FEATURE: Poyzer Parlay (Pt. 2)
OK time for part two of the awesome interview with Penney Poyzer. Read on to find out what Penney would do if she played the Spirit of Mother Earth to Scrooge Bush and how she would tackle Blair to make him care.
Part one of the interview can be read here.
City Hippy: Hi again Penney. OK we know you are gonna love the next question we have for you.
In a sort of Scrooge-like dream you are the Spirit of Mother Earth and pay a visit to George Bush. You take him to see something in the past, present and future in a bid to get him to change his ways. What do you show him?
Penney Poyzer: Hi CH, Gordon Bennett and associated saints! What a great question! I do have dreams about visiting George (and Tony) and mostly I tie them in a chair and scream at them. Not very productive but boy does it feel good.
OK, so what would I do as the Spirit of Mother Earth...
We would eavesdrop on Thomas Edison, in conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, March, 1931:
"I'd put my money on solar energy... I hope we don't have to wait 'til oil and coal run out before we tackle that."
I would say to him, "George, these are the men upon whom your economy was built. Maybe you should listen to them".
I would take him to the bedside of a child in a hospital in Iraq, dying from her wounds caused by US forces.
I would say to him, "George, you claim to hear the advice of God. When was the last time you went through the commandments? Do you remember the one about loving your neighbour? Check it out and remember that it means that you should treat your neighbour as you would wish them to treat you.
"Is this how you would want to be treated?"
I would take him 50 years ahead to the site of his grave. I would show him his memorial:
'Here lies the architect of our destruction. George Bush Junior'
I would say to him, "George, do you want to be remembered as George the Destroyer or George the Wise?"
City Hippy: Great answers...we have missed so many chances to take a better path we often wonder how many more chances we will have.
As for Iraq...well our view is that of course it is great that Saddam is gone. A saint he ain't. But if it was just about freeing the world of dictators then why has there been no action against the many other evils around the world?
US & UK foreign policy are clearly just protecting their own long term interests without a care for the rest, and majority I might add, of the world. United we stand, divided we fall. We are so all in this together. But somehow the UK & US seem to feel we can proceed without the rest of the world.
Odd that they just do not have the guts to stand on their true convictions and admit it.
We have paid an awful price to get rid of Saddam and one I fear we will only fully grasp the impact of way in the future. When it is too late to do anything about it. Still, at least we will have fuel for our cars eh?
OK...rant rant rant....next question Penney is which group during the 'No Waste Like Home' series surprised you the most and why?
Penney Poyzer: Had to be Andrew and Philip, our gay couple from Waterloo, London. I think that because they were so wedded to their extreme lifestyle and the fact that they lived in a block of flats with no recycling facilities, made them the greatest challenge.
After we finished filming, they persuaded Thames Water to help them to install water saving devices in every flat that will save over 850,000 litres of drinking water a year. Also, they set up a waste management group, and after much effort, got the management agency to set up recycling facilities in the undercroft. Everyone is now recycling.
They told me that after completing the show, they found that they had never felt so fulfilled and energised. They are lobbying MP's, supermarkets and coffee chains to push for change, they have become true activists. They experienced a green epiphany which I found inspirational and moving.
City Hippy: Yeah that was a hell of a show. Very inspiring. The impact was evident and immense. Really showed how easy it is to be greener and how easy it is for people to change with the right guidance. OK next question for you is which do you think is most important? Organic, local or ethical?
Penney Poyzer: Very good question - deep man.... I would put local before organic and ethical where there is a choice. For me, I would rather buy a locally grown apple than an organic one flown in from New Zealand - the foodmiles cancel out the growing method and the length of time in transit breaks down the nutritional quality anyway.
Supporting Farmer's Markets, eating seasonal food and growing as much of your own as possible is preferable. Lobby your Farmer's Markets to grow organically - we must support our UK agriculture and local food is best - this is also a matter of ethics.
Fairtrade goods are very important and the market share has increased exponentially - so I would like to see more of the profits going to the growers than is currently the case. The proportion of profit is still heavily favourable to the middle men and shopkeepers.
The only supermarkets I use are the Co-op and Out of this World - which is part of a very small chain of organic supermarkets. The rest is from my local veg shop, allotments, my garden and farmer's markets and a weekly veg box from our local farmer's collective. Great food, cooked fresh, the only processed food I buy is frozen soya processed mince and I am trying to wean myself off it.
Since I became pregnant, I have been craving fish, but am fastidious about what the species is and where it is caught. I feel very strongly about overfishing and will go back to a fully veggie diet once I have sprogged. I have been eating locally caught eel from a chap who works on his own from his boat in Lincolnshire. I can just about calm my conscience with that method.
City Hippy: Cool Penney, congrats on being pregnant...our very own Mrs Hippy is 8 months pregnant...happy days and swollen ankles eh? Good luck on that. Keep us posted of course. As for your answer yeah tis a tricky one but I tend to agree. The order I aim to source food in is Local, then organic, then ethical. Each to their own though. Have been trying to be veggie myself. Have done very well although have had some appalling lapses. But after years of eating meat I hardly eat any now so the improvement is evident and eventually full veggiedom awaits me I am sure. OK the next question is from PF in Birmingham, UK.
PF from Birmingham, UK: What is the one thing you would recommend parents to say or do to motivate their kids into caring about the planet?
Penney Poyzer: Wotcha PF...show them by example and make that process fun and educational.
City Hippy: Spot on Penney,can't wait to bring up mini-Hippy and just hope s/he has as much love for mother earth as they have for their dear old ma and pa. Will certainly try and help them inherit our love for the planet...not gonna force it on them though of course. Just wanna open their mind gently. OK next question is if you could change any one thing in the world what would it be?
Penney Poyzer: Our selfish gene!
City Hippy: Yeah another good concise answer...I read a great book about ten years ago called Rogue Primate which pretty much summed up the human need to domesticate and control. Recommend it to you all. Next question we have is as follows: We are told that Nuclear power offers us the chance to provide energy and cut emissions. That wind power and other alternative energy sources will not provide the energy we need to live the lifestyle we do. What do you think?
Penney Poyzer: I would say first and foremost that the answer lies in drastically reducing our energy needs, before attempting to answer the nuclear/renewable debate. The arguments about our future energy needs always, but always lead with the notion that we need to be able to meet our current needs - or even expanded demand. This is so totally diametrically opposed toward what we need to do. It is entirely possible for every home and commercial building to reduce its energy use by a third and further for them to easily produce 25% of their energy needs, through renewables such as solar thermal panels.
The argument between nuclear v renewables is an interesting one - but to produce 20% of our energy needs through renewables is cheaper by a factor of 10 v nuclear. Further the cost and diffiulties of decommisioning nuclear power stations are huge and longterm, versus say, the cost and ease of decommission land occupied by wind turbines - and there is no contamination.
Local production of energy through renewables is dependent on geological and topological features - some areas may be suitable for geothermals - such as where mines have existed (this is underway in the north east for example). The coast, rivers and streams can be harnessed through the use of hydro and wave schemes. The south has longer periods of sunshine, therefore generation through photo volatic panels is more viable. We have to look at a pallet of solutions, rather than a single answer to our thirst for energy.
Namaste - do what you can.
City Hippy: Yeah that sums up how we feel. We need to reduce our energy need and supply energy individually. Then we can address the remaining need. Renewables just make so much sense...will always be naysayers though. Our next question comes from Diane Clark in Japan.
Well...you will have to wait to hear Diane's question...which, let me tell you, is a corker. So watch out for the final installment of the Penney Poyzer interview.
PENNEY POYZER IN YOUR HOUSE?
If you can't wait for more Penney then why not invite her into your home? Her new book No Waste Like Home, which accompanies the BBC series, is now available.
If you click the above link or the image to the right and buy it via Amazon then you will be supporting City Hippy at the same time.
We promise you it is a cracker of a book filled with superb advice on how to go green in loads more practical and cheaper ways than just buying organic. To be honest, with this book you will probably end up saving money going green.
If you buy it or have read it let us know what you think of it.