Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Oxfam World Food Crisis Appeal, a greener Local Transport Bill, Energy Saving Week

Some more campaigns you might like to get involved in:

Oxfam launches report and £15 million appeal to tackle world food crisis

Oxfam has launched a massive fundraising appeal to tackle the impact of rising world food prices, which have pushed an extra 119 million people into hunger, taking the global total to nearly 1 billion.

The appeal has been launched on World Food Day alongside a new Oxfam report, Double Edged Prices, showing that the increases in food prices have pushed the world’s poorest further into destitution while quadrupling profits for some international businesses.

Oxfam needs an extra £15 million to pay for its international development and humanitarian work on food and agriculture, and to campaign for changes to the flawed trade and agricultural polices that have left poor farmers vulnerable.

Read more about this campaign on the Oxfam website.

Ask your MP for a greener Local Transport Bill

The Local Transport Bill will determine what happens to transport for many years to come. At the minute it doesn't say anything specific about cutting CO2 emissions. Ask your MP to support an amendment to the bill which requires local authorities to make sure their transport policies tackle climate change.

Find out more and take part in the campaign at http://tinyurl.com/637dwo.

Energy Saving Week

While I'm blogging, take a look at the Energy Saving Trust's website as this week is Energy Saving Week. While I will happily waffle on about energy saving in ANY week, this one's a good excuse to take a look at how you can reduce your energy usage, saving both money and CO2 emissions. Check out the website at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/What-can-I-do-today/Support-our-campaigns/Energy-Saving-Week.

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Environment E-campaigns

It's a busy week for email campaigns. Here's some that I've taken action on and would urge you to do the same:

Scraplife: E-waste in Pakistan

Related action: Tell Philips to simply take back and recycle


Make illegal logging illegal

Illegal logging is still a massive problem facing the world's forests.

20% of the total timber imports into the EU are illegal or of suspected illegal origin.

Much of this timber is then sold on to manufacturers and businesses legally under current EU laws.

The European Commission has proposed new legislation to combat illegal logging and address the trade in illegally sourced timber.

But it's too weak to meet the challenge.

Ask your MEP to strengthen this much needed EU law and tackle the trade in illegal timber.


Crunch time for climate change

With the recent turmoil in the financial markets grabbing the headlines and causing so much worry for all of us, it's been hard to think about anything else. And yet, the climate change threat hasn't gone away, and a key set of EU proposals - called the Climate and Energy Package - is currently progressing through the European Parliament.

We need to keep the pressure on our political leaders...

This week the UK's new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband and the Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, will be part of the final round of climate negotiations between EU member states.

They must adopt a strong position and we need to show that we are watching them closely - we expect to see strong leadership.

Mr Miliband has recently committed to delivering an effective UK Climate Change Bill. Now he must lead Europe towards an effective EU Climate and Energy Package deal.

This week is crunch time for the European response to climate change.

Keep the pressure on Miliband and Benn


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Sunday, 19 October 2008

Greenpeace - Take action: Write to Angela Merkel

More than a tenth of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU are caused by cars.

The German car industry is lobbying hard to stop European lawmakers from setting tough emissions standards. They want to carry on building heavier, less efficient luxury cars.

Now that the European Parliament's Environment Committee has voted for standards, starting in 2012, industry lobbyists and the German government are trying to wreck the proposal.

Take action now - visit http://greenpeace.org/eurocarsmerkel.

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Friday, 17 October 2008

Octagon EP now on iTunes and other download sites

My new album Octagon is now (partially) available through iTunes. A 4 track taster EP is available featuring the songs:

  • I Could Be Happy With You

  • Follow

  • A live recording of Like Jimmy Did, recorded at The Loft in Liverpool

  • Starting Line - edited version different to the full album, and currently exclusive to this EP

iTunes are pricing it at 79p per song or £3.16 for the full EP. It is available at iTunes stores worldwide where pricing will vary. It is available in iTunes Plus, which means better quality and no DRM. If you're downloading from iTunes in the US, you can even buy the songs as a ringtone for your iPhone!

The EP is also making its way to various other download sites including TuneTribe, TescoDigital, HMV and more.

The full album isn't currently available for download, but you can get your hands on a physical CD copy in innovative Jakebox eco packaging from my live shows, www.dayve.co.uk, Music Mania in Hanley, and AA Music in Congleton.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Live shows and general waffle

It's been a bit of an odd week where I've been planning on doing a lot of things and although I've been keeping busy, I don't seem to have managed to do a lot of what I had intended to. On the plus side, I seemed to be getting a cold too, but it appears to have disappeared before developing which has got to be a good sign!

I've been in Nantwich today performing at the Words and Music Festival. It's the first year of the festival, and hopefully the first of many. It's a real shame that I haven't been able to make it to more of the events this year but here's hoping for next time around! Check out their website at www.wordsandmusicfestival.com, and watch out for photos of the Acoustic Sunday performance coming soon.

I've also started working with a new member of the band, Steve Welch. He's a great guitarist and bass player so watch out for him in future live performances. In fact, we're going to be playing a short set at The Ash in Mow Cop, Staffordshire tomorrow (Monday) night - free entry!

I've another couple of live performance coming up in October, one of which is part of Oxjam, the music festival to raise money for Oxfam. It's taking place at the Literary Room at Crewe Library on Monday 27th October between 9am and midday - possibly the earliest performance I'll have done in years! It will be a totally acoustic set along with Dan Logan, and there will also be music by Prad. Find out more about him at www.myspace.com/pradsmusic. The performance is part of an event being organised by the Oxfam shops in Crewe and Sandbach. They'll be providing games, items to buy from the shops (including music, books and clothing) as well as new FairTrade items, Oxfam Unwrapped and Christmas cards so if you're in the area, come along and support them.

Finally, I'm playing with Dan, Steve and no doubt several other performers as part of a jam night at The Woodlands in Alsager this coming Friday night, 17 October.

And while I'm waffling, here's a quick plug for www.focalradio.co.uk. They're a new radio station local to me who will start broadcasting on 5th November (when really they should be out burning bonfires, setting off fireworks and the like...). Presenters on the station include John Newbould, the main man at Orchard Studios, and my talented musical colleague Dan Logan. Check them out!