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Exhibition opening at Hackney Museum on 8th Feb 2013
Tags: The following tags will link your item to the relevant workstream: biodiversity, buildings, energy, economy, food, justice, pollution, transport, waste.
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Oh dear. What a missed opportunity. A very superficial look at sustainability from someone apparently so well educated and committed to Climate Change awareness.
Electric Cars – no air pollution (at source) but also known as coal fired cars because UK electricity is fossil fuel generated. Not bad but bikes are better. Hardly Hackney relevant.
Digby Road Green wall – water & energy intensive, limited value for biodiversity – the building may have some merit but the idea that a green wall or roof mitigates the impact of Hackney's development orgy is Greenwash
Arcola Theatre - yes excellent, pioneering local energy generation example but already widely known and publicised
Recycling bins (!) - more Greenwash. In so far as recycling bins are relevant to Hackney, Hackney's recycling is poor and declining. Even more importantly it is about to get worse thanks to LBH cost cutting shift away from street level sorting (see more info on recycling changes)
Pembury Estate pv – photo voltaic is a red herring. Even if you accept the 3-10yrs to generate the electricity (embedded carbon) it costs to create the panels and account for the energy loss in stepping up to 240v, the fact is reducing energy consumption is the ONLY hope for humanity. PV is just another capitalist market. Not all bad, but not the answer.
Growing Communities market gardens – great, but their innovative Patchwork Farm or outstanding Organic Farmers' Market would make a much better story.
East Reservoir nature reserve – may have won a design award for proposed Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) development but HLF is a national disgrace renowned for destroying urban biodiversity to profit posh landscape consultants. Recent Clissold Park 'renovations' illustrate HLF's secret moto - “take from the poor, give to the rich and bugger the environment!"
Abney Park – yes nice tree
couple on a roof – yes some people grow veg on their roofs
Dalston Farm Shop – intensive fish farming and hydroponic salad under florescent lights might be art but its not sustainable, low carbon food production.
BUT the real weakness of this exhibition is the massive reality it hides. People who mistakenly look here for inspiration will not see any of the all too often unrepresented Hackney wonders, like:
Hackney cyclists and HC Campaign – Hackney has more cyclists than anywhere else in Britain. HCC run free bike repair training workshops and play a significant role in LBH street design – they are worth 10,000 electric cars
Hackney's 20 community orchards
Hackney Biodiversity Partnership – real people, local ecologists, LBH and other agencies meet to improve LIFE in Hackney
Tree Musketeers – hundreds of people looking after hundreds of trees, not to mention 1500 2013 Hackney Tree Calendars. All volunteers.
The community tree nursery – Hackney is the only London borough to grow its own trees (no transport carbon, no ash dieback, no oak processionary moth) plus sustainable beehives and a Growing Communities' Patchwork Farm producing local salad for local distribution.
HMUG– managing Wick Woodland for people and wildlife, sustainably harvesting wood products, defending the marshes against development and exploitation. All volunteers.
Hackney Parks Forum and all the park user groups. Butterfield Green, Stoke Newington Common, Dalston Curve Garden, Shoreditch Park, Springfield Park, East Bank West Bank, Millfields, Clissold, Haggerston, etc. ALL volunteers.
POGO cafe – vegan, volunteer cafe with attitude. Very Hackney, very sustainable.
Clapton Park Estate – grounds maintenance with people and ecology at the top of the agenda. Ground breaking but simple and very effective.
The list and stories go on.......
Hackney City Farm
St. Mary's Secret Garden
Food 4 All
Transition Town Stoke Newington
and on ...................
Alas Climate Change Cafe seems to be a personal marketing brand, not a serious endeavour to educate or inspire.
Too often, cities are given credit for their leadership on environmental initiatives whilst neglecting the valuable collective action taken by the many smaller communities that form the backbone of a city. In the absence of major private sector employment in Hackney, local government can often seem to dominate due to the power it wields over planning decisions and enacting local environmental policy. Fortunately, Hackney has a diverse range of other stakeholders who are also active in promoting environmental sustainability. Civil society organizations, local businesses, community arts groups, and concerned individuals are all equally represented in this exhibition.
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