Ensuring the next generation are well equipped for the transition to a zero carbon future the Education department at CAT specialise in delivering Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at all levels. From October 24th – 30th CAT Education are running short courses in communicating sustainability taking in a breadth of topics such as energy, buildings and food.
Teaching Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship from the 24th – 27th October is designed for teachers of key stage 2 – 3 showing how ESD can be applied in a school environment. The course looks at all issues surrounding sustainability with a strong emphasis on finding solutions to global problems. Participants will learn how to deliver informative, dynamic sessions on sustainable development and global citizenship, adapted to suit their specific subject.
Food for Thought from the 28th – 30th October looks more in depth at food sustainability and the effect our food production and consumption has on our environment and individual health. Aimed at educators and communicators this course delves into issues far beyond food miles and farting cows. This course is recommended for anyone who would like to deepen their understanding of food sustainability, and play a part in finding local solutions to global problems.
For a broader understanding of what the Education department at CAT gets up to, take a look at our resources page where you can download our teaching resources for free and Footprint Futures, a free online teaching resource for sustainable development useful as a full project or for fun activities on sustainability.
Leading British Environmentalist says climate talks are now ‘dead’
At a recent lecture given by George Monbiot at the Centre for Alternative Technology and pocast in part here, Monbiot argues that the international climate change negotiations are failing. He says that we are faced with “the complete collapes of the international process, the process is now dead…. it died in Copenhagen” and says that for the first time in his lifelong work as an author and activisit he has not got a clue as to what the answer is “my certainities of what needs to be done have crumbled in the face of the complete ineptitude and uselessness of the worlds governments.”
The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Cancún, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. Although world governments reached agreement, many environmentalists have criticsed the Cancun agreement. John Vidal, writing inThe Guardian, said the Cancun agreement did not show leadership nor tackle underlying questions such as how the proposed climate fund will be financed or commit to a legally binding emissions reductions.
For more information on this or any other part of the Centre for Alternative Technology’s work in informing, inspring and enabling practical solutions for sustainable living, please contact the press office.
CAT aims to inform, inspire and enable positive solutions for sustainable living, the media department communicates CAT’s message to the wider world via the mainstream and social media. Visibility and relevance is crucial engaging with people in the sustainability debate and attracting new people to the organisation. CAT’s media strategy focuses on building support and positive representation across all media platforms and to a wide range of audiences.
From left to right
Nick has come to join us for a couple of weeks in the media department, he is a fantastic photographer and has been working with lots of different departments to get some new shots of the work going on here at CAT. “I arrived on Monday and I have taken over 500 photo’s so far, I have been made to feel that I am part of the CAT family.”
Alex ( middle)
Alex is part of the furniture in top office, the longest serving media department member- he had been here for over 6 years. He joined CAT as a volunteer after studying a philosophy degree at Durham Uni. “The best thing about working at CAT is the co-operative and the second best thing- hot chocolate from the restaurant.”
Kim joined the CAT media department last year and has been loving the job ever since. ” CAT is a brilliant place to work, the people are lovely and the site is fantastic. ” She studied Media at John Moores University in Liverpool and has worked for a number of publications and organisations since then developing media communications and popular education projects.
Britain has the potential, skills and natural resources to lead the world in carbon reduction. Join in workshop discussions with Paul Allen (CAT), Eugenie Harvey (10:10), Prof. Peter Reason (University of Bath), Victor Anderson (WWF), Jean Boulton (Sustain), Mark Gater and others.
Become part of the solution. Put the date in your diary!
It’s all go in site community this Summer… for the last few weekends the cottage area of site has been opened up for visitors to come by and take a look at what is going on. The community at CAT started in 1975 when a group of people disillusioned by modern day living and concerned by what they saw as a looming environmental crisis moved to the abandoned slate quarry that is now known as CAT. Over the years, the hard work and enthusiasm of 1000’s of people has meant that the quarry has transformed into a fertile oasis with abundant flowers, fruits, vegetables and tree’s. Although CAT has expanded and grown there is still a living community here at CAT. It is home to 16 people including three children and three cats ( of the feline variety) who live in a variety of different houses, from renovated old slate cottages to eco-buildings, tried and tested at CAT.
The site community residents aim to put into practice the ethos of CAT through sustainable low impact living. All the houses are very well insulated, water is heated through a combination of wood burners and solar water heaters. Wood also provides heating for the houses. The community aims to reduce it’s carbon footprint by sharing resources such as washing machines etc buying food together and putting into practice sustainable low impact living. As well environmental sustainability the community is also concerned with sustaining ourselves as a community. All the decisions about the community are made through consensus decision making process in which all residents are involved. Regular meals together and work days are also important elements of community life.
As well as the weekend tours this summer, residents of site community are also working on their amazing new kitchen. The building dubbed ‘mini WISE’ as it is in the shadow of the Wales Institute for Sustainable Education is a timber frame, straw bale building with a hemp and lime render on the outside and clay inside. The kitchen is going to provide much needed cooking and eating space for the site community and long and short term volunteers who come and stay at CAT.
This week the new WISE building at CAT has been buzzing with architecture students, all working on their final projects. We took the opportunity to go and quiz them about what they are doing and how their course is going.
The WISE was alive with creative energy, paper covering the studio floors, cardboard models and sketchbooks spread out across the tables, the huge windows were filling the airy rooms with light, connecting and framing the woods and mountains around CAT.
This summer children visiting CAT had the chance to explore climate change and renewable energy in a series of play activities and carnivals. The activities allowed children to explore how our reliance on fossil fuels affects the climate and what the alternatives are.
Here are some photos from last weeks ‘Power Down’ carnival in which children made their own transport out of recycled materials, dressed up as people from their vision of a zero carbon future, paraded around site and finished on the lawn with smoothies from the bike powered smoothie maker and music powered by our bike generator.
This week, Jase Kuriakose an engineer at CAT turned on the UK’s first totally renewable micro grid.The systems works by combining all the wind, solar, bio mass and hydro energy we produce at CAT and storing it in a battery bank. When it needs more energy it simply connects to the grid through an intelligent electronic control device to take more, when we are producing too much it gives the energy to the national grid.
Currently we waste around 65% of energy from power stations by transporting it to our homes, not only that but the electricity sector in the EU is responsible for over 1,2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.Something that Jase says is unsustainable.
“There is a vital need and enormous opportunity to move towards a more sustainable decentralised system, which protects the climate and provide future generations with secure energy.”
On Friday Phil Horton the project manager of our biggest building project took some of the CAT staff on a tour of the construction site. The Wales Institute for Sustainable Education is the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken. Phil showed us many of the sustainability features of the building including the hemp lime render and rammed earth walls in the lecture theatre.
For schools, colleges and universities in Wales, the centre at Machynlleth in Powys, half an hour’s drive from Aberystwyth, is a resource that runs a free information service, visits for schools and residential courses.
The centre has teamed up with the University of East London which validates specialist diplomas and Masters degrees delivered by academic staff at the centre. It offers an architecture MSc and a Masters in renewable energy and the built environment. Student Owen Morgan, 26, says enrolling on the MSc course helped him land a job with Bright Light Solar, a mid-Wales renewable energy company which provides solar powered vaccine fridges, water pumps and heating systems to rural areas worldwide.
“Everyone is there because they are passionate about sustainability. We inspire each other to push the frontiers of what can be achieved,”
By 2007, there were 2GW of turbines installed. The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) says 9GW of offshore wind will be in place by 2015, overtaking installed nuclear power. This month, Centrica and RWE npower came close to approving two offshore wind farms costing an estimated £3bn.