Saturday, 24 October 2009

Saturday 24th October 09

Well, a busy enough day starting with a cycle down to town to attend the CAFOD and Christian Aid - organised York Wave, a few hundred people encircling the Minster as a gesture of solidarity for those at risk from climate change and a message to our government that we want them to set ambitious, tough and binding targets at the Copenhagen talks in December.

I was glad to go, as despite my agnosticism and dislike of how some people put their religion above their love of humanity. I think we have to get over our differences and prejudices and move towards a unified goal of looking after this planet and life on it, whatever our beliefs in the supernatural, science or otherwise. I was pleased to meet lots of people I know and love and care about, and to join hands with to surround the Minster in solidarity.

After this I went to the Belfrey Hall on Stonegate, a building I didn't know existed, and took part in a debate about the issues surrounding governance and carbon emissions, developing countries and climate change. There were four speakers, Hugh Bayley, our Member of Parliament, a Nigerian called Father Blaize, an amazing 'sustainable housing' lecturer called John Grant from Sheffield, and Rashni Mistry: I'm not sure where she was from or who she represented. They introduced themselves, Hugh going on about the overseas development work he does, and John Grant was a very good speaker about the whole gamut of issues.

After intros, the chair asked if there were any questions, I got my hand up and was picked first. I asked the question which was on many people's lips, (John Grant had referred to it) which was why Hugh had voted against the 10:10 motion on Wednesday? Now I'm not sure if I heard him correctly, but I think he said he didn't vote against it, which is a lie, according to the official website (scroll down to see if your MP voted yes or no to the motion). He very cleverly wriggled out of it by going on about the small committee who had discussed the motion beforehand, and they had come to the conclusion that the House of Commons was incapable of reducing their carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. Well if they'd voted to aim to do that, and maybe got to a 5% or 8% reduction, that would have been FAR better than saying 'We don't think this is possible'. I am very very disappointed with him. And, unfortunately, the more free-thinking John Grogan whom I like a lot. Our other local MP, Anne Mackintosh, voted for the motion. How sad that party politics spoiled this debate.

Anyway, back to today's discussion. The 'Energy Champion' for York, Cllr Christian Vassie, asked another difficult question as did a couple of other people. Not all the discussion was about Bayley's voting record, there were ones on insulation and water resources and other things.

I cycled home in the rain after this. Lunch. Gill went into town with the boys.

I washed up.

At 4.30 I cycled off to St Nicks to meet with Melanie who asked me if I could introduce her to foraging... she wanted to pick some sloes so I said yes, why not, on the understanding that she'd let me sample the sloe gin when ready. We also got some apples.

I had a 'use it up tea' heated on the woodstove. I had some nice 'bundles' with the boys (boisterous play wrestling which boys like doing... girls might too but it's very common in boys!) which was fun. And a quiet evening followed.

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