Posts Tagged ‘climate chaos’

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?

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Shifting seasons

July 25, 2011

Middle of July, if not earlier, wild blackberries were ripe and ready to eat. For the last few years I have found them along the River Wey flowing through Guildford end of July, early August, but never this early. The wild blackberries in my garden are also ready to eat and they are usually later than those along the River Wey. As a child we used to pick blackberries at Gibraltar Point on the Lincolnshire coast last two weeks of August.

Tomatoes in my garden variety Gardener’s Delight, planted out early May, have been turning red from mid-July, at least a week and a half ago. Yesterday evening I picked two for my tea. Delicious! I would not normally be picking until late August.

Discovery apples are ready for picking. These are the first season apples, light and crisp and juicy but have to be eaten within days of picking. The supermarkets prefer tasteless French Golden Delicious for long shelf life. According to growers, Discovery are weeks ahead of their usual picking times. [see The English apple ‘renaissance’]

I am looking forward to finding Discovery at the farmers market in Guildford next week, first Tuesday of the month.

My Father was picking Runner Beans from the garden for dinner end of June. These would normally be picked end of August.

And there are those who say global warming, climate chaos, does not exist!

Spring Easter Monday April 2011
Beans

There’s no Planet B – Climate Rush mount dawn raid

June 7, 2011
Climate Rush crime scene

Climate Rush crime scene

Well done Climate Rush who this morning gave two Cabinet Ministers an early morning wake-up call. Between 5.30am and 7.00am Philip Hammond MP and Vince Cable MP had their homes wrapped in ‘Climate Crime Scene’ tape as part of Climate Rush’s doorstep protest.

On their first day back in Parliament after half term Ministers were called on to attend the United Nation Climate Change Conference in Bonn, which began yesterday and will last two weeks. Climate Rush stuck banners to Cable’s and Hammond’s house reading ‘THERE’S NO PLANET B – SOLVE CLIMATE CHANGE’.

Both Vince Cable MP and Philip Hammond MP clashed with Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change over proposals for the fourth carbon budget. The Prime Minister eventually stepped in, supporting Chris Huhne and the Climate Change Act – legislation passed by the last Government.

Demands for greater Government action on climate change follows news that the greatest level of greenhouse gas emissions ever were released last year, contrary to expectations that the global recession would decrease global emissions. [1]

Philip Hammond MP and the Department for Transport has been condemned by environmentalists as Hammond is opposed to the inclusion of Canadian Tar Sands oil in the EU fuel directive. England and Holland are the only EU countries opposing the inclusion of Tar Sands from this directive. Extraction of crude oil from the Tar Sands is up to three times more carbon intensive than other crude oil extraction methods [2]. Hammond also plans to hike rail fares by 31% over the course of this Government.

Before election Vince Cable assured voters that economic growth would go hand in hand with green investment, however he now says that there will be no new investment in low-carbon technology until the second half of 2020. [2]

A blue chalk line was marked on the brickwork of the Ministers’ homes to show the danger of floods due to sea-level rises.

Tamsin Omond, founder of Climate Rush, said:

Climate Rush is ready to hold this Government to its promise to be the greenest ever. We need a roadmap with policies that unite the needs of the environment with the need for economic growth. This Government might be considering a plan B for the economy. They don’t have that luxury with our environment: there is no planet B. Cabinet ministers that oppose these measures are gambling with our future. We need to prepare for the impacts of climate change and we need to limit our carbon emissions now. There’s no future for this or any Government on a dead planet.

It is easy to see why the LibDems were all but wiped out at the local elections in May. It was Vince Cable who helped pushed through the massive hike im student fees last year. More recently Vince Cable has threatened to push through legislation to make industrial action against public spending cuts illegal.

Climate Rush is an environmental action group which models itself on the Suffragettes. They have mounted over 20 environmental protests including storming Parliament with 1000 members dressed as Suffragettes; closing down Heathrow Terminal 1 by holding an Edwardian-style picnic and dumping a large pile of manure on Jeremy Clarkson’s lawn. They aim to raise awareness about climate change and encourage action to prevent it.

Notes

1: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/29/carbon-emissions-nuclearpower
2: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/pollution-fears-as-uk-blocks-european-ban-on-fuel-from-tar-sands-2291598.html
3: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/10/adair-turner-carbon-budgets-row

Keep Europe Out of the Tar Sands

January 14, 2011

On the Morning of January the 14th a group of protestors invaded the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and are demanding a meeting with Stephen Green, the new Minister for Trade. Calling themselves the “Big Society Trade Negotiators”, they are concerned that trade negotiations between the EU and Canada, due to start in Brussels on Monday, will dramatically boost Europe’s involvement in the Canadian Tar Sands — the most destructive project on earth.

Unbeknownst to most citizens, the EU and Canada are in the midst of negotiating an ambitious free trade deal (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA) that could open up the European market to imports of carbon-intensive Tar Sands oil for the first time [1]. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the talks is the plan to allow multinational companies like BP and Shell to sue national governments over social and environmental regulations [2]. This is happening despite the increasingly urgent need for governments to crack down on the destructive and dangerous activities of such companies.

British shareholders, NGOs and campaigners have expressed increasing concern over the involvement of UK banks and oil companies in the highly polluting extraction of “dirty oil” from the Tar Sands [3]. Emitting three to five times as much CO2 as conventional oil drilling, the Tar Sands industry is destroying the livelihoods and health of local Indigenous communities and decimating ancient forests and wildlife across an area of Alberta larger than England [4]. The proposed trade deal would increase Europe’s involvement in the project and significantly expand the market for this dirty oil.

There will be another protest in Brussels on Monday 17th January outside the negotiations themselves, involving UK, European and Canadian groups, and Indigenous activists [5].

Jess Worth from the UK Tar Sands Network said: “Stephen Green has been parachuted in by the coalition government as Trade Minister. Completely unelected, this former Chair of HSBC was rapidly handed a seat in the Lords and then began his new job on the 1st of January. Given that HSBC is the world’s 13th largest investor in the Tar Sands, we are concerned that he will put the interests of oil companies and the Tar Sands industry ahead of environmental and social concerns in these, his first major trade negotiations. So the Big Society Trade Negotiators have come to help him make the right decisions.”

Emily Coats, also from the UK Tar Sands Network, added “The CETA trade negotiations between Canada and the EU are in full swing, yet most citizens have never heard of them. Climate scientists have warned that further Tar Sands extraction could lock us into disastrous and unstoppable climate change, but Europe is sleepwalking into major involvement with the project. We’re calling for the talks to be put on hold until there can be proper public scrutiny, and the many social, environmental and Indigenous rights problems can be addressed.”

FULL BRIEFING AVAILABLE HERE Stop Tar Sands Trade Talks!

ENDS

Notes for editors

[1] The CETA negotiations are about halfway through and due to be completed towards the end of 2011. The next round of talks will take place in Brussels next week.

[2] For a full explanation of the problems with CETA, please see “Keep Europe out of the Tar Sands!”, a briefing by Council of Canadians, Indigenous Environmental Network and UK Tar Sands Network, available at
http://www.no-tar-sands.org/?page_id=58

[3] The last 18 months have seen a growing number of organisations taking action against British banks and companies with links to the Tar Sands. Both BP and Shell have faced shareholder resolutions over their Tar Sands investments, as well as protests at their offices and petrol stations. The Royal Bank of Scotland has also come under fire for being the 7th largest global investor in the industry, using British taxpayers’ money, and were targeted by the Camp for Climate Action, who camped for a week in the grounds of their global headquarters in Edinburgh last summer. For more information see:

Indigenous Environmental Network

UK Tar Sands Network

FairPensions

Platform

Camp for Climate Action

[4] For more information on the destructive nature of the Tar Sands, please see:

Indigenous Environmental Network

Dirty Oil Sands

UK Tar Sands Network

Shot on the Panasonic GH2

Produced by “You and I FIlms

Also see

Living with Tar Sands

The health effects of Tar Sands

The Earth does not belong to You

Zero Carbon by 2030

Climate Camp vs RBS – We’ve arrived

Oily Gaga

CVLA visits N1

December 23, 2010
Duke of Cambridge, Islington

Duke of Cambridge, Islington

On the night of the 22nd of December as part of the ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the selfishness, and ridiculous carbon emissions, of ‘Chelsea Tractors’ the CVLA paid a visit to the London borough of Islington.

In a flying visit, approximately 50 gas-guzzling, 4×4 ‘Islington Tractors’ had their license plates replaced with the more apt CO2 K1LL5.

Owners of these selfish vehicles, anywhere in the United Kingdom, can expect more visits from the CVLA over the coming months.

In 2007 domestic transport was the source of approximately 24% of the UK’s domestic CO2 emissions. Our cars contributed 58%, or 77.1 million tonnes, of this overall figure. If people need to drive, the CVLA suggest that a 5.0 litre, 4×4 tractor is a little over the top for our urban streets; even if they do have a light covering of snow. Switching to a less fuel hungry vehicle will slash fuel bills and carbon emissions.

In case any urban 4×4 drivers are feeling particularly brave, the CVLA also suggest alternative means of transport such as trains, buses, cycling and walking. These are popular methods of moving from A to B that don’t destroy the planet.

Posted by Climate Rush on their blog.

Also see

The rich have no more right to emit than the poor

Chelsea Tractors targeted

WDM supporters demand that UK climate finance is given to the UN Adaptation Fund

November 18, 2010

World Development Movement supporters protest outside the Department for International Development demanding that their money should be forwarded to the UN Adaptation Fund.

Also see

No New Debt: We won’t be ignored!

Why we must reclaim the right to campaign

Climate Rendezvous with Climate Rush

October 14, 2010

There are corporate environment groups like Rainforest Action Network whose business model is environmentalism, who carry out stunts to raise money for their corporate coffers. There are then grass roots groups like Climate Rush and Climate Clamp, who carry out stunts to effect change, to raise awareness.

I was at Toynbee Hall in London for a meeting with Climate Rush.

The hall was packed. Standing room only.

Climate Rush model themselves on the suffragettes who effected change by direct action. No one in power willingly gives up power. We effect change by challenging authority.

We will only move forward on climate change if we challenge authority. This Climate Rush do very effectively, be it rushing parliament, taking tea in a station forecourt or visiting the editors of mainstream newspapers who act as though climate change does not exist.

Various speakers: Old hands from the Greenham Common Peace Camp of the 1980s, an expert on the suffragettes, Caroline Lucas MP and Tamsin from Climate Rush.

A century ago the suffragettes were badly beaten and sexually assaulted on Black Friday. They then took more violent action: burning down houses, bombings. Their most effective action was to dog the footsteps of Members of Parliament calling for votes for women.

Caroline made a flying visit between votes in the House of Commons. She highlighted how undemocratic the House was and in need of reform.

Cutting our carbon emissions is the opportunity for change to a better quality of life. We should offer people alternatives. We should have affordable and reliable public transport. No one should die in their homes of cold due to fuel poverty.

We are rapidly approaching a tipping point and have a window of opportunity of five, maybe ten years at the most, before it will be too late to act.

The government has just given the go ahead for offshore deep water drilling off Shetland. This is before a Select Committee has reported. Financial incentives have been offered!

Where to next? Black Friday must not pass without some form of action on that day.

An excellent meeting. Red sashes for those who wanted them.

I then popped along to a fundraising party by Just Do It, a film about activists by activists.

Synchronicity: Two days later I walk into my house, turn on the radio and it is a programme about the Suffragettes! [see Suffragette-defaced penny]

Upcoming events

The Crude Awakening – Central London – Saturday 16 October 2010

Zero Carbon by 2030 – Friends House, Euston Road, London – Saturday 30 October 2010

Also see

Climate change is not a picnic

Is climate change activism dead?

Climate Rush activists storm Daily Express newsroom

A message from our Patron (yes we do mean Caroline Lucas MP)

Mountain top coal removal

September 24, 2010

Mountain top coal removal is a dirty business.

See the film Coal Country.

Also see

Activists Dump Half a Ton of Coal Rubble on Lisa Jackson’s Front Lawn

New report from physicians’ group: Pollution from toxic coal ash is an ‘expanding menace to health’

Climate change is not a picnic

September 18, 2010

Here at Lush we dont think flying is all its cracked up to be, so LUSH has been supporting Climate Rush in an act to raise awareness of how flying can effect our climate.

We filmed at our Liverpool Street Station store, London.

Also see

Climate Rush present Nick Clegg with a large dose of Climate Viagra

Climate Rush present Nick Clegg with a large dose of Climate Viagra

September 16, 2010

Climate Rush present Nick Clegg with a large dose of Climate Viagra.

Seven activists from the environmental group Climate Rush went to Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Putney home at 6.00am this morning to offer him a human-size paper-Mache ‘Climate Viagra’ . At 6.30 police questioned the activists and asked them to leave the area.

On the morning before the Liberal Democrats party conference, Climate Rush had painted across the ‘pill’: ‘Get hard on climate change’. On the reverse of the pill was a petition stating: ‘Climate Viagra’ and a petition stating: We the undersigned ask Nick Clegg to put his position in government to some good by championing climate change legislation. Signatories included: Sue Perkins (television presenter) and Josie Long (comedienne). The seven climate activists were wearing t-shirts with ‘Don’t be impotent, be important’ written across the front and all three wore a red ‘Climate Rush’ sash.

Deborah Grayson, a member of Climate Rush who has previously been arrested for superglueing herself to a statue within Parliament to protest against unabated coal fired power stations , said:

We hoped this government would fulfil its promise to be ‘the greenest government ever’, but the withdrawl of support for a ‘Green Investment Bank’; the rumours that government will not commit to developing carbon capture and storage technology; and the cutting of key policy bodies, such as the Sustainable Development Commission [4], tell the opposite story.

Nick Clegg has always said that he is dedicated to building a clean, green future but now he’s got some power it looks like he’s forgetting the promises he made. He’s about to face a difficult Lib Dem conference and we wanted to send him on his way with one message: the Lib Dems can do more than prop up a Conservative government. They could prove their worth by getting hard on climate change.

Nick Clegg would not come to the door and instead his wife Miriam used a videophone intercom system to ask the activists to leave. After leaving the Climate Viagra on his doorstep the seven activists made their way to work. They will all be available for comment at the end of the working day.

Also see

‘Crude’ Oil Painting Protest

Oily Gaga