Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 | Our Philosophy
Caroline Fiennes, our CEO, spoke last week at the National Theatre, on a programme to engage and inform young people about major global issues. The programme includes 16-19 year olds, from state schools in every London borough, and covers climate change, politics and activism, as well as individual/consumer behaviour and the relationship between them. It challenges young people to think seriously about their role in their communities, both local and global. The programme also places their responses to this challenge, their ideas and their creative practice, at the heart of one of the world’s leading artistic organisations.
Firstly, Caroline covered – and got the students to do loads of interactive exercises around – how climate change requires a large range of solutions (on both reducing demand for energy – which is what Global Cool does –and looking for alternative supply sources).
“My experience is that the ‘climate change industry’ is full of people with ‘the solution’: it’s wave, it’s wind, it’s this light electric vehicle, it’s about population control. In fact, we need the whole lot – because this challenge is so massive. As a former colleague of mine says: “the answer is AND”. So the first point for the young people was to put all these ‘solutions’ in context: showing that demand for energy in the UK exceeds the amount we can produce from non-carbon-intensive sources – to we better look to fix both supply and demand.” We drew a lot on the data handily provided for free by Prof. David MacKay in his book Sustainable Energy: Without Hot Air (which you can download for free here).
Secondly, she covered how Global Cool works – ie, our techniques for reducing demand by changing consumer behaviour. Make it attractive to the individual and make it easy for them! We explain Global Cool’s objectives and approach here and in this article in the Ecologist.
Global Cool’s presentation went down well. Organiser (and author) Jean McNeil said: “Speaking with the kids during our break they said they loved it – they felt you were very down to earth and positive about low carbon lifestyles. It has probably inspired them more than any other single talk we have had.”
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