13738148_921430707965981_1635717586317834714_o

 

My Notes from my Speech to Open “A World of Clean Energy” Exhibition at the Wycombe Environment Centre, 19th July 2016.

 

34 years ago I was hoping I was about to become a world champion. My sport was lightweight rowing, and I was about to compete in the 1982 world finals, in Lucerne.

IMG_0188

 

Those days I weighed in at spot on 11 stone.

Happily my GB rowing tie still fits me!

 

 

Last month I was delighted to be asked by Frances (Alexander) to open this energetic exhibition. I love the title “A World of Clean Energy” – we can all make a world of difference – and this subject is the most important in the world – community energy champions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Everyone is doing their own ‘renewable energy strategies’ right now – whether at global, national, regional, district, town and street level, or starting at home.

 

IMG_0092I really wanted to ‘bring’ an Olympian along with me today. Our modern Olympic heroes and sheroes are increasingly eco-friendly, and speaking out. Several I know personally, locally, are passionate about climate justice. But they couldn’t make it today – or it would’ve been them speaking right now – not me!

 

However, it dawned on me that we have our very own ‘Olympian’ lady here today in the shape of Frances herself. A veritable high performance human dynamo!  Brim full of sustainable renewable positive energy.   Dynamism. Thank you Frances, for all you do.

I think there’s a deep connection – between the Olympics and renewable energy. Do any of you know the three Olympic values?

IMG_3178They are friendship, respect, and excellence. (Doesn’t Frances embody these, see!)

In addition there are four Paralympic values to complete the set of seven Olympic values: these are determination, inspiration, courage and equality.   What better seven values could we ask for to underpin all our environmental efforts?  Olympic values are for life – the games legacy – not just for the Olympic Games.

 

A big thank you to everyone in the team here at Wycombe Ecobuzz. What a terrific exhibition you have created Roland!   This place is a force for good – and will spark innovation, cooperation, and positive disruption. Energy – Of the people, By the people, and For the people of Wycombe.

Frances is a force of nature and a true leader who goes the way, knows the way, and shows the way. A renewable source of energy in her own right whose passion and enthusiasm to clean up the world’s mess is contagious.

A quick word on the climate science. 34 years ago it was starting to become clear that man’s carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuel were causing an alarming and growing legacy problem for Earth climate systems. At that time scientists knew it was highly likely. Now we know there is no doubt; the urgency is acute. We have lost 34 years to a dubious strategy of doubt, dither and delay. But the good news is that the climate crisis gives us one more powerful reason to rethink everything. And re-powering our planet with clean renewable energy is one almighty purpose that we can all unite bravely around. Olympic style.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May I make special mention of Eric, Frances’s dear departed husband of 52 years.   Eric was another hero of mine and a stalwart who stood fast in the face of the barrage of cynical attempts at ridicule in the local paper whenever he pointed out that the science was done and that the climate crisis was a real and present danger.

In recent years, Eric started watching the weather, literally and metaphorically he would watch the weather reports on Al Jazeera TV and he would join the dots because almost every evening brought news of climate catastrophe somewhere in the world whether it be flood, hurricane or drought. Or indeed heatwave as today.   Eric was a force of nature to.   And why did he bother? Because he cared about the grand children. As we all do. Thank you Eric.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

And thank you all who love this place – yes love’s the word. And this exhibition – whether you have been part of its past, or you are part of it today, or you will be part of its future – is a work of love – I want to bless this ship, and all who sail in her! #ShowTheLove

Talking of the wind. I had to go the doctor the other day because I’m obsessed with wind turbines. They told me not to worry as it was clear I was just a big fan!

A joke told by Bob Monkhouse RIP on hearing he had prostate cancer, told by Bob himself when he was ill. A useful reminder of the true urgency of the situation we are in – we don’t have much time left to act now. 10, 9, 8, 7…

IMG_3345I’m sure you have all heard of Jonathan Porritt, one of my former clients, one of our greatest environmentalists, and advisor to HRH Prince Charles. I’m pleased to call him a friend. Eight years ago on a sunny day just like this, Jonathan and I were climbing up on his roof. He didn’t have solar panels then, but he does now. He just needed a friendly helping hand to advise him and support him as he took one small step to reduce his footprint.

Has it changed the world? Has it made a huge difference? Did he need to do it? The answer to all these questions is no, and yes. Individual action cannot change the world but the world cannot be changed without individual action. Although our deeds might sometimes seem like drips in the ocean, oceans are made of drips. And as it says on the poster here, small actions x many people = big difference. Everything we do to reduce our footprint is a random act of kindness, planting an ok or a RAOK, paid forward invisibly to future generations.

IMG_0253

My final thank you is to you the audience for listening patiently, and for being here to celebrate this exhibition launch today. Please go forth and be actively involved. Bring friends to the centre – because seeing is believing. Let’s all follow Frances’s strong lead. Because this stuff really matters.

We can jumpstart High Wycombe and surrounding areas to become a beacon of excellence in clean energy.  We can bring about an Olympic-grade cleanup.   And build community energy hubs true to the seven Olympic values. Let me repeat: Friendship, Respect, Excellence, Determination, Inspiration, Courage, Equality.

 

So, we are all Olympians of Clean Energy now!

 

I think that’s how we do it: Building a Zero Carbon Britain together for our kids and grandkids.   And it will be worth the effort.

I declare this exhibition (games) open.

Let’s do this.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Carbon Coach newsletter – June 2016

IMG_0597

 

Politics is Life

It’s over a year now since I stood as Parliamentary Candidate for Beaconsfield.
My tally was 2,231* shiny bright green votes. I’m thankful, for each and every one.
*Dominic Grieve MP QC got 33,621.

The whole thing was quite an emotional roller coaster: before, during and after.
Entering the arena is not as bad as some might imagine, but it’s no doddle either.
Quite a few of ‘Our Deepest Fear’ s to be faced.  I’ve no regrets though. And more and more of us are realising today that the only thing stopping us from standing, is us:

“We are all leaders now – no more waiting.”

Here’s what I’ve been up to since then – following my bliss mostly:

Embercombe
I continue to enjoy occasional weeks at Embercombe, volunteering on a leadership programme called The Journey. Please take a look, and see if you feel drawn. There’s also Catalyst for 18-25 year olds.  Imagine if we’d all learnt love-led leadership earlier in life.

Riversimple
I have been enjoying connecting people with the love that I feel for the Riversimple ‘RASA’.  Today I’ve been quoted in a special piece in The Times : 
“Rasa is tomorrow’s disruptive technology on the road today”
I love it so much I’ve chipped in £50 to be a crowd shareholder! 
#joinme


National CSR Awards

These are a whole new set of awards with a difference – for people and enterprises that are making a difference.  You’d do well to get involved.


CIOB

I’m proud of my main Professional Institute, the Chartered Institute of Building and believe construction has a lot to offer in the race into the wider sustainability space. I’m encouraging more people to become Chartered Environmentalists too.


Sustainable Stand Up

My debut comedy set in Soho was funny, and fun!  Feel drawn to stand up for what you believe in.  The next London Sustainable Stand Up starts in September.


Marlow FM

Tune in to any Monday evening (7-9pm) from around the world – for the #WattNextShow


Own The Media

We are the media now.  I’m also a crowd shareholder in Positive News
Twitter enables all of us to BE the real global news network conglomerate inc.
#OwnTheMedia


Olympics

I’m enjoying observing a growing number of Olympians speak out on ethical issues and hope to be working closely with some, over the next Olympiad.  The challenges we face on the planet call for Olympic grade endeavour, and the Olympic values just happen to be perfect:-

Friendship, Respect,  Excellence, Determination, Inspiration, Courage and Equality.

Wow.  Game on!

‘Til soon

Dave

 

Good afternoon.

I’ve been a busy bee, trying to ‘be the change’

Tomorrow is polling day.

Carpe Diem.

There will be times for direct action and Gandhian peaceful protest.

But for one day only – we don’t need to be arrested.

We can just place a kiss ‘x’ next to the Green Earth logo.

Vote for the change that you want to see in the world.

IMG_3968

I can win a rainbow

Sing a rainbow too

Listen with your eyes
Listen with your ears
And sing everything you see…

Photo by Ludovic Bertron, edited by Kevin Wong, via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by Ludovic Bertron, edited by Kevin Wong, via Flickr Creative Commons

At last the Dodo said, ‘everybody has won, and all must have prizes.’

14 Leader

The good news: I’ve won a prestigious national award!

One.  happy.  green.  bunny!

SLA-Winner

I won “Sustainability Leader (person category) 2014” – last week – and that makes me very happy.

At the same time, I know there are thousands of equally deserving sustainability leaders; including YOU, reading this perhaps, whose moment of recognition maybe hasn’t come yet?  Stay strong – follow your heart – it will come.  7 billion leaders are so badly needed right now.

This particular award was made by a diverse panel of eleven accomplished judges whom I respect

Last time I scooped a big award was back in 2005, the year I embarked on my own as ‘the carbon coach’. This latest award, I think, is for pretty much everything that I’ve been able to contribute since then these last 9 years. You can see the award citation here.  (Thanks dear friend Sue at My Green Directory.)

It comes at a good time for me, as I prepare to put 2014 behind me, and take on challenges new. in 2015.  And to stretch myself.  As indeed we all can. On our one and Only Planet. If we intend to stay.

Unlike the Dodo.

Natural Leaders Now:

A quick mention of the fabulous event I attended last weekend with many amazing leaders and teachers of our age.

It seems fitting to end this blog post by quoting from them.

“The root word of ‘leadership’ is ‘leith’ which means to cross the threshold, to let go of old ways, mind-sets and logic in order to embrace the new. Leadership is, first and foremost, an attitude to life.”

“These transformational times are demanding each and every one of us to become leaders in myriad ways: mothers and midwives, counselors and CEOs, activists and administrators – the times we live ask us to ‘know thy self’ so as to reach beyond self-interest for the benefit of something greater.” – Giles Hutchins

This Gandhi quote does it for me too:

“The difference between what we do, and what we are capable of doing, would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”

Lead on, dear friends all, from within, lead on.  
We are the leaders we have been waiting for.

green is winning

(Written on International Olympic Day, 2014)

First there was  #greenIsWorking

In 2012 in London leaders like Deborah Meaden demonstrated outside the Treasury, with a simple enough message:-
That going green boosts the real economy.

Image FoE Stop Climate Chaos coalition

But now… #greenIsWinning

(First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you… win  – Gandhi)

It was never going to take forever.  Common sense was always going to surface.  Eventually.

Yesterday, on International Olympic Day, Olympian Sarah Winckless ‘nailed’ a simple but absolutely vital overlooked message – in front of a VIP House (of Lords) – packed full to overflowing – with winnng environmental leaders – and would-be environmental leaders.  Perhaps June 23 2014 marks the day that we all start to (green) win – together.

Olympic values are respect, excellence and friendship.
Sarah conveyed how respect boils down to responsibility: responsibility for yourself, responsibility for others, and responsibility for our actions. See Sarah’s address here: http://youtu.be/HDiazT5P0NU

Who cares wins?  Sarah saw a room full of talent, good intention, and enthusiasm; but challenged us to look at how (and whether) we are working together – at how much (more) we can help each other – so we can all be at our collective best. Being part of something bigger than ourselves – the CREW on Spaceship Earth.  Eco-Collaboration – Big Green Team GB – Big Team Green

Never before has so much (everything) hinged on whether we can learn to get along, work together, paddle in time, and work as a unit, as one big green team.  Sarah, the Chef de Mission for GB Youth Olympics, and Olympic rower, effectively reminded us:-  we have to pull together!

Then not only will we win for ourselves, but for all members of Team Spaceship Earth, including those yet to be born.

Leadership is over glorified
Leadership is over glorified (ICYMI) – says Derek Sivers in his famous TED talk –  on how it takes courage and followership
To start a Movement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V74AxCqOTvg – and I, for one, agree with Derek.

Let the race to be greenest begin.

The future’s bright, the future’s green

A few of us in local Green Party submitted this letter – to national and local newspapers.  They chose not to print it.

Enter, stage left – (knights on horseback, with bright green “amour”) – the world wide web and social media – to save the day?

Image
Photo by The Butcher Baker under a Creative Commons license

 

Sir

 

We’re pretty sure many readers will be quietly wishing for an altogether brighter, greener, cleaner tomorrow, and for real change from the ‘win-lose’ politics of business as usual.  The upcoming elections for our regional Members of European Parliament (MEPs) offer us a rare opportunity to write history.  Held under proportional representation, every vote will count.

 

Suppose, for example, you wished to vote as follows:-  yes to a referendum on Europe, yes to major EU reform, yes to staying in a reformed Europe, yes to saving the NHS, yes to renewable energy, yes to real action on the environment, and yes to scrapping HS2.  If that’s you – then your one vote for the Green Party is like seven big yeses – a yes for real change from the “same old” politics of the past.

What’s to lose?  Ink May 22nd in your diaries today.

And as Jonathon Porritt wisely once advised: “the future will be green, or not atall”

 

Jem Bailey, Amanda Craig, Dave Hampton and Paul Mansell

Chiltern Green Party

 

 

 

Imagine Solar pensions… I wonder if you can…

 

Imagine no pollution,
It’s easy if you try,
Oil and fossil left below us,
Above us, pure clear sky,
Imagine all the people
living off today…

Imagine there’s no carbon,
It isn’t hard to do,
No oil to kill or die for,
No false religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace…

Imagine solar pensions…
I wonder if you can,
No need for greedy nuclear,
Not in our neighbourhood plan,
Imagine all the people
Sharing out the sun…

You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only one,
I hope some day you’ll join us,
And the world will live on sun.

 

 

 

Image
Graphic from http://cleantechconsulting.net/services

Lennon lyric up-cycled by Dave Hampton, 2006

 

(So chuffed the lovely folks at 10:10 flagged this recent post of mine yesterday, so here it is again, as a wee blog.)

Never mind sins of past emissions; never mind how you are going to get through the working week, without a sniff of the black stuff.

The question we can all ask ourselves right now is whether there is any single gram of CO2 that we can politely, peacefully and purposefully turn down, in this moment.  One happy gram at a time.

Image

Credit: SweetOnVeg/Creative Commons

Each weeny gram of CO2 averted today, is a teeny random act of kindness, one that no-one will ever notice, but which will build (aggregation of marginal gains, Olympic cyclists Dave Brailsford style) into a cathedral, of a millions of tons, built by us all, altogether, for our grandchildren’s safety.

Nobody need wait another second, to start to Come Off It

Each unit of leccy saved (15p) = 500gm
Each 15p of gas saved = 1000gms
Each 0.1 litre of petrol (15p) saved = 250gm

Hope that helps you bake a happy low carbon carbon cake
Right here, right now.

Oh, and for completeness, every hour *not spent* in the air saves another wee 200,000 grams.
Yes, that’s per passenger.

Yes wee can?

(After all, we don’t want to be pissing in our own pool* now do we?
*The atmosphere, the ocean of air we live and breathe within.)

Sexism, Racism, and …  Environmentalism ? 

Wanted, Fully Alive: Environmentalists…
7 billion of them

Image
Photo Credit- Pim Stouten (Creative Commons BY NC)

Do you know a company that hires “token environmentalists”?

Do you often sense environmental tokenism?

Do you feel oppressed by environmentalists?

Or are you an oppressed environmentalist?

Stop!

It doesn’t have to be this way!
Everyone is an environmentalist at heart.

“Wisdom enables us to comprehend our interconnectedness and see that it is not really a battle between good guys and bad guys at all, but rather that the line between good and evil runs through the landscape of every human heart.” – Joanna Macy

http://www.warriorone.com/about-warrior-one/whats-in-a-name/the-shambhala-story-by-joanna-macy/

Are you an Ethic minority?

Have you ever felt – as a ‘green’ – that you are in a ethic minority*?
That no one understands you, welcomes you, celebrates you?   (*An ethical minority, rather than an ethnic one?)

Have your beliefs about others, e.g. about politicians, corporations, banks and ‘baddies’ ever lead you to a place of (perfectly logical, justified and righteous) separation; from other?  Into a lonely place of being ‘right’ – but all alone?
Does ‘green crap’ get in the way of your happiness?

Or does green make you smile?  🙂

I used to enjoy speaking of “Keeping Up with the Greens’es”
Of greener lifestyles being an aspirational thing.  “Pull” not “push”.  Free will, not dogma.

After all, the only person in the world who’s environmental impacts are (any of) “my business” is… me.
Likewise your impacts are entirely your business.

To impose my eco beliefs on others, even my wife and kids, could easily be an act of mild bullying, or even violence.  The only person in the world who I am entitled to change is, me.  And I can change me.  You can’t.  Even if you can see the carbon ‘plank’ in my eye!

I’m proud to be an environmentalist.

Proud to be green, environmental, Green, a greenie, a passionate green, a deep green, dark green, bright green, light green, pale green, noveaux green, an environmentalist, and a professional environmentalist, a tree hugger, an amateur, an activist, a hippy, campaigner, a diplomat, an eco-warrior… and a Chartered Environmentalist. (C Env)

I see no division; all these are One.  There’s no need to judge each other.  Or judge our self (ie!)

All shades of green are welcome here.  Inclusivity. 

All of the aforementioned graded grains of greens are my friends.   Now that’s environmentally FRIEND-ly.

There is no place for jealousy on this one beautiful green Earth.

I’m an Environmentalist through and through – and proud of it.  But here’s the exciting bit:  So are you!

I’m not judging you, see.   Everyone is an environmentalist.  Come as you are. Welcome to the party – of at least 40 shades of green.

You are almost certainly as green as you can possibly be, at this point in time, and at this point in your journey, and you may well be much greener than me.  Or much less green.  But I bet you care.  I know you do.  Everyone does; underneath that superficial makeover.  We can make up.

I just love the fact that you and I are fellow Environmentalists (now).
We are re-connected.  We never were that different.  Group Hug.

Image
Shades of green Creative Commons Image credit to Gabriela Ruellan

Grown up green

For decades I used to repeat the mantra that it paid to be green; that green saves money; green makes money, and that we can ‘do well by doing good’.  But until I/you truly internalise that belief, green stays just a hobby.   But when we truly believe that we and the world can thrive and prosper, from peaceful, proper, professional greening of the established order, then we can make a living.  Not from bringing the system crashing down, but from rapidly re-engineering it from within. Then we become environmental professionals.  Billions of them!

On my tomb stone one day, rather than Spike Milligan’s “See, I told you I was ill” I would like “Here lies (the carbon ashes of) Dave Hampton – an Environmentalist.”

I’m aware that psychologically speaking I am “projecting” all good things onto the E-word: Environment.  And what’s wrong with that?  In an ideal world we can all project all good things onto “Environment” “Nature” – and onto all beings. Our true Nature.  One.

My spiritual belief system is that plants, beings, soil, water and air are sacred.

“I believe in God it’s just that I spell it  N a t u r e”  – Frank Lloyd Wright.

Image

Creative commons Image Credit- spunfunkster under CC-BY-NC-SA

If what we see ‘out there’ in the world is bad people, doing bad things, in a bad system, then guess what?  We won’t be welcomed in to ‘change’ anything.  If, on the other side of our heart, we see compassionate people doing the best they can, in difficult circumstances, it becomes so much easier, to effect deep, lasting change.  Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about.  Be kind.

Be kinda green?

FOUND:
Big Hearted Friendly Environmentalists.
7 billion of them.

(((((((green hug)))))))

Is this part of the key to unlock just why Governments so often dys-function?

There is a vast body of (e.g. spirit level) evidence that increasing the “rich-poor” divide makes us sick, unhappy, and fearful.  Pursuing policies that make the rich even richer is not just wrong, (although wrong’s enough, in my book) but also illogical in terms of the self-interest of the rich. It is the politics of self-harm. And those who lead this way need our compassion. They need help!

Supposing this is ‘just’ a cock-up – Abilene style – rather than a conspiracy of a few bad men?

“The Abilene paradox is a paradox in which a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of any of the individuals in the group. It involves a common breakdown of group communication in which each member mistakenly believes that their own preferences are counter to the group’s and, therefore, does not raise objections. A common phrase relating to the Abilene paradox is a desire to not “rock the boat”

Interstingly  – “not rocking the boat” (sorry for those enduring floods today) – was an expression that I heard more during the 7 years as part of the Civil Service (early 1990s) – than at ANY other time in my life.  A clue perhaps?

When the governmental lifeboat has big holes in it – rocking the boat helps us progress.