Tag Archives: climate

A Better Class of Nutter

Well written analysis of the Climate Camp in the Torygraph, obsessing over class again.

It might appear typically British to obsess about class while the earth burns..

Yes, it does, now you come to mention it actually…

…but what seems to distinguish the colourfully attired protesters at the Climate Camp set up in south-east London from previous revolutionaries is the overwhelming dominance of posh, upper-middle-class white people.

And on on Mayor Bullock:

Bullock, a former van driver, neatly represents the class conflict between green campaigners and the working class, who tend to be apathetic about political protest of any sort, and especially the tree-hugging variety.

Interesting description on the tensions between the “Spikys” and the “Fluffys”. I definitely saw a few “Spikys” on the first day, but fewer today.

Already, however, the coalition had splintered. After Drax, the “spikys”, the more anarchic wing of the anti-capitalist movement, left in disillusionment at the pacifism of the “fluffys”. Last week, a “spiky” outfit known as the Whitechapel Anarchist Group – “the Wags” – objected to the Camp’s “fluffy” leaders meeting “the pigs”, as anarchists still call the police.

And then back to class again:

Yet the children of the privileged have often formed the nucleus of radical protest movements, from the student demos of 1968 back through the Suffragettes and the Chartists. Even the Peasants’ Revolt was not called that at the time (rather, “The Mad Multitude”), and its leaders were “middle-class” by today’s standards.

There does seem to be a competition running between the Mail and The Telegraph to see who can attract the most mental comments at the bottom of their articles…. Not like the Buglers of course…

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Wind Turbines Talk on Blackheath

Wind turbine talk at the Blackheath Climate Camp
I’ve just been to the wind turbines talk at the Climate Camp on Blackheath. It was really well attended. The organisation who ran the talks are called v3power.co.uk. They often run courses explaining how to build your own wind turbine, but they’ve never held one in London. If anyone is interested, they would need to find some workshop space for a 3 day course… It sounds great to me.

Anyway, below are my notes from the talk:
turbine_erectingAll the hand made turbines at the camp were based on Hugh Piggott’s books. He is seen as the master of handmade wind farms. His book costs £12. Older versions of his book are free to download as pdf files from the website.
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Help out the Climate Change Camp – free your wifi this weekend!


If you live near the Climate Change camp, and have wifi, you can help the Climate Change protestors out by switching off your wifi password. It’s not that risky if you have decent security software on your PC, and its firewall is enabled – see this explanation.

Amelia Gregory, one of the organisers sent a message out, saying:

Well that was good. Have been totally unable to get online all morning til I discovered we have wi-Fi. Are police blocking me?!

Doubt they are being blocked, probably just a zillion wifi users all trying to connect to one router!

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Letter to Blackheath Residents from Climate Camp

An open letter to Blackheath Residents just appeared on the Another Green World blog page. Not sure if it is official (or even if there is such a thing as “official” at the camp!), anyway, looks interesting:

Letter to Blackheath residents from Climate Camp
August 27, 2009

Dear Resident,

This letter is from the Camp for Climate Action. The camp is setting up on Blackheath from 26 August to 2 September. This letter is just to explain a little about the camp, and to invite you to come along and visit.

The Camp for Climate Action is a diverse bunch of people who want to see more action about climate change.

For the last 3 years Continue reading

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Blackheath – The Daily Mail lifestyle choice

The Daily Mail comes to the Blackheath climate camp protest, bringing a whiff of lifestyle, despair and misery.

Apparently it’s not a protest, it’s a load of middle class children, who will never be political and are a bunch of hypocrites for even attempting such a protest. Every time I read one of these Mail articles (and feel guilty for clicking on their links) it reminds me how much they seem to hate their own readers. It is as though they are saying “You can’t change anything, so don’t even try. You’ve lost already so go home and do as we tell you”. It delights in asking “Where are all the battle-hardened anarchists with smelly dreadlocks, boasting tales of police brutality?”

Have a little read of this, if you haven’t read about how the Mail behaved in the 30′s. It is fascinating. Yes it was a long time ago, but there’s still a strange odour lingering over articles like this one, even now – it’s just that these days the language has softened slightly, and been replaced with talk of brands and lifestyle choices.

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Build a wind farm on Blackheath!

Blackheath with wind turbines

The montage above was created by me back in January, as a way of playing with the idea of how a wind farm might look on the heath. So imagine how incredible it felt to be walking around seeing the real thing up on the heath today:

Wind Farm on Blackheath

I spoke to a couple of the people who built the wind turbines. Their organisation is called V3 Power, and they specialise in building renewable energy devices. They told me that the gospel book on how to build them is A Wind Turbine Recipe Book by Hugh Piggott which you can buy for £12. He highly recommended the website http://www.scoraigwind.com/

They currently have two turbines up in the air, whizzing away (he said that this spot is renowned for its wind, a point the Bugle can confirm from his kite adventures). They are hoping to put up two more tomorrow, and are currently charging four 12 volt car batteries at a time, which are then distributed around the camp when they are full, for music, computer use etc. They also have an inverter which allows them to create AC power, so that mains devices such as mobile phone chargers can be powered in the van – see below:

Wind Farm batteries on Blackheath

Wind Farm batteries on Blackheath

If you’re interested in finding out more, they are holding a workshop on Saturday at 4.30pm in the camp on Blackheath. See the map for the location. There are also loads of other events going on.

The montage at the top is based on a couple of images. The heath image is by Nicobobinus and the turbines are by jespis. Both are creative commons licensed, as is my montage.

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Blackheath Climate Change Camp Google Map

Blackheath Climate Change Camp Map


Here’s a very vague map of the Climate Change Camp, complete with markers for toilets. I think the Blackboard mentioned in the previous post might be more use (or just ask anyone once you get inside).

I tried to create a proper Google Map, but it isn’t appearing on my computer for some reason. Maybe you can see it above?

I’ve also added my traces to OpenStreetMap (the Wikipedia of maps) using this very nice app. But they haven’t appeared yet, and I might have done it wrong… But the wonderful thing about these maps is that anyone can fix them – so please tidy them up!

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Things to do at the Blackheath Climate Camp

Climate Change Blackheath Blackboard Map
How exciting… Just been up to the camp to see what was going on. Such a nice atmosphere.
Below is a list of all their activities for the coming few days.  Some of them look really interesting (“How to climb a tripod” sounds like fun, the “home compost and wormery demo” sounds educational – as the former owner of a disastrous wormery perhaps I should attend…  And “DIY Wind Power: Building our own generators” sounds fascinating.

But some of them sounds really awful – “Singing to Mourn, to Celebrate and to Resist”, “Interactive Theatre on Climate Justice”, “Wooden Pencil Meditation” sound like something Edwina and Patsy might have dreamt up…

Anyway, judge for yourself – it’s all yours to go and investigate Blackheath!  See below for all the info

(The cryptic codes (such as MM = Main Marquee) correspond to various tents – see the photo above).
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Mayor of Lewisham Compares Climate Change Protesters to Football Hooligans

I was hoping that Lewisham Mayor Steve Bullock’s climate change comments (as reported by 853blog ) were an accidental one off… He wrote:

Climate change huge concern to me but do not believe irresponsible approach of the CC campers will win public support and make change happen

But it seems mayorsteve.co.uk is at it again:

There may seem to be little connection between the thugs who wreaked havoc at the West Ham/Millwall game on Tuesday and the Climate Change protestors who occupied Blackheath last evening. One group are only interested in satisfying their own selfish need for violence whilst the other are doing something positive to help save our endangered planet….

The problem with the Campers is that no matter how well intentioned and nice they are what they are doing is counter-productive. It will be seen as self indulgent by lots of people who are struggling through the recession and could even make it harder to win support for some of the difficult measures that will have to be taken in the future. And who do you think is going to have to pay to take the rubbish away, provide water and repair the Heath when they’ve gone? That’s right you and me – the taxpayers of Lewisham who were never asked and never agreed to the camp being here.

I’m afraid that I’m a Blackheath taxpayer, and I have to disagree with you, Steve. Firstly, I don’t understand why our local councils insist upon pronouncing on issues that have no consequence to residents, such as Millwall fans, when there are so many other issues that need looking at first. Secondly, I think it is absolutely essential that people make their voices heard on a local, national and international level. Unfortunately for you, it’s on your patch… Nevermind, the heath is a mess every sunny Saturday with people simply boozing, so it won’t make much difference.

So, you can either use this to your advantage, embrace it, and listen to their requests, or you can sit in your council offices, chastising these young people for having the gall to make a stand about something. Don’t be misled – just because they’ve got the time and money to be able to come and make a political statement doesn’t mean that they are just rich kids who can be ignored. Climate change is going to affect all of us.

Please don’t make dubious comparisons with football hooligans. Improve our air quality, reduce the flights coming overhead, make sure that our waste isn’t being incinerated, but gets fully recycled, turn our public transport into low emissions vehicles, and stop the crazy rail price hikes! Then you can talk to us about Millwall fans.

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Little messages from Climate Change

Tweets about climate change that made me smile. (Not agreeing with all of them!)

@Matt_Coop
Love the way the bbc can only find posh kids to interview at climate camp. Bloody hippies!
@claytonhirst
Went to look at the climate protest on Blackheath. It looks like an end of season Millets tent sale, manned by bored sales assistants…
@neilclasper
Slightly disappointed not to see a #Blackheath Standard branch of #climatecamp. Someone’s got to find a use for the green there…
@BrockleyKate
Oh god, why Blackheath for fuck’s sake? Piss off you appalling smug lifestylists.
@BrockleyKate
If I hear one more smug reference to Wat Tyler I will go down there and set about them with a spade.
@hitherqueen
wonders if Blackheath might collapse with the no. of #climatecampers on it -it is all a maze of tunnels!
@damoski
Actually,I can see the Blackheath Tea Hut having it’s best week ever!.. If they rotate the ‘Animal Burger’ for a ‘Vegan Burger’.
@AngryBritain
Crusties set up camp on Blackheath. Don’t worry If the plague doesn’t get them, the traffic pollution will!

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