Y Ddraig Goch Ddyry Cychwyn!

November 1, 2007 at 8:21 am | Posted in Awards, Cardiff, Climate change, Eco-towns, Green lifestyles, Learning Welsh, Media blitz, Mottoes, Newport, One planet, Sir John Houghton, St. David's, Sustainability, The red dragon, Three planets, Wales, Welsh, Welsh language, WWF, Y Ddraig Goch | Leave a comment

Y Ddraig Goch (The red dragon Welsh flag)Y Ddraig Goch Ddyry Cychwyn!

(“The red dragon should go forward!” This is the unofficial Welsh national motto. Sometimes it is described as “The red dragon will rise again!” or “The red dragon will lead the way!” You get the picture. )

You may laugh, but I am sitting here with a lump of bara lawr, wondering whether to eat it on toast later today when our eldest son comes home from school, or make laver cakes with it. Hmmm … I promised to share it with him, because he loves seaweed. It may be the greenest food there is 😉

We had a wonderful time in Wales last week, for Half-Term Break. While we were staying in Cardiff, there was an article in the Western Mail that celebrated Newport, just east of Cardiff:

Newport is named as Britain’s greenest city

Oct 23 2007 by Tomos Livingstone, Western Mail

NEWPORT can claim to be Britain’s greenest city today after a report found it uses fewer natural resources than any other urban centre.

Environmental campaign group WWF studied 60 cities and calculated their carbon footprint, based on the amount of land and sea required to support a person’s lifestyle.

The measure, reported in:

WWF-UK: Welsh city dwellers green up their act, new ranking shows

takes into account factors including housing, transport, food, consumer goods and public and private services. Although Newport and other Welsh cities score well, the research suggests we are using, on average, three times too much of the earth’s natural resources.

(more …)

and there’s the rub: even in the greenest city in Britain, we are still using three times the resources that should be available to us on this single planet of ours. The only reason we can do this is because there are other parts of the world where people use much, much less than we do per capita. Today’s news in the Western Mail is just as good: it shows that this has registered on the national radar and there is an abundance of information about climate change, sustainable living, and other environment-friendly materials planned for November. Look:

Go green, Wales

Nov 1 2007 Sally Williams, Western Mail

November is Environment Month in the Western Mail. Sally Williams lays out the plan for 30 Green days

CLIMATE CHANGE has risen from being an issue that has been bubbling under the surface of scientific debate for decades, to the top of current political agendas all over the world.

Everyone from prime ministers and presidents to retailing giants and industrialists is now taking the issue seriously, in the light of mounting scientific evidence that our collective use of carbon is melting the Polar ice caps and changing life on Earth.

According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ocean levels will rise between half a foot and two feet, with the best expectation being about one foot, in this century, mainly because of water expanding as it warms.

But what impact could the rising sea levels have on Wales – its coastline, wildlife and future generations?

The Western Mail is going to devote the whole of November to an Environment Month special to explore what the consequences may be.

Throughout this month, we will look at the environment through hard news coverage and features throughout all sections of the newspaper and the Saturday Magazine.

And we will be asking Welsh experts on climate change to explain the science behind the problem.

Sir John Houghton is one of them. The former co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is one of the world’s top experts on the subject.

Sir John, who was born in Rhyl and now lives in Aberdovey, Gwynedd, will tell us how rising sea levels are likely to impact on the poorer nations of the world. He will explain the uncomfortable truth that Wales and the UK grew rich from using cheap energy from carbon-emitting fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – for more than 200 years, unaware of the consequences.

Gordon James of Friends of the Earth will take a look at weather extremes and at the “way ahead for a more sustainable Wales”.

Morgan Parry and Kim Richards, of WWF Cymru, will studyexplain climate change and its impact on Welsh coast sea levels, revealing the top five UK marine species that are currently affected by it.

Our Country and Farming Editor, Steve Dubé will take an in-depth look at how the Welsh coastline might appear in future.

Western Mail Chief Reporter Martin Shipton will shame the current worst polluters in Wales.

On the credit side, we will celebrate the Welsh firm, Rio Architects, that has designed the greenest building in the UK.

Our transport expert Rhodri Clark will pit different modes of transport against each other to see which one is the most efficient. Rhodri will also scrutinise the office environment and see how easy it is to make small changes that can make a big difference in the long term.

Euro MP Jill Evans will explain “How I try to be a green politician travelling around Europe” and Duncan Sedgwick, chief executive of The Energy Retail Association, claims we can all combat climate change… from under the stairs!

Our Saturday Magazine will illustrate why Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s first “eco-town” in the UK is in Wales, at the cathedral city of St. David’s.

And the magazine will take a light-hearted look at how to be green, by Nigel Crowle.

Even the sceptics who don’t believe in climate change might admit that our energy and food requirements in future will need to be more sustainable, as oil and gas reserves run low. So we will be asking a host of environmental pioneers, politicians, scientists and campaigners, for their advice on what everyone can do – in a large or small way – to attempt to tackle the problem in industry, at home, in the office, in school and during leisure time.

We will offer top tips on how to recycle more effectively, how to opt for green transport when possible, how to make homes and workplaces more sustainable and how to buy carbon-footprint-friendly local Welsh products.

It would be an easy get-out option for us to carry on consuming regardless of the consequences, if it wasn’t for the fact that Wales is still producing high levels of CO2 emissions. We hope our Environment Month will stir up debate and raise awareness of how important it is to safeguard our land and sea and how we can help to bring Wales’ carbon emissions down to a more sustainable level.

We selected five of the most prominent environmentalists in Wales and asked them to explain to us how they are involved in the battle against climate change and what drives them …

(more …)


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