Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Tuesday 19th January 10

A really good day, up quite early and felt full of energy. Rang the bike shop to see if they will mend my dynamo, they'll do it on Thursday.

I spent some of the morning doing assorted things inside and in the afternoon did more chainsawing, quite a lot, and cleared a backlog. Geddit? BackLOG!

The most interesting part of my day was my evening trip to Denaby, to attend the We Love The Earth Centre meeting. I'd been put in touch with a York woman, Imelda Havers, who runs Blue Fish Regeneration and was going to drive to the venue, picking up her colleague Sally Walker who is an architect specialising in sustainable buildings. So I was picked up at 5.45 and we arrived at Denaby Main at 7pm, minutes before the meeting started.

This meeting was less well attended than the first one, but a good cross section of locals, greens, and other interested parties, including one owner of a business named on the WLTEC website. The meeting was slightly better organised than the first one, but considering the huge mountain that has to be climbed if this group is to have any positive impact at all, relatively little got done.

The problem is that there is a lot of passion and strongly held ethics, but little leadership and no-one with much experience of running a successful community group with this size of aim. The interests of the leaders so far are expressed by building benders (temporary structures made of branches tied together) and cob ovens (often used at festivals to bake bread) but these are surely far removed from the interests of the majority of local people, who are probably drawn to green issues if it saves them money, but not for the 'save the planet' ideals of people like me.

Additionally, the document obtained by WLTEC from the RTTG listed a long list of multinational companies and big businesses, some of whom represent the biggest despoilers of the planet. The document describes these as 'partners', and in fact, the list is probably more a 'wish list' or a list of potential contacts. But this list has alienated the local deep greens, who have put RTTG into the same category as Costain, Eon and BASF, who are big builders, coal-fired power station developers and chemical companies. There was some defence of the RTTG, as it is run by 3 local blokes who are pretty keen on green issues and community involvement in this kind of development.

I am not sure if I am able to help the WLTEC group... primarily as I'm not local enough. I have offered my help if they want me, and I'll certainly attend the site meeting on 9th Feb to see if I can help the RTTG's work to get some good workable ideas for the site. I do hope that it isn't sold by Doncaster Council for housing, an open cast mine, bog-standard 20th Century Earth-Despoiling business or something similar. It must continue as a site for education and promoting sustainable development. My vote would be for a 'Northern CAT' type place. I'd love that!

Imelda and Sally got up to go as soon as it was obvious that the meeting had finished (I could have sat around chatting for another hour!) and I suggested we went to see the front gate of The Earth Centre site, as neither of them had been there. After this, we went home, and I was delivered safely back soon after 10pm.

Had a lengthy facebook chat conversation with a friend's wife who works in a school and wants me to help with her science week, with my Fiddlesticks Fun Physics show. Good stuff!

1 comment:

welovetheearthcentre said...

hello john, please have look at the proposal of which we have been working on for some time and which includes many different activties that are relative to the local community and more (we have alot more ideas than just bender building and cob ovens)

it is noted that you recoginse our passion but question our abilities and we hope that we can have the opportunity to show that we have plenty to offer

see you on the 9th all the best