Dave Hampton’s Speech at Westminster Launch of UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC) ‘Adopt an MP’ campaign at Old Palace Yard, Horse Guards Parade.
13:00hrs Monday 13th September 2010
Alex Farrow, UKYCC
Niel Bowerman, Climatico, adviser to President Obama team during 2008 election
Stephen O’Brien, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State DFID
Dave Hampton, The Carbon Coach
Ben West, UKYCC
Speaker, Stop Climate Chaos
Caroline Lucas, MP Leader of Green Party
Jenny Jones, GLA Green
Gemma Bone, UKYCC
“Woo - this is big!” My youngest daughter Grace advised me to start my talk like that.
I’m delighted to be asked to speak today. All of you in UKYCC have my full undying support, and I think your ‘Adopt an MP’ campaign is just brilliant.
My name is Dave Hampton. I’m carbon coach to the rich and famous, to CEOs and Celebs, and I also do climate comedy… or at least a lot of people laugh at me :o)
Before I start, I need to make an apology. I am sorry. It was my generation who messed up. And I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to the great carbon clean up.
So – ‘Adopt an MP’ – what a great idea. Those poor little orphans. They need some loving, and some positive parenting. Be kind to them. Everyone’s fighting a battle.
Now, not many people know this, but Old Palace Yard, where we are, was once home to a rare analemmatic sundial. These use the fact that the sun travels in a predictable pattern over the course of a year, called the analemma, and trace the projection of a shadow to measure time, not only the hours as in normal sundials, but also weeks and months.
So you could say we are people who know the writing’s on the wall. We’ve got the time of day for you, we know exactly what the planetary time is, and we know how much time we’ve got left.
All of which is exactly the sort of deeper knowledge we can share with our adopted MPs. We want to tell them the time. And that it is time. And that we and they are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.
I’m huge fan of UKYCC. Your methods and approach mirror mine as carbon coach:
Change the world - one man/woman at a time – starting with yourself.
Using a positive vision and actually enjoying the low carbon party, living in it, loving it. It’s a party! So much better a party than the old ‘long soaked in fossil fuel’ party…
We want to speed fast forward towards a better future: one that works for me, for you, for us, for all of us, and for all time.
No more excuses. What do we want? Wind and solar. When do we… NOW!
Imagine proper rail, new rail links, and quality affordable mass transport.
We will only buy into energy that’s clean, safe and won’t run out.
As for dirty old fossil and nuke, we’re simply not buying it.
1 – Stop Cutting Down Trees.
2 – Make Everything Energy Efficient.
3 – Only Make Clean Energy
My most important message (to anyone) is not to do nothing because you don’t feel you can do enough. We – each one of us – is POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE. We just need to clean up our own act. Curiously there is infinite power in seemingly futile gestures. Especially lots of them.
Imagine two entrepreneurs walking down this street. They see a £50 pound note ahead - just blowing along on the pavement. “You gonna pick it up?” asks one. “Nah. If it were real someone would have picked it up by now.” Isn’t that how it can be?
I’ve an Embarassing Confession.
No-one else was doing it, so I guess the story we have been telling ourselves was that MPs would obviously never listen to us. So we never even tried talking. How daft. “If it were possible someone would have done it by now.”
really want to speak to him about?”
ant to see him about? I said, “climate change.” And she said, “No. Come on now. What do you
Get this. 5 years ago no-one had ever wanted to talk with him about climate change. Just imagine that.
But I got there... we had a good chat… we managed to get on quite well... despite him being a Tory... I donated him a book and a special EE light bulb, and invited him to come to my home for tea... then it slowly went pear shaped, but that’s another story, one that culminated with me being banned from his surgery...
close in touch with my new MP, Dominic Grieve QC, a Cabinet minister in fact, who seems great. And he IS coming to look at my house and for tea next week. Hooray!
But now I am delighted to be
I know that a visit to my super green home for tea isn’t the answer to life, the universe and everything, but at least it’s a mutual recognition of being on the same page. And maybe there’s a metaphor, about politicians wanting to come and get some of what we've got. And politicians who can recognize a good thing: that there is a positive vision and one that they can come and see. That there is life after fossil.
There is one huge, oil-fuelled party raging on. But as Douglas Adams H2G2 said, the longest every party in the history of the universe is coming to an end. The good news is that another cool party is just getting started, and it’s just down the road. Now there are two parties.
Some old fossils and “people in power” have heard about this new cool party, and are cautiously attracted. They have heard good reports back about the new green jobs party, the green silicon valley, the altogether smarter, younger, trendier, sexier BRIGHTER GREEN party that more and more people are happily drifting off to (and not coming back).
Sure there are some old fogeys, badly addicted to fossil, clinging on to the taps in the kitchen, at the old fossil party, but deep down, even they want to be invited to the big new Parliament in the Park with you guys. Where the bright young people picnic.
The big idea that I’d like to leave you all with today isn’t that big, and isn’t that clever.
Maybe it’s so obvious it’s almost a no brainer. But let’s give it a go:-
As well as Adopting your MP in a global campaign sense, why not be their gentle carbon coach too? Everyone needs a carbon coach. Everyone can be a carbon coach. Everyone is a carbon coach. Give your MP a few tips. They need help. Advise them what to wear to this new cool party. Tell them what (recyclable) bottle to take. Tell them what you think they ought to know.
Hint that they could look as cool as / cooler than / Boris - if they get a bike.
Let them know all about SEAT 61, the rail travel site, and the joys of rail and Eurostar.
Tell them why you don’t fly much. (I don’t fly at all in fact. I’m lucky not to need to.)
Warn them that people won’t be impressed by them boasting about how many climate conferences that they FLY to.
Tell them about how much money you’ve made helping people save energy.
Tell them how much respect they will get swapping their Jag for an 70 mpg VW Polo.
Tell them how all your cool friends are having SOLAR panels fitted, right now.
Like your friend Barack Obama is probably gonna get for the White House soon.
Like Prince Charles is having installed on Clarence House up the road - as we speak.
Have they got theirs yet?
Even whisper how very sexy you find an MP with a solar roof?
Warn them about embarrassing faux pas’s like buying bottled water. Tell them about cool metal water bottles.
Warn them to go easy on the meat.
Invite them to experiment for themselves with just how good it can be to be going greener.
Invite them to pause and consider for a moment just how attractive they will become if they come out and do the simple things like:
Lead from the front;
Walk the talk;
Be the change;
Just do it;
Lead by example.
If they walk their green talk they will be cool, hip and win the votes of your generation.
If they don’t, we just can’t trust them.
Some MPs have had a taste of the good green life, but most haven’t yet had the chance. They’ve been busy. So give them the chance to have a taste of the cake, and how good it can all feel. Reassure them it will all be a piece of cake.
Invite them to imagine a thriving Green silicon valley, like is happening in
Remind them what Prince Charles is STARTing.
And what brave people like Ellen MacArthur are determined to bring about.
It’s possible they may still stay stuck hanging on to those taps at the old fossil party.
Just warmly tell them they will be welcome to come join the new party any time, when they are ready. Let them know we will be waiting to celebrate their arrival. Let them know they have an open invite – if they shape up carbon wise, of course.
Because at the end of the day, I can’t help thinking this is a huge no brainer and much more simple than we’ve made it in the past.
Isn’t there still a huge leadership vacuum? There are job vacancies for real leaders!
I can’t help thinking that to be the one mainstream MP who truly takes the lead on climate will be an amazing golden dream prize, and one that curiously is pretty much still up for grabs at the moment. In the usual political parties that is.
Imagine going down in history as the MP who really ‘got it’ in 2010.
The one who made it the rest of their life’s work. I’d follow them anywhere. Wouldn’t you?
SO much better than going down in history as the guy who helped the USA in the war for other peoples oil, just to feed our hopeless wasteful oil addiction at home.
Simply be the one to get it, and who leads from the front. Simples.
Can I close with a song that I wrote a few years ago? You are lucky, I won’t sing it. You will soon get the tune though. (Read words of ‘Sun of Imagine’)
OK. Thank you so much everyone.
Shine on UKYCC.
Godspeed to Adopt an MP.
Sun of Imagine
(With all credit and great respect to John Lennon)
Imagine no pollution
It's easy if you try,
Oil and fossil left below us,
Above us, pure clear sky
Imagine all the people
living off today...
Imagine there's no carbon,
It isn’t hard to do,
No oil to kill or die for,
No false religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...
Imagine solar pensions
I wonder if you can!
No need for greedy nuclear,
Not in our neighbourhood plan,
Imagine all the people
Sharing out the sun...
You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live on sun.