Issue 7 : 7 February 2005  

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Welcome to Issue 7 of Communiqué. In fact, welcome again to those of you who have already seen this issue. I'm re-sending it to you as there was a technical glitch first time around that prevented some of the features linked to this issue from being downloaded. Anyway, it's all fixed now, but apologies for any inconvenience.

This issue could be subtitled 'Winter blues (and purples and greens)'. I’ve encountered quite a bit of depression and sadness over the last few weeks. Short days, darkness, seasonal affective disorder? James Lovelock declares humankind is on the brink of destroying itself and diagnosed our planet very sick. If we are sad, maybe we are more in touch with our sickly Mother Earth than we might imagine.

What’s opening up for me right now, though, is the possibility of a ‘blue sky’ planet, with no more purple (CO2) being added to the air we breathe. That is a future that inspires me.

Our species, happy and fulfilled, cured of deep-set denial and delusion. Delusion that our happiness was linked to the rate at which we burn fossil fuel. It never was. It never used to be. It isn’t now.

My happiness comes from going round painting the stuff that we don’t want purple, so that we can better spot it, and prevent it. Here's to less purple, more green – and a blue sky rather than blue feelings!

In this issue:

Take a squint at the Carbon Coach in print
Learn about the other tipping point
Mission Possible 7: lead the way to the future
See the light over another energy myth


Carbon Coach in print


Easy Living

Last year I carbon coached Christina Robert, writer of Easy Living magazine’s accidental ecologist column. Read about what happened – including the purple bubbles she saw – by downloading the full article:

Download PDF article (1Mb)


Chic Chat

Find out how I coached Jean Dean, the editor of Chic Chat, a glossy magazine with a difference, aimed at Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire’s ‘comfortably off’.

Download PDF article (540Kb)


Construction Manager

You can get a glimpse of life inside the Carbon Coach’s house by downloading ‘The Good Life – striving towards energy self-sufficiency’, published in Construction Manager.

Download PDF article (3Mb)


Climate Investing

My good friend Liz Reason is featured on the interactive investor investment planning website:
The story goes: “In CO2, investors like Ms Reason have found a new yardstick for companies and it measures whether their activities are sustainable. The difficulty is, if CO2 is the new PE ratio, how do you find it? It isn’t listed in the Companies & Markets section of the Financial Times, yet.”

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Climate scientists: positive feedback now happening

You can’t have missed the news: the Greenland icecaps are melting; the Exeter report tells us climate change is worse than we thought (and many already thought it was bad); the wisdom of planting trees is questioned; many, many simultaneous positive feedback loops are being identified; and measurement of the annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere has shown another upturn. It is widely thought that climate change has reached an unstable point.

But don’t be fooled by hopelessness. Hopelessness helped get us where we are now.

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One Earth concert postponed

Due to a swell of support for the Climate Change Now campaign, the One Earth concert, set for Cardiff Millennium Stadium on 28 January has been postponed until later this year. Tickets for the original event will be valid on the new date.

More information can be found at:

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The other tipping point

Everyone is talking about how our climate has reached a tipping point – or is maybe just beyond it. This is HUGE.

Who knows what our species is capable of, at its best, in turning this ship around. Humankind can achieve great things. The trouble is, everywhere we go we are encouraged to behave at our worst!

The much more significant tipping point that we’ve reached is the social tipping point. One person ‘gets it’. They change carbon habits radically. They ‘infect’ all around them. Within a month the whole planet could be taking urgent action. It really could! Anyone up for having a go?

We can each reduce our personal CO2 by at least 25% tomorrow. All we need is hope, a few examples, and the prospect that instead of being laughed at we will be loved. Taking action to reduce personal CO2 feels good inside and feels right. You know this, that’s why you’re reading this newsletter.

As Neil Crofts says “Low carbon lifestyles are the sexiest, most fashionable, most NOW thing there is.”

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Flights of fancy

“You need to stay in more!” was the unusual cry of my last newsletter. But if we like our homes, is that such a lot to ask?

My fear was that subscribers would desert me after Mission Possible 6: simply take your travelling distance into account, while choosing the best holiday for you. Life is tough enough without old Carbon Dave telling us we should be flying less!

Thankfully though, many of you agree with me. We do need to be more flight conscious; air travel is the biggest chunk of many people’s carbon footprint. Generally it is ABC1s that do most of the flying. No one is saying stop, just stop flying blind and start flying with your eyes open to the eco-damage that is bound up with each flight.

This is a really big and difficult issue for many of us – maybe one of the toughest. Seeing the world is such a common aspiration these days. I’d love my children to see Africa, India, the US even. But something is telling me that such flights need to be less commonplace. (We were happy before air travel was common and we can be happy after.) Meanwhile, something is telling my children that they are missing out: on a proper education, a full development – and a decent dad! – by us not flying. Thankfully, they may forgive me when they are older!

The Independent published a useful article on 10 ways to lessen the impact of travel.
Read it here:

Meanwhile, my family has been having fun considering alternative holidays and destinations closer to home. Why not join us in rediscovering Britain and boosting our own tourist industry.

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Estimate your carbon footprint using one of the sites listed below (or others if you prefer), and tell someone about the results. Start a big conversation. Get them interested. Get them thinking about their own footprint (and how to shrink it).

At the same time, treat yourself to some sexy talking points that are visibly fossil-free and futuristic.

For a great choice of cool wind-up and solar radios and torches, visit:

And for a great six-in-one wind-up remote control:

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See the light!

Each issue I tackle one of the reasons we use to justify our inaction. This issue: energy efficient light bulbs.


“Energy efficient light bulbs are huge, ugly and only come in awkward sizes. They flicker, they don’t come in soft tone light, and they take ages to warm up.”

All of these are NOT TRUE!


Check out any one of these websites for quality bulbs at very reasonable prices and see for yourself just how good energy efficient light bulbs can be.

Surely you don’t still have any of those passé old bulbs left?

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If you know of anyone who might be interested in this newsletter and the CO2 issues I cover, please click on the link below to forward a short message that will invite them to visit my website and subscribe to Communiqué.

Help to grow the carbon conscious community

Thanks for your positive feedback and encouragement, and thanks to those of you who have encouraged your friends to sign up to Communiqué already. It really helps to keep my winter blues at bay – as well as helping to turn a bit more purple to green!

Best wishes

Dave Hampton
The Carbon Coach


PS Big thanks to Peter Myers for the use of the photo that adorns the top of this issue.


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