Drastic times, drastic measures …

Dear Transitioners 

We were busy last week.  Together with XR Abergavenny + three brave children (aged 13, 11 + 10) we presented on the Climate Emergency at a seminar for our County Councillors (only 12 attended, none from Monmouth) + Senior Officers (a good turnout).  There is hope for action.  Then on Friday there was the international Youth Strike + we are proud of the pupils from Monmouth Comprehensive School who organised the excellent Monmouth event.  Over 300 children marched through town, made speeches in Agincourt Square, protested at the petrol station + made a great peaceful impact.  The next Monmouth Youth Strike will be on Friday 24 May starting at 9 o’clock from St Mary’s Churchyard.  Please come + support.

As I write we are into Day 4 of the international fortnight of rebellion – thousands rebelling in London with 400 arrests to date at major gatherings on Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Piccadilly Circus + Parliament Square.  But it’s all over the world.  XR Scotland has taken North Bridge in Edinburgh, Dutch rebels have occupied the International Criminal Court in The Hague.  A slew of further actions span the continents.  We must keep up the momentum.  It only takes 3.5% of us being visible + vocal to make the radical changes that we need – see https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/15/rebellion-prevent-ecological-apocalypse-civil-disobedience

Yes, it’s drastic times, + drastic times need drastic measures to ensure the radical changes needed to save us from extinction.  It has started to happen with Councils throughout the world committing to decarbonisation, the financial institutions – Bank of England, Banque de France, Legal + General – issuing demands for climate change action, + the Climate Emergency making headline news (at last!).  It’s a start but we have to keep up the pressure.  Please join in – see https://xrebellion.org/ for what is happening where.  If you want to join our local affinity group at Oxford Circus contact phannay@toucansurf.com.

Another thing we can all do is help nature on its way.  A new group, Natural Climate Solutions, provides hopeful reading:-

“A recent estimate suggests that around one third of the greenhouse gas mitigation required between now and 2030 can be provided by carbon drawdown through Natural Climate Solutions. Natural Climate Solutions, roughly speaking, mean ecological restoration. Yet they have so far attracted only 2.5% of mitigation funding, and far too little political attention.

Given that they have major advantages over alternative negative emissions strategies and can also deliver wide ecological and social benefits, we call for a great increase in the attention and spending devoted to Natural Climate Solutions, as part of a massively enhanced global effort to prevent both climate breakdown and ecological collapse.”

See https://www.naturalclimate.solutions/ + https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/03/let-nature-heal-climate-and-biodiversity-crises-say-campaigners + get planting (pollinator friendly of course!), stop cutting your lawns, tell us of green spaces on common land near you that we can rewild, or let us know if you would like to join in with our tree planting, wildflower meadow creation etc.

Then there’s the novel idea of using our legs to walk + cycle instead of jumping into our cars + causing further unnecessary destruction.  The Active Travel Group in Monmouth is working on making our legs more enticing than our cars by developing walking + cycling routes.  Please let us know if you would like to be involved.

One last thing:  Nature Isn’t Neat is a pollinator project that is being trialed in Monmouth.  Our role is to promote the outcomes, but there is a work plan that includes engagement with the schools + the public.  Please email vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk if you would like to participate.

Now for some stuff for your diaries:-

EV Open Day:  Saturday 20 April, 10 till 4 at Bridges Community Centre, Monmouth – see some of the latest electric vehicles on the market – maybe even get a free ride in one! – learn about solar, batter storage, community projects near you.  Free entry

The Big Swap:  Saturday 27 April, 10 till 12 at Rockfield Community Centre, Cornwallis Way, Monmouth NP25 5DN:  We will have our usual Swap Shop for plants + seeds, but we will also be swapping clothes, books, toys, small household items etc.  Tools for Self Reliance Cymru will also be there with their refurbished tools.  Refreshments available, children’s playground nearby + also the new Community Garden.  We still need more help on day, please email karin@chandler.wales if you are available, even for just an hour.

Plastic Free Monmouth:  Tuesday 30 April, 7.30 at the Robin Hood:  We have our Plastic Free status as defined by the Surfers Against Sewage criteria, but this is where the creative work begins.  Come with your ideas + get involved!

Spring Greens Environmental Fair:  Saturday/Sunday 4/5 May at Court of Noke – stalls, exhibitions, local foods, music + more.  The Round Table will host discussion + debate on the Climate Emergency, the role of Extinction Rebellion + the Youth Strikes.  Go + have a lovely day out, or two! – further information at https://springgreens.org.uk + on Facebook

What do we want to have in the Local Development Plan? – Tuesday 7 May, 7.30 to 9pm at the Robin Hood:  Discussion led by Haydn Cullen-Jones.  At the initial call for submissions we submitted six sites emanating from RECS – our flood prevention project.  But there is much more to consider – housing, transport, our high streets, local businesses, jobs etc – all within the context of the Climate Emergency + the Well-Being of Future Generations Act.  Come + have your say, or just come + listen 

Wyesham Community Woodland – Claypatch:  Sunday 12 May, 10 till 12:  Working party + activities for children + hot drinks if you bring a mug – further details on the Wyesham Community Woodland Facebook page

Members’ Business Meeting:  Tuesday 14 May, 7.30 to 9pm at the Robin Hood – project updates, plans, our new leaflet + housestyle

Pollinator Gardens Open Day:  Saturday 18 May – further details from Bees for Development

Monmouth Bee Festival:  Sunday 19 May, 10 till 4 in the Nelson Garden – see https://www.monbeefest.cyrene.co.uk/ for further details.  We will have stalls for both Transition Monmouth + Plastic Free Monmouth but need help, please!  Email vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk if you can hold the fort for us, even if for only half an hour

Youth Strike:  Friday 24 May:  Assemble at 9 o’clock at St Mary’s Churchyard – more details nearer the time 

Wyesham Community Woodland – Claypatch:  Sunday 26 May, 10 till 12:  Working party to prepare for the Big Lunch on 2 June

And the Local Produce Markets:-
Usk – 1st + 3rd Saturdays – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – 4th Thursday – 9.30 to 2.30

We hope to see you soon!
Vivien Mitchell

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