Whilst Hydroponics is probably 1,400 years old, the latest versions using LED strip lights and the latest mixes of colour in the lighting so as to allow crops to be grown on racks in caves or in shipping containers, or up the sides of buildings are perhaps 4 years or so old. Part of the latest new wave of green technology – urban farming, ground-source heat pumping and cross laminated timber construction. New projects are underway such as in the mines of South Wales or a cave beneath the Galleries of Justice where mushrooms are set to be grown using coffee grounds as the soil. Are we on the verge of a new kind of urban farming, were lettuces are grown within 25 days at low cost, using workers who tour the small locations in caves or containers? Can this kind of farming be delivered commercially outside of there testing grounds of state controlled experiments in China? Perhaps time to find out.
Motion moved by Cllr Sally Longford, debated in the council chamber by the Labour Group and adopted by the whole council.
Climate Emergency attend the debate and at least 3 of them recorded it; (see above). So instead of just offering speed notes, I’ll have to transcribe what I said at some stage. – TO BE WRITTEN UP — Thank goodness for geographers and Al Gore. Thank goodness for John Prescott too. At one stage, we were leading the world. the UK will have to cut it’s carbon emissions in half within the coming decade. (That’s what the physicists are telling John McD). Think of the good we need (jobs, schools, hospitals), and note how we struggled (labour market, private landlords, overheating the south-east, back to predict and provide for cars). Even if we’d only done good, would still have had to meet the challenges and opportunities – globalisation, living longer, fundamentalism, resource shortages (peak oil) and climate change. Whilst the earth has been hotter in the past – not whilst it had the human race and 8-9 billion people. An example of the chaos climate change can bring – Syria. We are nowhere near leadership now – Germany decided to drop nuclear. Our power supply still based on big power plants, although 2 nuclear proposals dropped in recent months. Instead, in Germany, local power, city controlled and innovating, and more from the home. Nottingham is on the edges of this with Environenergy (heat from waste trumps burial), once did food recycling, (we designed 3rd generation turbine blades) and has battery projects alongside Portugal and Germany. We valued exterior home heat insulation (e.g. Clifton and Bulwell Hall), although the skilled labour had to come from the EU (Austria?)). And food 8. Following the model of the European ‘Slow Towns’ and ‘Slow Cities’ movement – radically reducing the (carbon) ‘food miles’ involved in feeding ourselves. Nottingham had an example of this in the City Hospital catering service which threw out cook-chill food suppliers, linked the in-house catering service to a network of 350 local farms (Notts, Derbys, Lincs and Leics), doubling nutritional standards, saving the NHS over £1m AND CUTTING FOOD-MILES BY 90%. It worked brilliantly, until the Tories gave the contract to Carillion (on ideological grounds). Ground source heat pumping is a key option for where next. Heating and cooling from feeds at 21 degrees C; and Basford Hall and Grimsby used to be only colleges that trained explicitly in heat pumping. We can draw on the mine water below us. Time and again, green engineers bring solutions that can dazzle us (although struggling on re-use – e.g. gasification and automated sorting). Green architects can dazzle us – take the old tax offices. Contrast them with the new CO2 towers. Not even 2020 standard and 340 (check) tonnes of CO2 per year below that standard. The key to minimising CO2 emissions is building design, oh and agglomeration. Reducing the need too heat, and to ventilate and to travel.
– local authorities will be in the forefront of this … but they will need new powers ie. 1. Denmark’s planning laws that debar buildings using fossil fuel heating from even being considered for planning permission.2. France’s laws that require all new buildings to have solar or nature roofs.3. California’s law that makes solar roofs mandatory4. Germany’s restrictions on access to soft loans (only for refurbishment to passive-haus or energy-plus standards.5. German regulations that limit the ‘right to rent’ to buildings that meet our equivalent of Band B standards – or make heating costs a landlords responsibility, not the tenant’s)
People say we need a national framework back again, for fear of the less scrupulous taking jobs. Maybe so. But the environment does need to be shown as part of our thinking much more explicitly and from the start. We celebrate now the bravery of zone and collar and its 2000 descendant version that we delivered, and the bravery of WPL cos we made the polluter pay for the alleviations. It took knowledge, and values and resolve. Let’s learn, let’s care and let’s act.
Meanwhile, works on stage 5 of River Leen Cycle Route project, improving the connection of the former Toll Bridge to Birdcage Walk, has been completed; a couple of snagging works on stage 4 using Birdcage Walk are outstanding (2 lampposts on Rennie Hogg Road).
More positive feedback has been received about the use of the road facility for kiddies learning to cycle on Victoria Embankment.
A simple stall with leaflets focussing on green achievements in Nottingham – bio-fuel buses, energy investment homes, better and accredited public parks, Robin Hood Energy – all by Labour. With visits from Paddy Tipping (Police Commissioner) and Leonie (former Parliamentary Candidate in Sherwood), as well as colleagues Glyn and John.Some city centre casework, and a big thumbs up from a Clifton North resident who’s saving £12 a month and more having switched to Robin Hood Energy.
Enjoyed leafleting rail passengers, and calling for public ownership, during the morning rush hour, with Lilian Greenwood MP and former rail colleagues Anne Peach and Steve Young.
Dropping the franchising system. can save us billions.
For some time, Nottingham was being picked out for projected increases in NO2 and extra plans to tackle it was being expected.
But it seemed odd given it was based on the projected growth of distance covered by cars in the city – and our public transport continues to attract custom.
A motion to do more was adopted at full council.
But the biggest thing we can do is in planning. Two mantras – “cities are good for us” and “put mass transport first”.
Agglomeration – reducing the need for people to travel by bringing people’s homes, work, education and recreation closer together.
Putting mass transport first – and given the ability to expand the tram network seems so far off, we must not do anything that hits at the viability of the bus.
Meanwhile, the Conservative government announcement of measures such as electric car recharging form lampposts by 2040 pails into insignificance against plans of other countries such as the Netherlands who plan to cease the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2025, and to start making progress on that through focussing on companies’ car fleets.