Powershift 2011

2nd September 2011 by

Oct 7-9 Salford Crescent, Manchester

Fancy taking part in Power Shift – the UK’s largest youth event on climate change.

From 7-9th October 2011, join hundreds of young people in the heart of the industrial revolution in Salford, Manchester, to take part in Power Shift 2011.

Through a series of workshops, talks, training, a bit of a boogie and a Day of Action, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge you need to be effective, innovative and engaging young leaders.

This years theme is green jobs and Otesha shall be there, with Hanna Thomas who coordinates the East London Green Jobs Alliance speaking on the panel.

Power Shift is the most important moment this year for young people who care about their future to come together. We invite you to take your place in history: attend Power Shift, and join the movement towards a clean, just future.

To volunteer or get your tickets head to their website.

Moving Planet – Sept 24th

2nd September 2011 by

All over the world people are taking to the streets. March, cycle or skate and join the call for the world to go beyond fossil fuels.

Hop on to www.moving-planet.org to find an event local to you or even register your own one. They’ve got a great website with loads of resources and support, from printable posters, stickers and t-shirt graphics, through to guides on how to organise an event and get a whole school involved.

During the day Moving Planet will be delivering a clear and strong set of demands:
- Science-based policies to get us back to 350ppm
- A rapid, just transition to zero carbon emissions
- A mobilization of funding for a fair transition to a 350ppm world
- Lifting the rights of people over the rights of polluters
More details on the demands here moving-planet.org/demands

Josie Long & Otesha meet the craftivist collective

30th September 2010 by

Following last months inaugural video with our patron, Josie Long & Otesha meet the craftivist collective, this month we decided to sew our way to social justice.

Josie Long and Otesha met Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective! The Craftivist Collective use the power of craft and art to highlight issues of social injustice, like global poverty, human rights abuses and climate change impacts. So, during October, we’re challenging you to get involved, pick up your needle and thread and make your very own mini protest banner (you can make your own or buy one from the Craftivist Collective website). Remember to send us photos and the best banner wins a bar of fairtrade chocolate.

there is no point to a globalisation that reduces the prices of a child's shoes but costs the father his job...

That's so crazy it just might work!

13th August 2010 by

It’s sad but true that in a month, I’ll be leaving my current role at Otesha to go back to school and do a masters at Sussex Uni in Climate Change & Policy. I’m a mix of emotions – sad to be leaving, excited to move to a new city but also thinking a lot about what it means to be moving away from all the invigorating, life-affirming, life-changing grassroots work that I’ve been privileged to be involved in these past couple of years, and moving towards talk of economics, markets, policy and acronyms.

I’ve had to justify my position to a lot of people, who think the system is broken and therefore I shouldn’t go there, that change can only happen on the ground. On the flipside, others have breathed a sigh of relief - “thank god” I can see them thinking “she’s going to get off her bike and start making real change where it matters”!

But surely, SURELY, it can’t be that cut and dried. The environmental justice movement is a spectrum, and there is a need for us all, and therefore maybe we need to do it all. I want to be able to engage at that level, and talk to big and important people, and tell them with confidence why they are clearly wrong not to put global equality, safety and health at the top of their priority list. But at the same time, I’ll never stop doing cool things on the ground, challenging the system we’re working in, empowering others and riding my bike!

I stumbled across this Sesame Street video on another blog, and it reminded me how intelligent that show was (no reason to go to school when you have Jim Henson’s moral code) and got me thinking about all this movement stuff. It’s a brilliant illustration of how we might all march to a different beat, but how powerful and creative we can be when we work together - “suppose you do your kind of drumming and I do my kind of drumming at the SAME TIME”?

I imagine here that Bert is working for DECC (he’s a bit like that isn’t he), slow and steady. And Ernie is a rebel Climate Camper. We need both and we need them at the same time. This is urgent stuff and we can’t leave any doors unopened. But whatever you do, as Bert says, you gotta have soul.

Up close & personal with MPs

10th August 2010 by

So lately there’s been a lot of talk about a ‘big society’. I’m still not entirely sure what that means and how it’ll play out over the next few years, but the idea of ordinary people getting involved in decisions made locally makes sense to me. Especially when it comes to getting to know their local representatives, from city councillors to MPs.

An international example

A few days ago I came across the most amazing website which needs to exist in the UK immediately if not sooner. The Canadian organisation Apathy is Boring has launched a site called Citizen Factory, which basically allows people to stalk their MPs. When I looked up the MP for Langley, British Columbia (where I grew up), I found all his basic info plus a news feed listing all the times he’s been in the news, voted in parliament, spoken in parliament, joined a committee or tweeted in the past month.

Read the rest of this entry »

Carbon Onsetting

28th June 2010 by

Full size version here. More cartoons here

What does green job creation look like?

9th June 2010 by

Awhile ago, the BBC ran a piece questioning whether the UK was missing out on green jobs. So far, all signs point to ‘yes’. Without delving too deep into the government politics behind the decision whether or not to invest in green manufacturing sectors and, in turn, create thousands of green-collar jobs in the UK, it’s fair to say that it doesn’t seem to be a government priority. And I wonder why. If green job creation can pull local communities out of recession, help the UK become a world leader in new and innovative markets, and meet our international and domestic climate change commitments at the same time, then why isn’t everyone clamouring for more green jobs? Read the rest of this entry »

Your Poll Card

5th May 2010 by

Full size version here. More cartoons here.

Spotlight on Debating Climate Ministers

27th April 2010 by

On Wednesday 21st April at the Guardian Climate Minister Debate in London, the room was crammed with the luminaries of the climate world. 10:10, Oxfam, WWF, Greenpeace, Climate Rush, Green Alliance and the UK Youth Climate Coalition were there, as well as environmental journalist George Monbiot waiting like an attack dog in the front row, ready to pounce.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 election tips

27th April 2010 by
  1. Do register to vote. Then make sure everyone you live with is also registered to vote. Too late for this time, but never to early for next time.
  2. Do use it. Vote for the raving green monster party if you like, but use it. The noughties have been exactly that on the voting front, with only around 60% of the electorate turning out to vote at the last two elections. We may not have a perfect system, or even a particularly good system, but it’s one that people all over the world are fighting for. We’re pretty lucky, appreciate it.
  3. Don’t moan about politicians. It’s boring, everyone’s heard it before and it gives political talk a bad name.
  4. Do it yourself. If no one out there is representing you, stand as a independent. It’s like finding the perfect sandwich- sometimes if you want it done properly you’ve got to do it yourself.
  5. Do become pen-pals with your MP. Once they start to recognize your handwriting, you know you’ve got their attention.
  6. Do remember they work for you. Whether you voted for them or not, you are officially your MP’s boss. Follow your MP’s voting record then give him or her an annual appraisal and a piece of your mind.
  7. Don’t spoil the ballot. It doesn’t spoil it for everyone, but it just doesn’t do anything. Spoilt ballots aren’t even counted. Voice your dissatisfaction with letters, leaflets, petitions, placards, singing and shouting instead.
  8. Do sing, shout, hold placards, hand out petitions, send letters and leaflets anyway.
  9. Do vote everyday, in the way you spend and save your money, in the things you buy and the things you ask.
  10. Do watch this- poet Danny Chivers performs Election Day.

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