The EcoSend Podcast

Cornwall may be best-known on the Sustainability map for its expansive Eden Project site, but nestled just down the road from Eden Project sits another trailblazing site for a better future.

Caroline Stephenson's journey to building 'The Meadow Barns - An Education Centre for Climate Hope', started back in the 90s and her mother's mission to install two wind turbines. 

Caroline witnessed firsthand the fierce opposition her mother faced because of her activism. Drawing on this, since leaving her career in Music teaching, Caroline has dedicated herself to building 'The Meadow Barns' and using it as a site and resource to teach young people about Sustainable living. 

Her home is also her headquarters for her ‘Climate Hope’ movement, which Caroline defines as:
  • underpinned by deep research
  • brought to life by creative people
  • grounded in local community and
  • culminates in events and/or publications of colour, vibrancy and an infectious sense of fun!
In her chat with James, we learned about:

🌎 The importance of Community in launching a Sustainability movement, rather than going alone.
🙅‍♂️ The discrimination her mother faced because of her activism.
👣 How she has navigated facing her opposition to her own activism.
🏡 The challenges and benefits of using green building practises for her own 'EcoHome'.
🧒 Cultivating the next generation of change-makers through narrative and story-telling.
... and much more! ✨

Caroline is a living-breathing embodiment of her values and mission. From her home to her education courses, everything is dedicated to enabling future generations and to building a better future.

With her infectious enthusiasm for change, we're sure you'll enjoy this episode as much as we did 💚

About Caroline Stephenson:
Caroline Stephenson is Director of the Meadow Barns Education Centre, where people learn about local history and we share a wide range of stories that offer climate hope for the future

Further Resources from the episode:
The Meadow Barns website:
The Meadow Barns on YouTube:

Music credit:

Creators & Guests

James Gill
CEO of GoSquared
Caroline Stephenson
Caroline is Director of the Meadow Barns Education Centre, where people learn about local history and we share a wide range of stories that offer climate hope for the future

What is The EcoSend Podcast?

Our journey into the world of being a truly climate conscious business. Join us as we talk to fellow entrepreneurs, founders, marketing folks, and campaigners to help us build our new product, EcoSend: the climate conscious email marketing tool.

[00:00:27] James Gill: Hi there, welcome to another episode of the Ecosend podcast. I'm James, your host, and I'm thrilled to have another wonderful episode today of the show. Today I am joined by Caroline Stephenson from The Meadow Barns. And Caroline, after a long career in music teaching, uh, retired in 2017, and she was ready for a new challenge.

[00:00:50] Caroline planned and built an eco home and turned the garden into an education center for Climate Hope. And she also runs a blog called Green Fridays and is a wonderful user of EcoScent, which I might add. And, uh, and has really been supporting this new venture and has been sharing what she's been learning along the way.

[00:01:09] So, Caroline, I'm thrilled to have you on the show. How are you doing today? Welcome.

[00:01:13] Caroline Stephenson: Yeah, hi, I'm good. I have been out and got some fresh air and my throat is tickly, but I'll try to avoid coughing on you. Thank you.

[00:01:22] James Gill: Thank you so much. I know it's that time of the year where everyone seems to have some sort of ailment of some sort, but I'm thrilled you could make it onto the show.

[00:01:31] And I know we've spoken a little bit over the months as we've been working together and having you as an EcoSend customer, which is great. been great. Um, but I think what we really want to talk about and what we want to hear about is what you've been up to. So, um, tell us about Meadow Barns and what you're up to.

[00:01:47] Yeah, I'm really keen to hear more.

[00:01:49] Caroline Stephenson: Okay. Um, well, I came to the conclusion of my teaching career in Easter 2017. And I'd known for a long time that I wanted to do something with this site and I didn't have the You know, the time or the money and then it came together. So really it was like, how am I going to use?

[00:02:10] Two very old, tumbled down granite buildings and a whole load of rickety sheds and about a third of an acre, what am I going to do? And, I don't know really, I, I, I mentioned to you earlier that I did go to, um, the Excel Centre and I, I went and saw Grand Designs show early on before I retired. And, um, There were some things there.

[00:02:33] There were lots of things I thought was, were kind of rip off and not worth looking at. But the one, the major one that I adopted was this thing called New Jura, and it's like Lego blocks made of a kind of polystyrene, and they click together. You can build, I mean, we built the front wall here, which I'm looking at, in a day.

[00:02:55] And I mean, basically you click it together and you fill. The middle with concrete and if I did it now I would do a different kind of concrete at the hemp creek or something but at the time it was normal concrete and it was just so speedy and the pieces well you get different sizes of blocks you can get different grades you know.

[00:03:18] were kind of that much insulation and that much concrete, just massive walls. And then you've got options as to what you put on the front, whether you do some sort of cladding or whatever. But because this was a granite barn, I wanted it to be as original as possible. So we rebuilt and pointed all the granite on the front.

[00:03:37] And then I've kept some of the original granites, um, in the walls to this side of me, proofing. Or any installation or whatever, right on that corner. It's the weak point. And so I chose to do something which I just evolved basically, which is that I have a solar array for this house and another one for a second building.

[00:04:01] The solar's come in. The power goes straight to a little stove, which is called an Everhot. And it's a big chunk of old metal, and it fits there instead of a battery. Because at the time I thought, ooh, batteries are very, very expensive, and I'm not convinced they're ready yet, sort of thing. So I chose this little Everhot stove, and it is a total joy.

[00:04:26] All year round. It keeps that dry, completely dry, and beautifully warm throughout the whole of this. I'm actually living upside down. I'm upstairs here. I have a wonderful view of the sea and it's great. Oh my goodness. Amazing. So yeah, this works. That, that, that, um, solar comes in. And then if there's anything left, it goes to the hot water tank.

[00:04:49] Now, you might be able to guess. That there's a drawback to that, that in December, how much solar is there? Not a lot.

[00:04:59] James Gill: I was going to ask, whereabouts are you, actually, Karen? Ah. You're in the UK, but where I

[00:05:03] Caroline Stephenson: am very, very near to the Eden Project. Oh! Yes. But the fact that they I mean, they're like six minutes away in the car.

[00:05:11] Yeah. But of course, they're deep in a pit. And I'm up on a hill looking out at the bay and it's just got such a lovely view. Anyway, I work with Eden Project, actually, in various ways. I've hosted their students, uh, degree students here for accommodation sometimes, and I have on the site a monitoring facility, which is, I don't know if you knew this, Eden has installed for the heating of their whole site, and it goes three miles down.

[00:05:43] I mean, that is one long, long distance into the ground. They have

[00:05:48] James Gill: three, three miles deep into the earth. They have, they have

[00:05:51] Caroline Stephenson: a geothermal that's three miles deep. And basically they have like two tubes. One goes down cold water and the next one comes up hot. And they have taken a long time to achieve it.

[00:06:04] And funnily enough, my little station tells them by remote, um, computer things when there's a risk of an earthquake. And they did have an earthquake. Really? They had a very low level, 2. 7 I think it was. But they have to monitor the seismic activity. Yeah, yeah. So yeah. So I have that here.

[00:06:28] James Gill: That's incredible.

[00:06:30] Wow. I, I feel like there's, there's so much to unpack from all of this. I, um. I'm keen to dig in to some of the specifics. Maybe just to start with though, Caroline, what, why are you doing this? What got you into this whole, uh,

[00:06:44] Caroline Stephenson: world? Let me just dot, dot the one I here, which is that in order to do the hot water through the winter, I have a biomass boiler as well.

[00:06:53] That's what I had to discover and add into the mix, and that's basically it. Gosh,

[00:06:58] James Gill: I can already tell everyone's going to come away from this episode wanting to change a lot of things about their own homes, so. They

[00:07:06] Caroline Stephenson: just need to read the blog because I'll always give both sides of a story. It's not always positive, you know?

[00:07:13] It's not all, all, all brilliant news. Sure. Anyway, how did I get into this? Well Yeah. I'm just trying to think when it was, kind of mid 90s I think, late 90s. My mum, who was a strong lady, um, she decided that she's going to try and get two wind turbines here on this farm, my father's and grandfather's farm.

[00:07:40] And I expect you're aware that big turbines don't go down too well with everyone. They are

[00:07:46] James Gill: often controversial, aren't they? Yeah. People aren't always too happy to see them

[00:07:50] Caroline Stephenson: popping up on there. the level of opposition and the really horrible nature of it. Well, you would not believe because she used it.

[00:08:01] I'm laughing because my son who's part of this and loved his granny to bits has turned it all into a drama. into a, he was funded recently by the University of Exeter to turn into a drama, the whole story of being an activist and trying to make a difference. And he put on a red wig and he held a handbag and he pretended to be my mum at church.

[00:08:26] And there's this whole scene, which is true. It is literally true that the wardens said, we're no longer going to use your communion bread.

[00:08:41] They wouldn't talk to her. They, you know, she wasn't, nobody would sit with her. It was like she was a leper just because she was trying to do these wind turbines. So Tom and I, that's my son, Tom and I sat. you know, literally and figuratively with her through a long period of attempting and getting appeals.

[00:09:03] And it never worked in the end. And there was kind of a good reason in that there was an autistic boy who would have had his bedroom looking out at it and nobody could say whether it would upset his. system, or he would become obsessed, or, you know, there were experts with different opinions. But anyway, that's where it began, and I wasn't really aware, because then I went to where I was working and doing other things.

[00:09:29] Um, I wasn't aware that she was that much behind. what I chose to do, but I think more and more I look back and I think both my parents and my grandf grandad had sort of input into what I wanted to do here, you know? Yeah.

[00:09:43] James Gill: Yeah. That's incredible. So that really, so all of that, I mean, that's enough to make someone want to not do anything to do with climate and, uh, want to run away and have an easier life, isn't it?

[00:09:54] But you, you decided to Carry on that, that, uh, drive and, uh, and, and, uh, I, I

[00:10:02] Caroline Stephenson: would hope, I mean, people can easily challenge me on this, but the fact that I'm doing the blog, the fact that I'm doing it very small steps, nothing massive, sure, sure, is showing that I learned from her that I have to go with people.

[00:10:20] And obviously, you know, Rishi decided that he better not go so fast or whatever it was that he chose to do for and wrote back on things, but it is important to embrace people in a community and, and, you know, really get them in the emotional space that they need to be in to do change. And I think that's a really big challenge.

[00:10:48] Yeah,

[00:10:49] James Gill: absolutely. So, so you think today, so there's no, uh, wind turbine at the site today, but do you think if you were trying to do that again today you would have the same kind of opposition?

[00:11:02] Caroline Stephenson: Do you think it would be You are so clever to ask that question. The farmer who bought that most of the land when my father died, um, Tried to get a turbine on his side of the road and he got just as terrible, terrible treatment.

[00:11:18] Really horrible. Yeah, really. So I have got a different way of doing wind turbines. Oh, okay. So there's a company that I've identified and, uh, linked up with quite regularly, and I've written in the blog, it's called Future Energy. So the e is in the middle of capital E, future Yeah. And they do very small wind turbines that are mainly bought for people that wanna be off grid with a little cabin or something.

[00:11:48] And I wrote to him and I said. How would it be if the farmer wanted to do six down one hedge and six along the other hedge and put it into a battery store? And he said, yeah. It's perfectly feasible. So I'm actually pushing this at the moment towards, um, Southwest Water. They're the regional provider for water and they are trying to achieve a desalination plant, again, against huge opposition, like hysterical opposition.

[00:12:22] And yes, it's going to take a lot, lot, lot of energy and maybe Little turbines all along the hedges wouldn't cut it at all, I don't know, but I always, I'm always putting things forward. Yeah,

[00:12:35] James Gill: finding solutions.

[00:12:36] Caroline Stephenson: I try, I try, honestly. And I try, even though I've got no scientific background whatsoever, I spend so much time now trying to really grasp how these different things work, and what the, what they, you know, what the implications are and all that sort of stuff, yeah.

[00:12:54] Ah,

[00:12:54] James Gill: that's, that is incredible. It's very inspiring to hear, because, you know, it can be, as I'm hearing here, it can be such an emotionally charged world, and, uh, to apply some rigor and, uh, and, and deep, deep research and, and trying to find solutions is, I think, generally a far better approach than trying to raise problems all the time.

[00:13:19] Caroline Stephenson: I think there's a lot of folk out there who care enormously. But equally are very, very down now and I mean, I went last weekend, I probably will write a little bit about this because the blogs, the last blogs coming out shortly for Christmas, and I went to a new eco sort of hub centre in our big city in Truro, which is a tiny place, the capital of Cornwall, yeah, tiny place really, but yeah, yeah.

[00:13:50] All of those people, they've got a thing on the wall which says, How anxious are you about climate? And, Nearly all of them put their anxiety level at the very, very top and they're saying they are terrified. And I looked at them and I said, I don't feel like that. I'm, I'm at number six. I'm concerned and I'm trying to do things about it.

[00:14:16] I, I kind of feel like if you're terrified, you're almost like a rabbit in headlights and, and, and maybe you can't do stuff. I, I, I don't know. I'm really keen to understand more. of where they're coming from and, you know. Right. Yeah. And, and just try and change people to feel like there are things we can do.

[00:14:36] Yeah,

[00:14:37] James Gill: absolutely. Well, I mean, you're already in, I think you're, well, you're already definitely inspiring me, Caroline, with your approach and, uh, I'm trying to think what I can do in my Victorian terraced house in London, uh, to, uh, to make more impact.

[00:14:54] It's

[00:14:54] Caroline Stephenson: definitely hard in those buildings. I mean, in Cornwall, I've been at, um, some events, you know, to talk to people. And I generally specialize in folks with small children, very young people. And we, we build houses with. Leftover new dura blocks and stuff and Right, right. And I talked to a couple who got little old cottages, minus cottages that are granite and you know, very not able to be well insulated and all the rest of it.

[00:15:22] Sure. And even there, there are ways to do it. I mean, there are traditional hanging on the. And then you can put insulation behind the slate hanging. Oh, okay. I don't think you could do that in a street in London. Possibly not.

[00:15:39] James Gill: I'm still gonna try and find a way. Do you think, it's an interesting one actually, having been to Cornwall many, many times on holidays over the years, I've always loved Cornwall.

[00:15:49] But also with, as you mentioned, projects like the Eden project, I've always had a sense that Cornwall's been almost A trendsetter for the rest of the, the country in terms of thinking more sustainably and, um, setting, setting a path forward. Would you agree with that or am I massively, uh, confused? Okay.

[00:16:11] Caroline Stephenson: No, I wouldn't.

[00:16:11] I'll tell you where in the UK, I mean, it's not in England, but, um, Orkney, Shetland, up in Scotland, there's massive, massively more ambitious things going on in Scotland, I think, in here, but things are moving, and I went to the Cornwall Sustainability Awards ceremony a week or so ago, and we were actually nominated, we didn't win anything, but, um.

[00:16:37] Well,

[00:16:37] James Gill: congratulations, that's, that's still something.

[00:16:40] Caroline Stephenson: Um, I was really proud of the film. They showed, they said, if you can. could you possibly send, you know, 60 seconds of a film? And funnily enough, James, the night that I was taken into hospital with my burst appendix, the last thing I did before I was taken away was like, I have to send this film to the sustainability board.

[00:17:02] Anyway, not sure if

[00:17:04] James Gill: those are correlated at all. Anyway,

[00:17:06] Caroline Stephenson: so yeah, there was a lot of good stuff. I mean, there's specifically We, a lot of people specialise in plastics out of the ocean and taking stuff out and making things out of them. And there's one company called Cleaner Seas that's just won loads of awards for taking, um, very small plastic stuff out of your washing machine.

[00:17:27] Really practical, really good. Oh, wow. And they got, you know, they got one of the awards. So, yeah, there are things happening, but there are equally, with those opportunities. There are huge risks and that, again, I come back to Tom's show, that he was commissioned to do it because Cornwall has been flagged up as the place to get lithium, right?

[00:17:51] Oh,

[00:17:51] James Gill: right, for batteries. Yeah,

[00:17:53] Caroline Stephenson: so you look back at all the ways in which mining was positive and very negative. In Cornwall two hundred years ago and a hundred years ago. Is that a tin

[00:18:02] James Gill: mine? The tin mines?

[00:18:04] Caroline Stephenson: Tin and copper. Here I'm sitting right on the biggest copper mine. One of the largest ex copper mines.

[00:18:09] And, you know, what it does to the ground and the ecosystems and what it does to the people. The social impact is really ambiguous, whether it's, you know, they get employment, but they get exploited. And gosh, there's so many issues about mining lithium here. And it's not just lithium, the other critical metals that we need.

[00:18:31] Okay. So, um, yeah, for the de with the desalination I mentioned and talking to Southwest Water, I'm saying you must must not send toxic brine back out into an ocean, into a bay which has the second largest, um, garden of sea grass in the whole uk. Huge amounts of this sea grass.

[00:19:00] And I'm like, no! You can't do that. You need to find a different use for this brine. So last, last week I wrote in the blog loads of stuff about brine and salt and what you can do. One of the things. is create batteries. Sodium, iron, batteries. And in Australia, they've done the main sort of research and I have sent an email to Australia, to the University of South Wales.

[00:19:29] And I'll tell you what, I love the fact that nobody gives you a press card but you set up and you write your blog. And then when you go to contact someone, and it usually says for press inquiries instead of Joe Bloggs inquiries. When you go through press inquiries, people do respond. I mean, I got once, I got the, the top person that I needed.

[00:19:55] in the Coal Authority. Now who knew that the Coal Board is responsible for remediating every mine in this country? Not just coal. Right, oh okay. And they're engaged in doing some great stuff with old coal mines up north. They, they take the hot water that's still in the mines and they heat a whole new housing development.

[00:20:18] Oh wow. I got the top, top people talking to me at huge length and I was amazed. I mean, yeah, that's,

[00:20:28] James Gill: it's a good life hack that, isn't it? It is.

[00:20:30] Caroline Stephenson: I had an email back from the special unit that deals with water, future water, in the United Nations last week. Wow,

[00:20:41] James Gill: so that's a good little bit of advice for anyone listening or watching then if you if you want to get hold of people start a blog, write about it, use the press, press ads.

[00:20:49] Call

[00:20:49] Caroline Stephenson: yourself a journalist. Yeah.

[00:20:54] James Gill: Well, it's actually an interesting one. It's like very much why we have loved doing this podcast because we wanted to talk to people to build up our own knowledge, you know, my own knowledge of, Uh, everything about sustainability and it's one thing to try and reach out to people to just have a chat, but, but people are much happier actually to get on a podcast to talk about these things.

[00:21:16] And, uh, it, it's a bit, a little bit meta to say that, but yeah, it's, um, , it's, uh, it's been one of the most rewarding things to, to do. So, um. I, I know, uh, there was, there was so many things you wanted to talk about, Caroline, I know, I, I know we've, we've sort of talked, weaving around lots of different topics, so.

[00:21:33] We have, we have, yeah. The, the, uh, but, but, uh, but overall though, the, the project, the Meadow Barns, so, you've, you've taken over the site, and you're, Basically, is, would you say it's one of those projects that's never fully complete, it's always a work in progress, but it is, it's uh, Or would you say you're very much satisfied with where you've got to?

[00:21:55] Caroline Stephenson: Because it's an outdoor site, and you're doing outdoor education, there's a lot of ongoing challenges of just like looking after the grounds and I think I've more or less decided I need to get a bit more help on that side of things. I've got a lovely couple of people that help me with like when there's things wrong with the roof or whatever like that.

[00:22:16] But, you know, all of those things need looking after every year, but I don't see myself. Developing anything more here. Yeah, what I am developing for the future are these Links, you know, I've got about if you add everybody that's worked with me in the last six months It's probably 60 or 70 people Wow Little things it may be no more than the most beautiful little flower mate.

[00:22:43] Here you are. I'm gonna show you Got

[00:22:45] James Gill: one here. Here's what I made earlier.

[00:22:48] Caroline Stephenson: A little group of people who made beautiful little flowers and apple blossoms and apples and helped us do a decoration for a ceremony. You know, there are people helping and with that comes. You've got to be realistic what you can achieve, and there's two things.

[00:23:07] One is the most exceptional find, which is not, what, less than two miles away, is a historic quarry that has been left go for twenty odd years. and is now a perfect example of a temperate rainforest. But it's also got huge heritage, like all the, all the train tracks that used to carry granites in and out.

[00:23:34] There's just so much there. There's the old cranes, and it's got a little old building that's fallen down, and a hut. And we want to make A temperate rainforest classroom and start doing loads and loads of education. But it won't be just us, it'll be like in partnership if that happens. Yeah,

[00:23:52] James Gill: that sounds fascinating.

[00:23:53] That's a biggie. That sounds like, yeah, I, I can imagine a movie set there. It sounds, sounds like a great place for an adventure. Oh,

[00:24:02] Caroline Stephenson: absolutely. We certainly, I'd already thought about doing photography courses, but actually. Yeah, it would be an amazing place to make a film.

[00:24:10] James Gill: Yeah. That's incredible. So, uh,

[00:24:13] Caroline Stephenson: maybe And then, the other side, sorry, is to do the work with small peoples in, in families at half terms.

[00:24:21] So, I'm doing these climate hope activities in February, which are going to be around China and Chinese New Year. And is China a villain or a saviour? Oh, okay. Yeah.

[00:24:31] James Gill: So, yeah. Um. No, it's, it's incredible. So I, I guess one of the topics I know you wanted to talk about was your, some of your education work and that work on your blog and, and how, how important that's been.

[00:24:45] I'd love to hear more about that and how, you know, it's one thing to be doing all of this, but you are also putting a lot of effort into writing about everything and sharing it and telling others about it. What's the drive for that? Is it, um, Is it, is it to just try and share your knowledge? Is it to invite others to contribute?

[00:25:06] Is it, yeah, I'd love to hear more about that whole initiative of all of your writing, yeah.

[00:25:11] Caroline Stephenson: Okay, well the first thing is, because I'm not a scientist, or have any background like that, I feel I have to do homework. I don't feel I can go forward with what I'm trying to achieve in life. Unless I do enough research, and I guess I love doing research.

[00:25:30] I mean, I wouldn't do it if I didn't kind of enjoy massively finding out all kinds of random stuff. You know, the things I found out about salt in the UK last week. You would not believe how, you know, fun they are and how you'd never believe any of it. Three million tons of salt produced in the UK per year.

[00:25:54] Three million tons! Who knew?

[00:25:56] James Gill: How much of it ends up on fish and chips though?

[00:25:58] Caroline Stephenson: Uh, not much. A lot of it goes on our roads.

[00:26:02] James Gill: Of course, yeah.

[00:26:04] Caroline Stephenson: Yeah, of course. And yes, um, high grade stuff produced in different ways is obviously culinary and but I was, it's just really interesting to do the research and then you don't do that.

[00:26:18] Without thinking, well, I need to kind of put it, wrap it up in a tidy kind of bundle that I can refer to, and then of course, it's like, Oh, actually, other people can refer to this. Yeah. And so there's a special school that I've worked with where I believe it's very loosely happening, but I think every time they have a, um, a moment with a child who's kicking off or, you know, needs a rest or needs certain distraction, they say, let's research this on Caroline's blog.

[00:26:50] Let's go and see one. Oh really? Yeah, yeah. Um, and the more I could do that, if I could get more schools, ordinary schools, to say on a Friday morning in Assembly, or even a Monday morning in Assembly after I've published, yeah, Monday morning, like, let's pick one of these topics from Caroline's blog and look at this, this week.

[00:27:12] That would help the schools because they don't have time to do this work, absolutely do not have capacity, even though they want to. They can do the minimal things which are make a little garden, plant some wildflower seeds, have some things about bugs and, and bees, you know, that's great, but especially as you get into year six and then back up into, you know, older people, they need, they need to know this stuff is going on around them.

[00:27:44] And I believe I've seen quite a few kids that have come here to work. and are really interested in geology now, or might perceive that they have a future path in this sphere, you know? Um,

[00:27:59] James Gill: yeah, what a wonderful, um, sort of approach where people can, you know, very lightweight, engage with you online and read your findings.

[00:28:08] And then if they're, you know, willing to take the trip and go over and start to physically understand what you're writing about and it's such a great journey and you know I think a lot of this it can feel so hypothetical or distant when you just read things on the web and and to You know, have that ability to show people and share those lessons.

[00:28:34] Caroline Stephenson: I think there is a, um, you know, something that's, um, well, people seem to quite be happy with the fact that I jump around from like, Oh, it's snow outside. What does snow mean? You know, and then I'll do a bit of research. What does snow mean for the use of? You know, energy in the UK or whatever it is. I just, yeah, it is quite random at times, but yeah.

[00:28:56] Yeah. .

[00:28:58] James Gill: And it's also great that you make it accessible for, for people, as you say, like you've got children learning about it right through to Yeah. Sometimes I think a lot of this information can be very, very, uh, it's

[00:29:10] Caroline Stephenson: scientific, so dense, isn't it? Yeah. I've got a very good friend, an adult who just says.

[00:29:16] Nah. And I now write, the next section is quite thick and, you know, quite demanding. You might want to just scoot on, that's fine. You know, I, it comes with a, like, an alert that says this, this is a bit busy. A

[00:29:31] James Gill: warning, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I, uh, I feel like we're flying through our, our time, Caroline. I can't believe how, how quickly a half an hour has gone by.

[00:29:40] I, I also want to make sure we touch on your thoughts on the future. I'm not necessarily asking you to Put money on bet on what will happen in the future But anything you want to share about your your views on on how how things are gonna evolve in in the in the coming months And years well funnily

[00:29:55] Caroline Stephenson: enough I'm writing today for the last blog and I'm saying What if anything can a handful of ordinary people achieve?

[00:30:06] You know, can they do anything? Well, obviously the most important thing is whoever's in charge in number ten And Sure, sure. You know, we know there's gonna possibly be some sort of change next year, so the future have to say my prayers every night that we will get. Ideally, a complete change of political system, you know, we, we need to have coalition working for this, for the climate, really.

[00:30:38] We need some greens and some yellows and some reds and some, you know, and some blues. We just need a mix of people who are not trying always to compete with each other and then rocking the boat, doing it this way for one reason, doing it that way for another reason. It's just too big. To, you know, an issue to be like a political football.

[00:31:00] So, I don't know, I can't attribute that, but I'll keep looking at it.

[00:31:06] James Gill: It's absolutely, absolutely the case though, I think, isn't it? That the amount of power and change that can come from Changes in policy, changes in, in the way, uh, laws are set around various things and how much impact that can have on industry and, and, and the trickle down effects of, of those, of that, that leadership, um, is, is quite incredible that the impact of that, I think is, is exciting.

[00:31:31] Caroline Stephenson: But then, you know. As I said, Cornwall is changing, and other, I'm sure other counties are too. Lots of places are shaping up. There is a lot to be celebrated at the same time, I

[00:31:44] James Gill: think. Absolutely. I feel like it's a very positive note to end on. Yeah, I think so. Thank you so much Caroline. Just to clarify, we'll put links in the show notes, but you Have, well, if people want to go see your blog and check out all of your wonderful work, um, TheMeadowBarnes.

[00:32:06] co. uk

[00:32:07] Caroline Stephenson: is where they want to go. Yeah, TheMeadowBarnes has a section called Climate Hope and the blog is there and the green build is there and then there's other bits of the site, obviously. And then there is a YouTube channel with some quite fun little films that, yeah, they are designed not to be too intense.

[00:32:25] I mean, actually, there's three films on my website of a school that made a presentation to COP26. Okay. A couple of years ago. Their film. I, I absolutely love their film. It's, it's brilliant. So. Oh, wonderful. Yeah. Wonderful.

[00:32:41] James Gill: Great. Well, we'll link to both of those in, in the notes and I hope everyone could get a chance to check those out.

[00:32:49] So. Can I just

[00:32:49] Caroline Stephenson: say how grateful I am to have come from a, you know, a mode of sending to people. That was utterly, like, um, faceless, robotic, unresponsive, treated me at a particular point like, you know, you're a nobody, we don't care less about you, whatever. And you, who are the absolute opposite of like, really listening, really caring, trying to sort out an idiot like me who has no technical knowledge whatsoever.

[00:33:23] I just wanted to highlight that. That's why you're a great You know, you're just great

[00:33:29] James Gill: at what you're doing. Oh, Caroline, that's very, very kind of you. I will, I'll make sure the team know I'm blushing a little bit now. That's a very, very lovely way to end. Thank you. And just to clarify, I did not pay you to say that.

[00:33:39] You

[00:33:39] Caroline Stephenson: did not, you did not end the slide. That

[00:33:41] James Gill: was not a sponsored, uh, excerpt there. Thank you, Caroline. Thank you for a wonderful show. And thank you listeners for tuning in. Uh, we hope you enjoyed today's show. If you did, please do give it a like, give it a positive rating on whatever you're using to listen to the show or watch the show.

[00:33:58] So thank you and we'll catch you next time.