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, 

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