First things first


Monday, 30 March 2009

A transition pic'n'mix

A pic'n'mix of information sent in my members lately, in a little rush of enthusiasm after coming to the film screening. (Really we call anyone with even a passing interest a member - it's not a strict membership organisation, so you're very welcome.) There might be something here you find interesting.


Dave H says:

1. The best book on sustainable energy I think is this one, available as a free download. Absolutely
2. I like Dale Vince's blog (Ecotricity founder) -

You're not the only one to recommend the Without Hot Air book - the same day, another member emailed the same recommendation - thanks, Jon. He says of it:

"It is free to download off the web and is very accessible and well written I am finding it very easy to read in clear language that is designed for people who do not necessarily have a technical back ground- it comes highly recommended."

Jon's got another recommendation too:

Also is worth a look. Russell Smith has experimented with a Victorian terraced house to find out what would need to be done for the house to become highly efficient. It is a case study of sorts in Hackbridge. The whole house is being very closely monitored and more can be found out on the website. He also has some ideas for how multiple houses can be retro fitted at the same time, reducing costs and also planning work around the home so that two jobs can be done at once; fitting a new bathroom and fitting water saving devices at the at the same time for example. Russell explains this much better on his website than me however.

This is really interesting, because it's clear that Westcombe has a surprising number of people interested in and/or with expertise in energy issues. You might have seen an article in the Westcombe News lately about the difficulties - bureaucratic and technical - in retrofitting older houses, of which we have plenty here. You can find the article on page 7 of this edition (pdf file). We should give proper thought soon to how to start getting people in touch to form subject groups - Energy, Food and so on, because there's clearly enough knowledge and interest out there that if heads are put together, things can get done.

Post-oil living

Dave H adds:

I have a friend who works for (fantastic charity)
and has bought 8 acres of woodland in sussex, because he's concerned
about peak oil! Check out his blog.

Food growing

Jon has emailed to alert everyone to this 6 April London Sustainability Exchange event, for anyone with an interest in food. If anyone goes, get in touch afterwards to let us know about it.

Jakki has been in touch to illustrate an extraordinary food-growing system she was trying to describe in one of the group discussions on Wednesday. She points us to this site, which might be of interest if you want to grow but you're lacking space or soil.

She adds of the man behind this idea: "If ever you have an hour to spare, he would love to give you a conducted tour of his allotment."


Oh, and thanks for some post-screening comments that have come in:

"Many thanks for the film and the opportunity to chat to other interested people.What an excellent turnout wasn't it! ... The woman sitting next to me before the film had been to Cuba twice - her daughter studied there for a year - and her experiences very much echoed the film."

I thought the film about Cuba tonight was interesting - thanks for
that. Can you send me a link to some more info about it? (Is it
available online?)
Here you go: Power of Community website. I don't think you can watch it online, but you can buy it and if you want to put on your own public screening, they don't put any licensing restrictions on it if you're doing it not-for-profit.

"Thanks very much for last night, well run and organised and a great start with such a good turnout."

Thanks everyone. Keep in touch.

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