Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Great Minds......

A few months ago, we put a call out for essay contributions. We wanted to capture the moment, stimulate and document debate at this most confusing of times. At the time financial institutions were dropping like flies, the UK government had just announced it would sign up to an 80% cut in GHG emissions by 2050 and there was a growing sense that now was the time to do some thinking.

That feeling hasn't passed. As finance ministers meet parallel to the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan this week, Oxfam call for 'Bold action on Climate and Recession' and Mark Lynas tells us that 'high economic growth cannot be reconciled with limited resources'' in his excellent republished piece from the New Statesman. In Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government has published drafts of it's new Sustainable Development Scheme and Green Jobs Strategy  - both of which pose some significant questions for policy makers, espescially those outside of the obvious 'green' agendas. Politicians in Wales will need to get to grips with the notion of a One planet Wales and the context in which Wales and it's economy will operate in coming years.

Our hope is that our essay symposium will help inform some of those decision makers. Having spent last Thursday afternoon reading through the contirbutions, I'm enthused. We'll be publishing the essays online, via this blog and the Cynnal Cymru - Sustain Wales website , early in the new year. We'll also make sure that Assembly Members and senior civil servants get copies and hopefully getting some debate through the Welsh media.

We've had contributions from:

Calvin Jones, Cardiff Business School

Eluned Morgan MEP, Welsh Labour

Gerry Gold, A World to Win

Tim Jackson, Sustainable Development Commission

Stephen Brooks, Oxfam Cymru

Lee Waters, Sustrans Cymru

Mal Williams, Cylch (Community Recycling Network)

Morgan Parry, WWF Cymru

Leanne Wood, Assembly Member (Plaid Cymru)

Owen Evans, Business in the Community

Andy Middleton, TYF Group (Cynnal Cymru Board)

Peter Jones, RSPB Cymru

Peter Wells, BRASS, Cardiff University

Rachel Auckland & Jan Cliff Sundance Renewables

Steve Harris, Science Shops Wales

Charlie Mason, Friends of the Earth Pembrokeshire

Victoria Winckler, Bevan Foundation

David Melding, Assembly Member (Welsh Conservatives)

Steve Williams, Improvement Team, WLGA

Kirsty Williams, Assembly Member (liberal Democrat)

Bill Thomas, Sharp Electronics

Nuria Zolle, NEA Cymru

Meanwhile, George Monbiot is getting understandably frustrated by David -  '"Have you noticed there is a wind turbine on Teletubbies? That's subliminal advertising, isn't it?" -  Bellamy and the climate change deniers, which reminds us that whilst the great minds of Welsh politics and academia are committed to finding a sustainable future, lots of people are still pretending there's nothing wrong with the world as it is. I'm sure Kirsty WIlliams, the new leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats will be feeling just fine about the world today, even if Betsan thinks she faces 'one hell of a job'. If the essay Kirsty sent us is anything to go by - she'll be just fine and she's well aware of the challenges Wales faces.

Apologies for the lack of comments sections below - Blogger has gone crazy but I'm working on it....

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