A Personal View

Time to look beyond Hanover?

Local progress

In its first 2 years HASL has gone from a bunch of people moved to do something by the Age of Stupid Film to a thriving community group with website, twitter, facebook. We have got grant funding and run partnership projects with Brighton University, Climate connections and the Hanover Community Centre. HASL have groups that:-

  • Support people and the Hanover Community Centre save carbon

  • Promote local food growing and consumption and developing a VEG garden at the community centre

  • Show free films on environmental themes

  • Support sustainable transport

There is a network of street contacts that can foster neighbourliness

Though this is clearly worthwhile what can we do about the wider issues raised by the Age of Stupid Film?

Wider world

  • Carbon emissions from energy went up by 3% last year. The worst contributor to global warming coal is now at a 40 year high as a % of the global energy market. Even Europe saw a 4% increase in coal energy.

  • It is forecast that by 2017 if the current rate of building coal fired power stations goes unchecked there will be so much carbon output will be locked into the system that destructive global warming can't be avoided.

Faced with this it is easy to feel hopeless or focus on local action (which is good in itself but...). Some might put faith in politicians. Fortunately we do have an able MP willing to raise climate and poverty issues in a way that challenges the consensus that has got us into this mess, We also have a minority green council trying to do positive things despite the massive coalition cuts (and despite more local Labour/Tory cuts resulting from the council tax freeze) but I don't think we can depend on the politicians. Sometimes a few people with good symbolic ideas can change debates and make a real difference. Witness Occupy highlighting growing inequality calling for a robin hood tax which is now supported by France and Germany or UK Uncut highlighting tax avoidance that cost £35 billion a year, now on the establishment agenda or "Swampys," heroics putting a brake on road building programmes.

Time for Hanover to take a stand?

Here in Hanover we can do something that will make a difference far beyond "the level". We may not be ready to concrete ourselves over power station chimneys but could we march to London with our MP (have a lovely overnight camp) and deliver a community petition on renewable power instead of planned coal fired developments? It could be fun and should get a lot of media coverage and perhaps we owe it to the next generation to try. If you are excited by this idea or have a better one and want to be involved doing something to press on wider issues, please contact David Gibson davidsg@ntlworld,com or contact us at

www.hasl.org.uk