Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The first 69 and not the most enjoyable you might have participated in...but this is an emergency!

100 Actionable Measures
1) For actions to happen they have to be in line with the law. There is a law outlined called Ecocide and it is accepted in some countries, where companies can be prosecuted for wilfully destroying or polluting areas.

2) Like a firm but friendly bouncer managing a door, give destructive industries instructions and a fixed time to leave.

3) Referendum on climate action and ask what people are prepared to do.

4) Incentivize changes in farming and self employed

5) If farmers go 100% organic, stop using fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, antibiotics and intensive accommodation for animals, they will not only command twice the price for their produce but also will be compensated for crop failures during transition.

6) Educate and excite people about the brown bin.  Make it accountable and free.

7) Educate regarding: The word ‘Organic’ means a) Is natural and will biodegrade. Organic also means without trace chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers etc.

7) Pay for useful material: 

8) Ban one use plastics – things like pasta and coffee producers will be forced to make biodegradable packaging.

9) Demand that supermarkets analyse their stock and present a commitment to eliminating plastic packaging.  

10) Educate the public via programmes/broadcasts and videos on where plastic waste ends up, in forests and oceans and the micro plastics in our bodies and how it doesn’t break down. 

11) Support industrious entrepreneurs who can recycle plastics with a low toxicity process.

12) Support entrepreneurs who can de-salinze water and make it drinkable.

13) Accountability: Leave nothing to the experts: Facilitate total transparency as to what is in mains water and water scheme water by requiring reports on animal waste run-off, pesticide and fertilizer run-off, industry spillage, acid rain and other pollutants, to increase the standard and response time. 

14)  Discuss, nationally, exporting water…rather than gas, oil, wind, water, beef, dairy – whey, casein, veal and pigs. Nobody else in Europe has water. They are laying pipes where river were, to carry water to cities. The surrounding banks and valleys are become barren rather than lash. See the parallel with the piping of water from the Shannon to Dublin. 

15) Sponsor inventories of what chemicals are on our fruit and vegetables.

16) Sponsor inventories  on what antibiotics are in our meat – so many calves taken too young and sustained on antibiotics as they didn’t even get the colostrum to build their immune systems before being taken from the cows.

17) Ask the people via the referendum if they are comfortable with live export.

18) Cows bred to produce 70 litres a day rather than 10 litres a day suffer during power cuts and droughts as they can get no relief.

19) Eliminate the contradictions: First, if you want biodiversity, you want the national emblem of the hare and not the licenses granted to trap it all year round for autumn coursing. It is protected and yet it is hu

20) Balance the kick-back by subtly offering people who seek to book their coursing tickets, say, a €1 bet on the national lottery or something/anything  less barbaric .

21) Fertilizer dries out the ground, leaves its natural fertility bereft with synthetic interventions. Publicize the Californian Gold Belt that that is now nearly a desert with over-worked ground, synthetic fertilizers and gmo crops that have put the local residents in a state of asthmatic fear.

22) Public health, Boots. There is nothing in Boots that has a leaping rabbit on it therefore there is nothing that is not tested on animals. That is not what people in Ireland want any more.

23) Public health,  vegetables. Potatoes that are not organic are sprayed up to 30 times with pesticides. That is a lot of residue. You need to assess how much chemical residue there is in and on all supermarket food. There is a legal maximum and everything and everyone has shot past it. 

24) Encourage people to grow their own food and share the things that work well for them. Food sovereignty consists of buying food from local sources and at least from Ireland. We have a great opportunity as we still have a clement climate and still enough water.   

25) Stipulate that people should save their ‘grey water’, redirecting their guttering down pipes to water butts and reserves. Their gutter water could happily flush toilets and water gardens all through the year.

26) Raise the appreciation for what we have. Not by charging carbon emissions or fuel consumption but by educating: Why do we love trees?! Why do we love worms?!

27) Address the fear. Like when you wrote to me, make a series of statements. Says you welcome efforts and suggestions.  State that you support renewable energy and 

28) Environmentally led tax breaks.

29) Food security tax breaks

30) Food sovereignty tax breaks

31) Self sufficiency tax breaks.

32) Correct second contradiction: food giants serve exclusively pesticide-ridden products, often with not one organic or ethically produced item in half an acre of shelves and they get tax breaks as food providers. 
Organic producers who are required to label and get certification for every practice and stretch of land they use. They want to use un-dyed paper bags but must use copious plastic to identify their sources. They should not be taxed at all but allowed to keep any euro profit they make as it is such hard work. Give incentives like 3 weeks holiday money (like the 180 income support) and co ordinate a bank of farm helpers so organic producers can get away.

33) Shops should provide a well-marked and promoted section: “Local” “Organic”or “Irish” and “Not sprayed” as a provisional way to promote farmer’s transition to organic practice. (They can’t get organic certification until their land is 6 years without chemical use)

34 ) Educate people: A simple booklet on how pesticides incapacitate four of the digestive enzymes and how they are carcinogenic, with one in every two people in Ireland developing cancer.

35) Contradiction three: Explain how sugar accelerates cancers and how the many problems of conventional treatments are made worse by patients being given sweets to cheer them up after chemotherapy.

36) Promote the simple personal changes alongside a national shift to Irish food. Not simply the Green label though. At the moment, there is no qualitative aspect to buying green. Yes it was grown here but the food is grown using the same poisons. 

37) Proper food for hospitals, schools and other residential settings. Organic food, no salt (dehydrating for kidney patients), sugar (addictive, feeds cancer cells and weight gain), meat (takes years for the body to break down and from animals raised in dubious welfare conditions, eggs that lead to an overload of protein, milk or extracted dairy proteins.
Organizations and individuals may say that they can’t afford to buy organic ingredients but if they set the same budget as the previous year, caterers can work within in. It is not an argument that not enough chefs know how to produce a balanced healthy diet to avoid food intolerances; I know, for example 10 kilkenny-based chefs well able to feed a hospital, school, hotel or anywhere that needs a great amount of meals delivered.

38) Address geo-engineering. There is plenty of photographic evidence of chem’ trailing over county Kilkenny and other counties. First look up the ingredients of chemicals intentionally sprayed by planes, in a supposed attempt to block sunlight. Look at records of the toxicity to air, soil and local residents too. Find out and stop it.

39) Address rural transport. One simple solution would be to open school buses to the public. As soon as a youth leaves school there is no way for them to get into the village/town/city for work. Many retired people could spend one day a week, doing their bank, post office and shopping etc and be sure of a lift home. Yes, there might need to be a garda-vetted supervisor on the bus because today’s world is what it is but any parent, local worker or teacher would do. These buses are and bigger buses could be going down every road, morning and evening and that’s what’s needed. Ring a link is doing a bit but is not enough.  

40) Transport. Electric car grants are only open to corporations and not even to medium sized businesses. Make them affordable.

41) Photo voltaic solar panel grants do not cover costs, providers just added the grant amount. Make them affordable. This could be with simple tax incentive. Eg if a company has provided 300 homes with renewable energy, each within the figure of the individual grant paid then they don’t pay tax on that income.  Try and cut through the idea of fleecing everyone at every turn.

42) The whole of Parliament Street is empty. Owners were offered 40,000 euro LOAN to get them up to new fire safety standards. This was work that would cost them at least 75,000 to do. Any rent for the rest of time would be paid by HAP tenants straight to the council, paying back that loan. Therefore the last tenant had to move out 18 months ago and now they are all derelict apart from maybe one lady, home owner above the hairdresser’s, next to what was Hughes auctioneers.

43) Make all actions have a pay off for the people.  The council planning department could agree and renovate all the upstairs apartments and fit them with renewable energy source and provide central housing for lots of tenants. Don’t make landlords pay for the work that will cost these older people (most home owners in the city are quite senior now) a whole new mortgage equivalent. You could insist that the rent they charge, after the work is completed, be capped at 450 euro a month, so working couples or even HAP recipients can benefit from the new accommodation created.  

44) Iron out inner contradictions within the use of public money. Like the HAP begging landlords to keep tenants while tenants are being threatened with court if they do not evict tenants until work their department considers necessary is done. 

45) Offer small incentives for house owners and tenants who maintain a pollinator-friendly garden or produce food. Even something small like 35 euro on July to those who have evidence of looking after their garden/land for air quality and biodiversity.

46) Incentivize community gardens at industrial estates and companies. Sell it as staff well being and productivity increased by managing plants or a section of land or being resourceful or letting off steam digging, all get included in individual or company level recognition. 

47) Audit or internal monitoring of business’ environmental impact. 

48) Tender for high level innovations like a safe, plastic recycling plant and products. Aim high, it can be administered by Repak but a plant and products and process to which we can direct all existing plastic on land, in circulation and in the Irish Sea: like building blocks or whatever young scientists come up with. 

49) Ban the production of plastic. Refuse planning permission for further PET plants (plastic bottling and packaging production). Make Ireland the first to decide that we will create no more and import no more plastic. 

50) Start think tanks on every topic. There is a win/win answer to every problem, even climate change. For example, I knew of the problem of public transport as experienced first hand the cancellation of the crucial bus linking Kilkenny City to the IT Carlow. One sentence to the founder of Community Gardens Ireland ‘Can you think of any solution at all to the lack of rural transport when communities don’t know each other any more? She shared, at once, the idea of opening school buses to the public. 

51) Introduce cooking and nutrition to schools, based on what we will have. Foods grown in Ireland: Plant based protein sources and non-dairy milks like organic oat milk, easily made here.

52) Publicly counter the prejudice against health foods, vegans and organic growers. They will be the main bank of knowledge to effect social change. re are hopefYou will need them to show how things can be done. 

53) Sponsor nut orchards of native hazel, cob and black walnut.

54) Find out what farms and what land has produced what crops. Ask those farmers what they would need to produce without chemicals. Don’t make them compete with products from warmer climates. Total food sovereignty and independence can be prepared for and is then possible.

55) Ask livestock farmers what they would need to convert to arable crops. 

56) Invite tenders for the repurposing of machinery and sheds, here or abroad. Renumerate and support  a compulsory shift to stop breeding.

57) Phase out intensive farming (some cows producing 70 litres a day rather than 10) (some hens producing 1 egg a day rather than one a month), slaughter houses only semi stunning thousands of animals before killing them for food. It’s a cycle we can stop that would curb the untreated waste from so farmed animals and the chemically grown and gmo feeds they’re now depending on. Many farmers I have worked with are still paying off their fee bills from two winters ago and last winter. It is an industry that is unsupportable and one day, I suspect, will be remembered as unforgivable.

58) Close animal laboratories. 40% of all meat goes into animal feed.

59) Don’t accept the first renewable energy company that suggests something. The upright windmills are considered old technology. They are intolerable to live beside, disrupting the physiology of people, animals and wildlife and the digging of foundations deep enough to hold them. They are also ineffective in comparison to the horizontal dish technology.

60) Stop the gas lighting, where authorities suggest that we should pay for water to appreciate it while allowing Nestle to operate, allow Shell, Dell, Coca Cola etc and increasingly large farming operations to pollute it and allow companies to drill and frack and contaminate all the aquifers and ground water quarry. Engage each consumer but don’t say that climate change is the individual’s fault for not sorting their rubbish. There is a contradiction in permission granted to sonic blast the whole ocean off the west coast to map it for fossil fuels but only allow visits to the Skelligs 3 months of the year to protect it as national heritage. There is a contradiction in allowing Factory trawlers illegally fish thousands of tonnes over their quota and policing the shores to penalize local people who catch more than theirs or who sit by rivers and catch a salmon. In the King Scallop Festival of Valentia, they needed to import Donegal scallops. We need to be consistent and protect our water. 

61) Past keeps falling from your view. Work with the people rather than against, like ignoring contamination and extinction concerns over the river at the CAS building.  

62) Take out the clause in the tender process of organizations needing to have two equal-sized contracts already. It stops innovation, ethical practice, sustainable and unprecendented ideas being implemented. Only what has gone before can get in. Assign contracts on environmental merit and then support the projects with the necessary funds, financial advisors and administration.

63) Get the fluoride and chlorine out of our drinking water, mains and water schemes. We have the processes.

64) Insist on grey water systems being put in new builds, so that rain water is redirected for flushing toilets and washing up. 

65) Insist on chemical and phosphate-free detergents.

66) Teach basic horticulture and herbal medicine for immune support, to relieve dependence on pharmaceuticals.

67) Recognize that pharmaceutical companies are not participating in their communities at all.

68) Look at unleaded petrol, diesel and see if it’s viable

69) Gear further education away from old routes. Currently 500 new Fetac places are taken up in conventional pig farming, despite effluent, slurry, none of the 5 freedoms granted and tail biting and other behaviour and a necessary increase in the use of antibiotics to stem disease, getting less and less effective. This is compared to less than 50 studying  Horticulture. It is just considered more profitable and so accreditation is needed to support useful businesses.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Propose A climate Emergency Locally?! Yes!

Here is the motion that was passed:

“Acknowledging the findings of successive reports from the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the World Wildlife Fund 2018 Living Planet Report (LPR) that Kilkenny County Council declare a climate and biodiversity emergency for County Kilkenny.

We note that the Council has prepared to draft stage a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and encourage people to participate in the public consultation process so that it reflects to the maximum extent possible the views of people in County Kilkenny.

This strategy together with the Biodiversity Strategy (2018-2022) will form the basis on which we agree to work in an inclusive and collaborative manner with stakeholders and community groups and organisations to support local community based plans and initiatives to give effect to the actions required to address the climate and biodiversity challenge.”
Update: 17th June 2019 it was agreed at the council meeting!

Here is the letter sent to all elected and executive councillors

Dear ....

Thank you for considering the climate action proposal. It would be so exciting to make Kilkenny council and businesses a flagship for good practice. The big change is going to be that good environmental practice becomes more important than good financial practice. 97% of constituents are aware that we are on a course that will leave a nearly uninhabitable world for our children. It's not even a generation away that the unpredictable weather starts. We have already had one devastating drought and several storms that cut power and affected infrastructure.
If you stop growing and cleaning with chemicals and a humungous amount of water on production lines, we'll only need to rinse our vegetables in a minimalist bowl of water.

It is such a blessing that we have a council executive (I put in 'elected councillors' to the letters that went to the elected be diplomatic!) who can review and make changes that will protect the water and soil and benefit food security and productivity. If you  support the declaration of a climate emergency in Kilkenny, you are supporting farmers and businesses as you can then justify directing money towards supporting each organisation shift towards sustainable and organic methods.

Chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides in our waterways soil and food are bad for everyone. Jobseekers could be trained and utilised in managing the extra work created by not managing everything with machinery and chemicals.
If you stop spraying, we will learn to identify and monitor wild flowers and
distinguish beneficial insects from pests.

The council could also use their leverage to national and european level to make sure substances that we ban here are not allowed in subsequent imports, which put Irish producers at a market disadvantage.

If you ban pesticide-ridden produce, we will put spaces aside in our houses to
grow our own vegetables and salads. 

Eateries and hotels that offer organic and vegan options can be charged lower rates as their water footprint is so much lower. The instant broad stroke measure of banning take away coffee cups that do not breakdown would be a powerful statement that the public could buy into as well. At the Borris Literary Festival last week, every cup and utensil was compostable: Not needing a recycling facility that we might or might not have but literarily pop in the brown bin or on the compost heap. Compost creates more soil (more growing medium for crops and plants. If you spread all the soil around the earth there is only approximately one foot. That is the only living bit that we can depend on. If there is no soil there is no food). Kilkenny has more than its fair share and can make a big deal about protecting it.

If you read Freya Lawton's book, The Peace Intention that teaches how to release inner toxicity and strife resulting in a immediate improvement in our outside environments...we will buy into local community supported agriculture schemes where we pay the nearest farmer year-round  to produce seasonal food and commit land to grains for organic bread and other basics. 

Before there were trees, the planet was a desert. We can plant more in the county and they will also serve as a carbon sequester: Absorbing  the carbon which is raising the temperature - i.e. global warming fears. We could make Kilkenny 'carbon neutral' which would be a landmark victory in every meaning of the word.

If you insist on compostable takeaway cups and ban one-use plastics in all Kilkenny shops,
we will all commit to separating our rubbish responsibly.

If we also measure the amount and sorts of illnesses that are being presented at GPs and hospitals, we will have measurable evidence to show that we are making a difference and Kilkenny could provide a model for public health improvement too. Do not let 5G in please as that is shortwave wifi that is very hard on the human body. Thank you for your consideration.

If you take the carcinogens out of our food supply and air, we promise to live  to a ripe old age with no dependence on pharmaceuticals and over-stretched hospitals.

I have attached a course I facilitate and offer for corporate team building days at the Castlecomer discovery park, to show how we can get people thinking about what they use and what their company uses and changes they can make. It is an informal chance, not funding-related (like grants for electric cars or solar panels for example) that enables a review of their practices and resource use.

If the food is only organic and grown locally, we will try and no doubt thrive on smaller portions.

In terms of the council, I hope you will first review and stop all the substances and toxic products being used there, such as pesticides on public areas and chemical cleaners in public buildings.

I too had to do my pesticide course to qualify in horticulture in Kilkenny.  Nowhere in the module does it teach of our dependence on biodiversity or the degradation of soil via artificial fertilisers...but interestingly, we only used water and sprayed on concrete pavers, to just practice getting the dilution right.
Conclusion? There is no right amount. Stop it completely and promote farms that are in their first 6 years of growing without, before they get their lucrative organic certification.

Thank you, 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Climate Action Brainstorming - The 17 European Goals

My latest activity: 

Template for Corporate Wellness and Teambuilding Days 

in the woodland at Castlecomer's Discovery Park

I anticipate groups of 4 or 5 people per table in a 'Cafe Conversation' 
in the amazing geodesic domes that seem made for that express purpose!

Climate Action Discussion Based on the Europe’s 17 Sustainability Goals


Wellness and The Work Environment

1.    No Poverty 
One positive impact on prosperity
One negative impact on prosperity
One social group that is addressed well 
One social group that faces a drain on resources.
Eg benefits like paid holidays, staff of a variety of levels and types
One change you would like to see.

2.         Zero Hunger
What food is offered at work? 
What do most staff eat?
Is there waste? 
Is wasted food made available for charitable use?
Are bins separated into general/recyclable/compostable.
Quantity versus quality. Do you choose cheap food above good food?
Is there any interest or support for organic food? And local food?
Are there any green spaces where food/trees could be grown on the premises?
Is there a chance of exploitation or contamination in the food chain?
Any projects sponsored?
Are vegan options wanted or provided? 
Are personal choices effective or relevant in addressing climate change?

3.         Good Health and Wellbeing
On average, how much water drunk per work-day? How much coffee per day?
Do you believe that it supports every function of the body? Water or coffee?!
Is there fluoride? 
Is the drinking water tested to check levels of other chemicals? 
Do you believe that energy and intention might have an impact on you? 
Do people have pets? What sort and how do they help with stress or add to it?
Venn diagram of priorities: Yourself, your partner/family, your job, community, county, nationality, causes? Why? 
How to people relax?
How do people make changes?
Confident to raise questions, make suggestions or more focus on towing the line?
Environment inclusive and personal or productive and functional …or synergy achieved?
Is anyone anxious about their job or how they are perceived by others?
What is the air quality like? Wifi and Electro Magnetic Charge measured?

4.         Quality Education
Is the work fulfilling? How does it compare to the stimulation of studying?
Is payment the only difference?
Do you think school and college prepared you for the challenges of work?
One thing you have learnt today? Yesterday? What would you like to look into tomorrow?
Can you explain what you do at work?
Does creativity equal innovation or is there a difference?
Is there a balance between innovation, competence and competition?
Are your values the same at work and at home? 

5.         Gender Equality
Do men and women get the same wages for doing the same work?
Is the culture protective and supportive? Does anyone need protecting? 
Is anyone being used unfairly or excessively?
Are men and women both represented?
Are there good relationships and respect obvious or is there a power struggle?
Who is winning?

6.         Clean Water and Sanitation
Is water used on an industrial level? Can it be conserved in any way? 
What is the impact on water? What are the risks? 
Is there a run off?
Are there any changes that can be made?
What do people understand by the term ‘aquifer’?
Discussion: is there personal, company and legal responsibility for environmental management? 
Should Ireland consider water a resource and export to European countries that have no rain or reserves?
Who makes the decisions at home / at work? Should the child get the water, the adult or the seedling that might feed them over coming months?
What is the daily water footprint:
Meat: 15,000 litres of fresh water to produce 1kg of meat 
Vegetables: 200 litres to grow 1kg vegetables.
Are chemicals required for production? Do they naturally break down?
If not, are there less toxic ones available? 
Cost of shifting to organic enterprise?
What changes would be welcome
What do you understand as grey water?

7.         Affordable and Clean Energy - 
Is much electricity used? How is it sourced currently? 
If coal is 320 million years old, it takes 30 metres of peat to compress into 1 metre of coal and trees take about 30 years to mature, which is the renewable energy?
Is there roof space for solar voltaic panels or a seascape for turbines?
What is thought of these systems? 
Is there a department that looks at savings and revisions to outgoing expenses?
Is fracked gas a fossil fuel or a clean fuel? 
How much water is used in the extraction process?
What would motivate a change in supply/supplier? Is it as simple as a grant from Sustainable Authority Ireland or a better deal with a supplier that uses only renewable energy? Would self-sufficiency be viable?
Is a carbon tax reasonable?
What is a carbon sump? What is carbon sequester? Is it important?
Is it possible to reduce the use?

8.         Decent Work and Economic Growth
What do you understand as ‘decent work’? Or maybe indecent work?! 
Are the use of animals, chemicals, volunteers, zero-hour contracts legitimate?

Do you know and agree with the mission statement of the company? 

Is economic growth synonymous with food security and a circular economy. 
If one company is successful does that mean everyone is successful? 
Is it a good idea for all to grow something or provide a service?
Is it okay to grow a business without trying to consider negative environmental impacts?

9.         Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Coal mining was a strong industry but there were harsh conditions above and below ground. 
Name one industry, one innovation and one development of infrastructure in your experience that has benefitted a lot of people.  
What person or organization do you admire and why?  
What brilliant idea would you implement if you ruled the country?! 

10.       Reduced Inequalities
Do you often see any particular inequality? Is it caused by tradition or what?
What would you like to see changed and balanced.

11.       Sustainable Cities and Communities
If your workplace had to provide a quarter of a community’s welfare in terms of money, support, accommodation, food, entertainment, law enforcement and medical/social care, how would it do?
What could it realistically add to its current contribution? 

12.       Responsible Consumption and Production
What is most consumed and what is most produced? What is responsible? Is it ethical, environmentally aware, financially viable or a balance between those and more?

13.       Climate Action
Climate action suggests radical change like overhauling a current product line to not use excessive resources or to negate or stop any destructive environmental impact like CO2 emmissions. 
If there were no financial or time restraints, how could there be a revision? 
Is there any department who would be interested and equipped to explore changes. Is there a budget? Should the government support or compensate for such a change? 
Should a company take a loss or downturn to be more in line with social and environmental need and priorities?

14.       Life Below Water
Do people know how much plastic is in the sea?
Is there an understanding of factory ships? Or Sonic blasting?
Are these modern supply and exploratory processes acceptable?
Can public demand stop them?

15.       Life on Land
Do you know the difference between a healthy field and a grass-sick field?
What is the difference between a weed and a flower?
The difference between a pest and a beneficial insect?

16.       Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions
Are you confident that the institutions are looking after the poor, sick and elderly with integrity?
What would you like to see changed?

17.       Partnerships for the goals
Do you work with anyone else to push for change or support in raising awareness of your product or work?
Is there mutual respect or compromise about each other’s practices or both?