29 Mar 2009

Just back from an eco-cottage in Northumberland

Well got back last night from a week in Northumberland - very nice too - stayed at a great place - Newt Cottage (see photo and below nearby Bamburgh Castle) - it was designed around the research of a teenage environmental group, the Northumberland Eco Wild Team, NEWTs. The 10 teenagers of this Wildlife Trust youth group were inspired to look for eco-friendly alternatives that could be part of a greener lifestyle. Their research led to the renovation of Newt Cottage so that visitors could explore the Newts’ environmental ideals.
“If just one guest goes home thinking it is worthwhile to make their own house a bit 'greener', then we will have done something valuable, and we are hoping to convince many more!”
NEWT Sarah Handyside
The Newt Cottage Farm Holiday project was a great success for the NEWTs. They won the UK Young Environmentalists of the Year Award. It was also a great place to stay - Tom and Karen Burn who run it and the farm could not have been more welcoming and friendly - and Northumberland is one of the greatest places to be in the UK - those windswept beaches with craggy castles - it was lovely to sit and read by an open fire - I perhaps should not have put the details on this blog as it might make it difficult to book again! They are however hoping to open a second cottage in the coming weeks and apparently have just had a cancellation for Easter - although I suspect that will be snapped up v quickly....

The cottage is by no means perfect in terms of environmental credentials but goes a long way and is a chance for folk to see stuff in action and talk to Tom and Karen about the work. Great stuff indeed - a pity a few more folk aren't taking such pioneering steps in terms of holiday cottages as it is a great way to experience how it works at first hand.....

Anyhow I got home just in time to light candles for Earth Hour - and today to start to read some of the 850 emails waiting my return - and haven't even been able to access the Council PC at the mo as it is in for some sort of service...

Having missed the launch of the Green party Euro campaign in Bristol (see here) - it was good to catch the brief BBC report of Porritt at the launch here. Amongst the emails I've already managed to delete close to a 100 spam...

Also found an email with a fun Financial Times spoof here - lastly for now I want to make clear I am not the Philip Booth who is the Assistant Director of the film Lesbian Vampire Killers. I've also reactivated the comment facility on this blog plus approved most of the comments left in my absence....


Anonymous said...

I see you've mislaid my comment about your opinion on vaccines.

I taught said topic to my year 10s last week using your post - they quickly realised you're a cock. At least your post has furthered children's understanding of an important area of science. And their children will stay healthy in turn.

so thanks.

Andy said...

I participated in the debate before about vaccines and am surprised to see it reappearing here. I wonder if the anonymous teacher above has seen the Journal of Mediacl Ethics article:

The conclusion of that article is that compulsory vaccination cannot, with very few exceptions, be justified in the UK, in view of the high levels of population immunity which currently exist.

Philip Booth said...

I was going to respond to the Anonymous message above noting that many doctors hold the same view as myself that compulsory vaccination is not the way to go. Thanks to Andy above who beat me to it - for some reason I am having problems posting comments to my own blog??! Anyhow there are other such articles which can be found with a quick internet search.

I wonder how many of their views were shared with the class you mention?

The last comment left anonymously I am sure you appreciate was not the most polite or helpful. I'm not sure why you think it is acceptable to resort to abuse however strongly you feel about this matter? Anyhow I assume you are referring to the previous post about stopping compulsory vaccinations:

24 comments left on that post - but you will see that the Government has since seen sense in their plans for compulsory vaccinations - as noted before this is part of the statement No10 have issued:

In the UK, immunisation, along with most healthcare, is voluntary and is a system built on informed consent and patient autonomy. A parent cannot be forced to have their child immunised. There are currently no plans to introduce compulsory immunisation in the UK or to sanction parents who choose not to immunise their child.

Anonymous said...

Great to see Poprritt on board - saw this on website....

Sir Jonathan Porritt, chairman of the UK's Sustainable Development Commission - the most influential Green in Britain - told journalists today that British politicians were "in a state of cognitive dissonance" over the
ecological crisis.

Cognitive dissonance is the psychologists' term for an inability to make rational decisions despite being able to clearly see the evidence.

The Green Party, on the other hand, has been right all along, Sir Jonathan continued.

Speaking in Bristol at the launch of the South West Green Party campaign for the European Parliament elections, Sir Jonathan said that he fully supported the Green Party and had been a member continuously since its founding.

Sir Jonathan, who was director of Friends of the Earth before taking the top UK sustainable development job, told his audience about a recent analysis he had carried out on the 1979 election manifesto of the Ecology Party, the former name of the Green Party. It showed that 65% of the policies which were included have now been adopted by the three "mainstream" parties. "We were right all along," he said. But he warned that the big three parties still haven't got it right:

"Every single one of the issues that the Green Party has been campaigning on for the last 35 years is getting worse and worse, which means that people should no longer put off the day when they accept that the future is either Green or not at all."

Jonathan Porritt drew attention to the recent negotiations in Copenhagen and his amazement at the level of shock on the part of normally sober scientists when confronted with increasing evidence of runaway climate change.

He said he has been unable to make clear his political allegiances while working as a government adviser but this time around he is prepared to pin his Green colours to the mast. Joking that he only had four months left at the Sustainable Development Commission so he was unlikely to be sacked, he gave a ringing endorsement to the Green Euro-candidates.

A party spokesperson commented: "Now we need all those scientists who are fed up of governments dragging their heels over climate change to point out which party has the right policies. Alternatively, scientists can stand on the a-political sidelines and watch the holocaust that they've predicted actually happen."