Archive for the ‘energy’ Category

A Song of Oil, Ice and Fire

June 6, 2015

Would we set fire to works of art, destroy manuscripts, smash ancient ruins with a sledgehammer?

When Isis and the Taliban destroyed symbols of our culture, we were shocked, more shocked even than by the gruesome brutality of their beheadings.

If we are shocked, then why are we tolerating Shell setting fire to the planet?

We have seen the last week extreme temperature in India, with many thousands dying. That is of nothing with what we will experience with thermal runaway if global temperature rise goes beyond 2C. Even with 2C, we are going to see more violent and extreme weather events.

If we are to keep global temperature rises below 2C, we have to keep 80% of known carbon reserves in the ground.

The worth of a company such as Shell, is the value of its known carbon reserves. If it cannot recover, then Shell is worthless.

More extreme and hazardous carbon deposits, mountain top removal, tar sands, fracking, deep water, Amazon, Arctic, are more expensive than renewables (and the cost of renewables is falling).

An oil spill in the Arctic is unlikely to be recoverable.

Shell has already had one major incident on the Arctic.

Why are we permitting Shell to drill in the Arctic?

Advertising Standards Agency bans Greenpeace anti-fracking ad

May 6, 2015
banned Greenpeace anti-fracking ad

banned Greenpeace anti-fracking ad

The banning of a Greenpeace anti-fracking ad by the ASA is indicative of the revolving door and how corrupt the political system has become.

Chris Smith used to be a Labour government minster.

On leaving office, jobs for the boys, seats on the board of Big Business or on a quango, true to script he heads the Environment Agency.

As boss of the Environment Agency he gave the OK to frack in National Parks.

Now he heads the ASA.

As head of the ASA he banned a Greenpeace anti-fracking ad.

Greenpeace:

The ASA just banned our anti-fracking ad!

Here are the facts:

A few months ago we published a newspaper ad stating: “Experts agree – [fracking] won’t cut our energy bills.”

The ASA asked for evidence to back up the claim — so we submitted statements from 22 experts and commentators including leading academics, the energy secretary Ed Davey, and even quotes from fracking firm Cuadrilla.

This wasn’t enough for the ASA and they still said the ad was misleading. But the only evidence they could provide to back that up?… A quote from the prime minister.

Oh and one other thing… the chair of the ASA, Lord Chris Smith, happens to be the head of the Task Force on Shale Gas (a group funded by the fracking industry).

Chris Smith heads an independent inquiry into fracking. An inquiry financed by the fracking industry.

Murdoch, Lord Rothermere, Barclay Brothers, and the porn baron who owns the Express, are doing their best to pervert the course of the election.

But that is ok, they have money, and money buys our corrupt politician system.

If you think this is wrong, then please share the image, share this article.

Tories, Labour and LibDems, all support fracking.

Fracking, climate change, airport expansion, have not featured in the election campaign.

If we do not drastically cut our carbon emission, there will be no future.

If you want to know more about fracking, please watch the talk by Dr Ingraffea, a leading industry expert on fracking.

Conférence de Naomi Klein à Paris

April 14, 2015
Conférence de Naomi Klein à Paris

Conférence de Naomi Klein à Paris

Le 30 mars dernier, Naomi Klein présentait son dernier ouvrage « Tout peut changer, capitalisme et changement climatique », publié par Actes Sud, à Paris. Une soirée organisée par 350.org, Attac, Actes Sud en partenariat avec Bastamag et Mediapart.

Divest It Like It’s Hot

April 13, 2015

A silly video, but with an important message, the need to divest.

If we are to avoid thermal runaway, we must limit global temperature rise to less then 2C, and it we are to limit global temperature rise to less then 2C, then 80% of known carbon reserves must be left in the ground.

If we cannot extract the known reserve why are we exploring for more reserves?

The value of companies like Shell and BP, is dependent upon their claimed reserves. If 80% of those reserves cannot be extracted, the worth of those companies plummets overnight.

Hence the move to divest.

There is now a worldwide campaign to divest, with pressure being put on universities, on municipalities, on pensions funds, to divest their holdings in fossil fuel companies.

To have freedom to breathe, we must go fossil free

April 10, 2015

Freedom to Breathe

Freedom to Breathe has been set up by two asthmatic guys, both called Guy. (It’s a small world.)

Our message is simple. Burning fossil fuels worsens asthma and other respiratory diseases. To be able to breathe freely, we need to go fossil free.

There are millions of asthma sufferers in the UK, and millions more worldwide. Asthma has multiple causes, both genetic and environmental, and there are different treatments of varying effectiveness. But it’s clear that air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels worsens asthma attacks, and can contribute to the onset of asthma in the first place.

We can reduce air pollution with things like low-emission zones and tougher vehicle pollution standards. But whilst we still burn fossil fuels, we can never end air pollution. To get to the root of the problem, we have to ditch a transport system that’s hooked on oil and an energy system dependent on coal…

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Greenpeace occupy Shell Arctic drilling rig

April 9, 2015

The easy oil and gas is known and claimed.

Any future exploration is dangerous and hazardous: Arctic, Deep Sea, Amazon, tar sands, fracking.

An oil spill in the Arctic would be nigh impossible to clean up.

We know that to stop thermal runaway, 80% of known carbon deposits must be left in the ground.

The value of fossil fuel companies like Shell, is the value of their known reserves. If these reserves cannot be recovered, then the value of companies like Shell become worthless overnight.

There is a worldwide movement to divest from oil and coal, on ethical, environmental and economic grounds.

If we cannot recover known reserves, why is Shell exploring for more oil?

BP and Shell agree to give up their tax concessions

April 2, 2015

In a surprise joint announcement to Russia Today, BP and Shell agree to give up their tax concessions.

Oil exploration has to be on the way out, says Shell.

Why?

Climate change.

We do not want to be part of, bad for our image.

BP do not see jobs in oil.

Tough for those in oil, but who guarantees jobs for life?

Shell agree to shut down Arctic drilling.

It is in the interests of both companies to give away their tax concessions, as who wants a revolution?

Before you get over-excited, note the date of broadcast.

It was broadcast yesterday, 1 April 2015.

Illegal to erect rooftop solar arrays

March 22, 2015

In Galicia, the system used to be, generate your own renewable electricity, instead of selling it to the big energy company, supply them, they supply you, and all you pay for is the difference.

That was the system, it worked. it encouraged the installation of rooftop solar arrays.

That was the system, but it was scrapped. Not only was it scrapped, but the regional government at the behest of the big energy companies who cannot compete with rooftop solar arrays, has made it illegal to install rooftop solar arrays.

Time for Podemos, time for local, community controlled grids. Fair price for suppliers, fair price for consumers. Only the surplus from the local grid would be fed into the national grid.

Local, community controlled grids put local communities in charge, put out of business big grids, big power companies.

Is the ConDem Government fracking us?

January 31, 2015

George Osborne has told his colleagues to intervene, intervene, intervene on behalf of fracking.

George Osborne has provided fracking with generous tax allowances.

David Cameron falls over backwards to promote fracking whenever he can.

A government acting for fracking, not the public, not the environment.

A government that censors a report on fracking.

A government acting for their paymasters.

A government in bed with the fracking industry.

Time to get dirty money out of politics.

Chris Smith is to carry out an independent study of fracking. This is the same Chris Smith who has suggested fracking take place in National Parks. The ‘independent study’ is to be funded by the fracking industry. So much for an independent study.

New York carried out an independent study, found fracking was not safe, and imposed a ban. So what use a study by Chris Smith funded by the industry?

Fracking is not safe, is bad for the environment:

  • pollution of ground water
  • high demand on local water sources
  • earthquakes
  • release of methane
  • industrialisation of the countrsyide

Fracking releases methane a greenhouse gas. Fracking opens up cracks in the rocks to release the fracked gas, toxic chemicals are injected into the fractures.

Fracked gas will be sold in Europe, it will have little if any impact on gas prices in UK.

Strange how ‘misinformation being spread’, the phrase used by David Cameron, is the same phrase used by his paymasters, same phrase used by apologists for fracking.

The only misinformation being spread is that by the fracking industry and its apologists.

No problems, been used for decades.

Not true, novel techniques, hydraulic fracking, horizontal drilling, toxic fluids. Not the same as conventional drilling.

Little evidence of water contamination or other problems.

Little evidence due to light touch regulation, little monitoring, exemption from reporting, exemption from protection of water sources.

And we do of course trust the industry.

We saw this with BP and Deepwater Horizon disaster.

We have seen it in the Amazon, with massive oil spills and toxic dumping by ChevronToxico.

The future lies with locally controlled and owned power grids, fed by renewables, with guaranteed feed-in tariffs, only the surplus fed into the National Grid. There are several hundred such schemes in Germany.

One such scheme is REPOWERBalcombe. Balcombe having seen mass anti-fracking protest a couple of years ago.

Such schemes of course attract generous tax concessions, as does fracking? Er, no.

Alberta tar sands

January 17, 2015

Flail away the skin of the living earth, strip it of forests, topsoil, what is called overburden, create a desolate landscape, toxic lagoons, spoil heaps, all to get at the tar sands beneath.

Naomi Klein in This Changes Everything:

Even before I saw the great mines, when the landscape out of the window was still bright green boggy marshes and lush boreal forest, I could feel them – a catch in the back of my throat. Then, up and over a small elevation, there they were: the notorious Alberta tar sands, a parched, gray desert stretching to the horizon. Mountains of waste so large workers joke that they have their own weather systems. Tailing ponds so vast they are visible from space. The second largest dam in the world, built to contain that toxic water. The earth skinned alive.

No amount of money can compensate for poisoned water, a poisoned and devastated land.

Freshly killed moose, the flesh turned green, tumours, that is when you find any moose. Consequence of drinking toxic water.

Canada is not the oil superpower it likes to think it is. It has been turned into little more than a Third World country raped and pillaged for its resources by corporate and state owned oil companies.

Tar sands is not the economic boom it was made out to be, not that any amount of money cam compensate for a poisoned land.

Residents in Alberta are facing massive hikes in their electricity bills.

Jim Wachowich of the Alberta Consumers Coalition:

Worst case scenario it goes up $20 a month. That’s an extra $240 a year on your electric bill that you can’t avoid because you can’t go off the grid.

The provincial government initially said the hike in monthly bills to cover the cost of new power lines would be less than the price of a cup of coffee.

“That’s a pretty expensive cup of coffee,” according NDP electricity critic Brian Mason.

Suncor Energy has slashed $1-billion from its 2015 budget and will cut roughly 1,000 jobs as it delays a major oil sands project, accelerating the industry’s slowdown amid plunging oil prices.

Alberta is in financial meltdown, the price massive public sector cuts.

Plummeting oil prices, which fell below $50 a barrel this week, have caused the province to reassess its financial future. Last week, Prentice revealed that the province is forecast to end the year with a $500-million deficit, instead of the surplus originally expected.

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice:

I could terminate the employment of every single employee of the Government of Alberta, leaving aside health care, and it would not fill a six- to seven-billion-dollar hole.

The Conference Board of Canada has released a report saying that the drop in oil prices may push Alberta into a recession.

Alberta has moved from boom to bust within the space of a few months, and will take Canada with it. And what will it have left?

We need to keep in the ground 80% of known carbon reserves if we are to keep within a 2C global temperature rise.

James Hansen has said if we dig up and burn the Alberta tar sands it is ‘game over for the climate’.

We are moving to dirtier, more hazardous, more extreme methods of fossil fuel extraction: tar sands, fracking, deepwater, Arctic. It does not get dirtier than Alberta tar sands.

Tar sands requires three times the amount of energy to extract as conventional oil reserves.

The frontiers of extraction often resemble war zones, with the people fighting back.

Romania and Poland have seen off fracking.

Indigenous people, on whose land tar sand extraction is taking place, are leading the fight, pointing to Treaties, which State and Federal government are in breach of.

Keystone XL pipeline, if ever built, would pass through native Indian lands, who are opposed, as is everyone along the route.

For Alberta, tar sands has been an economic and environmental disaster.

Fossil fuel can no longer compete with renewables and local, community owned and controlled energy grids. There are now trillions of dollars of stranded assets in the fossil fuel sector.

Fracking in England is looking for generous tax concessions, a compliant government driving a coach and horses through the planning system, the taxpayer expected to pay for explorative drilling.

BP, following the collapse in the price of Brent crude is out with its corporate begging bowl calling for tax concessions to get it through hard times. SNP, that only a few months ago claimed an independent Scotland would have oil revenue, is now pleading for bail out of the oil industry.