Mimicking nature, feeding the world and other sustainability ideas

Hi everyone!

This week, the Transition food group will be making exciting plans for the year ahead, the energy group will discuss recent low energy prices and the growing spaces group will be making all-important signage to engage with the local community. If you've ever wanted to get involved with any of these groups, now's a good chance! New faces always welcome. Next Monday's monthly Transition hub meeting is also a chance for all of the groups to catch up with each other.

Elsewhere, there are lots of great sustainability talks: you can hear about the history of climate science from the Met Office Chief Scientist and about mimicking nature in architecture ("biomimicry") for the ultimate in sustainable design, both part of the Darwin College Lecture series. The Food Futures in the World Seminar series also has two lunchtime lectures on feeding the world without costing the earth and the challenge of food wastage and global food security. There's also a showing of the excellent film Project Wild thing by the Orchard Park Wildlife project, and an exciting job opportunity with local renewable energies company Midsummer Energy, plus much more. Read on below...

CONTENTS

Transition News and Events

  • Tuesday 10 February: Food Group meeting
  • Tuesday 10 February: Energy Group Meeting
  • Wednesday 11 February: Growing Spaces meeting
  • Monday 16 February: Transition Cambridge hub meeting
  • Saturday 21 February: Grow Your Own Session in Trumpington - CANCELLED
  • Friday 20 March: Cambridge Environment and Climate Change, QUESTION TIME.
  • Events for your calendar

Community News

  • CFLC to meet with Right to Build Vanguard at SCDC
  • Job Advert: Midsummer Energy Office Manager
  • A first community centre in near-central Cambridge?
  • Cambridge Living Future Community eco village (CLFC)

Other News and Events

  • Tuesday 10 February: Plants- A Chemical Miscellany
  • Wednesday 11 February: The economy in 2015: A green-minded analysis
  • 12-14th February: Conference: Anthropological Visions of Sustainable Futures
  • Friday 13 February: Development of Climate Science
  • Saturday 14th February: "For the love of..." event in Cambridge
  • Saturday 14th February: Fossil Free Cambridgeshire kickoff
  • Every 3rd Tuesday of the Month: Cambridge Ladybirds WI
  • Wednesday 18 February: Feeding the world without costing the earth
  • Thursday 19 February: 'Project Wild Thing' - film screening
  • Friday 20 February: Biomimicry - Development of Sustainable Design
  • Saturday 28 February: 'Volunteer for Cambridge' community fair
  • Wednesday 04 March: Food Wastage and Global Food Security
  • March 9 - 22: Cambridge Science Festival
  • Wednesday 11 March: Resource competition: Supporting a growing population whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Saturday 14 March: Be the change - Cambridge community action event
  • Reach Community Solar Farm - share offer
  • Events for your calendar

Transition News and Events

Tuesday 10 February: Food Group meeting

18:30-20:00, CB2 cafe, Norfolk Street

At this meeting we'll cover updates on projects and review of the Seed Swap. We'll make plans for the year (including stalls), as well as talk about events coming up, new initiatives and anything else of interest.

Tuesday 10 February: Energy Group Meeting

20:00-21:30, Margaret's house

We will be discussing the recent low energy prices - what does this mean for everyone, does it change our policy at all, what message should we give people. All welcome. Ask Nicola for details of the venue. More details here.

Wednesday 11 February: Growing Spaces meeting

19:30-21:30, TBA

This month we will be meeting to design signs for our existing spaces. One of the most important aspects of the Growing Spaces project is to communicate to neighbours and passers-by about food growing and engagement in shaping urban spaces. Join our project as we work on outreach and layout and plan the planting of spaces for the new growing season. RSVP here if you want to join the sign making or are interested in the project in general. More details here.

Monday 16 February: Transition Cambridge hub meeting

19:00-21:00, Nicola's house on Chesterton Road

At the hub's monthly meeting, representatives of the groups and projects report on what they've been up to. We also make plans together to coordinate future events. Meetings are open, so all are welcome to attend. Attending hub meetings is a good way to see how Transition Cambridge works, and to get a sense of the range of projects that we are involved with. Contact Nicola for details of the address.

Saturday 21 February: Grow Your Own Session in Trumpington - CANCELLED

10:00-13:00, Trumpington allotments

Very sorry but I now cannot make this day. Watch this space for replacement date. Join in here. More details here.

Friday 20 March: Cambridge Environment and Climate Change, QUESTION TIME.

19:30-21:00, Anglia Ruskin.

Could you lend a hand on the evening of 20th March with Cambridge Question Time? It would be nice to have friendly faces to meet and greet and help to direct people before the event. Also we need people to help with a mobile mikes during the event, so the panel can hear the questions from the floor. If you would like to have a job before or after the event. Contact me. Follow us on twitter@CambridgeQT15

Events for your calendar

Community News

CFLC to meet with Right to Build Vanguard at SCDC

The Cambridge Future Living Community group have a meeting planned for next week with the Right to Build Vanguard Project officer at South Cambs District Council to discuss their project in the context of site options. If you are seriously considering being part of the community as a resident, please do register your interest by joining their Group, or emailing them. This will aid them in providing some early evidence of demand for their project as it is envisioned. More info here.

Job Advert: Midsummer Energy Office Manager

We're a local renewables energy company looking for a friendly and efficient office manager. Please follow this link to the job ad on our website for more details if you are interested. The deadline for applications is the 16th March.

A first community centre in near-central Cambridge?

The Save Our Space campaign aims to buy the closed Sturton Street Methodist Church & Hall and create a community-owned community centre. To fund this, members of the Cambridge community are invited to pledge to buy community shares (which should be eligible for 30% Social Investment Taxation Relief). Shares cost £250 (or half shares, £125, for local residents). This investment can be withdrawn - but hopefully would not be! After 3 years, shareholders would begin receiving their (proposed) accumulated 3% interest for every year. Money withdrawn sooner would forfeit any interest. Money to fund this interest would come from profits generated by renting parts of the space for commercial activities - an approach already used across the country to save pubs, post offices etc. £48,600 has already been awarded by Cambridge City Council, for renovations. Over £240,000 has been pledged by residents for shares. But that's just not close enough to the £600,000 bid price. More pledges are urgently needed before 14 February, to be able to make a proper bid. Otherwise, the site will go onto the open market on 1 March, and will be lost. Please pledge at http://www.sturton.org (where you can also read the business plan, and learn more about the idea).

Cambridge Living Future Community eco village (CLFC)

CLFC is moving forward with its plans for a truly affordable and sustainable community self built development on the Cambridge fringe, based on the ethics - Earth care, People care and Fair share. In conjunction with the national Community Land Trust network, we are developing our plans. Currently we are working on feasibility studies, legal structure, and building up the core team and advisors. would you like to be involved? More info here (now with correct link - apologies that this was wrong before).

Other News and Events

Tuesday 10 February: Plants- A Chemical Miscellany

19:30, Ross Street Community Centre

Plants contain a huge variety of chemical compounds which help them to attract the 'right sort of insects' and deter predators, among other things. The talk will look at some of the compounds present in common garden plants such as feverfew and foxgloves and how this chemical insight can allow us to utilise the plants for our benefit. It will look at past, present and potential future uses of the plants showing how they are intertwined with our history but also have the potential to help us deal with future challenges. Admission: £2.50 for members (annual membership £5) and £4 for non-members.

Wednesday 11 February: The economy in 2015: A green-minded analysis

19:00, Saunders Room, Newnham College, Sidgwick Street, Cambridge CB3 9DF

Richard Murphy, founder member and principal researcher for the Tax Justice Network till 2013 and currently director of Tax Research LLP, is a compelling speaker for those interested in the economy and social justice. Richard has pioneered many new issues in the debate on tax policy. His vision led to the creation of an entirely new accounting concept of Country-by-Country reporting, which requires multinational companies to publish proper loss accounts, a mechanism for holding multinational corporations to account for their activities in developing countries, the extractive industries and tax havens. Richard was also one of the leading figures developing the concept of a "Green New Deal" designed to power a renewables revolution, create thousands of green-collar jobs and rein in the distorting power of the finance sector. Find out more about his work here and read about the Green New Deal here.

12-14th February: Conference: Anthropological Visions of Sustainable Futures

18:00-18:00, University College, London

Here is the final programme for the Centre for the Anthropology of Sustainability Inaugural Conference: 'Anthropological Visions of Sustainable Futures', taking place on February 12-14 at University College London. Confirmed speakers include Bruno Latour, Henrietta Moore, Katherine Homewood, Bill Adams, James Fairhead, Anna Tsing, Laura Rival, Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, Marcus Coates, Kirsten Hastrup, Arturo Escobar, Signe Howell, Alf Hornborg, Mauro Almeida and Veronica Strang. Discussants include Phil Burnham, Hugh Brody, Anne-Christine Taylor, Philippe Descola and Keith Hart. To register, please follow this link. (If anyone from Transition Cambridge is going to this conference, it would be great to organise a "reporting-back" session!)

Friday 13 February: Development of Climate Science

17:30-18:30, Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Avenue

This lecture is by Professor Dame Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist at the Met Office. More info. It's part of the Darwin College Lecture series. More details here.

Saturday 14th February: "For the love of..." event in Cambridge

Market Square, Cambridge 12:00

Show the Love! We'll march around the pedestrian area of the market, wearing our hearts on our sleeves to show that there is something we love enough to save from climate change. This campaign is organised by the Climate Coalition, and is supported by Cambridge Carbon Footprint. Details here.

Saturday 14th February: Fossil Free Cambridgeshire kickoff

Market Square, Cambridge 12:30-14:00

This Saturday you are invited to take part in the Global Divestment Day in the Market Square in Cambridge. Join us at 12.30 to help kick off the new Fossil Free Cambridgeshire campaign with a photo launch and by writing Valentine’s Day cards declaring why you want to “Break up with the Fossil Economy”. Divestment from fossil fuels is about de-legitimizing the fossil fuel industry. It is one important step to challenging the belief that the economy and climate change are too big to confront. Further details can be found on the campaign Facebook page. (Also join the "For the love of" event at 12 in the Market Square - details above.)

Every 3rd Tuesday of the Month: Cambridge Ladybirds WI

19:30-21:30, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, Cambridge

Cambridge Ladybirds WI is a diverse and welcoming group of women that meet every 3rd Tuesday of the Month. We are open to new members and welcome guests to our talks and events. Membership is £36 for the year and the guest fee is £4. Our 2015 programmes includes meetings on: SOS for Honeybees and Bike Maintenance. Find out more on our website.

Wednesday 18 February: Feeding the world without costing the earth

13:00, Biffen Lecture Theatre, Department of Genetics, Downing Site

Opinions over how to limit the immense impact of agriculture on the rest of biodiversity are divided: is it better to retain on-farm wildlife but at the cost of lowering yields, or to increase yields, limit the area needed for farming and thereby retain larger areas under natural habitats – or indeed something between the two? Professor Andrew Balmford,Professor of Conservation Science, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, will introduce a model designed to answer this question, and review the empirical evidence to date. More details here.

Thursday 19 February: 'Project Wild Thing' - film screening

18:00-21:00, The Orchard Community Centre, Central Avenue, Orchard Park CB4 2EZ

This film by David Bond is about how spending time in nature is good for children. The film is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look at a complex issue, the increasingly disparate connection between children and nature. The film-makers say "Wild Time is great for building confidence, creativity and independence. It’s healthy, good for the mind and the body. And there’s also lots of other life out there to discover and connect with. If you just look up, listen and start to notice." Come along see the film, and maybe make a pledge to spend an hour helping your local wildlife. Screened by Orchard Park Wildlife project, there will also be info about local wildlife activities. Free, donations of time/money welcome. Head to the website for more info, booking via Eventbrite here

Friday 20 February: Biomimicry - Development of Sustainable Design

17:30-18:30, Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Avenue

This lecture is by Michael Pawlyn of Exploration Architecture More info. It's part of the Darwin College Lecture Series. More details here.

Saturday 28 February: 'Volunteer for Cambridge' community fair

11:00-16:00, The Guildhall, Cambridge

Cambridge City Council & Cambridge Hub is hosting a one day Volunteer for Cambridge fair. It will bring together organisations in the Cambridge community who work to create positive social and environmental change through volunteering. It will feature a marketplace of charities, voluntary organisations and student societies and programme of talks from both high-profile individuals and community groups. The fair aims are to get more people involved in volunteering, bring together organisations with shared aims and to break down the town/gown divide. A further aim is to engage “unusual suspects” in volunteering, inviting those who have not previously engaged in volunteering to attend. For more information.

Wednesday 04 March: Food Wastage and Global Food Security

13:00, Biffen Lecture Theatre, Department of Genetics, Downing Site

Today, we produce about four billion metric tonnes of food per annum. Yet due to poor practices in harvesting, storage and transportation leading to losses, as well as market and consumer waste, it is estimated that 30–50% (or 1.2–2 billion tonnes) of all food produced never reaches a human stomach. Furthermore, this figure does not reflect the fact that large amounts of water, energy and land are used unnecessarily in the production of foodstuffs which simply end up as wastage. This level of resource waste is a tragedy that cannot continue. Dr Tim Fox will present the findings of the Institution’s two recent reports in this area, ‘Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not’ and ‘A Tank of Cold: Cleantech Leapfrog to a More Food Secure World’ and consider what all of us need to do to reduce food wastage and thereby help underpin international food security. More details here.

March 9 - 22: Cambridge Science Festival

06:30-06:30, Various

The annual Cambridge Science Festival takes place from 9 to 22 March 2015. With around 300 fascinating talks, discussions, films, theatre, exhibitions, comedy and hands-on activities on offer, the Festival is a great opportunity to explore and discuss world leading science. For more information, visit.

Wednesday 11 March: Resource competition: Supporting a growing population whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions

13:00, Biffen Lecture Theatre, Department of Genetics, Downing Site

The 7.2 billion people on earth today are currently consuming the output of more than one planet. Improvements in agriculture has provided a more plentiful and richer diet and advances in medical science and its practice has reduced infant and maternal mortality and increased longevity, locking in population growth rate of around 1% per year that will lead to a population of between 9-10 billion by 2050 and over 11 billion by 2100. The existing population is already challenging the availability of resources or water, land, minerals and energy. However, adding an extra 30% of humans will cause an intense completion for scarce resources. This presentation will explore this competition and the apparent dichotomy between economic activity and greenhouse gas emission reduction. More details here.

Saturday 14 March: Be the change - Cambridge community action event

12:00-18:00, Anglia Ruskin University

Do you want to have more than your say on the future of Cambridge? Do you want to share your ideas with dozens of passionate & like-minded people? Do you want to make a positive difference to our city? If so, this event is for you - and it's free! Have an impact, and be the change you want to see in Cambridge (Even though with Transition Cambridge all of you already are!) More details here.

Reach Community Solar Farm - share offer

Reach Community Solar Farm have just launched a share offer to raise funds to build a small solar farm on the outskirts of the village. The completed scheme should generate roughly half of the electricity used in the village. Any surplus made after running costs will be split between a community benefit fund and interest payments to members. Find out more on the reachsolarfarm.co.uk website. (Various TC members are involved in this project, including Andy Rankin of Midsummer Energy (member of TC energy group) and Paul Robinson of Willow Farm (home of Waterland Organics veg-box scheme and the TC CropShare project).) More info.

Events for your calendar

Have a great week, whatever you get up to!

Transition Cambridge

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Transition Cambridge aims to help Cambridge make the transition to ways of life that are more resilient in the face of rising energy prices and a changing climate.

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