Minehead & District

Regional U3A Events

As a member of Minehead U3A you are also able to take advantage of a range of other events hosted in the South West. Some of these are events held by a local branch but open to other members of U3A as guests, and some are regional events aimed at fostering co-operation and liaison between the branches.

U3A Study Day Sherborne 2016 - Saving our Planet
Report by Cherrie Temple

After a brief introduction by our Regional Trustee, Diana Holdsworth, Tim Warren of Blackfish Engineering gave his lecture 'The Pros and Cons of Tidal and Wind Power, aspects of designs'. As long as populations and industry increase, we are going to require more energy and the case for renewables exists! There are many types of renewables and these include solar, wind and, water, the various technologies of which were discussed. The designs are complex, finance is required up front and there are no simple solutions. As a society, we must debate how much we are happy to pay!

As Pam Jones, Chairman of the Third Age Trust was unable to attend, Diana delivered the U3A Update. A National Executive Committee consultation group has been formed to consider the future structure and functioning of the U3A nationally. Some members wish to see a change in the governance structure. Further information is available on the National website.

After an excellent buffet lunch, we listened to a lecture on climate change, given by Robin Chadwick from the Met. Office. He defined climate as what you expect and weather as what you get!! The temperature has been increasing since 1850, and 2015 and 2016 are the warmest years on record. It is well known that mankind is to blame for the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It is not the sun! Computer simulations are being used to predict outcomes of two-degree and four-degree increases in global temperatures. The consequences of such warming were considered, but he thought that it is not too late to change.

The final talk of the day was from Rupert Farthing of the Carymoor Environmental Trust. This organisation attempts to address the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. Described was the conversion of a landfill site into a wildlife haven. This was a fascinating talk which was accompanied by some frightening statistics. Landfill sites are compacted before they are covered over and this inhibits free air circulation. The consequence is that cardboard, for example, would require five years to degrade and a disposable nappy would take 500 years!
We left Sherborne with a lot of 'food for thought'!