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Incomplete List of working groups - please add yours and useful info you've generated



Food for Thought Handout text [The words in the square brackets will be missing for participants to complete]

Vegan The three main reasons people go vegan are: [animal rights, environmental concerns and health] Vegans avoid all products of animal origin including, but not limited to meat, fish, milk, eggs, cheese, honey, slaughterhouse by products, silk, wool and leather. It is more energy efficient to eat plant based foods than to feed plants to animals, then eat the animals. 90% of the calories fed to animals are ‘wasted’ in production of non-edible parts and sustaining the animal. Farmed animals release methane as they digest their food. Methane is a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2. This combined with production of fertilizer, land clearing for grazing and transportation of animal produce, livestock farming produces 18% of greenhouse emissions, making this the biggest contributor to global warming. [UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, ‘Livestock's Long Shadow’ (2006)]

Seasonal In the UK apples are in season from [September to January] Buying and eating food in season means that food is purchased when it is harvested. This means that the food has grown more naturally and closer to the consumer than out of season items. Out of season fresh food is likely to have been grown in heated green houses, which require large amounts of electric to keep warm or be flown in from abroad. Food in season can be preserved in many ways to make its season longer. In season food is fresher and has higher levels of vitamins and minerals. For info on what food is in season see:

Organic The most commonly recognized organic standard is [the soil association]. Organic foods are produced according to certain production standards, meaning they are grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives. Generally organic produce must not be genetically modified. Instead natural pest and weed controls are used such as green manures and weed exclusion membranes. Organic agriculture is more labour intensive, so creates more jobs. Organic agriculture works with nature rather than against it.

Local The gold standard mileage, from field to plate, for local food is [25] miles. Eating local food reduces the distance traveled by what we eat and builds better communities. Buying local produce reduces the demand for food transported by air and lorry freight. Local food is fresher and seasonal whilst helping to keep profits in the local economy thus improving community. Local independent shops and farms are the opposite of supermarket dictatorships and imported food. Just how local food is can be quantified in food miles, the fewer miles the better.

Communal Eating together used to be an important social interaction. However, as our lives have become busier, food is becoming less of a shared pleasure and more of a convenient dash. It is also more energy efficient to cook for a greater number of people as less heat is wasted and food is less likely to go out of date before being eaten. People who share their meals are more likely to cook from scratch using fresh ingredients and fewer additives.

Genetic Modification (GM) Genetic modification involves editing the DNA of plants and animals. Frequently GM crops are created with pesticidal properties or herbicide resistance. Theoretically this enables plants to be resistant to certain pests or to be treated with weed killers without killing the plant. The problem is wild plants similar to the GM species may be able to incorporate the altered DNA when pollen is transferred. This may result in these characteristics becoming evident in wild plants and give weeds the capacity to become resistant to weed killers. GM plants may alter the genetic code in insects which pollinate them, which could kill the insects or cause other mutations. Once genetic information is altered, the mutations can keep altering. Released on farms this poses serious risks to wildlife and non-gm crops. Biotechnology corporations create a monopoly with GM crops as seeds need to be bourght from them each year preventing seed saving which helps the global poor.

Supermarkets vs Local shops In 2003 Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Safeway and Morrisons controlled over [75%] of the UK grocery market. [1]. Although the exact share held by each corporation fluctuates this shows that supermarkets hugely dominate the global food market. Supermarkets have the capacity to completely ignore seasonal and local food as they have the buying power to source food from anywhere in the world at any time of year. Supermarkets are more likely to over-package food and encourage people to buy more than they can eat, with buy one get one free offers, than local shops. British supermarkets have farmers in an 'armlock'. As the most powerful players along most food supply chains supermarkets are able to dictate terms, conditions and prices to suppliers. If suppliers complain, supermarkets can simply move their business elsewhere, and their dominance of the food retail sector is such that there may simply be no one else for farmers to sell their produce to. So what are the alternatives? Farmers markets, independent shops, green grocers and growing our own can reduce the stranglehold of supermarkets whilst promoting the local economy, providing jobs and giving us better food.

Air freight Air freight is used to bring us [out-of-season] fresh fruit and vegetables from around the globe that are too perishable to be transported by sea. Aircraft emissions produce far more greenhouse gases per ‘food mile’ than any other form of transport. Although less than 1% of imported food is air freighted, it contributes 11% of the carbon emissions from UK food distribution. Its use is growing rapidly. Concerns have been raised over the contribution air freight could have to climate change if this rapid growth continues.

Fairtrade Some of the most commonly purchased fair trade items are: [tea, coffee, bananas, chocolate] because they can only be grown far away from the UK. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices and pay workers a living wage Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Home grown I you really want to take control of your food, its time to grow it yourself. Only [home grown food] can have 0 food miles. Growing fruit and vegetables is becoming ever more popular. It gives you direct control over the food you eat, you can ensure it is organic, seasonal, grown outdoors and recycles your own compost. Now that makes good sense.

Convenience vs Real Cooking Supermarket shelves and fridges are filled with ready meals. Generally these are high in [salt, sugar and additives]. Convenience foods may be quick, but eating too many can lead to lethargy, obesity and many other health problems. The food is preserved with additives which are simply not necessary if you use fresh vegetables, fruit and wholegrains. Additives have been known to cause food allergies and hyperactivity. Cooking from scratch means you know exactly what went in your food and just how fresh it was. It’s also cheaper and easier to ensure food is local, seasonal and organic.


Film Nights

Three Film Nights planned at present.

'Pedalling For The Planet'

World Naked Bike Ride

31 minutes

Offical Website:

Permission: Jesse Schust suggests we're fine, but has emailed someone else for an extra check.

Certificate: 12A

Other info:

Blurb: by James - "London, 2005: hundreds of cyclists get naked and ride en masse through the streets, simultaneous with rides around the world. A film celebrating both the bike and the human body, protesting against oil dependency and climate change and illustrating the vulnerability of cyclists on city-streets."

The Humble Magnificent

30 minutes

Official Website:

Permission: from notoriously overprotective director Matthius Wilsonium pending - permission denied.

Certificate: Yes! We got ir when it was shown in the Dukes (Lancaster) - Universal

Other info: the best film about bikes, bicycology and falling off tall bikes ever...

Blurb: by Matt(?) used on Film Night posters previously "The bike is a humble yet magnificent form of transport, and it symbolises a way of life that can be both fulfilling and sustainable. This film follows the national grassroots group Bicycology as they toured England in 2006, teaching people how to fix their bikes and discussing the things we can all do to help fix the planet."

Cyclist's Special / Cyclists' Day Out

15 minutes

Offical Website: None

Permission: James spoke to the person responsible who assured us it was fine. Adrian Dent of the CTC seemed hapopy too.

Certificate: From long before dem days oim afrayd

Other info: Another website mentions that some current rugby ctc members were in the film - maybe they'd be up for coming to speak!

Blurb: by James - "A short film about a day out cycling, made by the British Rail film board. Filmed in May 1953, this short documentary follows a Cyclist's Touring Club 'Day Out'. Hundreds of CTC Local Group members travel from London to Rugby via train, and then explore the local countryside. Delightful (and hilarious) to watch, this is a fascinating insight into cycling (and England) as it was and could be."

'Take The Power Back'

Saving Iceland Documentary

short version - 8mins 49

Official Website:



Other info:

Blurb: A documentary about an environmentalist network fighting the destruction of the Icelandic wilderness by heavy industry and the government's aim to dam every glacial river by 2020.

Followed by a talk by a British activist who has participated in the campaign to save Iceland’s remaining wilderness areas. Find out why some methods of generating ‘renewable’ energy worsen the greenhouse effect.

Reclaim Power / ClimateCamp Schmovie

full version 62 mins, short version 15 / 20 mins?

Official Website:

Permission: granted by creative commons licence for RP, schmovie is similarly anti-copyright.


Other info: James has asked climate campers if there's a heathrow film in the pipeline.

Blurb: by James / from jacket- "Leading scientists across the world agree that we have no longer than 10 years to prevent irreversible climatic changes with dramatic consequences for our planet. While politicians and business leaders remain comitted to profits and unlimited economic growth, it is necessary for individuals to come together to take the action required to avert catastophe. In summer 2006 600 people convinced that there is no time to waste set up a Camp for Climate Action. In the shadow of Drax coal-fired power station in Yorkshire - one of the biggest CO2 emitters in Europe - they held a 10 day space of collective learning, sustainable living and direct action. This short film will give you a taste of what went on." there's an official version on the website.

Wild Horses of Newbury

10 mins?

Official Website:

Permission: filmmaker has given his permission, and thinks undercurrents will be only too happy (as you'd expect)

Certificate: none, but it's been shown on channel 4...

Other info: person who made it might be up for speaking? might have been interviewed as an intro to the channel 4 showing?

Blurb: by James, probably not very useful, needs rewriting "The anti-roads protests against the Newbury Bypass in the mid-90s were amongst the most infamous. Shot very early one cold morning in February 1996, this short film captures an astonishing and magical event during the evictions of the camps. Followed by a talk from an activist who spent a lot of time at Newbury Bypass camps."

'Running on Empty'

Last Boy Riding


Official Website:

Permission? The NUFF Global project manager emailed James to say yes.

Certificate? Never legally certified, but should be suitable for all.

Other info? part of NUFF Global competition "Climate change is one of the most serious problems the world faces today. Through this project we want to involve and engage youths from several continents. Young film makers will tell stories connected to the effects of climate changes that already have happened - or use the imagination to speak out for big changes. The goal is to stimulate bigger consciousness among adults and youths. Either way, to express reactions and share emotions is a necessary first step. NUFF Global is a co-operation with the Minor Foundation for Major Challenges and the Nordic Youth Film Festival (NUFF) at the Youth Culture House Tvibit in Tromsø, Norway."

Blurb: from website (kind gives the game away. we should probably write something else) "Everyday, Rene goes to work riding his pedicab. It is a constant source of ridicule, especially from his peers who always have the latest cars in the market. But when a fuel shortage happens in their town, everyone is stranded, save for Rene."

The Power of Community - How Cuba Survived Peak Oil


Official Website:

Permission? An admin assistant emailed James to say yes, and that we can collect money for ourselves too.

Certificate? Never legally certified, but should be suitable for everyone

Other information? There's a 'Press Pack' with posters/hi res images that might be suitable for publicity/the Dukes programme.

Blurb: "When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call "The Special Period." The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope." (the first half of this - ending at "urban gardens" - was used by Transition Stroud when they showed it.

4 line blurb: from the website: "Cuba, an isolated island nation, rebuilt its quality of life following the collapse of cheap oil, supplied by the former Soviet Union. This fascinating and empowering film shows how communities pulled together, created solutions, and ultimately thrived in spite of their decreased dependence on imported energy."

We could alternatively write our own version?

Public debates

Thursday, 7.30-9.30 Lancaster Library

Speakers so far confirmed: Kathy, and Alistari Kirkbride, a local cycle campaigner, quite critical of the CDT. One bicycologist should do it as well...i'd like to, but i others want to we can decide who to do it.

Format still to be decided.

Chair needed...should it be a bicycologist, or somebody neutral?

Environmental workshops

Energy Trailer etc

Below is some old text...

One of our aims is to make links between cycling and wider environmental issues such as climate change. We're serious about taking responsibility for our own energy needs, and about demonstrating the feasibility of appropriate technology that meets people's needs without compromising the environment. In partnership with the South East Alternative Science Network, we developed a Bicycology Energy Trailer for our 2006 Roadshow which incorporated different forms of renewable small scale energy production, including a wind turbine, solar panels, and a novel rear axle stand pedal generator that turned a normal bike into a electrical power source. Energy was stored in batteries and used to power music and micro-cinema, the latter using a portable DVD player. This way, we were able to stop anywhere and show people renewable energy in action. We also carried a video projector for film shows at venues.

Below is photo of the energy trailer at FinFest for the start of the 2006 Roadshow


Dr Bike etc

Library display

Bicycology: Routes to Solutions Library Display

Faced with reports of environmental disasters just around the corner what can we do in our own lives to reduce our impact?

Eat a plant based diet- meat and dairy foods cause the release of methane gas. This is a green house gas which is 23 times more potent that CO2 and accounts for 18 of all greenhouse gas emissions. Plant based diets are more energy efficient. For more info on how to go vegan why not take out ‘Plant Based Nutrition and Health’ by Stephen Walsh

Grow your own vegetables, herbs and fruit- fresh and local. Try growing on a windowsill, garden or allotment, really get to know your dinner. To get on a waiting list see

Buy second-hand. Plenty of useable items are thrown away, divert them through a charity shop and we save resources whilst helping those worse off. If not a charity shop try second hand dealers, ebay, adverts in local papers, shop windows etc.

Borrow and share- use the library, tool bank or share with a friend. Not only is it cheaper, but it reduces the demand for resources and creates less clutter.

Dry your clothes outside – using a tumble dryer releases 1.8kg of CO2 per cycle. Hang your washing outside when it’s dry and use an airer inside. Drying outside is free.

Be creative- make your own clothes, try to create the things you need from recycled materials and give home (or home grown) made presents. You’re only limited by your imagination.

Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. In that order. Say NO to plastic bags, re-use containers and if it really has to be thrown away, recycle everything you can.

Use the doorstep recycling service. Lancaster council collects newspapers, magazines, cardboard, steel and aluminum cans (food and drink), glass and textiles and plastic bottles. Tetra-paks (containers which juice and other drinks come in) can be recycled if you take them to recycling points around the district. If you can’t have a compost heap they also collect compostable garden waste such as hedge clippings, grass cuttings, leaves and dead plants.

Buy local in season food. Single step wholefood co-op, Penny Street, supplies fruit, vegetables and bread from local producers. Local food reduces air and road transportation, thereby reducing the amount of CO2 produced. Food is fresher and you are directly supporting farmers and local shops rather than making supermarkets richer and more powerful.

Turn the thermostat down in your house. Turn it off completely in summertime. It’s time to get used to wearing more clothes when it is cold, closing curtains at dusk and insulating your loft and walls. Grants are available from home energy improvements have a look online.

Holiday closer to home – short breaks in foreign countries cost the earth. Have you really explored all the UK has to offer or even Lancashire? Have a day out by bike or public transport. Many European countries are accessible by boat and train why not look into it?

Start your own compost heap. All you need is a container like an old rubbish bin with the base removed, place it on open soil (not concrete) and add all your vegetable peelings, tea bags and raw food. It will decompose producing great soil for growing vegetables in (or roses).

Turn off electrical items when not in use. Standby switches waste a huge amount of energy. Switch your energy provider to a green tariff – Good Energy and Eco-tricity supply electric from renewable power plants.

1/3 of all food bought is thrown away! This accounts for 6.7 million tones of food a year in the UK alone. 111 million tones of waste is dumped in landfill in the UK a year. All this waste release greenhouse gasses, along with many other pollutants and scars the landscape for years to come. Why not look in other skips on your street and see if there is anything you can put to use. You could ask first if you feel embarrassed, though they have already shown they don’t want it. Some people also look in the skips outside supermarkets because they throw out vast quantities of food, in it’s wrapping, which is nearing it’s sell by date or has damaged packaging. Free food can’t be sniffed at with raising prices and raising waste.

Dig up your patio and plant a garden. Even an untended lawn is better than a concrete jungle. In many areas of the country people are suffering with flooding, global warming is making it rain more and patios prevent the water draining. A bit of green lifts your spirits as well as reducing the risk of flooding.

Get on your bike. Cycling is proven to reduce your risk of suffering heart attacks. Most car journeys are less than 2 miles and therefore perfect for cycling. Cycling keeps you fit (without having to pay to go to a gym), is almost free (get a second hand bike and learn how to do basic repairs), is suitable for all the family and can save time. Cyclists in the morning rush hour often beat their collegues in cars, get to go out in the fresh air and don’t have to fight for, or pay for, parking spaces. What have you to loose?

Don’t buy bottled water. It comes free from the tap, if there is an unpleasant taste, add cordial or get a filter. When you’re out the house take a re-filled drinks bottle and keep hydrated. Shipping water from other countries reduces the water available at the source, requires unnecessary packaging and transportation.