For the love of….

I love Oxfam’s ‘For the love of’ campaign to raise awareness of the need to take action now against climate change.

The flooding in India and Pakistan is the most recent example of the freak weather climate change can produce and the people that are most affected. Not only have the countries experienced significant loss of life, they have no land to farm, which is crucial to their livelihood and survival.

Unicef and Oxfam both state the biggest change we can make to those living in poverty is to preserve the environment. Bad or extreme weather directly hits families struggling to live off the land so if political leaders can wake up to this reality that we need to make significant changes now – then just imagine the effect world-wide on child mortality, health, food and getting people out of poverty?

So in this campaign, Oxfam is hoping to convince world-leaders when they meet later this month to make serious commitments to climate change through changes in policy.

To lend your support, Visit Oxfam and vote for what you love and why it is so important.

This blog is for Unicef.

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Angel in Angelina?

If only more celebrities could ‘make a difference’ like Angelina Jolie. So much high profile talents waste column inches on attending fashion shows, polo events, high society drinks parties and soirees, when they could be joining the campaign on climate change, fronting up the lobbying campaign against international cases of persecution or show-horning Jeremy Clarkson into a Nissan leaf. Fame is power but unfortunately fame for the most part falls upon the shoulders of those who haven’t the foggiest as to how to use it for common good. They seem to be more obsessed with making more money, as if they had graduated from the level of giving a f*** about the world.

I would like to see Kate Middleton do more humanitarian visits and follow in the footsteps of her late mother-in-law. Although i am not judging her as I am sure the palace have her ‘leashed’.

I am sure there are many celebrities who do ‘their bit’ behind closed doors but so much more can be achieved when you ‘do good’ in public because it puts the cause into the arena of the public psyche. It is almost as if Angelina delivered on her promise to God, when he/she was dishing out the long legs, cheekbones and pouty lips, that she would put these assets to good effect for the world. I’m sure God is shaking his head at Kim Kardashian and also cursing himself for overdoing it in the bottom department.

The Independent’s Rosie Millard is right to suggest that  Angelina Jolie is changing the world, after she was photographed with Hague in a meeting with world leaders to discuss rape in conflict and how to tackle it. Keep up the good work Jolie and lets hope your fellow celebrities are watching you and thinking ‘now why didnt i think of that?’

This blog is for Unicef.

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£10 million to change the world?

So, what would you do with £10 million to conquer some of the world’s biggest challenges. That was the question posed by the BBC tonight when they launched the concept of the Longitude prize, a historic award that had previously achieved revolutions such as putting Greenwich and worldwide timekeeping on the map, thanks to a grant given to a carpenter and watchmaker, who succeeded in making a watch that would keep time at sea.

The Longitude is essentially about humanity and sustaining humanity for the future. The biggest issue facing us and our outlook for the future is climate change so this featured highly in the options. I was tempted to vote for the search to find a carbon neutral power for flight, as planes do the most harm to our environment. However, the winner of The Longitude prize would only have to enable a flight capable of a distance from London to Edinburgh, which I don’t think is enough to make a significant change. I am also unconvinced that aviation companies would be falling over themselves to adopt this new energy as there would surely be significant cost implications and we all know how squeezed profit margins are on airlines already. For this work it would take some Government intervention to put pressure on airlines to adopt the cleaner fuel.

I voted for a sustainable and nourishing food source that could be easily farmed, highly nutritious and wouldn’t cause pollution and waste to create it. The current alternatives are insects – which actually looked quite good and ticked all the boxes in terms of nutrition. For 1kg of beef, 22kg of cow feed needs to be produced – for 1kg in insect meat, only 2.2kg feed is required to give to the insects. I can also see insect farming providing a source of income for farmers in the developing world too. This idea had been developed in the Netherlands and they said the challenge to adoption in the West is changing people’s mind set. I think Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall should step forward and come up with some cunning insect recipes – it would all get us grazing on grasshoppers in no time. The other option is GM food, which has received so much bad press it is hard to understand whether it is good for us or not, apparently it is and is far more nutritious. Whoever wins the prize if food becomes the goal will ave the power o improve people’s diets world-wide, help to eliminate the harmful consequences of malnutrition, such as rickets and scurvey and help those countries who suffer from famine because they are unable to source nutritious food. It may also provide a new source of income and transform farming and agriculture plus reduce pollution as it has to be a sustainable food solution.

If you live in the UK and want to cast your vote, visit the website on the Longitude Prize.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Green cred

I have often mentioned the climate change in previous posts. My husband maintains that as I get older I get more like a tree hugger, ‘Why don’t you go and marry swampy?’ he says. The most recent issue that prompted this statement was a discussion on cars.

We are petrolheads. Ever since I was in my early teens, I have been an avid watcher of Top Gear (and inadvertently observed the demise of Jeremy Clarkson’s barnet). I used to join the sniggerers every time Clarkson mocked emissions over power. I will die a girl-racer, I enjoy speed too much to give it up but as I have matured and looked beyond the realms of me, myself and I, cars for me have a responsibility to be cleaner and safer.

I believe we have been going at a snail’s pace when it comes to developing cleaner and more efficient engines that can run on renewable fuels. This is because manufacturers have not felt enough pressure from customers to change engine power.

So when my hubby started scanning the market for a new car, all the usual suspects were off my short list because of emissions. Yet it is difficult to find a car that ticks that box and looks ok too.

Its almost as if you have to compromise streetcred for greencred.

The Royals aren’t exactly helping the cause either, with range rovers chuffing around their kingdom snow-ploughing through the paparazzi and the ozone layer.

So when we do get round to replacing the car, I plan to make a green statement and get the car with the lowest emissions possible.  The best is electric but we live out in the sticks and at least an hour away from our nearest ‘plug’. So why haven’t they made them more available?

Think we should go back to the original horsepower. At least I can do something useful in the garden with the waste products.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. Check out the campaign here.

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Getting the Government to quit

The apathy over climate change reflects the apathy that used to exist over wearing seatbelts in a car, smoking, HIV and drink driving, to name but a few. While all these examples impact on personal health and safety, climate change is about global health. Reports after reports by scientists passed to Governments show our C02 emissions continue to climb to harmful levels causing more freakish weather and an environment that is becoming increasingly difficult to live in for a lot of people.

The poorest are the first to suffer, which is probably why the apathy is so severe because they rely on charities to give them a voice and power. By the time it hits the people who have the ability to do something about it, it will be too late.

In September this year Europe’s leaders will gather to discuss global issues, yet climate change is not top of the agenda and charities such as Oxfam are lobbying hard to get leaders not only discussing this life-saving issue but also committing to a crackdown on C02 emissions.

Climate change is the most important issue to address to help people in poverty and to protect our children’s future. Yet it is the least talked about and the UK media seem uninterested in giving it coverage, assisted by the sneers of personalities like Clarkson and the vanity of people driving big 4×4 vehicles on road.

It takes less than a minute to lobby the Government so do so now here.

I am blogging every day for UNICEF – support the campaign here.

Thanks for reading.