Tag Archives: unfccc

Super Monday

13 Dec

It’s been a while it’s true, and one of my new year’s resolutions is to figure out what to do with this blog and which features I want to keep / start / ditch / tweak etc. But in the meantime.. well, there is just so much superness to reflect on!

1. I went to Papered Parlour over the weekend for their DIY Couture Make a Cloak workshop and it was great! A race against time admittedly, but I was very happy with the finished product, plus we got tea and cake. And now I can pretend to be from the 50s, or that I’m a BAT. Because capes are versatile like that.

2. Bento boxes are super. The BBC actually did a report on them, so it’s official.

3. I was interviewed for the Think Act Vote Futures series a while back, which was really nice.

4. You’ve seen Feminist Ryan Gosling. Now brace yourself for Handmade Ryan Gosling. It’s the future of swoon.

5. Talking of handmade, remember these that I made back in the spring? Well they have been selling like hotcakes! I have had orders and requests without expecting any, and I have done so much panic sewing that my left hand is all claw-like. Worth it though to think of these slogans adorning a few christmas trees this year. Haha.

6. I’ve been back at work full time for 2 weeks now as Green Jobs Director at The Otesha Project UK, and it’s nice to be getting back into the swing of things. The coolest thing is that we are trialling a flat, non-hierarchical structure. You can read about how it’s going here. I’d really recommend it, as it’s going super well so far!

7. By far the superest thing this week was Occupy Cop 17 at the UN climate talks in Durban. The outcome of the negotiations was not perfect, and in no way puts us on track for mitigating climate change, but the fact that they came away with ANYTHING was largely down to this protest. The negotiators overran the talks by 36 hours after this public show of dissent. It proves that protest does and can work. To read more about what happened at the negotiations, read this overview.

hanna ♥


Super Music Monday

13 Jun

So it’s Monday. What can I say? Sometimes Sundays just run away from me.

1. I spent much of last week plugged into the Desert Island Discs archive while I worked. LOVE IT. You learn some incredibly random things about people, such as Joe Simpson, mountaineer, being really into trance music.

2. Quick yay for the funding news! Superest thing of the week. image via weheartit

3. Read some brill books recently – Bossypants by Tina Fey, and The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. Do it.

4. Saw lots of friends and family this week. Good food and good chats.


5. I went to the Slutwalk London rally on Saturday and it was AMAZING. I could hear the march coming before I could see them flood into Trafalgar Square, thousands of women singing “There will be a revolution when we fight for women’s rights” to the tune of When the Saints Go Marching In! Earlier today my friend Tamsin Omond put into words exactly how I felt, “i had my reservations about slutwalk. they were blown sky high by the massively inspiring, inclusive and complete day that it was. from women to trans to gay men to immigrants to sex workers to black women – all were invited to stand together fierce against this fear and the victim-blaming that surrounds this threat.” Great blog post here as well that deals with some of Slutwalk’s critics.

6. Living with Chronic Bitchface. Hilarious. I FEEL YOU Kris Atomic.

7. UN climate negotiations are happening right now in Bonn. Follow the super Adopt a Negotiator project to keep up to date on progress (or not, as the case may be).

hanna ♥

Super Sunday

30 Jan

1. This week has been SUPER cold, no jokes. I am officially out of love with winter, it’s overstayed its welcome. To warm up after a day outside yesterday, I listened to this amazing Fuel Theatre podcast by Kazuko Hohki which is part of the Everyday Moments project. This one was meant to experienced in the evening, in the bath (cue hilarious antics trying not to drown your ipod). It was really beautiful, I’d definitely recommend it, and I do love the idea of recreating all these mundane moments.

2. I saw both Black Swan and The King’s Speech this week. Black Swan was brilliant, if admittedly the most stressful experience of MY LIFE. The King’s Speech sees Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle (from the BBC P&P) reunited, so I was happy. He also needs to win that Oscar.

3. I met up with a girl from the super cool network So We Stand, who work against environmental racism and support local communities in standing up for themselves against injustice. Check them out, hopefully I’ll be getting involved in some way sooooon…

4. I’m a big fan of this jumper, worn by Tavi Gevinson of Style Rookie. I’ve put in a request to my knitting friend to make me one, but I think she may have to be bribed more extensively.

5. Wondering what exactly happened during the climate change negotiations in Cancun? No? Well… anyway, here’s a truly excellent video made by UKYCC which explains it brilliantly with the aid of hand puppets.

6. Brill picture doing the rounds from the Egyptian protests.

7. Been thinking this week about the coming year – what’s going to happen and what I want to happen. Nothing wrong with a little dreaming…

hanna ♥

Love Miles

5 Dec

In the spring, I will fly to Tokyo. It will be my first flight in two years, which is not at all impressive (in terms of emitting less carbon) by the average standard, but far less than most of my friends. Even among my climate-y friends we sit on a wide spectrum – some haven’t flown for 5 years or more and some are seemingly jetting off somewhere every month, chasing the UNFCC around the world.

I have come to accept that my relationship with flying will always be a tricky one, as my father and grandparents have always lived in Japan, and I have always lived here (well, since the age of 4). It does not seem an option for me, as it does for some of my friends, to swear off flying altogether. The Trans-Siberian railway, with the costs and time involved, isn’t really an option for me either at this time of my life.

So, although I have come to this book a little late, I was very excited to see that George Monbiot’s Heat dedicated a whole chapter to what he calls “Love Miles” – flights taken to see friends and family. I was hoping that he’d address the complexity of the issue, the various moral codes that make up our decisions, the personal consequences of being exceedingly “green”. But disappointingly, he doesn’t. Most of the chapter is alarming facts about the aviation industry in general and only a few sentences address the title of the chapter, thus:

“When you form relationships with people from other nations, you accumulate love miles: the distance between your home and that of the people you love or the people they love. If your sister-in-law is getting married in Buenos Aires, it is both immoral to travel there – because of climate change – and immoral not to, because of the offence it causes. In that decision we find two valid moral codes in irreconcilable antagonism. Who could be surprised to discover that “ethical” people are in denial about the impacts of flying?”

I don’t deny that this is a dilemma many people face – I know someone who has a “no flying except for births, weddings and funerals rule” as well as people who’ve skipped weddings because of the emissions involved (and been brave enough to say so). But framing “love miles” only in terms of “form[ing] relationships with people from other nations” is grossly over-simplifying the issue and betrays Monbiot’s uncomplicated roots. And since the number of flights to visit friends and family is not far behind holidays (and currently more than business trips), this is an issue we must address.

I am dual heritage. I am of no one country. That was the way I was born and I celebrate that I’m lucky enough to have an insight into two very different cultures. But the fact I was brought up mainly in the UK and the distance between myself and members of my family was a choice made on my behalf. There is no one-off wedding in this dilemma, no agonising over whether to relocate. I am of two countries. So, when it comes to seeing my family, what is the ethical option? I am fully aware of the environmental implications of flying and I can completely empathise with Monbiot when he declares all flights to be morally untenable. But what are the moral implications of someone like Monbiot telling me that I can’t see my father? Especially if that someone is telling me that, comfortably surrounded by their UK-based family.

Perhaps this issue hasn’t been addressed before because environmentalists in the UK are typically white and British born. But it’s an issue that’s only going to get bigger. “Mixed race” people are the fastest-growing ethnic minority group in the UK, making up 3.5% of all births in 2005 – plus of course, there must be plenty of white, “mixed nationality” babies that aren’t included in that statistic. On top of that we’ve got first and second generation immigrants… not all of these people will have family abroad, of course. But I bet a fair few do.

So, we can continue to paint all flights with the same brush, and pretend that by holidaying at home in the UK we can solve the problem, or we can open out the conversation and include those who have been globalised by birth – those who have no one home.

I heart Christiana Figueres

3 Dec

Christiana Figueres has already featured as a Girl Swoon on this blog, but blimmin’ heck I HAVE to show you this video of her meeting the trackers from the Adopt a Negotiator project in Cancun. Yvo de Boer was a great Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, and was definitely always so supportive of the youth there and other civil society groups. But Christiana has just built on that and taken it to another level! She is such an inspirational woman, such a role model, she gets it. Honestly, this is the first time in a while I have been inspired by someone in a postion of power and not just utterly fucked off with them. It’s such a relief to know there are people like that out there representing!

Hoorah! Go Christiana!

Video courtesy of OneClimate

p.s. Talking of great people in power, check out this amazing speech by US Senator Bernie Sanders.

Yes we Cancun! (maybe)

30 Nov

Today is the first day of the UNFCCC negotiations in Cancun, Mexico. Want to follow what’s going on? Of course you do. First read this article by Kate Sheppard on Grist which gives a comprehensive analysis of what we should and shouldn’t expect over the next two weeks. Then follow these great links that will give you the lowdown as and when you want it.

Got any more good links? Leave ’em in the comments below!

Girl Swoon #9 – Guest Post

10 Oct

Well this is exciting! Girl Swoonery is spreading worldwide! My good friend Anna Collins (herself a featured Girl Swoon) has been at the UN climate talks this week in Tianjin, China. She met the new executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres today and immediately christened her Girl Swoon #9. This post is cross-posted from Anna’s blog over on Adopt a Negotiator, a fantastic resource for anyone wanting an easy and understandable way of following the climate negotiations. Take it away Anna…

My friend Hanna has a great blog where she talks about all things climaty, crafty and feminist. As a regular feature she interviews girls who are doing amazing things and calls it girl swoon. This post goes out to her, with credit and thanks!

On the last day of UN climate negotiations it is rare to see the team grinning, laughing and optimistic. These talks have a way of beating that out of us over the course of a week, and this week definitely hasn’t provided us with much to smile about. We have seen stalling tactics being employed by many of the big players along with  a vicious circle of blame for lack of progress. We have seen constant bickering and boring sessions, negotiations consumed by process, never getting to the substance.

However this morning anyone passing the tracker booth would have seen the team in high spirits, smiling and laughing (which to be fair even in the hardest times we normally manage to keep up). But also optimistic, optimistic that the unfccc can and will achieve something.

The reason for this optimism? My new girl swoon, Christiana Figueres, new executive secretary of the unfccc.

This morning the team had a meeting with Christiana. We went it to it with the usual set of questions: How’s it going? What can we expect? What can we do to push the process forward? And we were expecting the usual answers: Progress is slow, we can expect a balanced package, you guys need to go home and push your governments.

Instead what we were treated to was half an hour with one of the friendliest and most inspirational people I have met in this unfccc world. Christiana was frank and honest with us about the negotiations and where we are, however she was also optimistic and passionate. Most of all she spoke with feeling and emotion, something so often lacking from this process and yet something so desperately needed. Continue reading