Caroline’s comment on ‘Green Crap’

Subject: [GPMediaNet] Caroline’s comment on ‘Green Crap’ – please send to your local media contacts

 Lucas: PM’s attitude to green levies shows his contempt for the most 

Commenting on reports that the Prime Minister has dismissed fuel bill 
 levies that fund energy efficiency measures, as “green crap”, Caroline 
 Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:

 “These levies include funding for energy efficiency measures which help 
 low income households cope with soaring energy prices.

 “Whatever language the Prime Minister has used to describe them, his 
 determination to roll them back says everything about his contempt for 
 the most vulnerable, and his lack of interest in serious action to 
 tackle climate change, or to bring down fuel prices in the long term

 “By focusing the debate on green levies, which represent only a 
 fraction of energy bills, the Government is obscuring the real reason 
 for rising costs – which is the increasing wholesale price of gas, and 
 the profits of the Big Six energy companies.

 “If the Prime Minister really wanted to help families with their fuel 
 bills, he’d be investing in a major energy efficiency programme to 
 super-insulate the country’s housing stock. This would bring nine out 
 of ten homes out of fuel poverty, quadruple carbon savings, and create 
 up to 200,000 jobs.”


Fracking: neither cheap nor safe

Frontline article by Ken Montague (reproduced with permission from

The growing resistance to fracking – the “hydraulic fracturing” of deep level shale rocks to extract natural gas – promises to reignite the climate movement after years of demoralisation following the failure of the UN climate talks in 2009.
A feature of the recent march and blockades at Cuadrilla Resources’ drilling site near Balcombe in West Sussex was the diversity of the people involved, as well as the numbers. Local residents were central to the protests, as they have been at Fylde, near Blackpool, where two Cuadrilla fracking operations led to minor earthquakes.
Today there are 45 anti-fracking groups around the country preparing to take action when further licences are issued. Given that 64 percent of England sits above shale gas and oil deposits, and their commercial exploitation could mean thousands of fracking sites, the protests are likely to increase and erupt into a full-scale war of attrition against the Cameron government and its dash for gas.
What has made fracking such an explosive issue is the evidence after 20 years of drilling in the US that the process is inherently unsafe. This is due to the uncontrolled leakage of methane into the air and groundwater, and the possible risks to health of the chemical additives in the fracking fluid used to prize the rocks open. Methane is a neurotoxin, which can cause early-onset dementia. The mix of additives, which in America has found its way into drinking water, includes chemicals that are known to be toxic or carcinogenic.
The British government says that fracking will only be permitted under strict regulation. But this ignores the fact that we do not have the technology to ensure that the cement barriers encasing the drilling shafts can withstand the pressures involved or that gas can be prevented from escaping from the pipelines and processing units.
Studies in the US showed that in 45 percent of cases the barriers failed at some point in the process and 5 percent of rigs leaked from the start.
The other, broader, issue is the government’s intention to make gas a “core part” of Britain’s energy mix “well into and beyond” 2030. This flies in the face of the warnings by many authorities that, with the unabated burning of fossil fuels, the world is on course for an unthinkable temperature increase of 4 to 6 degrees above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.
A recent report by Lord Stern and the Carbon Tracker think-tank made it clear that, if we are to have any chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change, we have to switch to renewables now, and leave 80 percent of coal, gas and oil reserves “in the ground”.
Last year the government’s decision to cut investment in renewables and make Britain “even more attractive” for the oil and gas companies provoked an angry letter from its independent Committee on Climate Change stating categorically that gas-fired power generation “could not form the basis for government policy” if it was to meet its carbon reduction targets.
Of course there are apologists for fracking who argue that gas can be a “transitional” fuel because it emits only 50 percent of the CO2 emitted by coal. In a recent speech on climate change, US president Barack Obama even referred to it as “clean” energy. This overlooks the effect of the leakage of methane, which is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
For natural gas to be cleaner than coal, methane emissions would need to be kept below 2 percent of annual production, but recent studies by the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration at gas fields in California, Colorado and Utah found that leakages ranged between 2.3 percent and 17 percent of production.
As well as giving tax breaks to the fracking companies and cash sweeteners to local communities, the government tries to sell us fracking by saying it will offer unlimited cheap energy and create thousands of jobs.
The Committee on Climate Change, however, has shown that extracting gas is actually more costly than installing renewables and even Cuadrilla admits that the impact on fuel bills would be negligible.
Leaving aside Green MP Caroline Lucas’s comment that “there are no jobs on a dead planet”, there is clear evidence that renewables generate more jobs than fossil fuel industries. A study by the University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute suggests that a million dollars invested in gas would create five jobs while the same amount invested in wind and solar power would create around 13 jobs. This is the kind of argument behind the growing campaign in Britain for a million climate jobs.
Fracking for gas is not safe, not clean, not cheap, and nor the best way to create jobs or to tackle climate change. Nonetheless, Lord John Browne, the government’s chief adviser on the subject, says it’s the way forward. He should know; he is chairman and 30 percent owner of Cuadrilla.
Ken Montague is the secretary of the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group

Brent FoE/CCC Anti-Fracking demo at Willesden Green

IMG_0138 IMG_0141


Brent Friends of the Earth’s protest against fracking outside Willesden Green station garnered support from many residents who were opposed to the environment damaging process. Brent Council didn’t quite get the purpose of the protest, stating deadpan that there were no plans to frack in Willesden Green and that clay was an unsuitable fracking medium.

The campaign is aimed at increasing awareness of the issue and getting politicians across London, councillors, Assembly members and MPs,  to commit themselves to oppose fracking.  Campaigners heard that one local councillor had received 50 emails on the day that the protest had been announced.

Despite the Council’s statement, there are fracking possibilities nearby: Barnet Friends of the Earth are campaigning about a possible site in Edgware. The process uses huge amounts of water and areas of high population need all the water they can get. They also need clean water and fracking threatens to contaminate our supplies. The water table does not stop at borough borders.

(reprinted with permission from thanks to Martin Francis).




Electric House, 296 Willesden Lane, London, NW2 5HW



*Chrysalis exhibition now running till 28/6/13

BAR Opening times

Monday – Sunday 2-6PM

*EH Opening times

Monday 10-8PM

Tuesday – Thursday 9-8PM

Friday 9 – 6PM

Saturday 9 – 6PM

Sunday 12 – 6PM

Would you like to become a BAR member? Just send us an email and say hello…

BAR – Brent Artist’s Resource is an artist led voluntary organization founded in 1984. We aim to: serve the cultural needs of the people of Brent and North West London, provide a supportive environment for artists in their professional development, create opportunities to participate in the Visual Arts through exhibitions, workshops, mentoring schemes and information

Transition Willesden Talking Energy : Making it Green

Hi all, Our next public meeting is a talk about Energy. 

Talking Energy : Making it GREEN 

Electric House in Willesden 

296 Willesden Lane, NW2 

We are delighted to welcome 

Akta Raja from Green Tomato Energy and Jon Cowdrill from Joju Solar 

They will talk about how best to save energy within your home, the challenges of retrofitting existing buildings to become highly energy efficient, and the inside story on Solar power. 

We’re going to combine it with our AGM, so you will have a chance to briefly hear about other things that we have been involved in this year.

Hope to see you there!




Threat to part of Barnet’s original “Brent Cross, Cricklewood and West Hendon Development Framework

The “Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Development” would like to draw your attention – URGENTLY! – to this threat to part of Barnet’s original “Brent Cross, Cricklewood and West Hendon Development Framework” area. 

(That Framework is the one that estimates over 29,000 extra cars every day in the area, which is what prompted us to promote a possible DLR light-rail solution, east-west across outer north London.) 

 The northern part of the Framework area, West Hendon, is alongside the Site of Special Scientific Interest, the Welsh Harp. 

The West Hendon estate needs rebuilding, but project after project has collapsed over the years. The latest one is to include several high-rise blocks of flats, up to 29 storeys, only 20 metres from the edge of the SSSI ! 

Here is an article in the “Barnet Press” this week:

and to OPPOSE the planning application. 

You will see the arguments on the web site, including a detailed document in the right-hand column, submitted by Brent Council to Barnet. 

After reading the detailed case, please use the information there to make a submission to Barnet Council, to OPPOSE the planning application. 

(Quote the application number, and your name and address, and use whatever arguments you feel are most appropriate.) 

Consultation closes very shortly – you need to submit your opposition by Monday evening, 13 May, to Barnet Council !  


 Please forward this email, as much as possible, as quickly as possible! 

At 9am on Tuesday the Barnet planning department will end the consultation on their West Hendon development plans at Welsh Harp. If you have not already responded to the planning application you can still email your objections


Here is a pro-forma letter as promised if you want to object. All you have to do is add your name to the letter and send in by email, or you can add your own views.  

At 11am on Monday various groups from Brent and Barnet are handing in petitions at Hendon Town Hall.

The local media will be there so we need a good turnout. Join us there and help us make some noise!

Please delete this message before forwarding the letter below 

Dear Mr Wyld, 

I am writing in response to planning application H/01054/13. I specifically object on the following grounds: 

1. Tall Buildings 

The height of the buildings in this planning application is not in fitting with planning rules outlined in Barnet’s core strategy or the Mayor of London’s London Plan. 

The Barnet Core Strategy 

The West Hendon development plans would see buildings of up to 29 storeys. The Barnet’s core strategy CS5 designates the proposed site as suitable for buildings 8-20 storeys high, not 29 storeys.  

The London Plan 

Section 7.7e of the London Plan says “The impact of tall buildings proposed in sensitive locations should be given particular consideration.” 

Section 7.7d says tall buildings must not “affect their surroundings adversely in terms of microclimate, wind turbulence, overshadowing, noise, reflected glare, aviation, navigation and telecommunication interference” and “should not impact on local or strategic views adversely”. 

Section 7.8e of the London Plan says “New development should make provision for the protection of archaeological resources, landscapes and significant memorials.” 

2. Nature & Wildlife

I am concerned about the impact of this development on the Welsh Harp’s unique wildlife and nature for the following reasons: 

  • The Welsh Harp is home to the country’s largest breeding group of great crested grebe and significant numbers of waterfowl. The plan does not give serious consideration to the impact on its wildlife.
  • The proposed buildings would be much closer to the water’s edge than the current development.
  • The proposed footbridges crossing the reservoir and SSSI are likely to cause disturbance to the wildlife by users.
  • The impact of the development on bats caused by the felling of trees as well as the additional lighting from the development. 

3. Infrastructure 

The building of 2,000 properties would require significant enhancements to infrastructure to cope with demand. 

  1. Health services – GP services are already stretched to the limit. The plan makes no mention of additional health services to meet the needs of the increased population.
  2. Schools – One additional 2 form primary school as mentioned in the plan will not be adequate to deal with the education needs of this many people.
  3. Roads – The transport infrastructure will struggle to cope; the substantial volume of extra traffic could bring Cool Oak Lane to a daily standstill.




The global food and climate crisis comes home to Brent

photo Shahrar Ali
from by Martin Francis (see also report by Ken Montague below)

There was a good turn-out for the community briefing on climate change and its impact last night thanks to the hard work of organisers Lia Colacicco of Brent Friends of the Earth and Ken Montague of the Brent Campaign Against Climate Change.Introducing the meeting I spoke about the recent death of Jeff Bartley who as a Brent council officer championing the environmental cause had worked with many in the audience. I said that the best tribute we could pay him would be positive actions arising from our discussion. The meeting was partly a factual briefing but also  the beginning of a discussion to formulate a community response to the crisis.As I was chairing I was unable to take copious notes but a detailed record of the meeting will be available at a later date.  However I can tell you that the illustrated review by Phil Thornhill (National coordinator of the Campaign Against Climate Change), of the latest scientific evidence of the shrinking of the Arctic ice cap, by area and by volume, brought home vividly the urgency of the situation and the upcoming climate catastrophe that it represents.

Phil  explained that the effect of the melting ice was to change the temperature gradient in the northern oceans which in turn was reducing the power of the jet stream. Severe droughts in Russia in 2011 and the USA this year, and recurring floods in Pakistan, were due to the jet stream becoming more sluggish and erratic.
He warned that Arctic sea ice will have completely disappeared in the summer months by 2016, which was the clearest evidence of rapid man-made climate change. The result would be an increasing number of severe weather events, affecting the price and quality of food around the world.

We are rightly so involved in the immediate crisis regarding the economy and the attacks on the welfare state that it is sometimes difficult to also keep a focus on this danger facing humanity.  However the climate crisis will  impact on the global economy as well as the local one, cause international conflict over food and water resources, create great movements of populations and in the process raise issues of social justice. Anger over rising food prices contributed to the social unrest behind the Arab Spring and failing harvests will increase the pressure on the world food market.

Kirtana Chandrasekaran, Food Sovereignty Programme Co-coordinator of Friends of the Earth International spoke about food supplies in the context of climate change.

She started with the startling fact that 1 billion of the world population is hungry while another 1 billion is obese.  It was estimated that 3 – 5 million people a year were dying as a result, and since 2008 two hundred million people had been pushed into hunger. She said it was not so much a question of there being a lack of food but the way it is produced and how it is distributed being the problem. 70% of the grain produced is used to feed animals.

Each spike in food prices puts millions more people into hunger.  She said that the evidence so far is that in temperate countries the impact of global warming may not be very extreme but in tropical countries it may cut crop yields by 30-50%.  

Agriculture, including emissions and deforestation accounts for  30-50% of global warming. Kirtana pointed to large scale industrial agriculture and its link with oil – in essence it converts oil into food and the rising  price of food closely matches that of oil. US farms use 5 times more energy to produce a kilo of grain than farmers in Africa. Kirtana gave the example of the food /emissions chain where grain grown in South America is shipped to Europe, fed to animals, which then excrete methane into the atmosphere.

What was needed was ‘agricology’ where ecological principles are applied to growing food. Rebuilding the soil and organic methods can ‘lock’ carbon into the soil. Potentially 70% of climate change mitigation, including a reduction in intensive industrial cattle rearing, livestock diversity and reduced meat diet could be achieved through agricultural change. Kirtana pointed out the absurdity of the fact that we exported almost exactly the same quantities of chicken breasts and milk as we import.

Local food growing and more food growing spaces in cities could contribute to a more sustainable agricological agriculture even here in Brent.

Kirtana concluded by saying that these measures were possible and in a way injected a degree of optimism into the discussion. She was at pains to say that she was not advocating vegetarianism or denying people emerging from poverty the right to desire meat, but that an all round reduction in meeting would both help mitigate climate change and also help those in the west  have healthier lives. Research by Oxford University’s Health Promotion group of FoE found that eating meat no more than three times a week would save 45,000 lives a year.

In the ensuing discussion Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt spoke about some of the measures that Brent Council had taken and the council’s eagerness to do more  at a local level (a local Brent currency like the Brixton Pound was mentioned) and asked for ideas to be sent to the council.. Ken Montague talked about how the year on year rise in food prices since 2007  had created a health crisis for the poor who were no longer able to eat healthily.

Brian Orr of Brent Green Party and the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, drew attention to the seriousness of the global climate crisis and accused politicians of an ‘abysmal’ failure to rise to the challenge and suggested, with the example for the recent US presidential election,  that they were frightened to reveal to the public the true extent of the threat.

Viv Stein told the audience about the work of Transition Willesden in encouraging local shops,local  food growing including demonstration allotments at Kilburn Station, and harvesting of otherwise unwanted fruit. Lia Colacicco spoke about her work with residents encouraging environmental action not through Facebook or Twitter but by face to face contact and joint work  with friends and neighbours in the local area. Tariq Dar from the Pakistan Community Centre said that they were involved in a joint project with the London Sustainability Exchange. Tim Danby of Marley Walks Residents Association spoke about the positive fact that this meeting was attended by the most diverse audience of any that had been to a climate change in Brent. 

The meeting concluded with calls to support the National Demonstration Against Climate Change ‘Get fractious’ march on December 1st  LINK which would include the erection of a fracking rig  Downing Street to demonstrate how dependency on oil was bringing about increasingly dangerous and damaging oil extraction methods which would continue to build up the emissions contributing to made-made climate change.

The threads that emerged: work with residents, work with schools, transition, food growing, council action and lobbies of politicians at a national level have the potential to be woven into quite a strong strategy. The December 1st  march, the Schools’ Climate Conference and Competition due to take place in  March  2013 and Parliamentary lobby in June seem well placed milestones for the next few months. Another meeting will be held in January 2013 to move things forward.

I think Jeff would have been pleased. 



 The following is a report on the community briefing meeting held by Brent Friends of the Earth and Brent Campaign against Climate Change at the Pakistan Community Centre, Willesden Green, on 21 November. It is written in response to requests by local MP’s and councillors who were unable to attend, but is also for general circulation.

 The purpose of the meeting was to brief councillors and community leaders on the latest scientific evidence of climate change and its possible effects for people in Brent. It was also intended to initiate a discussion on formulating a community response to the crisis. Forty people attended, including Cllr. Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council.

 The speakers were Phil Thornhill, National Co-ordinator of Campaign against Climate Change, who gave an illustrated talk on the melting of the Arctic ice cap and its possible effect on world weather systems, and Kirtana Chandrasekaran, Food Sovereignty Programme Co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth International, who spoke on food insecurity, food price increases, and water stress due to climate change. Both speakers made specific reference to areas of the world of particular concern to members of the Brent community.

 The meeting was chaired by Martin Francis, chair of Brent Campaign against Climate. He began by paying tribute to Jeff Bartley, the Brent Environmental Projects Manager, who has died following a short illness. It was agreed that the meeting would be dedicated to Jeff’s memory in appreciation of his commitment to fighting climate change.

 The Arctic Meltdown and Its Possible Effects

 Phil Thornhill outlined the current scientific research by Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University on the rapid depletion of the Arctic ice cap. Eighty per cent of the volume of Arctic ice had disappeared between 1979 and September 2012 and it is predicted that there will be no sea ice in the Arctic in the summer months by 2016. Professor Wadhams has suggested that the effect on climate change was likely to be equivalent to 20 years of man-made emissions. There was also evidence that the Greenland Ice Field was melting.

 Phil stressed that this was the most visible evidence of the rapid advance of man-made climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions. He explained that the immediate effect of the melting of Arctic ice was to change the temperature gradient in the northern oceans which in turn was reducing the power of the jet stream. Severe droughts in Russia in 2011 and the USA this year, recurring floods in Pakistan, and extreme weather variations in Britain were due to the jet stream becoming more sluggish and erratic. Extreme weather events are likely to adversely affect the price and quality of food around the world.

 He also referred to the melting of the permafrost and the disruption of deep-ocean methane hydrates which were resulting in plumes of methane bursting into the atmosphere.

 The Effect of Climate Change on Food Security

 Kirtana Chandrasekaran began by outlining some of the general issues of food scarcity, food waste, and environmental pollution due to our current methods of food production and distribution. Agriculture, including emissions and deforestation, accounts for 30 – 50% of global warming and US farms use 5 times more energy to produce a kilo of grain than farmers in Africa.

 These problems were being exacerbated by droughts and floods arising from climate change and in tropical countries crop yields may be reduced by 30% – 50%. It was estimated that 3 – 5 million people a year were dying as a result, and since 2008 two hundred million people had been pushed into hunger. Tens of thousands of animals have been slaughtered because farmers can no longer afford the high price of animal feed.

 Potentially, by applying “agricological” principles, including a reduction in intensive industrial cattle rearing, livestock diversity and a reduced meat diet, agriculture could contribute as much as 70% to the mitigation of climate change. Local food growing and more food growing spaces in cities, could also make a significant contribution. Research by Oxford University’s Health Promotion Group of Friends of the Earth had found that eating meat no more than three times a week would save 45,000 lives a year as well as helping to reduce emissions.

Contributions from the Floor

In the ensuing discussion Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt spoke about some of the measures that the Council had taken and its eagerness to do more at a local level. He asked for ideas to be sent to the council.

Brian Orr of Brent Green Party and the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, drew attention to the seriousness of the global climate crisis and accused politicians of an “abysmal” failure to rise to the challenge and suggested, with the example of the recent US presidential election, that they were frightened to reveal to the public the true extent of the threat. Ken Montague of the Socialist Workers Party said that the 4.9% year-on-year rise in food prices since 2007 was creating a health crisis for poor families in Britain, who were turning to cheaper and more filling, but less healthy, food.

Viv Stein told the audience about the work of Transition Willesden in encouraging local shops, and local food growing, including demonstration allotments at Kilburn Station and harvesting of otherwise unwanted fruit. Lia Colacicco spoke about her work with residents encouraging environmental action not through Facebook or Twitter but by face to face contact and joint work with friends and neighbours in the local area.

 Tariq Dar from the Pakistan Community Centre said that they were involved in a joint project with the London Sustainability Exchange. Tim Danby of Marley Walks Residents Association spoke about the positive fact that this meeting was attended by the most diverse audience of any that had been to a climate change meeting in Brent.
Proposals for a Community Response

 Speaking on behalf of the organisers of the meeting, Ken Montague, Secretary of Brent Campaign against Climate Change, put forward three proposals for developing a community response to help mitigate climate change:

 In order to convey the seriousness of the situation to the wider community he asked representatives of local organisations to invite speakers from Brent FoE or Brent CaCC to speak at their meetings. He specifically urged members of trade union branches to invite him to speak about the trade union backed campaign for a million climate jobs.

Brent FoE and Brent CaCC were holding a joint meeting on 8th January to start developing a programme of proposals to put to Brent Council. He welcomed Cllr. Butt’s invitation to put forward ideas and asked representatives of local organisations, and especially councillors themselves, to contribute to this discussion.

In the present climate of budget cuts the Council was limited in what it could do. It was therefore essential to take the argument to central government, especially at a time when emissions targets for 2030 were under review. He urged Brent Council to work with FoE and CaCC in drafting a “Statement of Concern” to be presented to MP’s, Ministers and the Secretary of State as part of a national lobby of Parliament planned for the summer.

Responses to this report should be e-mailed to for consideration by Brent Friends of the Earth and Brent Campaign against Climate Change as a basis for discussions with Brent Council.


Community briefing meeting on 21 November: depletion of the Arctic ice cap

We are writing to ask you to be one of our “invited listeners” for an important community briefing meeting on 21 November.

The purpose of the meeting is to brief councillors, policy-makers, trade unionists, and community leaders on the seriousness of the situation with the depletion of the Arctic ice cap and its possible consequences for people in Brent.

The speakers will be: · Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change, who will review the latest scientific evidence of the depletion of Arctic ice and its possible effect on the world’s weather systems ·

Kirtana Chandrasekaran of Friends of the Earth, who will talk about the vulnerability of the world’s food supply

They will also answer any of your questions and open a discussion on what further action we should be taking in Brent.

As you may know, recent reports show that the mass of Arctic ice is 30% of what it was in 1980 and that there will be no Arctic sea ice in the summer months by 2016. This is likely to have a serious impact on world weather patterns, affecting the price of food internationally and increasing the vulnerability of regions of the world already prone to droughts and floods.

Some of these regions will be those in which members of the Brent community have family and friends. We believe that the seriousness of the situation means that we have to assist Brent Council to develop a community response both in terms of measures we can take locally and by way of raising our concerns with our representatives in Parliament.

The meeting will start at 7.30pm on 21 November at the Pakistan Community Centre, Marley Walk, Station Parade, Willesden Green, NW2 4PU (just behind Willesden Green tube station).

We do hope you will find time to come along.

Yours sincerely

Lia Colacicco, Co-ordinator, BrentF riends of the Earth, and member of Brent Climate Change Steering Group

Ken Montague, Secretary, Brent Campaign against Climate Change

Tariq Dar, Chairman, Pakistan Community Centre, Willesden

Open Steering Group Meeting: Climate Emergency and the Arctic Meltdown

Open Steering Group Meeting 

Main agenda item: Climate Emergency and the Arctic Meltdown. Speaker – Phil Thornhill, National Co-ordinator, Campaign against Climate Change

Tuesday 23 October, 7.30pm, Brent Trades and Labour Hall (Apollo Club), 375 High Road, Willesden, NW10 2JR

Dear Friend – 

The next meeting of the steering group of Brent Campaign against Climate Change is open to anyone who wants to find out more about the current situation with global warming and our activities locally as a campaign group. Could I invite you to join us on 23rd October and ask you to pass on this e-mail to any of your friends and contacts, or members of your organisation, who might be interested in coming along. 

Over the last few years the occurrence of droughts and floods in many parts of the world, including here in Britain, have pushed up food prices and posed even greater dangers for some of the world’s poorest people. They suggest that man-made climate change is already something that affects us all, whatever our social background and cultural or religious beliefs. This situation will get worse unless we work together to press the people in power to take the necessary steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels as a matter of urgency.  

Brent Campaign against Climate Change is the local group of the national Campaign against Climate Change. It works to raise public awareness on these issues and lobbies for practical measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our steering group is made up of representatives of different community and faith groups, trade unions and political parties, as well as concerned individuals. We want to increase its representation so that it reflects the whole of the Brent community and is able to operate even more effectively. 

If you are able to come along to this meeting, the details are below and in the attached flier, which we hope you will display on notice boards. A map and directions are also attached. If you can’t make it this time, please let me know if you’d like to receive further information. If you are member of community organisation, political party, faith group or trade union branch, we would be very happy to send along a speaker to one of your meetings. Please try to get us invited. 

 I hope to hear from you, or possibly see you on 23 October.

With best wishes, 

Ken Montague, Secretary: Brent Campaign against Climate Change



Campaign against Climate Change



+ take the message to the Lib Dems see here

Public Meeting Wednesday 26th September 
At 7.00 pm – Venue tba (see subsequent emails or
With Professor Peter Wadhams,  Head of the Polar Oceans Physics Group at Cambridge University

Organised by the Campaign against Climate Change with the Arctic Methane Emergency Group

The Arctic ice cap is disappearing before our eyes: this is the first large scale unmistakable impact of climate change, clearly visible from space.

The arctic sea-ice broke an all time record for lowest ever extent on Friday 24th August (after breaking several other records according to other methodologies of measurement by other scientific institutions etc…).  This was a bombshell because it was nearly a month before you would expect the ice to reach its seasonal minimum – it is still decreasing now and we can expect it to continue decreasing until around mid September. (so we should probably have a good idea of the absolute minimum by the time of this meeting).


What does this mean for our estimates of when the arctic will be completely ice-free at the end of the summer ?


What will be the consequences when this happens ?

How will it effect the arctic biosphere, its animals its indigenous people ?

More to the point how will it effect the rest of the world, global weather patterns (see eg here) and the agriculture and food supplies dependent on those ?

What about the melting of the permafrost? How fast will that happen and how much will that accelerate global warming ?

What about the methane hydrates under the arctic ocean. How suddenly might they be released ? Are we looking at apocalypse tomorrow ?

Professor Wadhams is a leading expert on sea ice. Whilst the forecasts of the IPCC for instance have been left well behind he has been at the forefront of those in the scientific community predicting a rapid disappearance of arctic sea ice. In his own words :

“For 40 years I have been measuring sea ice thickness in the Arctic from UK submarines. I first detected substantial thinning in 1990, and since the most recent submarine voyage in 2007 I have been warning that the combination of sea ice retreat and a massive amount of thinning will lead to the disappearance of the summer sea ice by as early as 2015. Despite the fact that this is a simple extrapolation of a clear and measured trend I have been vilified by scientific colleagues for making such a seemingly radical prediction. I am pleased to see these same colleagues now jumping on the bandwagon and supporting my prediction”

Come to this meeting to find out how significant what we are now seeing really is – and what the future might hold.


Take the Arctic Meltdown message to the Lib-Dem Conference

Sunday 23rd September

We have a plan afoot to take the message – plus a metre high iceberg – down to the Lib Dem conference in Brighton, to remind them  of the urgency of standing up to the Tories over climate change. More details in subsequent emails and at

Sponsor an Iceberg !

But to do this we have to pay for the ice etc…. which last time cost around £ 400.  If 40 people give £ 10, for instance we could pay for it…

So can’t make the demo ? Why not sponsor the iceberg…which will be used to take the message to the Lib-Dems.

You can do the old fashioned thing and send us a cheque (see address on website), or email us at and, eg, we can send bank details for you to put it sraight into our account……

Or you can just click here to help ‘sponsor an iceberg’  via paypal ………………

Many thanks !


Without our supporters, there would be no campaign. Please make a donation today and help us reachTarget Ten Thousand.

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