Cabot Institute blog

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Friday, 17 August 2012

Cabot office weekly roundup – 17 August 2012


What has been interesting today is watching this video by the charity Practical Action.  The charity shows us that we can have simple solutions for complex socio-environmental problems.  What we do in Cabot seems quite complex at times, trying to find complex solutions to complex problems.  We have had visitors come to Cabot and show us their simple solutions, e.g. Kevin McGuigan who saved millions of lives by demonstrating how water can be sanitised in plastic bottles left in the sun, with the sun’s UV doing all the hard work.  A very cheap, easy and effective solution to the global problem of water security.  Cabot needs to think more about these simple solutions as well as the more complex ones.

Malcolm Fairbrother
This week has been very exciting.  I recorded our very first podcast at Burst Radio with Dr Steve Simpson who talked about how climate change is affecting the oceans.  This will be available for download in September.

A popular talk was given this week entitled ‘Climate, economic growth and preferences for geoengineering’ by Malcolm Fairbrother.  You can view the slides here.

Neville Gabie, our Artist in Residence, filmed and interviewed me about a ‘thing’ which made me work in the environmental sector.  My ‘thing’ was a book from 1991 entitled The Green Activity Book.  It was my favourite book as a kid, probably because it had loads of stickers in it! I always remember putting my favourite sticker at the head of my bed – it read ‘Save energy, stay in bed’!  It gave me a good excuse to try and lie in in the mornings, although my mum was having none of it!  Reflecting back on the book, it made me realise how little has been achieved in 21 years.  For starters, I seriously thought back then that there would be flying cars and hoverboards like in Back to the Future.  A snowboard is as close as I’ve come to that! When looking at the content of this book – which told me about saving energy, being careful with waste, recycling, looking after nature, and telling me all about renewables such as solar, geothermal and wind and tidal power, the message has not changed.  The technology doesn’t seem to have changed much either and that concerns me.  We need to get our arses in gear and stop talking and start doing!

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