Lifestyles

Community Energy and Efficiency

In these times of rising gas and electricity costs, and concern about the impact of our lifestyles on the planet, there is growing interest in local renewable energy generation and efficiency.

DECC have launched a new fund for communities in England and Wales who are playing an active role in the development of a low carbon society. They want to fund projects that increase understanding of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. This is really interesting for Arcola Energy with our research in hydrogen power and long-term involvement in our local community.

There’s also very encouraging news from Germany, where as TreeHugger reports over half of the renewable energy produced is owned by citizens and farmers, and not utility companies. Perhaps the same situation will start happening in the UK…

Go to Arcola Energy

New Life Copenhagen: hospitality as art

I am soon to be assigned to a guest house in Copenhagen by the remarkable New Life Copenhagen art project. For five days people I don’t know, who don’t know me, will put me up durng my stay in Copenhagen.

Everything I hear from them, while I wait, makes me more and more admiring of this enterprise.

The Danes feel they have a reputation for being an unhospitable place. New Life Copenhagen has decided to turn this reputation on its head with a phenomenal act of generosity, opening the doors of their homes to 3,000 activists, NGO workers and delegates who are arriving in Denmark over the coming weeks to attend the pivotal COP15 conference.  It’s a spirit of openness you can only hoped will be matched by the governmental delegates.

In this act alone,  Woloo.org’s  Sixten Kai Nielsen and Martin Rosengaard, who created New Life Copenhagen may have already created the most significant artwork to align itself with the COP15 process:

The explain themselves: Instead of inviting artists to contribute art for a traditional museum exhibition, we have chosen to utilize hospitality and the human encounter as an exhibition platform. The purpose of the festival is to create a breeding ground for alternative ways of living together. Individual solutions are not enough. In order to stop climate changes, we have to rethink our way of life collectively.

The artists SuperflexSigna and Marisa Olson are also creating work as part of New Life Copenhagen. Olson will host a live event at Copenhagen’s City Square, Signa are going to produce a guest book in which we can all evaluate each others’ lifestyles, and Superflex are going to ask all of us to commit to a climate-friendly burial in the case that we die during our visit to Copenhagen.

Which is one of those committments I kind of hope I’m not going to have to live up to.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology