Quick Question: can we still email you?

You will probably have heard about GDPR and the changes to the data protection laws. They are good changes and we welcome them. The key impact it is having on The Glacier Trust is that we need to ask you to consent to receiving emails about our work and how you can help.

We have emailed everyone asking them to fill out a very short form to confirm they are happy to continue receiving email from us. We are very encouraged by how many people have done this, more than 30% of you, which is probably a good deal more than the sector average. 

If you've not yet given us your consent and you would still like to hear from us, please fill out this form as soon as possibleAnyone who is not signed up by the end of next week will be permanently deleted from our email list. 

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We send approximately six emails per year. We aim to keep you up to date with all our project work and how you can support us. We also share news and opinion from the world of climate change adaptation. 

Your support is so important to us and to all the families we work with in Nepal. It will only take 30 seconds to confirm you still want to hear from us.

 

Please let people in Nepal know that their stories matter. 

Thank you.

Around the Grounds

Sponsored walk raises over £650 for The Glacier Trust's work in Nepal

Yesterday on the last day of the Premier League season, two TGT supporters took on and completed an incredible 27.4 mile sponsored walk across London. The idea, dreamed up by Glyn Phillips (younger brother of TGT Co-Director, Morgan) was to visit as many Premier League grounds as possible in one day, on foot! 

Glyn is a Spurs fan, so it was quickly decided that the walk should start at Wembley stadium (Spurs' temporary home) and end at White Hart Lane, (Spurs' true home!) Glyn was joined by his good friend Adam Lewitt (a Man Utd fan) for the walk which also took in Stamford Bridge, the Emirates Stadium and the London Stadium.  

They completed the walk in just under 11 hours. and have so far raised an incredible £655 for our Climate Change Adaptation work in Nepal. There is still time to sponsor them. Please do, 100% of the money raised will go to our project work. 

Their sense of humour stayed intact right to the last, we caught up with Adam just after the finish line:

I'm exhausted. It was a walk of two halves, we covered a lot ground and really had to dig deep. Late on, over there on Tottenham Marshes, I didn't think we were going to make it, Glyn seemed to want to cover every blade of grass, it was incredible to see him play on through the pain barrier like that. He deserves a lot of credit. 

Glyn summed up the performance:

I'm just delighted we managed to hold our nerve and get over the line. Adam was an absolute rock out there, he just kept driving us on, I don't know how he does it. What can I say? It is so great to finish here in front of all our supporters. Thanks to everyone who has been behind us on this incredible journey.  
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If you would like to take on a sponsored challenge on behalf of The Glacier Trust, please visit our bespoke challenges page and get in touch. 

Climate Migration

The World Bank have published a 256 page report on the projected impacts climate change will have on migration around the world.

Migration patterns in south Asia have been dominated by movements from rural to urban areas as families search for economic security. The World Bank are predicting a partial reversal of this over the coming decades.

As climate change takes hold, low lying and coastal areas will become too hot and in many cases too flooded to be livable. The projected impacts of this on migration vary. The report looks at three different scenarios, all three predict significant flows of people within and between countries in South Asia. 

Source : World Bank (2018)  Groundswell - Preparing for Internal Climate Migration , Available online via:  http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/03/19/climate-change-could-force-over-140-million-to-migrate-within-countries-by-2050-world-bank-report  

Source: World Bank (2018) Groundswell - Preparing for Internal Climate Migration, Available online via: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/03/19/climate-change-could-force-over-140-million-to-migrate-within-countries-by-2050-world-bank-report 


Climate change is not likely to be the main factor driving migration, economics will continue to play a major role. But, climate will become more important and more influential over time. How important depends on how quickly and how high temperatures rise. 

The Glacier Trust works with communities in remote mountainous regions of Nepal, we enable climate change adaptation through agriculture, water supply and education programmes. The Groundswell report predicts that upland regions will see in-migration as people look to inhabit slightly cooler climes. 

The southern Indian highlands, especially between Bangalore and Chennai will be climate in-migration hotspots. Parts of Nepal, as well as northwestern India, also see climate in-migration. (World Bank, 2018, p. 121). 

We have to remember of course that the highland regions are already facing a lot of challenges due to climate change and these are likely to intensify. Indeed, the trend at the moment in the Himalayas is still out-migration as farming is getting harder and more unpredictable. People go to cities in search of work and a stable income. Our projects are changing this, farmers are staying and in some cases returning as they recognise the opportunities that now exist thanks to the project work we are enabling.

If the mountain regions become a refuge for climate migrants, we need to do all we can to ensure they are livable with thriving agricultural economies. We are already demonstrating the possibilities and hope to continue to innovate to show the way. 


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Courage not hope

Climate scientists. People don’t listen to them much, but if you do this is what you’ll hear: the chances of avoiding dangerous climate change are now almost zero. 3°C or more of global warming looks inevitable, it is 95% certain.

We are in the midst of collective acceptance of this reality, the hope we’ve held for so long is ebbing away, the game is up, we failed to stop this thing. Sadness, regret, grief and anger are sweeping through the environment movement. This is an emotional moment; and a juncture.

We've covered this before, but two incredible short essays have been written this month; we'd love you to read them: 

  1. We Need Courage, Not Hope, to Face Climate Change
    by Kate Marvel.
  2. I Felt Despair About Climate Change—Until a Brush With Death Changed My Mind
    by Alison Spodek Keimowitz.

All over the world, as temperatures rise, people will suffer. How much they suffer is down to us, we can enable them to adapt so that the very worst impacts are avoided. Every donation you make fills a family in Nepal with hope, hope that they will be able to adapt.  

Enable climate change adaptation in Nepal by donating to The Glacier Trust today. 

Striking at the root

Eradicating poverty, whether it is through climate change adaptation projects or any other method, is not a straightforward task. We do what we can, but we are also aware that there are macro level economic and political forces that drive poverty. We feel weak in comparison, it is easy to feel resigned and resolving to just dealing with the consequences. Especially if your are as small as TGT; as one of our T-Shirts says 'If you can't beat them, adapt'.

But we mustn't remain blissfully (or willfully) ignorant of the bigger picture or leave claims of progress unquestioned. 

Dr. Jason Hickel from London School of Economics explores this and more in his recent book 'The Divide'. The most urgent question he raises is whether charity is working or whether, in fact, we have a 'development delusion'? The delusion being that poverty is falling and that we are on course for the UN Sustainable Development Goal of eradicating poverty by 2030.

According to Hickel, the benefits of charity and aid are hugely outweighed by the problems caused by sovereign debt and the linked system of ‘remote control’ power. These two structural factors are preventing countries from developing. Hickel implies that richer countries know this and are engaged in a deliberate ploy; they prevent true development, to stave off competition. He makes a very persuasive case.

The NGO sector, too, is implicated in spreading the 'development delusion'. Charities like Oxfam are, by coercion, compelled to continue telling the story that 'development' is working. They do so to protect their very existence, they are tied into funding streams that demand continued allegiance to the status quo of the global economic order. But by spreading the delusion, they mask over the reality of sovereign debt, structural adjustment, imperialist hangovers and the workings of the World Bank, IMF and World Trade Organisation. The combined impact of these is a world of rising inequality, both between countries and within them.

Aware of all this, what is an NGO to do? Charities, large and small, should stop doing what they are doing. We are able to lessen the impact of economic failings, environmental disasters and so on through our work. And until the system changes we must continue to enable change as best we can - if you can't beat them adapt. But we must do this with our eyes open and take care not accept the current economic order as a 'fait accompli'. We must not leave UN / World Bank / large NGO assertions that poverty is declining unchallenged. There are things we can do, sharing Hickel's book and articles is a start[1]. 

Chapter 8 of The Divide, opens with this quote from Henry David Thoreau, it is as cautionary as it is challenging:

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of money on the needy is doing the most by his mode of life to produce misery which he strives in vain to relieve. 

So how do we 'hack at the branches' of poverty and climate change (those twin and related evils), while also 'striking at the root'? Indeed, can we do both? To be honest, we are unsure, we are exploring this. What follows is where we've got to so far, we'd love to hear your thoughts too.

Small charities, like ours, are only ever equipped to 'hack at the branches' - we enable remote mountain communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. But, we can maybe 'strike at the root' a bit too.

Coffee - a crop we are supporting farmers to cultivate, harvest and sell - is sold by developing countries to developed countries in green bean form. A green bean is one which has not yet been roasted. But, it is during the roasting process that value is added to a raw material.

The process of converting a raw material into a final product is key to profit making in any manufacturing process. It is why, at the beginning of the industrial revolution, raw cotton was imported to the UK and then turned into fabric. The cost of converting cotton into fabric was far less than the price at which it was then sold. The same is true for coffee, a roasted coffee bean commands a far higher price than a green bean.

We are in the early stages of coffee production in Deusa and Waku, but we are already in conversation with Not1Bean a social enterprise that has a unique guarantee. Not one of the coffee beans that they sell has been roasted outside the country in which it was grown.  As a consequence, the financial value added to the coffee bean during roasting stays within the community that grew it. This arrangement also supports jobs at roasting facilities that wouldn't previously have existed. Not1Bean are currently only working with farmers in South America, but they hope - and we hope - they will be able to set farmers up with roasting equipment in Nepal soon.

This will 'strike at the root' of poverty as it strengthens the manufacturing sector in Nepal, driving up economic activity and income into the country. It is a model that can be replicated in other areas of agriculture and other economic sectors. Of course, unfavourable trading relationships will still be an inhibitor and Nepal still needs to cope with the impacts of decades of structural adjustment, but it is a programme of work that shines a light on an economic system that badly needs reform. 

The Glacier Trust, working with partners like Not1Bean and with our eyes wide open to the dangers of the 'development delusion' will continue to do what we can to strike at the root. But, we are also pragmatic; we must continue our climate change adaptation work with great energy and commitment. Maybe we should change our T-Shirt to 'Until we beat them, adapt'? 

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1. Hickel's writings are very accessible, as well as The Divide, we recommend the following articles:
Could you live on $1.90 a day? That's the international poverty line ;
It will take 100 years for the world’s poorest people to earn $1.25 a day ;
Time for degrowth: to save the planet, we must shrink the economy ; 

Interactive map

Duncan Clark from data visualization studio Flourish has created a brilliant interactive map to show how many times temperature records have been broken over the last two decades.

Here's what Flourish say about it:

The winter of 2018 has seen some extreme cold. When the polar vortex froze the US east coast, some people took this as evidence that global warming is a myth. Something similar is now happening as the “Beast from the East” grips Europe. But analysing hundreds of millions of weather records to look for all-time high and low temperatures tells a different story. 

Click the arrow button to begin

You can learn more about the map and how it was made on the Flourish website. For an handy Q&A article on what the 'Beast from the East' snow storm means for Climate Change, check out this guardian article

Frederick Mulder Foundation

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We are delighted to announce that The Glacier Trust has been awarded a grant of £30,000 spread over three years by the Frederick Mulder Foundation.

This grant is one of three that together fully cover our core costs. This means we can continue to guarantee that 100% of your donation will go to enabling climate change adaptation in Nepal. 

Staff, volunteers and trustees at The Glacier Trust would like to thank the Frederick Mulder Foundation for their generous support.  

Please visit frederickmulderfoundation.org.uk to learn more about the work they support.