Want to talk about Climate Change? Join one of our friendly Climate Cafes

Our Climate Cafes run monthly. Details are on our Meetup page. Climate Cafes provide a supportive space in which to talk about how the climate crisis is affecting us – without pressure to act. The cafes are facilitated by Rebecca Nestor. 

During the Coronavirus outbreak our Climate Cafes are taking place via online platform Zoom. Please see the Meetup page for further details, including future dates.

We think our Climate Cafes offer something different from the usual gatherings of people with interests in climate change. They are facilitated – so you can be sure that there will be space for you to speak. They are not designed to recruit you to do anything or to put you under any pressure. The idea behind them is that talking about climate change is really important – but it is often made more difficult by our feelings of guilt that we are not doing enough, or frustration that others are not doing enough. So we provide a space in which we don’t talk about what we or others are doing or should be doing. We just talk about climate change and how it is making us think and feel. Everyone is welcome.

Time to act: fossil fuel divestment

Last week Oxford students occupied St John’s College in protest at its £8.1m fossil fuel investments. The students held up placards reading “We can’t eat money or drink oil”, “Fossil Fuels are History” and  “Wake up Fossil Fools”. As they endured the overnight cold in their tents, the college’s response included attempts to keep out sleeping bags and blankets, deactivating the students’ key fobs, and a proposal from the Bursar that he could “arrange for the gas central heating in college to be switched off with immediate effect”. Calling themselves “Direct Action for Divestment“, the campaign group was supported by the Oxford Climate Justice CampaignXR Oxford and other climate activists.

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Missing the wood for the trees? Tree planting vs rewilding

Last summer it was hailed as a climate change solution with ‘mind-blowing potential’: tree planting has been making national headlines as government, NGOs, national and local organisations have launched initiatives to increase UK tree cover. Thousands of trees were planted in Oxford during National Tree Week in November, with support from Oxford Direct Services, Oxfordshire Trees for the Future and the International Tree Foundation.  We were delighted to be joined by over 100 enthusiastic volunteers to plant 500 new trees in Sunnymead Park.

Increasingly, however, this focus on tree planting is being questioned. Journalist George Monbiot, in particular, has argued that public resources should be directed towards “rewilding” – allowing trees to seed and spread themselves – instead of tree planting. According to Monbiot, rewilding “is much faster and more effective, and tends to produce far richer habitats”. Monbiot draws on work by Simon Lewis and others which suggests that “[commercial] plantations are much poorer at storing carbon than are natural forests, which develop with little or no disturbance from humans”.

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500 new trees planted in North Oxford!

Over 100 people joined us on a bright and frosty Saturday morning to plant more trees in North Oxford, as part of National Tree Week. As one of them said – “What a great way to start the day”! Thank you to everyone who came, to Oxford Direct Services who organised the trees and oversaw the event, and to International Tree Foundation, who funded the trees.

Michael Woods from Oxford Direct Services’ Parks Team was up early to prepare the site at Sunnymead Park, and the first volunteers arrived shortly before 10. Soon the park was busy with people of all ages and, under Michael’s expert supervision, 500 trees were planted in record time.

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We’re still recruiting

LCON has an opportunity available for a talented freelance contractor. The deadline is 28 May 2019, with interviews to be held in the week beginning 3 June. We’ve extended the deadline from the earlier April date to enable us to find the best possible candidate for this important piece of work.

Project manager for the Healthy Streets and Active Travel Low Carbon Hub Community Grants Fund

Do you want to be involved with tackling air pollution in Oxford and making it a healthier, more attractive city to travel in? On behalf of a coalition of community groups, Low Carbon Oxford North is looking for an enthusiastic, capable project manager to help us deliver five, funded activities, starting as soon as possible.  The time commitment is approximately 4 hours a week for nine months but is very flexible. The description of the work and how to apply are available here.