Monday, 2 June 2008


This is Steve Webb, Mp for Yate and LibDem spokesperson on the environment.

If you live in his constituency, here is how you can arrange to go and have a chat with him...

"Steve holds regular surgeries on Friday afternoons so that local people are able to contact him to raise concerns. To arrange an appointment, please contact Steve Webb MP, The Constituency Office, Poole Court, Poole Court Drive, Yate, South Gloucestershire, BS37 5PP or call 01454 322100. Alternatively, e-mail Steve on or visit"

Why do I mention this? Well ten green bloggers had a meeting with Steve tonight and we came up with a scheme where people DOORSTEP YOUR MP (a nice piece of role reversal) to get them to vote the right way on the climate change bill - ie to vote for an 80% reduction not 60%.

In an era of NGO postcard campaigns (& a growing indifference to these in parliament) it would be amazing to harness instead the power of chat; the emotional impact of sitting with a series of people who care passionately about something wanting to argue their case and find out where you are on it.

If you'd like to get involved on the 'cooking up an amazing web supported campaign' level do drop me a line. Or if you would like to go straight to doorstepping your MP then track down yours on I am trying to get a friend of mine to come and see Glenda Jackson. Not that I'm shy but he takes the gift of the gab to a different level :J


Don C said...

I got here via a comment about your site from this blog. What do you think about the 350ppm target? It seems to me that politicians need a tangible target - typically these are meaningless but it this guy on to something?

I would be more than happy to talk to my very responsive MP (Celia Barlow, Hove) but I want to make sure I make the most of her time and make an easy to grasp impact!!

John Grant said...

350ppm is the James Hansen (NASA) figure - he has been talking about this for the last year or so. The point is we already passed this limit in the mid 1980s so as a target it means a massive reduction in atmospheric CO2, beyond just slowing down our emissions we have to take some out

there are schemes being touted to reduced what's already there - for instance biochar, or the similar suggestion from David Holmgren about crushing coal to put in the soil which would fix CO2 in a place where carbon and minerals is needed as a part of restoring global soil fertility. It doesnt sound much but Holmgren reckoned this could take out more carbon than all the vehicles in the world put out. Plus it would mimic the effect of volcanoes in making for fertile soil.

whatever we managed in that direction, the implications are that we are already past this safe limit and the warming that results from being in the red are already in the pipeline (it takes 40% for heating events to convert into warming) scary stuff

in terms of making it a policy, I would have thought that a net reduction in your own country's emissions is more accountable than the global resulting CO2 level though, but I am no policy person and I believe an amendment (with a higher ppm) has been tabled to include something like this in the UK climate change bill later this year

I would tend to think that the thing in talking to your MP is to communicate that you are very passionate about this issue, that it's important to you that the UK takes the lead by committing to 80% - which is simply in line with what scientists and others are now saying - for instance nicholas stern has been urging this recently too

John Grant said...

actually sorry - I think the uk bill amendment may say that we need to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees, and its all still to be debated in parliament anyway which is the point of helping MPs see that lots of us want them to vote for the planet and for the future of our species :J