Issue 13 : 13 October 2006  

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Tip… Tip… Hooray!
The balance of public awareness has now tipped.
No more maybes.

The Berlin Wall – the ‘wall’ of not mentioning climate change in polite conversation – has fallen and now everyone is talking about it. Like all fears, once faced bravely, whole new possibilities emerge, and new grounds for hope return. Can we fix this? Yes we can!

Welcome to this celebration issue. Over the last month or so the collective will of millions of carbon-conscious people around the globe exerted real power and influence on world events. By our deeds, actions and purchasing decisions we are known. World leaders are shifting to a more proactive position on global warming. How cool is that? How rapid can be change for good.

In this issue:

Make what you do really count
Get to know your invisible purple friend
Mission Possible 13: get hooked on an ever-shrinking carbon dose
Mythbusters: important and interesting demythtification

... and lots, lots more!


Make what we do really count with
‘I Count’

Remember, remember the fourth of November…

Prepare to celebrate. Like a solar eclipse, all climate campaigns will be aligned on this amazing day of peace, fun and solidarity… we are one.

It will be one huge celebration. Revel in clear sky, breathe the life-giving air we all share, and just be part of it. I will be marching in London, but if you can’t join me, don’t worry – you can join in wherever you are, however you can. Be in a state of raised carbon-consciousness. Be part of the global 'light bulb moment'. Kick some high-carb habits and get free!

Let's stand up and be counted by registering with the mouthwateringly delicious ‘I Count’ campaign, which is making the impossible possible. Take action, lobby the PM and Come Off It all in one go.

Saving the planet just became easier – and much more fun! Help recreate the future of the planet today by visiting the I Count website and join me in popping a few more (purple) bubbles.

And here are some other useful and interesting links for you, whether you want to join the march or a peace vigil, conserve power, plant new energy efficient bulbs… just do whatever you feel you can.

Discover who is behind Stop Climate Chaos
Contraction and convergence
Campaign Against Climate Change
Global Climate Campaign
Christian Ecology, Operation Noah
People & Planet
Blackout London
Come Off It

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The end of the beginning: An Inconvenient Truth is out

September will be remembered as the month we ‘got it’. It may sound dramatic, but I reckon we are witnessing the emergence of the Winston Churchill of our time.

Just when it all seemed hopeless. Out of a truth vacuum, out of a leadership vacuum, out of an era of missing media headlines... Enter Al Gore stage left, the current (real) leader in the United States.

"Every man, woman and child in the country should see this film”
The Observer

The Sun – and even Heat magazine – gave the film their highest (five star) rating.

See the film, read the book, inspire a friend to see it. The Truth will set us (and our children) free. Find out more about the film and find your nearest cinema at:

Be quick – you don’t want to be left behind at dinner parties.

So commenceth, in the month of October 2006 AD, the era of carbon consciousness. (Albeit slightly behind schedule...) We've entered the solar century, the century in which carbon iscurrency. We've kicked off the colossal human endeavour needed to turn this baby (spaceship Earth) round just in time. Game on. The action – like the future – has just begun.

When the astonishing story of the 21st century climate crisis gets retold, 2006 will be the end of the beginning. And I believe Al Gore may be precisely the answer to our prayers.

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Give me sunshine

The Sun has got its (green) hat on:

There are some fun, playful suggestions for how low carbon lifestyles can not only be cheaper, safer and more fulfilling, but also happier, sexier and more stylish!

“By being aware of all the tiny decisions we make every day, we can be part of a change for good. And that’s sexy,” says The Sun’s Green Goddess.

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The Sun will save our planet

The Sun is urging readers to think green in the debate on global warming. Ex-US vice president Al Gore warns we have ten years to save the planet…

Lead letter, Friday 15 September:

Five years on from 9/11 and The Sun leads us in the battle against the real terror – climate crisis. Well done my Sun.

This is the biggest issue we will ever face. If our children still have a future it was re-born this year – thanks to the leadership of The Sun and former American vice-president Al Gore.

Marlow, Bucks

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The sun (the one in the sky, not the one in the newsagents)
may come to our rescue says New Scientist

The same week The Sun ‘came out’, the cover story of New Scientist (16 September) was “Will the sun come to our rescue? We may have one last chance to tackle global warming, and it comes from the unlikeliest source.”

The good news is that we may get a small lucky break. On the horizon is the possibility that the sun may be entering a cooler period – as in the Little Ice Age – owing to reduced magnetic activity. This might give us a little more time in which to achieve the unimaginable civilisational turn-around. What a truly amazing time to be alive.

Of course the New Scientist has long been telling us that things are looking very bad indeed – and it still does. For example, here’s an extract from Fred Pearce’s 27 September article, ‘One degree and we're done for: "Further global warming of 1°C defines a critical threshold. Beyond that we will likely see changes that make Earth a different planet than the one we know." But the truth is that what used to be a minority heated debate, is now a wide open public concern.

Not least thanks to Al Gore’s revelations. For example, over a ten-year period not a single one of over 900 peer-reviewed scientific articles suggested either that climate change isn't happening, or that it isn't caused by our emissions. But despite this over 50% of media articles reviewed over the same period indicated there were some doubts… Huh?

All that time the people who owned the media, the people who worked in the media, and the people who got talked about in the media, all shared one common cultural belief – roughly speaking that “Climate crisis can’t really be happening or we’d have heard much more about it”. How self-fulfilling was that?!

But now the Truth is out, and one by one our leaders are ‘coming out’ – the media carbon blackout has come to an abrupt end.

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The Edge Pledge

You can now download a free, easy-to-use personal CO2 emissions spreadsheet, known as The Edge Pledge. It’s been designed to give multiple users a quick indication of their current primary CO2 bubble, arising from home energy use and travel.

The beauty of the spreadsheet is that it can be used in the workplace or with groups of friends. Everyone gets to see where they currently 'spend' their carbon, and can compare with friends and peers!

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The gift of Christmas future

Flipside Vision has produced a lovely calendar for 2007 which would make a great Christmas gift for any carbon conscious friend. ‘Whatever the weather: the calendar of climate change 2007’ contains 12 exquisite photos providing a daily reminder of what really matters.

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The law of escalating efficiencies

An article I’ve written about ‘the power of the fourth’ has been published on Neil Crofts’ website. Curiously enough, I also wrote the fourth article down:

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Chandelier socialights

Efficient Light now stock a beautiful, tiny, 7W candle bulb that makes a delightful replacement for the old 35 watt candle bulbs that burn away in chandeliers and decorative light fittings.

There’s simply no excuse for not replacing these bulbs now. At £9 per bulb they’re not cheap, but consider the savings: each bulb lasts 15,000 hours and will save £30 over its lifetime.

These bulbs, and other energy-efficient bulbs for the home can be found via the link below. Mention the Carbon Coach when you order and save 10%.

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Get to know your invisible purple friend

Did you see the BBC show Inside Out?
Get friends to take The Green Test!

Introduce a neighbour to their big invisible friend, the jolly purple giant. Our shadowy invisible self that we carry round with us!

Congratulations to Sam Heath, Director of London Sustainability Exchange ( on her cool persuasiveness with the featured Murray family. "Our sitting room was almost full of purple balloons!*”

*After consulting with the Carbon Coach back in July, the programme makers adopted my one-metre diameter purple balloons as a great way of symbolising each kilo of CO2 saved. So at last we can all ‘see’ CO2.

It’s all out in the open folks! What a fabulous adventure, popping all those bubbles and coming clean. It’s the detox of the century!

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Public figures, private coaching

CEOs, celebrities and politicans are flocking to me in droves. They’re realising you can no longer be a leader without being a carbon leader. As well as preparing people for leadership, I help manage reputations. Enlightened CEOs are seeking carbon coaching as development training for their successors and I’ve become their personal carbon shrink!

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Have you heard the one about the inflatable headteacher?

(It’s okay. It’s clean.) The inflatable schoolboy went to his inflatable school with a drawing pin one day. The inevitable happened. Ba’boom! The inflatable headteacher reprimanded him:

“Boy, you’ve let the school down, you’ve let me down, but worst of all you’ve let yourself down.”

None of us want to let anyone down… least of all our children.

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No one’s laughing any more

Low carbon lifestyles are coming to a town near you. Forget guilt trips, we’re talking vogue! People are walking more, biking more, and challenging habits of a lifetime. It’s okay to talk about the weather! It’s okay to holiday in the UK!

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Bull’s eye – but the wrong target

Recycling boxes, organic vegetables, fair trade and organic cotton drapes are all important – and they all reduce our carbon footprint – but they aren’t the biggest issue. Behind the drapes can be hidden a vast purple balloon of frequent air travel, thirsty cars and energy profligacy in the home, that can make all that pretty green etiquette a nonsense. Fortunately, we are the only ones that know the truth about our personal carbon emissions.

It’s not what you can see that counts – it’s what you can’t see. For every one waste bin we see, the average home produces seven times that mass of CO2. And the amount of space remaining for further air-fill is far less than remains for landfill.

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This month’s missions are a little different and extra exciting. I don’t think there has ever been a more vital moment in history – be seen and heard.


Then persuade one person every day to see it too. Make a point of mentioning it to everyone you meet and tell them how your life has changed since you saw it.



Great news! Over half of all MPs (and rising) have declared their support for Friends of the Earth’s climate campaign, The Big Ask:

Write asking your MP to sign the parliamentary petition calling for urgent government action on climate change (Early Day Motion 178). You can also find out if your MP has already signed.


Talk about the urgent need for a Climate Change Bill in the Queen’s speech. Tell them if you are (like me) strongly FOR the ‘Contraction and Convergence’ framework – for phased CO2 reduction (unless they know of something better!) Impress on them that you want action on the climate crisis and will be voting for the party with the most positive and ambitious approach to delivering the low carbon economy at the next election (if that’s true!). Tell them what you’ve done in your carbon reduction programme, and how profitable, fashionable and enjoyable it is.


I was interviewed for an article in The Telegraph ‘Saving power doesn't mean you're dim: why are we all wasting millions on lighting?’

If you have a dimmer switch and refuse to replace it, then I have just the thing for you: the Megaman dimmable bulb.

Finally a bright idea for those of you stuck with those halogen recessed downlighters – the type electricians install by the bucket-load without thought for either your energy bills or the planet. If the fittings aren’t big enough for energy efficient GU10 mini fluorescents (same link, see Megaman products) there’s a quick partial solution: fit a dimmer!

Although not as good as having modern, efficient lighting (electricians take note) dimming your spots does save valuable energy.

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The rich and famous can only ever be part of the problem.

TRUTH: Sir Richard Branson has pledged £1.6 billion to help tackle global warming. “Hopefully, this contribution will help our children experience our beautiful world and encourage others to also do what they can,” he said.


Al Gore can’t really do much until Bush has been voted out.

TRUTH: Not true. He’s doing plenty now. In a terrific interview in Metro he nails a great many myths.


We have run out of time.

TRUTH: Al Gore says, “Respected scientists are saying we may have as little as ten years to start making significant changes. I think we’ll do it in less time. In fact, I predict Bush will change his position within two years.” How awesome is that?

You wouldn’t believe how often I’m asked about the same myths. It makes you wonder where they come from and why we believe them, instead of engaging our common sense. For example: "creating wind farms results in more CO2 than they ever save in their lifetime".

Nonsense! After about a year the energy generated is in credit. The proponents of nuclear power stations wish they could say the same thing.

"It saves energy to leave the light (heating, car engine… whatever) switched on." Sorry to be rude, but do you really, honestly believe this?!

“Energy efficiency is a great idea, but I don’t need to change yet.”

“Global warming is a myth.”

In response, let me once again quote Al Gore:

“Fifteen per cent of the population believe the moon landing was actually staged in a movie lot in Arizona and somewhat fewer still believe the Earth is flat. I think they all get together with the global warming deniers on a Saturday night and party!”

Email me with your favourite myths: I’ll include the best in future issues.

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Happy hunting carbon buddies. I know we can (carbon) count on you.

Dave Hampton
The Carbon Coach



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