Target

Eight UK museums set out to ‘make carbon history’

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

tyne-and-wear-museums590Eight museums in the Tyne and Wear in the north east of the United Kingdom are taking action to address climate change. In April 2013, they launched a new initiative called ‘Make Carbon History’. The first goal is to reduce their carbon footprint by 12 percent within the next two years.

With the UK Government committing to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, museums across the north east of the country, in a region called Tyne and Wear, have decided they want to play their part in helping to achieve this target.

Led by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM) through the Museum Development Programme funded by Arts Council England, ‘Make Carbon History’ is a two-year programme of support that will enable museums to reduce their carbon footprint by 12 percent by 2015, whilst helping reduce their carbon footprint and become more sustainable. And not only that, they also want to help create a sustainable future for communities across the region.

“Art and culture has played a huge role in Tyne and Wear’s regeneration, however, the sector faces significant challenges ahead,” explains Sarah Carr, Senior Museum Development Officer at TWAM. According to her, the initiative is about creating a sustainable future for the region’s museums and in this way to ensure that they can continue to have a positive impact on the surrounding communities: “The purpose of museums is to inspire and educate, and I hope that the action we are taking to address climate change, will also influence museum audiences to look at how they can implement sustainability and reduce their own carbon footprint.”

The not-for-profit low-carbon consultancy CO2Sense will work with the eight museums to identify and implement practical solutions to minimise their carbon emissions through reduced grid energy demand and sustainable facility management. These measures will allow the museums to reduce their energy bills, whilst also creating a more comfortable environment for visitors, staff and volunteers.

Environmental commitment 
Tyne and Wear Museums is a grouping of 11 museums and galleries in the north east of England, administered by a joint board of local authorities. The group writes on its home page that its commitment is to provide “a world-class service that is sustainable and which aims to minimise the environmental impacts of our operations. We are committed to continually improving our green policies and will work to reduce our consumption of gas, electricity, water and other materials.”

“The Director is fully committed to supporting the green campaign and champions green issues including setting a corporate objective in the organisation’s operational plan, chairing the TWAM Energy Reduction Group and ring-fencing an allocation of capital resources for sustainable ‘invest to save’ initiatives.

The Senior Management Team takes the lead on environmental performance, awareness and engagement activities for TWAM. Managers throughout the organisation are committed to improving the physical infrastructure and environmental management of their individual venues, and minimising the environmental impact of services they provide.

Staff are encouraged to participate in green polices and are kept up to date with green initiatives and activities through:
• Staff newsletter
• Quick tip emails to staff on energy saving and recycling
• Minutes of the Energy Reduction Group

TWAM has achieved the Julie’s Bicycle certification programme standard, Industry Green, which acknowledges its environmentally responsible business practices, and its commitment to ongoing improvement.

The Industry Green (IG) Standard is the environmental certification scheme managed by Julie’s Bicycle which provides an audit report of environmental performance covering energy, waste, water and travel.

The four core Industry Green criteria are:
• Commitment
• Understanding
• Improvement
• Communication”


The museums across Tyne and Wear who are currently engaged in the programme are: Bebe’s World, Heugh Gun Batterty, Killhope Lead Mining Museum, Woodhorn Museum, Oriental Museum, Durham Light Infantry, Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art, and Hexham Old Gaol.

For more information on how CO2Sense work with museums, you can contact Kristina Lomas on e-mail: Kristina [DOT] Lomas [AT] co2sense [DOT] co [DOT] uk or visit their home page:co2sense.co.uk

Sources: 
dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum/news
twmuseums.org.uk

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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2° Celsius = 565 gigatons but 2,795 gigatons = $27 trillion

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

I normally criticise environmentalists using financial numbers, but Bill McKibben’s argument in August’s Rolling Stone is based on really interesting numbers:

167 countries are signed up to the 2° target (keep the impact of climate change within this range).

565 gigatons is the amount of carbon we can release into the atmosphere (roughly speaking) before we cross the 2° threshold (maybe).  That’s just 16 years on current projections.

2,795 gigatons is what the current reserves of coal and oil based on fossil fuel industry reporting.

$27 trillion is what this represents on the balance sheets of the fossil fuel companies.

Read on here.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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From Julie’s Bicycle: After Miss Julie “Classic for a New Climate” opens at Young Vic

Julie's Bicycle - News

EXCERPTED FROM: Julie’s Bicycle – News.

Last Month a re-imagining of Strindberg’s cruelest love story, Miss Julie, opens at the Young Vic after a week of previews. Set in England, July 1945, After Miss Julie takes place during the celebrations of the Labour Party’s landslide election victory and follows events which, over the course of a single night, turn Miss Julie’s world head over heels.

Adapted from the original by Patrick Marber and directed by Natalie Abrahami, After Miss Julie is also a “Classics for a New Climate” production, which has been investigating approaches to making more ecologically sustainable theatre in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle. Prompted by the Mayor of London’s target to reduce London’s emissions by 60% before 2050, the Young Vic set out to reduce the energy used to produce After Miss Julie by 50% compared to other shows that have been staged in the Maria Theatre previously.

Heating, cooling and ventilating are the three systems that use up the most energy within the theatre space, and the Young Vic has an efficient system in place thanks to a refurbishment to the building which reopened in 2006. Initiatives that this production has put in place to reduce energy further have involved using natural ventilation as a substitute for heating and cooling as much as possible. This explains why the temperature in the auditorium varies slightly and why they’ve asked audience members to wear layers.

To read the full article CLICK HERE: Julie’s Bicycle – News.

1200 Buildings Commission: Enhancing Melbourne’s Sustainability Performance through Public Art « Carbon Arts

The 1200 Buildings Commission is a pilot public art project responding to the energy and sustainability performance of a commercial building within the City of Melbourne – the Green Spaces at 490 Spencer Street in West Melbourne. The Green Spaces building is an early entrant in the City’s 1200 Buildings scheme, which aims to facilitate the energy retrofit of 1200 buildings within the municipality, making a significant contribution towards meeting the City of Melbourne’s target of carbon neutrality by 2020.

Carbon Arts is working closely with the City of Melbourne, Guy Wilson of Fort Knox Self Storage and Dave Collins of The Green Spaces to deliver a $30,000 commission by the end of 2011. Eleven artists, designers and architects have been selected to provide proposals for the space and share in the development of a new public arts program. The public arts program aims to leverage the efforts of signatories to the 1200 Buildings scheme by making these largely invisible efforts visible to the public and engaging all Melbournians in the Eco-City vision.

Links: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/1200buildings/Pages/1200BuildingsPublicArtCommission.aspx

via 1200 Buildings Commission: Enhancing Melbourne’s Sustainability Performance through Public Art « Carbon Arts.

The 2nd WORLD CONFERENCE ON ARTS EDUCATION

It is the 34th session of UNESCOs General Conference in October 2007 that decided the Second World Conference should take place as soon as possible and accepted the invitation of the Korean Government to host this event.

Following the ongoing preparation through numerous initiatives across the world, this conference in Seoul aims to promote and to reinforce the value of quality arts education for all, in developing a capacity for creativity in the 21st century for youth and all generation.

The significance and value of arts education has already been underlined and expressed in the “Road Map for Arts Education”, resulting from the First World Conference on Arts Education held in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2006. It is now the time to focus on encouraging the implementation of the “Road Map”. Furthermore, this new global encounter in Seoul of art education actors will target to highlight the socio-cultural dimensions of arts education and reinforce research and knowledge of practices, ensuing from new conceptual and methodological tools.

The 2nd WORLD CONFERENCE ON ARTS EDUCATION.

#COP15 Political Wrap Up

It is now December 19th, the day after COP15 was intended to end. It didn’t though. It went well on into the the night. I stayed up watching the live feed until a recess was called around 4 a.m. However, I was able to get the idea.

We’re not there… yet?

That is perhaps one of the most bizarrely intended phrases I’ve ever written. Did we get a deal? Sort of. Did we get the deal we wanted (and mind you I’ll refer to everyone with this use of “we”)? No, no one got what they wanted. Is there hope that there might be a future for political action on this issue? I think so, but we must match that with our feelings of failure.

Sigh… Failure.

That’s a bit of what we’re left with. This failure has been attributed to the strong arm tactics of the United States and our president, Mr. Obama. But, I don’t think it looks like our fault. I do think it looks like our (I’m speaking as a citizen of the United States) political system: big, unwieldy, dispersed and slow.

And so it should be to some extent. If we were to railroad it through as a 350 ppm agreement, would everyone suddenly have been happy? No. Sadly, of course, very sadly, no. It is what is ecologically necessary, if not, as I would hope could be pointed out, almost generous as a target. But, I’m on the environmental side. I work in the realm of the arts and typically non-profits/NGOs (Or a hybrid like the CSPA). I could probably get pigeon holed as a leftist activist and you wouldn’t be far off. But, there are other people, who are not like me, in the world. And, despite my spite, I need to respect them and what they want/need (Or, what I, in my bias, will say is what they think they need, but only actually, acutely, want).

Do I give credence to the Rushes of the world who claim that global climate change is a hoax? No, and you may have noticed that to diffuse that, I refer to it as ‘climate change’ and not ‘global warming’. In that early morning recess I listened to some clip talking about how climate change is a great world-wide conspiracy against capitalism and the United States. Which of course is like saying that the peace movement is un-american. No, it’s not, it’s ultimately without nationality. But as McLuhan said, all violence is about threats to identity.

Rush Limbaugh’s Right-Wing America-centric identity is threatened by  taking a worldwide view. The Danish Police, ordered to keep order, have their identity threatened by dis-order, the masses of people coming towards them together. Demonstrators (predominately, but not exclusively peaceful ones) see the locked doors of the Bella Center and the police surrounding it as a threat to their identities. Developing nations see their unequal share of the climate change issue as a threat to their (developing) identity. Low-lying countries see rising tides as a threat to their identity perhaps most drastically.

If we act on the violence, if we don’t seek balance, we’re lost. And trying to get a lot of people to agree on something that is balanced, though rarely entirely fair, is not only hard and time consuming, but very American. The conflicted American attitude that oscillates between leadership and isolation consumes more than 300,000,000 people.

More than 50 times as many people, through unequal representation (favoring the big, rich nations on financial backing of political will and favoring the small, poor nations on per capita representation), are conflicted right now between self-interest and common identity, both reinforced and condemned by their peers. If anything, this isn’t an anti-american conspiracy, it’s an americanization of global politics. Our experiment in democracy, in which we’ve tied everyone’s hands to move forward quickly is binding the world together. And it follows, that people will be angry with us, as we’re a threat to their identity and individual will. Not through our strong arming, but our entropic nature. And if you think about it that way, Obama showed up to do what we hired him to do at home, set an agenda and get things moving. He is a powerfully positioned political man, with very little ability to make unilateral change anywhere. I’ve found myself explaining this to many people here, Obama doesn’t do much directly. No president of the USA does, no individual leader in a democracy does.

Anyway, it was dizzying to me to think we could negotiate anything that works for anyone in 2 weeks when we’re trying to protect billions of lives. And we didn’t. We failed. We failed in trying to get the entire planet to move together. It’s a 6 Billion + 2 legged (a second one on either end) race with ourselves. We’re all lined up at the starting line together. And the, pardon the stereotypes, Kenyan marathon runner is tied to the next contestant on “The Bigger Loser”, who is tied to somebody on crutches.

If we want to get anywhere, we need to figure out how to move together. We didn’t do that in Copenhagen. Instead we sort of figured out how to figure out working together. And there were so many people ready to go, we’ve got some forward momentum. We’re getting closer and closer to critical mass, where it’s not about what’s preventing us from getting go, but what if anything could prevent us from stopping. We’re over coming (and I do mean to say we are doing, not trying) a whole lot of inertia. COP15 failed, but Copenhagen succeeded in bring more and more of the world together, even if we are extremely disappointed (let us not at all downplay this) that this wasn’t enough to tip things in our (unfortunately that refers to everyone, even the climate deniers) direction. We’ll only feel we were successful when the COP comes with us.

Shame on anyone who says we’re going to get things to change at Cop16. Shame, because it’s not going to happen at COP16, it’s going to happen now. Every diplomat prepared to not let the Copenhagen Accord rest, every reporter, NGO and activist inside and locked out of the Bella Center, every climate action, every tweet with #COP15 trending, they are all going to continue without waiting for a year. We all got a chance to be in the same place, at the same time, break bread and see who was here.  We reified the sheer mass of the movement. I think there is something to be said for that as we pull each other along.

So, we failed. Failed to save the world, failed to stop climate change, failed to create a binding agreement for nations to move forward, failed to find faith in leadership. But we only failed in terms of Friday, December 18th, 2009. But each following day we’ve got more hands on the wheel bring us hard to port.

Some Recap from around the web:

16 ways to make your voice heard at COP15

In advance of COP15, there is a growing mass of intiatives binding us together to scare the negotiators into action.

They are in no particular order. Look down the list and find the ones that suit your own approach the best. Take part in as many as you have time for. Share them around.

Which ones have I left out? Drop me a line.

best-of-1TckTckTck The Global Citizens for Climate Action Campaign launched in August, partnered with Greenpeace, Christian Aid and Oxfam, counting us down from 100 days to COP15.

best-of-210:10 The 10:10 campaign launched off the back of Franny Armstrong’s Age of Stupid, focussing minds on cutting our emissions by 10% next year, but big on pressurising Ed Miliband to bring the goods from Copenhagen.

best3350.org Bill McKibben’s campaign to get world leaders to agree to a workable target of 350ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere plans for an international day of action on Oct 24.

best-4Vote Earth Off the back of the WWF’s Earth Hour campaign run back in March, the climate change charity have issued this global petition to world leaders.the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

best-5Sandbag “Real action on climate change” exploit the arcanities of Europe’s carbon trading schemes by  “retiring” surplus credits.  They also have a COP15 “One giant leap” petition they want you to sign.

best-6Seal the deal 2009 The UN’s European Climate Campaign, aims to create a “mosaic” of faces and voices with an online petition calling for change at Copenhagen. This is sTTThehe quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.fox. ome more invisible writing this is some invisible writing.
best-7Mobilization for Climate Justice North American coalition of activists pressing for a deal are planning major actions throughout the US on November 30. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

best-8untitled7Never trust a COP … and for those who don’t have faith that the more conventional appeals above are going to work, here’s the radical leftists’ direct action network on COP15.

best-9Hopenhagen. A snappy web-based initiative that gives people the chance to come together over the question “What gives you hope?” Catch-all question that’s the start of a rolling social media campaign. 

best-10Avaaz.org Global Wake-Up Call Following a global poll, Avaaz.org now plan a day of flash mob action in towns and cities everywhere on Sept 21. Other campaigns to follow.

best-11Be that change | Get the PM to the UN. Excellently targetted campaign to ensure that UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be at COP15. He currently has no plans to attend.

best-12Stop Climate Chaos | The Wave Huge London demo scheduled for December 5 2009 to coincide with the start of COP15. Let’s not forget the old fashioned technique of actually coming together and marching.

best-13New Earth Deal Campaign organised by the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe to create support for COP15. In an era in which politicians lack the will to lead, they now set up their own petitions. Such as…

best-14Act on Copenhagen | Back the bid The UK government’s campaign to corral support for action at COP15. A government attempt to demonstrate that it has support for radical action at COP15 – should it chose to pursue it.

best-15Friends of the Earth | Demand Climate Change Friends of the Earth’s e-petition campaign to ensure that governments sign up to a 40% cut in emissions by 2020. “We will not accept anything less.”

best-16Operation Noah | Ark petition Faith based campaign with an original scheme. Build an origami ark and send it to Downing Street to make your voice heard.


Thanks to Susan Poupard and others for filling the gaps.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Eight Ten ways to make your voice heard at COP15

In advance of COP15, there is a growing mass of intiatives binding us together to scare the negotiators into action. Here are a some that are appearing loudly and clearly on the radar. Which ones have I left out? Drop me a line.

best-of-1TckTckTck The Global Citizens for Climate Action Campaign launched in August, partnered with Greenpeace, Christian Aid and Oxfam, counting us down from 100 days to COP15.

best-of-210:10 The 10:10 campaign launched off the back of Franny Armstrong’s Age of Stupid, focussing minds on cutting our emissions by 10% next year, but big on pressurising Ed Miliband to bring the goods from Copenhagen.

best3350.org Bill McKibben’s campaign to get world leaders to agree to a workable target of 350ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere plans for an international day of action on Oct 24.

best-4Vote Earth Off the back of the WWF’s Earth Hour campaign run back in March, the climate change charity have issued this global petition to world leaders.

best-5Sandbag “Real action on climate change” exploit the arcanities of Europe’s carbon trading schemes by  “retiring” surplus credits.  They also have a COP15 “One giant leap” petition they want you to sign.

best-6Seal the deal 2009 The UN’s European Climate Campaign, aims to create a “mosaic” of faces and voices with an online petition calling for change at Copenhagen. This is some more invisible writing this is some invisible writing.
best-7Mobilization for Climate Justice North American coalition of activists pressing for a deal are planning major actions throughout the US on November 30.

best-8untitled7Never trust a COP … and for those who don’t have faith that the more conventional appeals above are going to work, here’s the radical leftists’ direct action network on COP15.

Pretty much something for everybody there… Let us know which campaigns you think are working best.

Edit: More…

best-9Hopenhagen. A snappy web-based initiative that gives people the chance to come together over the question “What gives you hope?” [Thinks, possibly too sceptically:Is that kind of catch-all question really galvanising enough?]

And, this just in:

best-10Avaaz.org Global Wake-Up Call Following a global poll, Avaaz.org now plan a day of flash mob action in towns and cities everywhere on Sept 21.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Bloggerscircle: why we need a plastic bag tax

bloggers-circleRob Greenland at The Social Business blog wrote, a couple of days ago:

It’s in the news today that supermarkets just missed their target of 50% reduction in plastic bag use (they got to 48%).  I’m not a big fan of supermarkets but I think on this one they need to be congratulated.  Remember the reaction against proposals to tax plastic bags, and how, many believed, people would never change their habits.

Far too many bags are still used but a 48% reduction is a massive improvement.  If businesses and the public can get their act together on this issue, what other seemingly impossible environmental problems might we solve?  It may also suggest that it’s better tonudge people into doing the right thing (like the clever question the checkout assistant was trained to ask), rather than taxing them into behavioural change.

50% sounds great, doesn’t it?

But in Ireland the introduction of a plastic bag tax in 2002 cut the use of plastic bags immediately by 90%, and created millions of Euros in government revenues which were pledged for use in environmental projects. Cutting ours by 50% is nothing to be proud of in comparison to that figure, especially as much of that 50% is people like Rob, me, and you, dear reader. The remaining 50% are inevitably going to be much harder to reach. Even with Tesco offering the carrot of Nectar card points for every bag reused, this is still too slow. It’s time to get out the sticks.

Like it or not, taxation is the most effective behaviour change lever government has. As Anthony Giddens suggests is in The Politics of Climate Change these are levers we’re going to have to use, and not be afraid of using. But the revenue used from these taxes must be used creatively and positively if we’re going to trust the system. Denmark’s carbon taxes, introduced in the 90s, have created an absolute fall in Co2 emissions from that country not only because they disincentivise carbon use, but because the revenue created by the fed directly back into subsidising energy-saving measures.

This post is part of a collaborative  initiative at bloggerscircle.net

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

#dusa, #tcgcon, #emos and other modern conference paradigms

I think the most stand out thing at the arts service conferences is the buzz around twitter. I allowed for an hour of twitter twitter in my class back in March and I find it all pretty funny. As the target of most contemporary advertising and inventive marketing, and typically an early adopter, I find the fervor more entertaining than anything else. It’s like when I tried to explain the answering machine to my grandmother. 

The feeling I’ve been getting is that the twittachment is somewhat caused by a messianic appeal of a way to reach youth. Somewhere though, the phrase “content is king” got left out. It’s all about the medium and nothing about the message, so that when the medium is the message all you’re saying by using twitter is that you know about twitter. Whether you say something in 140 characters sent out into the ether for all of your casual followers, or you send them a postcard, it doesn’t mean anything unless it means something. 

That is to say, I’m missing the discussion about modeling and alternative revenue streams. It all just sounds like new ways to market the same old thing… like gillette adding a blade to its vibrating razor. The revolutionary thought would be, and I think even going backwards to my idea of “ancient technology” is revolutionary at times, would be to sell an old school straight razor. Between the retro and hardcore cachés and durability in light of disposable disdain, it would be meaningful if not successful. And, when it seems the arts are about losing money for culture, at least as long as we’re attached to our 501(c)3 stati, that might be successful. 

So Theater, Dance, non-profit arts presenters, I ask you: what is your message? Is it that you know how to use a computer and have internet access that you can stick interns on to try and build youthful cache? Or, is it something worth twittering about?