Events in 2008
Travel and Tourism (February)
We considered the environmental impacts of travel by air and sea, and of the development of tourist destinations.
We also learned about examples of exploitation of the indigenous population by holiday operators and tourists.
Brochures advertising responsible and eco-friendly holidays were on display.
The presentation was repeated in October for the Leighton Buzzard CEL group.
Milton Keynes Recycling Facility (April)
We visited the huge recycling plant at Wolverton and enjoyed an illustrated talk, followed by a tour – we were all kitted out with the compulsory ear-protectors!
The facility sorts 100,000 tonnes of materials each year – paper, card, cans and plastic bottles – for sending elsewhere for recycling. Glass bottles are also processed here.
Fifty people came to our meeting with Jo Rathbone, who heads Ecocongregation in England & Wales. She gave a talk about this project when she came to Milton Keynes during the summer.
Having listened to her presentation, five churches agreed to adopt the project.
Climate Change: Truth or Swindle? (September)
We enjoyed a presentation given by the Revd David Gregory, Meteorologist and local Baptist Minister.
David helped us to understand which climate change “facts” were likely to be true, and which were still subject to varying degrees of uncertainty.
He concluded that climate change was both true and a swindle for the poor in the world because they were least guilty of causing it, but the ones most affected by it.
Transport: A Journey to a Fairer Future (November)
100 delegates attended this full-day conference, which included the Annual Members Meeting of Christian Ecology Link.
Michael Northcott, Professor of Ethics at Edinburgh University, gave two entertaining and visionary talks challenging us to leave behind some of our 21st century habits (hypermobility, speed, motor cars, clock-watching, etc.) and adopt a pattern of life more in tune with the rhythms of the earth.
Richard Lowden, founder of Green Motion, explained the vision of his company to provide green vehicles for hire to customers, and to play a key role in educating us about technological developments and greener driving techniques.
Stephen Potter, Professor of Transport Strategy at the OU, argued that technology alone will not solve transport’s carbon footprint problem, and concluded that we need a combination of more efficient vehicles, behaviour change, and a switch to public transport. He explained that the design of Milton Keynes has locked us into an unsustainable transport system. He challenged us to view sustainable transport use as the righteous position for Christians and for us to take a lead on this as Christians had done with regards to the Fairtrade movement.
We had some time for discussion in groups and a panel question-and-answer-session.