Bioregional and BedZED

Didn’t expect to see the father of our lavender project (Pooran – in video) feature in our enviromental course but he also co-founded BedZED – sustainable community project near Carshalton/Wallington/Beddington.


I haven’t been but know people who have been involved. Will try and do interview when next up that way. Engineers and architects come from around the world to visit.

Carbon Footprint and offsetting – flights to/from and within Russian Federation

I have mixed views on carbon offsetting but for example purposes – based on recent travel.

Aeroflot have a useful carbon calculator (in English as well):

  • London – Moscow  one way (258.07 kg)
  • Moscow to Irkutsk one way (246.32kg)

So return flights from London to Irkutsk are 1008.78 kg / 1.01 tonnes. Carbon suggests some reforestation and clean energy projects for 1.01 tonnes ranging from approx £6 – £25 but if I chose to offset by a certain % of flight cost, I would prefer to donate to scientific and community projects in the geographical atmosphere I’m polluting and also into research into alternative fuel for aircraft / alternative ways of flying e.g.
Aeroflot Carbon Calculator screenshotAeroflot Carbon Calculator screenshot

Carbon Footprint calculations 2/2 UK public transport

I looked at flights then also how to get to airport, whether public transport or taxi better for 30 mile/48 kilometre trip, according to mix of calculator and distances via

Rail only to airport – approx 4.5 kg

Bus – London area – approx 4.3 kg

Bus – outside London area 7.7 kg

Taxi (petrol) car – 7.6 kg

Taxi (diesel) car 6.9 kg

Taxi share (driver and myself petrol) 3.8 kg

Taxi share (diesel) 3.5 kg

Of course bus & train accommodates more people on one route. Many buses in London now hybrid so calculators will need to be updated.

Current commute (rail&bus) approx 2,079 kg per year

Future commute (shorter distance, rail only) 785.4 kg per year

Carbon Footprint calculations post 1 of 2

We are doing several for our course at the moment, there is an in-course calculator, also NEF UK example, but for outside UK, can use the Carbon Footprint.There are limitations with calculators, at the moment the recommended UK CF is 14.2 / 14.6 depending on where you source the data. Having said that I think I’m pretty environmentally friendly – I don’t own a car, I walk loads, buy quite a lot of recycled products including a laptop for first time this year, don’t spend that long in the shower, don’t have a massive living space, have moved into an environmentally friendly house, don’t have children but no – due to flights to Russia and my commute I am way over the national average! However business travel is not included in this calculator and energy usage to kilowatts is not specified.

Sulking aside, I am changing my commute soon and can do other things such as tweaking some eating habits, buying more not likely to change over next couple of years – I don’t think personally that cycling to Russia is an option to fit in with work unless I can find a way of cycling in the air (ET?). So should be able to reach new target. Next post will be brief breakdown of calculating public transport options (UK) based on living 30 miles / 48 kilometres or nearer to London. The Centre for Alternative Technology have a new Zero Carbon report (not read it yet).

Summary page of Carbon Footprint calculator


Target Summary page of Carbon Footprint calculator

Quick pit stop in Brighton this pm

autumn days with sunset at 4pm, quick glance at park with Royal pavilion

David Bailey – warmth and humanity at its finest

Cathy Augustine for KONP has written a lovely tribute. David was a nurse for 35 years, he had cancer with a prognosis of a year left to live but carried on nursing and campaigning in Oxfordshire who cared so much:

Latin America bureau library

Not blogging about Latin America again but the library I mentioned where I did my dissertation apparently no longer exists as a physical library in London.

They are digitising their content and will be available through their site:

Climate Change – a defining challenge for 21st century by Dame Julia Slingo at Gresham College

A fantastic British scientist explains from her many years of experience at our national Meteorological Office about climate change – even I could understand most of this:

Europe for the many conference yesterday

My positions are unchanged – I voted remain, I would vote remain again. The EU would better with stronger relationships (and membership if wanted on both sides) with Turkey and Russia. It was heartening to see German, French, Russian and Turkish leaders all in one room yesterday and I wish they could meetup more often.

Yesterday I went to Europe for the Many – a left strategy for transforming Europe. I am not a socialist or any ist (offline martial art-ist ha ha) but I do believe that some left policies produce a fairer world.

I joined European Alternatives a while ago and I have a friend who has spoken at one of their conferences. He has expertise in European history and spends time between Europe and UK with heart firmly in both. Yesterday’s event was centrist as in Guardian writers speaking but it was a lot better than I expected.

Some quick notes, links

Hilary Wainright suggested Brexit referendum choices should be leave, remain or transform.

The mayor of Cankaya in Ankara explaining the huge changes especially to include women, poorest and other socially disadvantaged groups – voted best district municipality last year. Sule Bulak also outlined a history of changes in Turkey politically over the last 20 years which was the most informed assessment I’ve ever heard in this country.

Barcelona En Comu – Gerardo Pisarello who is deputy mayor of Barcelona. He mentioned that neoliberalism unpopular and people looking for less dependence on private banks and a more redistributive policy. They link up at trans-European level on some municipal campaigns.

European presenters who have previously held national and international foreign policy roles reminded people of US pressure from George Bush senior on countries trying to stop them voting for Maastricht. Also the UK Conservatives refused to sign the social chapter and voted for specific countries to join the EU enlargement so they could avoid signing.

Eastern European speakers spoke of how populism is not the right word, still too much coverage on EE &Russian TV by the western European, UK, US far right. It’s not just far right mobilising angry working class but other areas of society. People are now pushing back and alternative views are becoming more visible and popular.

I went to eco-apocalypse session. We have 10 years to fix everything – fossil fuel energy has to go but no good just telling govts, work with them to produce plans. Related was a fossil fuel campaign that has workedwith huge multinationals to improve the rights and environmental conditions on the indigenous owned land and residents there. (indigenous ownership will cover in future when I’m further on with course).

Mentioned problems of smaller charities against larger charities and IP other issues wasting time and money to resolve.

I’m not a fan of Russophobic green party but Amelia Womack is doing some interesting research. All speakers highlighted need for govts to state what is economic growth and whether it’s necessary e.g. is the Arctic a development opportunity or bringing about total eco-collapse sooner.

LSE who organised event have researchers working on ‘Understanding Brexit – impacts at local level’ reports now out

The virtual realities of virtual reality are inadequate

There is physical reality – what you see and hear (for now these are the two that technologies trying to imitate)

There is the photo and camera lies (see David Hockney) about a viewed experience.

There is also the ability to lie in 360 degrees which is a kind of virtual reality.

There is the camera influenced but human designed lie that is a graphic representation of the 360 virtual reality in 2D.

There is the 3D representation of the human and camera lie which is also a graphic representation.

There is a 2D representation of a virtual world which may or may not be capable of displaying the graphic representation of the 360 2D or 3D human and camera designed lie.

There is a 3D representation of a virtual world which claims to be displaying 360 2D or 3D ukan amd camera designed lie in a virtual real time but is also a lie.

Lavender is relaxing (yes, really)

3 articles

1. Lavender’s genome has been sequenced. I am going to check this out with our lavender wizard next weekend but they think they know what is ideal in a lavender oil

“The quality of lavender’s essential oils greatly depends on the characteristic scent of the oil, which is determined by certain phytochemicals called monoterpenes,” explains Mahmoud. “Camphor contributes an off-odour, and its presence in the oil lowers quality and market value. On the other hand, high levels of linalool and linalyl acetate are desired in lavender oils.”1

2. Relaxed mice. In one of the nicer animal experiments, they gave mice lavender to smell 2 (sidetrack – the brilliant Fulvio D’Acquisto now at Roehampton massaged mice in one of his at St Mary’s, below ) This is lavender though – if successful in humans it may help with pre-operative stress and anxiety. They should come to our lavender field on open day and see some very chilled out humans except the ones on the stall 🙂

3. Relaxed horses. They held essential oil near the horses noses and tracked heart rates. Observations also included horses’ neck lowering, chewing and licking 3. They tried with water vapour and camomile but didn’t get the same relaxed effect.


  1. Wellborn P (2018), Getting to the root of lavender’s secrets, Science Daily, available at
  2. Hiroki Harada, Hideki Kashiwadani, Yuichi Kanmura, Tomoyuki Kuwaki. Linalool Odor-Induced Anxiolytic Effects in Mice. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2018; 12 DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00241
  3. Ann Linda Baldwin, Isabelle Chea. Effect of Aromatherapy on Equine Heart Rate Variability. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 2018; 68: 46 DOI: 10.1016/j.jevs.2018.05.213

Autumn at Denbies and nearby

Beautiful sunshine lighting up the stunning scenery: