Welcome to the home page of Friends of the Earth Inverness and Ross...

PicasaWeb Slideshow

NO MORE FISH
IN THE SEA?
The Black Fish Speaking Tour 2013
 7.30, 4th October, 
Ig:lu, 
19 Church St, 
Inverness, Highland, IV1 1DZ
 Free. All welcome
Please note No disabled access
Illegal overfishing is damaging ecosystems and pushing
species closer to extinction. The oceans are dying.
The Black Fish is a growing marine activism movement,
with many victories already under its belt.
Join us for an evening of information and inspiration.
Learn about the devastating effects of industrial
overfishing and what you can do to help turn the tide.
w w w . t h e b l a c k f i s h . o r g
Stalls - Presentations - Film Screening - All Welcome
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Peaceful protests here Police crackdown 

Previous Films

 Gasland  

This film is particularly topical


UK Green Film Festival

INVERNESS - EDEN COURT

TRASHED, Sunday 2nd June - 2.00pm. Tickets >

MORE THAN HONEY, Wednesday 5th June - 6.00pm. Tickets >

PEAK, Thursday 6th June - 8.15pm. Tickets >
                                                          

Energy we can All Afford Update  See Julian's Report 


We put the questions to Danny Alexander on 3rd May as he was not able to attend. See our facebook page for arrangements. We also met Charles Kennedy on 12th April and he has agreed to support Tim Yeo's amendment on Decarbonisation Targets. Unfortunately Danny Alexander refused to do this as he thinks he needs to tow the government line.

Energy we can All Afford Question Time
We want to thank panellists Rhoda Grant, MSP, Prof John McClatchy, UHI, James MacKessack Leitch, Scottish Green Party, Gordon Macdonald, NHS Highland, for leading an interesting and informative discussion.
Chaired by Rev Peter Nimmo, local Church of Scotland Minister. 
Held on 22nd March 7.30pm at The Royal Highland Hotel
Questions and discussion on how the Energy Bill which is currently going through the UK parliament can help meet our climate targets. 
See Energy we can all afford and Energy Bill revolution websites for details of what it's all about. 


 Monthly Environmental Film Club

last film show

“The World According To Monsanto”

If you would like to see this documentary/film but were unable to attend on this occasion please email Chris to discuss another showing.

The World According To Monsanto!

Present in 46 countries, Monsanto has become the world leader in GM crops. Since 1901 the company has faced trial after trial because of toxicity in its products. Today it has reinvented itself as a “Life Sciences” company, which has been converted to the virtues of sustainable development!

Using documents and interviews the hidden side of Monsanto’s history and the Big Brother way they expand their empire and control the very basic elements of the food we eat are laid bare.

Once GM crops have been grown in a country it is only a matter of time until its pollen contaminates surrounding “natural” crops producing unpredictable genetic defects in subsequent crops, eventually spreading through out the country.

If you thought GM was good for the environment, and us, think again!

Other Documentary/films available for showing.

No Impact Man-

Blood in the Mobile-

Food Inc-

Gassland-

Wall Mart-

The End of the Line-

H2Oil-

Vanishing of the Bees-

Flow-

In To Eternity-

Collapse-

The Truth About Climate Change-

An Inconvenient Truth-

The 11th Hour-

Who Killed The Electric Car-

Black Gold-

Age of Stupid

The Economics of Happiness

If you would like us to put on a screening for your group let us know.


Upcoming EventsYou can find our calendar here 
Past Events
 Our last meeting minutes can be found on the minutes page.
In June We had a bring and share meal at the meeting and then went on to the following talk which was part of the Monster Science Festival.

'Securing the food supply: challenges past, present and future' -
Professor Geoff Squire of the James Hutton Institute - 
What needs to be done in order to ensure food security over the coming 50 years? And how can we reconcile the need to produce large
quantities of food with the need to protect the environment on which it all depends?

The talk was very interesting and raised a number of issues. Many of us are already trying to buy local and growing some of our own. The talk confirmed that this was the right sort of thing to do. There is also a need for farmers to look at some of the traditional methods of feeding animals with nitrogen fixing plants such as gorse (used to be crushed by horses and fed to cattle) and peas rather than importing so much soya from the other side of the world and relying on energy intensive nitrogenous fertilizers. There is also a concern about phosphorous needing to be conserved as supplies are running out. Much of the phosphorous used in farming is currently eaten and lost as sewage and then more has to be mined and imported. He also highlighted how much of our current agriculture is devoted to whisky and larger production rather than feeding people.

Keep the Heat in Campaign Events

  We held energy saving events in both Inverness and Nairn. These were part of our Keep the Heat in Campaign. See opposite.

   

Andy Wightman 'The Poor Had No Lawyers'

The theft of Scotland's landand plans for its return 

About 50 people came to this talk in December, which was very informative. More people signed our petition against the Link Road through Whin Park, and we had a good turn out from the law firms in the area, who posed some impressive questions which Andy handled admirably

poster


Day of action: 3 December 1-3pm Inverness High St

We asked people to sign a petition to save Whin park and also post-cards to ensure the Scottish Government get's out of the 80's and meets it's greenhouse gas reduction targets.

North Kessock Community Market Next Market 26th November from 10 till 12 in North Kessock Village Hall We helped set this up and run a swap your stuff stall and information stalls.

There is also a community market at Culbokie in Findon Hall on the third Saturday of the month 10-12 with a swap stall and a market in Cromarty on the second Saturday of the month 11.30-2.30. 

Day of action: 3 December 1-3pm Inverness High St 

Get out of the 80s and SAVE WHIN PARK

We got 74 people to sign a petition to save Whin park and also 40 post-cards to ensure the Scottish Government get's out of the 80's and meets it's greenhouse gas reduction targets. There is now an online petition.  Regarding Whin Park. We think there should be a 'no Inverness West Link road' option. We could cut congestion by improving cycle routes and buses instead of wasting all this money on a road through a really beautiful part of Inverness and cutting services.

Get out of the 80s! Getting Scotland to Meet its Climate Targets



The Durban international talks on climate change started on 29 November, and we are using the publicity of the talks to strengthen our world leading climate law in Scotland. Even though our climate law is great, there are several threats to us meeting our targets: policies and projects that are ‘stuck in the 80s’, when people didn’t really grasp the seriousness of climate change, and thought it was fine to rely on cars and fossil fuels. We're focusing particularly on roads as there is a new bypass planned for Inverness that would cut right through beautiful 'Common Good' land that was supposed to be kept for recreation. The Scottish government have already rejected the plans as there is not enough traffic to warrant a road anyway, but Highland Council want to press ahead regardless. They have 8 options out for consultation. We want to propose a 9th; Do nothing. The most expensive involving a huge bridge would suck every spare penny from council funds for years to come and many pennies that they already don't have to spend on basic services. Other options would be even more damaging to the Green Space. See our facebook page for discussion and details of the consultation. BBC story

New Market Avoch Community Centre 11-1.30 Sat 3rd December.

Climate talks and training evening:

 Freshers Fair. We try to attend the Fresher's Fair every year. A lot of students signed up for information this year and we are trying to set up a new student group helped by our 2 new young Interns. 

We held a 'climate question time and cafe' with candidates just before the Scottish Election on 4th May.
The first part was a traditional Question Time format and during the second half candidates rotated round tables to give people a chance to ask more individual questions. It was chaired very ably by Peter Nimo, a local minister. We all felt the format worked well with people able to ask a lot more questions and people feeling more relaxed and less intimidated than if it was all formal question time, but the two questions from the floor did set the scene.
Candidates
Mary Scanlon Conservative
Donald Boyd Christian Party
Eleanor Scott Greens
Rhoda Grant Labour
Christine Jardine Lib Dems
John Finnie SNP

Lobbying Danny Alexander. We lobbied Danny Alexander about the Green Bank (making sure its a bank not a fund and properly financed) and putting pressure on RBS to withdraw funding from climate damaging projects like the tar sands. He seems to have listened as far as the Green Bank is concerned. Less progress has been made about investment in projects like Tar sands. 

Our Local Larder- Transition Black Isle ran this event with Mike Small of Fife Diet fame. This event promoting local food was attended by at least 100 people and raised our awareness about how important it is to reduce climate damaging emissions that we eat as much local food as we can. We had a FOE Information stall.

Climate Quiz Night. Weds 10th November.     Ramada Jarvis Hotel. Quiz Night Slide Show

25 teams took part from all sorts of organisations. 100 people in all. If your organisation would like to run a similar Quiz night please contact us and we will let you have a question pack.

Eco House Open Day About 40 people came to see how renewable energy works in practice viewing a house with solar panels, and a wind turbine. A couple of members have signed up for Old Home Superhome and will be having open days. See website for one local house

Croy Film show 2nd October Croy Hall- 2pm
Wall-E + question time with Steve McDermott from Waste Management at Highland Council

Greening Homes and Gardens Open Day- Black Isle. Sat 11th September 10-4
Some of us took part in this chance to see what green things people have done to their homes and gardens. See this link for details
It started at Findon hall, Culbokie where people could pick up a map and see renewables installers etc or go to a seminar or download a map
here

Fresher's Fair On 3rd September. We had 17 people sign up for our email list and lots of good conversations plus Anne was able to lobby Danny Alexander MP.

Climate Blether- we had an open house evening, nattering on issues related to the climate and environment whilst enjoying Chris's hospitality and admiring his permaculture garden and seed saving.

Picasa Web Slideshow



Ask the Climate Question event.
These are some photos of the event on 3rd May.
. Press release
We had 7 candidates for the Inverness Badenoch and Strathspey constituency. See links to their environmental agendas. Danny Alexander won. Lets hope he remembers some of the questions posed.
Danny Alexander Liberal Democrats
Steve Arnott, Trade Union and Socialist Coalition
Donald Boyd, Christian Party
Ross Durrance, UKIP
Jim Fergusson, Conservative
John Finnie, SNP
Donnie Macleod, Green
Mike Robb, Labour

3 main parties analysis of green buildings policies


Ardross Film Show
We showed age of stupid in Ardross, to a receptive audience.

Messages on Bottles Support Climate Justice Demo
on 14th November-see slideshow;


We had 100 signatures to the petition to Gordon Brown demanding climate justice.
Shoppers in Inverness were encouraged to send a message in a bottle to world leaders at the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen.  Danny Alexander MP came along with his family to join others in the community on Saturday 14th November, putting their advice in writing on plastic bottles. These were attached to a giant wave structure or put in a real boat. Two polar bears were also wandering round putting in a plea for us to preserve their home.
The event took place on the High Street and was one of 10 taking place around Scotland to ‘Demand Climate Justice’.  The Inverness and Ross group created a model wave out of the plastic bottles contributed.  All of the messages will be collected and taken to Copenhagen for the Friends of the Earth International Wave demonstration during the climate change talks due to be held there in December.
Anne Thomas, co-ordinator of the local Friends of the Earth local branch said “We are trying to do our bit to raise awareness among the leaders meeting at Copenhagen about how important this agreement is. This could be our last chance to save the planet from runaway global warming. We are also campaigning locally to get people to reduce their own carbon footprint.”  The messages are being sent with two locals who are going to Copenhagen with Friends of the Earth Scotland. The group is travelling the long way by train and bus as they are determined not to add to the problem by flying. All the bottles are being recycled afterwards.
See Press and Journal article  

Demand Climate Justice in Copenhagen

This December the Danish capital of Copenhagen hosted crucial international talks on climate change. These talks are the latest in a series of attempts to reach a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.See link here

Black Isle Greening Homes and Gardens Day. 5th September.
This was an opportunity to see what people had done to their homes and gardens to make them greener.
Munlochy Hall was the starting point where people picked up a map showing the 10 homes open to the public and talked to experts on energy saving, or renewable energy and had a cup of tea before going to see them.
The turn out was great. 165 maps were given out.
This was organised by Transition Black Isle, Ross-shire waste action network (RoWAN) and the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre.
Friends of the Earth had a stall at the hall and talked to people on environmental issues and gave out leaflets and sold books.
There were also solar powered boat trips from North Kessock,  see here
As a result of this and some door to door follow up of a mail out by volunteers the energy saving trust advice centre reported over double the usual number of responses and have had requests for 140 installations of insulation and 30 queries about renewable energy.
 
The Global Climate ChallengeTalk By Julian Paren, who previously worked for the British Antarctic Survey and now runs an on line course on Climate Change for the University of Cambridge       http://www.cont-ed.cam.ac.uk/courses/pastdetails.php?id=2249
This talk was a challenge to all of us to do something about climate change before its too late and the concern is that climate change is happening faster than predicted and we have yet to reduce carbon dioxide emissions on a global level.
A copy of the slides can be found here

Wall-e  film and discussion at North Kessock Primary School,
This film was enjoyed by a lot of children and some parents. Discussion focussed on how to improve the school grounds e.g. by making willow wigwams and growing herbs. We also talked about setting up a farmer's market in North Kessock. It is hoped to start this at the end of October.

Transition Black Isle and Transition Inverness
Friends of the Earth Inverness and Ross was involved in setting up meetings about the Transition movement. There are now groups in Inverness and the Black Isle.

The Age Of Stupid

We supported the showing of this film at Vue and Eden Court with stalls together with other local environmental groups at each showing.   Age of Stupid website  Director: Franny Armstrong Starring: Pete Postlethwaite

Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite (Usual Suspects, Brassed Off) stars as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking back at "archive" footage from 2007 and asking: why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance?
This is no longer showing at Eden Court however it is still showing in other parts of the country, it is very good.
We are hoping to get a licence to show it at various local venues over the next year.

The Power of Community” film set in Cuba organised by Transition Town Inverness. A number of us went to this and the film is well worth showing in other venues. It describes how Cuba had to become self sufficient after the collapse of the Soviet Union and blockade from the US leading to severe shortages of oil. It gives a foretaste of what life could be like when we reach peak oil and beyond,

Walk and Picnic

Friday 10th April Culbin Forest. 

This was an opportunity to meet with Moray Friends of the Earth and have some interesting discussions as we got our exercise and enjoyed some great scenery.

Transition Towns meeting     
Friends of the Earth Inverness and Ross held a joint meeting with other 'Green' groups about the Transition Towns initiative. We had a speaker from Forres which is already getting going organising community allotments and a farmer's market.
This movement seeks to draw together local communities in order to tackle the challenges of Climate Change and Peak oil. It works on the basis that we need to make the transition from high dependence on oil to more sustainable societies also reducing the effects of climate change This needs to happen urgently. Its better to plan this transition than have it thrust upon us; see this link. There is interest in starting working groups in both Inverness and the Black Isle.

The Great Wall of Carbon and climate graffiti wall

Friends of the Earth Inverness and Ross did a stunt in Inverness on 31st Jan. We compared Scotland’s environmental impact with other countries, including China, using a ‘Great Wall of Carbon’. The stunt, in central Inverness, revealed that each person in Scotland has a jumbo carbon footprint compared to individuals in other countries. We got 153 postcards signed ready to be delivered to MSPs. Well done all who took part!


Why not join our facebook group, google group (for discussion or announcements) or visit our kids page?

Our Keep The Heat In Campaign is working with businesses in the Highlands
See our final report for CCF

This campaign from Friends of the Earth: Inverness and Ross is finding ways for businesses in the Highlands to ‘Keep The Heat In’ and save thousands of pounds and hundreds of tonnes of carbon emissions. Cutting down on energy waste helps businesses and helps the planet. Simply keep doors closed when the heating is on could save a lot of money and around 10 tonnes a year of carbon pollution per business. We are now beginning to see businesses heeding our advice and having a much more pleasant shop or hotel as a result, saving a lot of money and reducing their carbon emissions.
 
Window sticker
We can give advice on anything to do with energy use in businesses. We also have a free energy monitor loan scheme. 'Keep The Heat In' is funded by the Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund until March 2012. We are not affliated with any energy suppliers, so you can be sure our advice is completely impartial. We've now spoken to over 1000 businesses in Inverness, Dingwall, Strathpeffer and Nairn, saving at least 275 tonnes of carbon pollution. Businesses that are conscious of their energy use are putting up our window stickers.

Please contact us if you would like more information about our 'Keep The Heat In' project (07715 663781, keeptheheatincampaign@gmail.com). Do you want to get involved and make a real change in your community? Get in touch! Further details can be found on our campaign page, where you will also find information on renewableslow energy lightingefficient refrigerationenergy monitors and low cost ways to save energy.

To see what another group has done using their Climate Challenge Fund grant to insulate their hall in Forfar see here

Climate Change

We must strive with all the resources at our disposal to reduce the effects of Climate Change as much as possible. The climate will get pretty bad whatever we do, we MUST prevent catastrophic change to the climate. We must also prepare for the changes that we have already caused but which have not yet arrived, and for the changes that we will cause in the time it takes us to reduce our emissions. We must also prepare for the fact that we don't know how bad it will get and so we should prepare for the worst. David Attenborough talks about climate change
What you can do:  EST's 'what can I do today'

Peak Oil

Easy to get cheap oil is running out and peak oil is expected by 2012, we must act now to reduce our dependence on Oil.
What you can do: 
ecodrivinginstall renewable energyswitch to a renewable energy supplier.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is the only source of energy that is viable in the long term. All our energy must come from outside the system of the earth, it must come from the sun, the tides and the motion of the earth. We cannot burn up millions of years of fossilised energy every year, we must use each year only as much as we can obtain each year from renewable sources. Here I mean sources that are to all intents and purposes renewable and unending in supply, i.e. Wind, Sun, Wave, Tidal, Geothermal, (some) Biomass etc. (and possibly in ~30 years subject to it actually being sustainable and safe, fusion)
To see how one local family is getting on see here

Locally produced goods

It is important to produce goods as locally as is sensible as this reduces the carbon emissions of transporting goods large distances.

Locally produced food

Food is one area where local production is particularly viable. You can grow some of your own food and you can buy it locally e.g. at Farmers shops or markets. Friends of the Earth Inverness and Ross supports farmers markets and will be running stalls at local markets over the course of the year
 
For where to buy and eat local food in INVERNESS see our
Local Food Directory.

Local food directory for Cairngorms
Transition Black Isle and Transition Town Forres also have published directories for their areas.
 
Planning decisions often have far reaching consequences for the environment. It's important to hold our political leaders and planners to account and make sure they put the future of our planet first rather than short term business interests. It has been shown that if we don't spend money now avoiding climate change, we'll need to spend a lot more money later sorting out the consequences.

 We're trying to build up some resources that can be used with kids. 
Subpages (2): Food inc poster kids page
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