Assembly July 2024

Jul 10, 2024

The assembly comprised three households and three generations in the UK and three households with two generations in the US. Not for the first time the discussion concentrated on the attitudes to flying with little if any dissent on the detrimental impacts (that together with meat eating flying is making the biggest impact and one that could easily be reduced) . As a 'family assembly' it seemed to natural to ask the question whether the future welfare of the younger generations were taken into when the older generations decided to fly? This was not intended to result in pledges to stop flying altogether but to understand whether the interests of younger family members are being included in a calculus that could result in less flying? Apparently not. But there were voices of approval for the holding of the family assembly and an understanding that this was a family issue - partly generated by a family residing either side of an ocean.

It was noted that there were unprecedented wildfires in California and extraordinarily high temperatures in places like Arizona as context for our deliberations.

The Cambridge family now has two EVs and has adapted well to the inconveniences that come with this emerging technology. The claim is that driving mostly on home/PV generated and off peak electricity is very very cheap.

Also not for the first time, the need to elect politicians who understand climate change and the urgent need to effect significant reductions was discussed. This involves not electing Trump in the US and watching a new Labour Government attempt to grow the UK economy within legally agreed carbon budgets. One voice expressed concern that climate campaigners were being drawn into other rights issues (such as Gaza) and that this conflation could lose focus and support for the need to reduce carbon emissions.

Using the footprinting programme on this web site I have scored 2.8 planets without any loss to my quality of life - no flying, little driving and minimal meat...However, the US has reputedly higher systemic emissions that would make the transition to zero harder than in the UK. This does not excuse all the family from working on plans to reduce emissions as acts of both mitigation and adaptation.