Report back: National campaign round-up & workshop summaries
REPORT OF THE RISING TIDE GATHERING 13-14TH OCTOBER 2001
with reports, attachments, contacts and links
- OUR OBJECTIVES FOR THE GATHERING
- WHO IS RISING TIDE?
- UPDATE ON THE ISSUES
- CARBON TRADING WORKSHOP.
- CONTRIBUTION OF HIGH CONSUMPTION LIFESTYLES
- CONTRACTION AND CONVERGENCE
- STOP ESSO CAMPAIGN
- DISMANTLING THE OIL INDUSTRY
- ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
- KEEPING SANE IN A TIDE OF INFORMATION-
- ROUND UP
Longer reports from:
The gathering hoped to bring together activists working on climate change from around the UK (and beyond) to generate a sense of community of people working on climate change issues. This report gives you a brief reminder of what went on, together with contacts for people who gave the workshops and people for further information and resources. Further information about the work of Rising Tide can be obtained from the websites http://www.risingtide.org.uk and www.risingtide.nl.
Over the course of the weekend some 90 people came to the gathering - some staying the entire weekend, some for just one workshop, and many people remarked on the diversity of campaigns and opinions represented at a grassroots gathering.
This report is a reminder of the workshops, the contacts where we’ve got them and some of the discussions which arose. Following the report are some articles from the workshops and discussions which will be of interest.
THANKYOU to all who came to the gathering and put your energy, time and ideas into it, to people who gave workshops, who performed, who helped in the many ways which were needed, and a HUGE thankyou to the Manchester Environment Resource Centre at Bridge 5 Mill for letting us use their very inspiring venue for the gathering and for being such a huge support - if you want to find out more about their project, contact email@example.com
If there are further comments contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Oxford office — 01865 241 097
With best wishes,
WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE GATHERING
NOW WE NEED PEOPLE TO HELP BUILD RISINGTIDE:
We need people to organise local events, gatherings and training
We need people to join the Rising Tide core group to make decisions about the future direction and growth of Rising Tide.
We need people to be Local Contacts (thanks to the ten people who offered to be local contacts)
Please contact the Oxford office now if you would like to become more involved on 01865 241 097 email@example.com
Sense of belonging to the community
Feeling of ownership over Rising Tide and the wider movement
Empowerment, confident that you have a role
Making at least one good personal connection
Making at least one personal commitment for further action
Meet each other and form alliances
Create energy and a sense of movement identity
Have a sense of this being the beginning of something bigger
Calendar of action 'flashpoints' for 2002
Rising Tide is an international network of groups and individuals working on climate change from grassroots perspective. There are now RT groups in Netherlands, UK, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Ireland, Australia, Uruguay, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, USA, Canada, Spain, Portugal…
It was started by groups and individuals that came together to protest at The Hague conference in November 2000.
They were disillusioned with the UN process, the lack of action, the role of big busines in the talks and the lack of public participation. The groups in Rising Tide are united under a common position which stresses social justice.
November 2000 - Den Haag actions, reports, festival, climate justice summit
March 21st 2001 - International day of action
July 2001 - COP6.5 Bonn — Rising Tide action camp, street parties, samba, info, actions, week of action in UK
September 2001 - Climate is now in the Peoples Global Action manifesto
Nov 2001 - COP7 Marrakech local actions in Amsterdam…
Future - Rio+10 in South Africa Sept 2002
Rising Tide UK formed in January out of a meeting in Manchester. It organised a national tour which visited 11 cities, a week of action coinciding with Bonn, and 90% for 90% actions.
Outreach during 2001 has includes creating a national website, producing a bi-weekly news sheet, organising two gatherings a speaker training, and much more -- see website http://www.risingtide.org.uk (that's this web site so you're already here - have an explore!)
Mark Lynas gave a brief update on the state of the Kyoto Protocol, which is attached as Critique of Kyoto.
The rules governing Carbon trading and flexible mechanisms are being finalised in Marrakech COP7. The workshop outlined the likely out comes — given the enormous industry influence on the process, no surprises in guessing that it will do nothing to prevent Green House gas emissions and everything to do with making more money for the obscenely rich. Many of those attending seemed genuinely shocked at the realities behind the flexible mechanisms. Creating a market to trade in pollution, the likely environmental and social impacts of sinks being included in the Clean Development Mechanism — enormous genetically modified tree plantations in the south doing little or nothing to prevent climate change but everything to do with greenwash and short term political objectives. Let the actions commence to discredit this unjustifiable turn around, where we have moved from polluter pays to polluter profits.
Jutta from Fern gave a presentation about Carbon Sinks which is attached as Carbon Sinks Workshop
A more in depth briefing on carbon trading is available by email from Martin on firstname.lastname@example.org from end of Nov onwards. If you want to get your head further around the issues take a look at the Corporate Europe Observatory Website and download ‘Greenhouse Market Mania’: www.xs4all.nl/~ceo/greenhouse/index.htm or the CEO website www.xs4all.nl
Also The Cornerhouse have just produced and excellent briefing on Carbon Trading - get a copy by checking their website www.cornerhouse.icaap.org
The workshop defined "lifestyle" as consumption over which people have some sort of choice. It includes domestic heating, lighting, appliances; personal transport; and products- clothes, food, and general household "goods".
The workshop found that lifestyle consumption is the largest producer of emissions in the UK, which houses and personal transport alone accounting for half of all UK emissions. By showing different consumption scenarios the workshop showed that flights can dramatically increase people’s carbon footprint- one intercontinental flight can triple and individual’s annual emissions.
The two page fact sheet which accompanied the workshop is attached as High Consumption Lifestyles Factsheet
Aubrey Meyer from the Global Commons Institute gave a presentation on C&C which then branched out into a discussion around the issues.
The main areas of question and sometimes heated discussion were around how C&C could work without carbon trading, over which people had strong objections, and how else an international framework could be implemented without carbon trading.. big questions with no concrete answers so far - given that the years of negotiation so far have only just produced some form of agreement based mainly upon carbon trading.
This was a chance for people to discuss the campaign from the perspective of getting more grassroots involvement, and to understand more where the campaign was coming from.
The campaign came out of Bush pulling out of Kyoto, boycott, with the aim being to stop Esso’s involvement in sabotaging Kyoto. Very broad spectrum of public involvement - pickets at petrol stations, shutting down the distribution terminal (which resulted in an injunction) There a Stop Esso National day of action on 1st December. For more info check the website www.stopesso.com
Given Climate Change, should we be looking to `dismantle` the fossil fuels industries which inherently drive carbon dioxide emissions ? What would it mean to do this ? How could it happen ? Can we even conceive of the possibility?
This workshop involved looking deeply into the intricate web of institutions that enable the U.K.’s two oil giants, BP and Shell, to function and asking how these webs might be prised apart. A key tool in this process is imagination - the ability to imagine ourselves beyond the`carbon-industrial complex` just as the anti-nuclear movement worked to imagine beyond the `nuclear-industrial complex`.
There was an enthusiastic participation in these ideas on the Saturday afternoon, so a follow up workshop took place Sunday morning. Many important points came out of the discussion; two that stand out are :
* the degree to which we all give our `Consent` to the continued operation of these companies. How does this happen ? Why does this take place? Can our `Consent` be withdrawn ?
* dismantling does not mean engaging with the companies on how they can improve their `behaviour`, but rather encouraging individuals to disengage from the companies on principle, as happened with the nuclear industry.
For more information contact email@example.com
A longer report on the workshop is attached as Dismantling Oil Industry Workshop
‘Environmental justice’ connects environmental and social issues from a grassroots perspective. The concept originated in the US and the ‘south’ from local campaigning activities in communities. The workshop watched a video of environmental justice activism in South Africa and discussed ways that this perspective can inform and improve climate campaigning in Britain.
A one page report on the workshop is attached as Environmental Justice Workshop
For more information contact Heidi Bachram firstname.lastname@example.org
This workshop explored how feelings and emotions can stop us being as effective as we could be, and especially looking at the issues around climate change.
We started by looking at a cycle of how emotions can paralyse our actions if they're not aired and talked about numbness, denial, despair, paralysis, isolation, depression and burn out… we all recognised at least some of these aspects in our lives and work, and recognised that if they're not talked about they become personal and lead to people becoming burnt out and withdrawing from campaigning. The two main things which get in the way of effective campaigning are
1) lack of information
2) feelings which get in the way.
Its important to recognise that we know enough to start campaigning on climate change - there is a mass of info out there about it, but we all know enough to make the first step and decide to play a part. We also constantly underestimate the power of the feelings which can block our involvement in climate change campaigning.
We did plenty of talking and listening, in pairs and as a whole group, and recognised that many emotional effects of campaigning are shared by all of us and are not our own fault at all. We felt that workshops such as these were a vital part of any campaigning gathering.
Some of the tools which we used were simply listening to people expressing their feelings - and listening without interruption can be a powerful way to help someone think through their troubles…..
For more info contact Jo at email@example.com
We concluded Saturday evening with a brief report back from some of the workshops, then a long session about the current political situation and war in Afghanistan where people said what they had been doing around the country about the war and expressed their feelings about it.
By the end of the day everyone needed a break and time to socialise with new friends. The evening’s open mike session proved we’re not only skilled campaigners but also posses a hidden range of musical and comic talents, no question however that the salsa dancing stole the show.
Sunday started with a round up of the many campaigns which have been happening. Some are reproduced below where they have not been mentioned before, together with contacts where we have them
RIO+10 - action in South Africa or locally
International RT meeting 2-9th Feb, Barcelona - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further info, or check our newsletter
Leamington — Tom reported on the campaign against Rugby cement and tyre burning email@example.com
Amsterdam ARK group- Nov 6th stickers and posters about CO2 trading - selling jars of air dressed as traders, climate info nights. Contact Julie Chadwick firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxford group - critical mass on car free day, Bjorn Lomborg (the ‘skeptical environmentalist’) got pied, wheel of misfortune during Bonn, 90% action. Contact Alison Chisholm email@example.com
Platform - performance, relation to corporations, Gog&Magog , institutions around BP and Shell - work as a resource and advice for campaigning. Contact PLATFORM firstname.lastname@example.org
London - BP branding national gallery and Covent Garden action, British Airports Authority occupation of their offices, 5th Terminal at Heathrow, permanent resource centre opening soon.
MARE - Mediteranean NGOs network - taken on climate change, have a new political statement, doing actions on 6th Nov - contact for MARE network via email@example.com Jan 24/25 - Rome conference on carbon trading. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
People and Planet - 400 students went to Den Haag, many Universities have done actions at ESSO careers recruitment fairs. Lobbying Universities to change to green electricity, and the first two Universities (Loughborough and Sussex) have just changed over to Green Electricity. For further info check the website www.peopleandplanet.org, or call 01865 245 678
Blatant Incitement Project - contact for doing radical workshops in schools - have been doing some climate change workshops in schools and 6th forms around Manchester — contact email@example.com
The BET -over 90 schools in 10 countries bet the EU commissioner that they could reduce CO2 emissions in schools by 8% in 8 months - heating, transport etc. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Green party - Heathrow, BA shareholders, local papers
Camden Greenpeace - flyposting and picketing for Stop Esso campaign, and anti war protest Contact email@example.com
Bonn report - critical mass, RTS action to try to get the 12 principles read out, banner drop off crane, action in building, stage storming - for more info see www.risingtide.nl
Devon lifecycles…cycle and solar powered cinemas and roadshow..resources on offer and to be used. — contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Treesponsibility are a hugely inspiring group involved in local reforestation who recently had a gathering and tree planting, reforesting Calderdale (in the Peninnes), and alternative Esso tree planting week - for further info contact 01422 843 222
Campaign against climate change - US embassy weekly vigil, rally for Kyoto, against Bush's visit (500-600 people), march against Bush past EXXON offices to the embassy - contact email@example.com.
Birmingham FoE - campaign against 2nd runway at Brum airport. Contact John on firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy Agency in Wales - job on offer taking workshops aout energy into schools - there is money out there for this sort of info. Contact Cara at email@example.com
Christian Ecology Link - Operation Noah campaign. This campaign is being developed by Christian Ecology Link in partnership with Christian Aid and Tearfund. The campaign hopes to succeed, as Jubilee 2000 did, in engaging churches and the wider public. For further info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Hydrogen energy - although Mike wasn’t there on the Sunday morning, he did have his solar powered hydrogen energy unit on display. Contact email@example.com
Domestic heating accounts for a quarter of UK emissions and can easily be reduced as Britain has the worst insulated and oldest housing stock in Europe. Not only is this a problem for climate change, it’s a disgraceful cause of social injustice. 4.5 million households in Britain are defined as "fuel poor"- they cannot buy sufficient energy with 10% of their income to have a warm healthy home. When temperatures fall to 4°C, 95% of rented homes are unable to meet healthy temperatures with the heating on full blast. In 1999-2000, a mild year, 55,000 people died from cold and damp related illnesses, at least half due to poor housing issues. That’s 22,000 dead whilst spending every penny they can on energy.
A group met at the Gathering to discuss this issue and brainstormed ideas. As a first step we agreed to set up a discussion list. There are currently 11 people on the list. if you want to join, send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The first thing to work on is promoting a Private Members Bill, the Home Energy Conservation Bill, which is coming before parliament on the 30th November. It proposes to pressure councils and landlords to improve rented housing stock. This is a small but vital step towards improving the situation. We will put out an action alert soon about this.
For details including a copy of the bill www.ukace.org/pubs/nletters/n139.htm.
Other plans, still at an early stage, are for a national day or weekend of action on climate change in the spring or early summer, possibly focusing on the newly emerging market in carbon trading. One idea is to organise a centralised gathering or event of some sort in, say Manchester or London, but to invite people to make their way to it using whatever sustainable means of transport they choose. Part of this might be a huge 90% for 90% mobilisation, (please see website for more details on this campaign) maybe with one 'Climate Express' making its way through the country to the event. We are very keen for people to become involved with planning this event if you would like to do this please mail us and keep reading the News Sheets.
For more info contact email@example.com
It was not a satisfactory workshop- mentioned by several people as one of the failures of the weekend. This was the first time that a large group of people had come together to talk about Rising Tide and there were large differences in what expectations, experiences and personal agendas people brought to the discussion. It was soon clear that the questions- what exactly is RT, who is RT and who can call themselves RT, who is accountable to who, how does RT in the UK relate to RT in other countries- are all big questions that we could not even begin to resolve in a single gathering workshop. The first session raised the questions and shared some views without any clear thread forming. The session continued after the end of the gathering to consider five different organisational and structural options which seemed to cover the range of possibilities. Although this group did not reach consensus on structure it did agree:
1. To expand the core group. There is currently a small core of 10 people who came together for the Tour who discuss RT on a closed e-mail list. We need more people involved in this core, discussing RT planning activities and helping to move things forward. Please get in contact with the Oxford office if you would like to be involved in RT activities.
2. To hold an open meeting in December or early January to thrash out Risingtide structure, direction and planning issues and reach some working consensus. We will inform everyone of this as soon as the dates and location have been finalised.
3. To take any decisions to the next gathering for a real group discussion to get wider input and involvement
END- AND THANKS AGAIN FOR COMING!