Paul Allen
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  • Machynlleth, Powys
  • United Kingdom
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Paul Allen's Page

Latest Activity

Martine Miller joined Paul Allen's group

Creating a Transition Technology Handbook

The Centre for Alternative Technology seeks inspiring individual or community energy projects for our Transition Technology Handbook
Jul 1, 2011
Paul Allen commented on Paul Allen's blog post Resilience
"Thanks Davie, it is amazing how a little snow peels away the veneer of modernity and show us just how un-resilient our systems actually are! See my 2 new posts.... Keep warm! PA"
Dec 6, 2010
Paul Allen updated their profile photo
Dec 6, 2010
Paul Allen posted blog posts
Dec 6, 2010
Davie Philip commented on Paul Allen's blog post Resilience
"Love that Paul. Resilience, especially at the community level, is now the focus of our work here in Ireland. I have found that this resonates more for communities, especially rural ones, than the 'sustainability' talk of a future that…"
Nov 30, 2010
Paul Allen posted a blog post


Thoughts on resilience - I welcome your feedback!Over recent months communities across the western world are struggling to adjust to a new era of profound and abrupt change. Although not of their own making, these changes compel communities to re-consider how they plan to move forwards into the 21st century.I know from my own experience that it has a profound personal effect when you realise that the consequences of the past 150 years of rapid industrialisation are simultaneously coming home to…See More
Nov 24, 2010
Paul Allen and Helen Fairweather are now friends
Nov 24, 2010
An event by Paul Allen was featured

Emergence at Cardiff

October 28, 2010 from 9:30am to 5pm
"Creative practice for a sustainable future"Thu 28 Oct9.30am–5pmIau 28 HydA creative conference for anyone working in the arts in Wales.Emergence — Eginiad provides an opportunity to network, share ideas and get tools for a more sustainable practice; to celebrate the anarchic and unpredictable spirit of art and learn practical ways in which you can make a difference in these times of ecological, economic and social instability.The conference includes a look at the Welsh Assembly Government’s…See More
Oct 20, 2010

Profile Information

Welcome! FierySpirits is for activists and professionals who are building vibrant, resilient rural communities. Tell us a little about why you'd like to join?
Reading the science of climate and energy security, I cannot avoid the conclusion that we have stumbled blindly into an emergency situation, and must immediately face up to our addiction to fossil fuels, embarking on a de-tox transition to zero carbon as quickly as humanly possible.
Through developing a practical strategy to take us to zero carbon, we can integrate our detailed knowledge and experience into a national framework that can be clearly and effectively articulated to alert policy makers and to endorse and cultivate local grass roots action. In the face of such startling evidence, we should not wait for government – but we cannot ignore them either. By converging on a common, coherent zero carbon vision and simultaneously presenting it to our elected representatives, we can establish a new cross-party space, which bold visionary politicians can colonise.
There is little to be gained by comparing our lifestyles today with those of a zero carbon future, because life as we know it must now inevitably change whether we prepare for it or not. A more useful comparison is between a future where we have been proactive and acted ahead of events, and a future where we have let events overtake us.
Rising to this challenge will entail a new approach to many of our current lifestyle choices. Pioneering new lifestyles in descending carbon society mean ingenuity replaces apathy, and self-reliance replaces self-gratification, but perhaps most significantly, it could deliver a rich sense of collective purpose and personal meaning, which we find we have been craving for a very long time.
About Me (areas of expertise/interest I can share)
I am a qualified electrical and electronic engineer. I have worked at the Centre for Alternative Technology since 1988. Most of my work has involved pro-active and re-active work developing CAT’s activity programmes, strategic planning, partnership building plus a wide range of press and media work. Current projects include developing an activity programme for the new ‘Wales Institute for Sustainable Education’ which will open in 2009 and developing the next development of our energy strategy ‘Zero Carbon Britain’.
I am also a musician, playing flat backed bouzouki, guitar, bodhran and low whistle. My passions include mediaeval music, gaia theory, quantum physics and growing vegetables.

Paul Allen's Blog

On the rails to Brussels to present ZCB2030 in the EU Parliament

Thursday 5.15am

Everything is covered in snow here in London this morning, and it is still snowing. Arrived at St Pancras to find my train is defiantly cancelled but it is still possible to catch a 7.30 train to Brussels. They asked me if my journey was essential. I paused for a moment, and said yes - I do consider the work in presenting Zero Carbon Britain to policy makers and essential, and as the meeting is still going ahead, I am determined to get there. My new train is due to arrive… Continue

Posted on December 6, 2010 at 17:25

Zero Carbon Britain march to Parliament 4th December

Saturday 4th December 8.30am

The day started just after eight am with a telephone interview on what we are doing for the march in London to Radio Shropshire. Although the questions were clearly aimed to be very challenging (i.e. “but what ever you do won’t people just object to it?”), I was pleased to be allowed enough time to answer in full. Now there is just time to collect my thoughts before the first presentation of the day. I have been asked to present Zero Carbon Britain at the start… Continue

Posted on December 6, 2010 at 17:20


Thoughts on resilience - I welcome your feedback!

Over recent months communities across the western world are struggling to adjust to a new era of profound and abrupt change. Although not of their own making, these changes compel communities to re-consider how they plan to move forwards into the 21st century.

I know from my own experience that it has a profound personal effect when you realise that the consequences of the past 150 years of rapid industrialisation are… Continue

Posted on November 24, 2010 at 17:27 — 2 Comments

Zero Carbon Europe!

One of the most exciting ways to progress ZCB2030 is to get other models of the same transition, but from other countries. (We have already stimulated a zero carbon Australia plan!). To help seed this work in the EU CAT's Zero Carbon Britain team are working closely with the international forum for sustainable energy (INFORSE).

So I am now off to present in Paris at a meeting hosted by French All Party climate change group and chaired by leading green ex-minister Yves… Continue

Posted on September 8, 2010 at 7:27

Dealing prudently with deficit

As Britain braces itself to deal with some of the harshest public spending cuts since the Second World War, it is vital we consider the big picture, and ensure we create a more resilient economy.

The rules that determine the next two decades are going be very different from those that governed the previous two. Of the 98 oil producing nations in the world, 64 are thought to have passed their geologically imposed production peak, and of those 60 are now in terminal production decline.… Continue

Posted on May 18, 2010 at 5:00

Comment Wall (30 comments)

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At 13:26 on October 14, 2010, Lucy Neal said…
Didnt realise you would be there Paul, that is GREAT! Lucy
At 14:11 on February 23, 2010, Paul Allen said…
Hi Helen,

From my files, these folks are old friends of Danny, the founder of Rinky. They will know what is what....

Let me know how you get on, and tell them I gave you their number. Professor Kaos is cool.


Contact Details

Bernadette Vallely (Development Manager)
Kingston Environment Centre
Fairfield East, Kingston
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0) 20 8974 8608


Des Kay
The Monkey House
Gibbon Road

Phone: +44 (0) 20 8547 0335
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8974 9356
At 22:34 on February 15, 2010, Helen Lawrenson said…
Hi Paul - I'm trying to book the Rinky-dink sound machine for Big Tent but am just getting bounce backs from their advertised email address. They list CAT as a link on their page so I was wondering if you/someone at CAT had a workable email? Best wishes , Helen
At 10:21 on February 12, 2010, Paul Allen said…
Of course Kate...
At 9:26 on February 12, 2010, Kate Braithwaite said…
Hi Paul
We have a new member on fiery spirits called Caroline Turner - a climate change officer and i've alerted her to your postings.
Could you welcome her?
At 17:44 on October 26, 2009, Nick Wilding said…
hi paul

might be worth a blog post today to flag up your new zero carbon britain group - I've just sent out newsburst so expecting more people online in next few hours - so a good time to flag it up.
Also, I'll upload your PDF to issuu so it's easier to read - I can show you how to do this if helpful...
Finally, It would be easiest to give feedback if you were able to start a discussion (in a thread) with some specific prompt quesitons - what kind of feedback would be helpfuk? by when? pitched in what kind of way?

hope that helps!
At 12:10 on August 18, 2009, Catherine Corcoran said…
Hi Paul

Great to hear from you and sorry about the late reply as I only returned from leave yesterday. I am enjoying your piece about co-housing in Colorado-especially since I stayed in the Stroud equivalent in April so its great to hear how it unfolds there. Re the Blog/Newsburst I am sure lots of people would love to hear more about your trip and particularly meeting and influencing policy makers. Perhaps we should plan an Autumn seminar on just such a theme?

all the best and talk this pm I hope

At 9:17 on July 30, 2009, Kate Braithwaite said…
Hi paul
For the newsburst!

Changing times at Carnegie; At the recent AGM Melanie Leech, Director of the Food and Drink Federation in her 'day job' took the reins as Chair of the Trust. Her place as Convenor of the Rural Programme was handed to Diana Brittan - no stranger to our partners as Diana chaired the later stages of the work of our rural Commission and has been a stalwart supporter ever since. Carnegie is also about to appoint a new Chief Executive. We are also living in difficult financial times - the Trust is not immune to the turmoil on the markets and the income from our endowment has been hit badly. So like many others we face tight constraints for the foresseable future.

However, we remain resourceful and determined to fight the corner for rural communities; identifying what we hope will be 'winning strategies' where the application of a small amount of funding will release multiple benefits for a great many communities. One such strategy was discussed in detail at the recent Carnegie Board meeting; Community Land Trusts started of as a bit of 'left field' thinking but now enjoy cross party support and the interest of a great many communities. Our challenge now is to dismantle the handful of bureacratic barriers that are preventing the more rapid adoption of this idea - simplifying funding streams, preventing 'leasehold enfranchisement' and so on. At the recent National CLT conference in London we announced our new Communities and Local Government funded programme of work to address these and other issues. We are building lots of resources on CLTs which you will be able to access through fieryspirits. in the meantime do have a look at the Grant Shapps interview for a glimpse of Tory ideas about CLTs and just to prove that good ideas from pioneering rural communities are catching on in cities too -- have a look at the Brixton CLT video too.


At 11:21 on June 30, 2009, Kathryn Speedie said…
Hope your event went well. I was delighted with the outcome of ours. Really good response. Keep an eye on for upcoming multimedia should be up there in a week or so depending on post production.
All the best with your next steps
At 14:59 on May 7, 2009, Debi Fry said…
Hi Paul,
I spoke to my friends at the State Department and they suggested Todd Stern, the special envoy for Climate Change at State. I believe his assistants name is Amanda Volk. But they suggested calling the main switchboard to find out the direct address/phone and there may be others they can recommend you send the letter/invitation to. The main switchboard number is: 202-647-4000

Also some friends signposted me to the following Washington DC business directory which lists all the environmental organisations in and around DC (with addresses):

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