Archive for July, 2010


Regrets; I’ve had a few…

Sitting on the train back from the year’s political high point, (in Sweden at least) Almedal- politician week in the nice city of Visby I can’t help admitting to a feeling of regret. One of the few regrets I feel the need to mention.

On Tuesday we, that is Friends of the Earth Sweden, gave Andreas Carlgren, the Swedish environment minister, our Greenwash prize. With 60% of the vote Andreas left the rest of the field miles behind. And the competition was stiff I tell you, I mean BP was also nominated, but remained an also ran. Andreas is without any doubt the Swedish Master of Greenwash.

Why pick on the poor minister, he does his best you might think. And it is true, if you can be bothered to listen to what he says, his environmental rhetoric is first class. This is the man who at one time was a most vocal opponent of a western bypass round Stockholm, now, years later, after his radical youthful views have been well proven to be true, he is suggesting, no not just suggesting but telling us that the same project he was so opposed to before is now good for the environment.

All Stockholm needs is a nice new urban motorway to clean up the environment, yeah right. Come on Andreas tell us about the “lots of money” new suburban development is going to help make a few people rich but give the poor environment a break, please.

When we announced the award on Tuesday Andreas was for some reason not disposed to turn up and accept the honour. That is why on Wednesday when opportunity knocked we made the effort to personally hand his prize over and ask him for a chance to discuss these motorway things he is so keen on. We tried to talk to him.

This brings me back to my regrets, I have one major regret after my week on Gotland. My regret is that I didn’t pour a coffee cup full of green slime over the reverend minister when I had the chance. I might be sat in jail now, instead of the train home to Göteborg. But at least I would have too few regrets to mention.

On the train back from Stockholm, 10 July 2010


Strung out and on a train

I don’t really have a point with this post, as usual I have nothing to say, but I’ve just got back from the “Towards Carfree Cities IX” conference in York and it might be worthwhile writing a few lines about my experiences. This has been one of the most intensive weeks in my life and I arrive back in Sweden with at least twice as many unanswered questions as I left with. This, if nothing else, is proof that I must have learnt something.

Psycho geography is probably the hook that got me really hooked, how do we experience the world around us? And can a better understanding of how people experience their/our built environment be useful when thinking about the built environment. Expect more on this subject when I’ve had time to digest it a bit.

But strung out after all the conference sessions is wot I am and although I’m back in good old Sverige I am also sitting on another train. On my way to the next jippo, Almedalen on the island of Gotland. Every year at the beginning of July Sweden’s political elite, politicians, lobbyists and NGOs gather for a bit of a mingle in the medieval Hansa town of Visby. A small reassurance is that there is probably chance to rest later. Ha Ha! At least there should be a bit of fancy and free food kicking about, freeganism rules!

Just to round off my latest mad project has got funding, this means that I am now officially “a bit of a MONGO*”

*MONGO- My Own Non-Government Organisation

On the train to Stockholm 3 July 2010

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