a paltry 25th out of the 27 EU countries in terms of renewable energy development with 1.3%.  The hospital redevelopment plans meanwhile do hope to include renewable energy generation.

Also last week we made an inspiring and enlightening visit to Uptown Oil near Waterloo who produce 100% recycled biodiesel from used vegetable oil. Wouldn't it be great if the Trashcatchers Carnival floats could be powered by used cooking oil from Tooting's myriad restaurants? We are looking into the possibility.  Uptown Oil told us they are constantly looking for more good supplies of used oil.  A significant number of London's taxis are already running on cleaner renewable biodiesel as was evidenced by the steady stream of them pulling up while we there.    DT