Helen Hayes serious about climate change 

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Helen Hayes with hIMG_7220er assistant Shadi organised this ‘Dulwich and West Norwood climate change meeting’  on Saturday 12th Sept to push for local climate change activism – the gist of the meeting was “think global act local.”  Helen confirmed her commitment to working on climate change issues in parliament and then introduced Loretta Minghella, the chief of Christian Aid, who outlined the disastrous global effects of climate change. Several people then spoke about local initiatives such as:
– Alan Jones of SE24.co.uk who explained about the solar panels project and pointed out that there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity before the end of the year when Feed-In-Tariffs will be virtually abolished;
– The Crystal Palace Transition project was presented where community gardens have been set up and a “patchwork farm” created.  Also a locally produced Palace Pint and a “Local and Fair” Group, but the effect of all these activities has also been to build community.  Their website is an inspiration: http://www.crystalpalacetransition.org.uk
– a man from Sipa told us how the performing arts can be used to convey climate change messages;
– an architect spoke from her own experience saying that 27% of energy use is for housing and that on average about 60% of that can be prevented with retrofitting insulation and draught exclusions, but that the cost for a typical 3 bedroom house might be as high as £25,000.
– Dr David Cotton encouraged people to read at his book, “Climate Change, a wake up call”, and Naomi Klein’s book, “This changes everything” was also recommended.
We discussed the very large development that is soon to be started at East Dulwich Hospital (a new school and a health centre) and how we might push for more sustainable buildings.  Several people hoped that the local campaign group “Dulwich Going Greener” could be revived.
It was agreed that there should be another similar meeting and that the group should look at these doable targets:
– organise a larger public meeting soon about local climate change actions
– create a local group to join the climate change march at the end of November (29th)   http://www.campaigncc.org/climatemarchlondon
– lobby the Dulwich Estate to be more positive about solar panels on domestic roofs;
– support Helen Hayes in trying to affect Labour Party policy on climate change;