Posts Tagged ‘energy’

A Fossil Fuel Free World is Possible

June 7, 2015

The reality is that climate is getting warmer, the weather is getting more extreme and unpredictable, and we have to become more resilient, more efficient, and more innovative.  — Governor Jerry Brown

Across the world we are starting to see the impact of extreme weather events.

In California a prolonged drought has prompted a 20% cut in water usage by Executive Order.

We’re in an historic drought and that demands unprecedented action. For that reason, that I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reduction across our state. As Californians, we have to pull together and save water in every way we can. People should realize we’re in a new era. The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that is going to be a thing of the past.

But, if Californians are expected to cut their water consumption, why is a Nestle bottling plant exempt, why is fracking exempt?

If California is in trouble then so is the rest of America, because they truck fresh produce from California. Fresh produce is even airfreighted to Europe.

Why? Is this not insane?

We have such an insane system because agriculture can externalise its costs, because Big Businesses controls our food production and distribution system. Food is grown for profit not to feed people.

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.

Arrested and facing a year in gaol for singing in a bank

December 8, 2013

Reverend Billy Talen and the music director of the Stop Shopping Choir, Nehemiah Luckett, were arrested minutes later on a subway platform. The two were charged with riot in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, unlawful assembly, and two counts of disorderly conduct.

Rev Billy in JPMorgan Chase

Rev Billy in JPMorgan Chase

On a Thursday afternoon last month, a dozen singing activists from the Church of Stop Shopping in NYC performed in the role of extinct Golden Toads in a “wealth management bank” of JPMorgan Chase at 56th and 6th in Manhattan. The dancing, singing toads offered bank workers and customers information sheets about the impact of Chase investments on the environment.

Reverend Billy Talen and the music director of the Stop Shopping Choir, Nehemiah Luckett, were arrested minutes later on a subway platform. The two were charged with riot in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, unlawful assembly, and two counts of disorderly conduct. The DA’s office requested one year in prison for “this criminal stunt.” But Atty. Wylie Stecklow, defending the two activists, insisted that the “15 minutes of performance art about the Earth’s crisis” was well within “expressive political activity” protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution. The lawyers went back and forth: “Art!” “Crime!” “Art!” “Crime!” “Art!”

The Church of Stop Shopping, — a activist collective of musicians and other artists uses the research from BankTrack.Org of the Netherlands and the World Development Movement based in London to show that Chase Bank is a top financier of extractive fossil projects, responsible for more CO2 emissions release than any other institution, with the possible exception of the Chinese Communist Party. The church believes that we must reach out to the workers within the fossil fuel cartel if change is to come.

The Stop Shopping Choir, with (hopefully) Reverend Billy preaching and Nehemiah at the piano — opens a series of performances Nov. 24 through Dec 22 at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York.

Please show support for the Rev and Nehemiah by signing this petition, which will be presented to the court on 9 December 2013.

Anti-Nuclear Energy Protest – Boycott EDF Energy

April 21, 2011
nuclear disaster area

nuclear disaster area

‘I do not believe a single word that issues from the mouth of a single spokesperson for the nuclear industry.’ — JONATHON PORRITT, June 2010.

A couple of weeks ago, campaigners brought rush hour traffic to a standstill to protest against EDF Energy’s plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK. All four lanes of the A302 outside EDF Energy’s headquarters in Grosvenor Place — which just happens to run alongside the gardens of Buckingham Palace — were sealed off shortly after 8am using 14-foot tripods. The cleared zone was then declared a ‘nuclear disaster area’.

Campaign group, Boycott EDF, says the energy giant is spearheading a ‘nuclear renaissance’ which could see the construction of at least ten new nuclear reactors — a move spokeswoman, Bella Benson, claims will spell disaster for the UK.

EDF has spent a massive amount of money marketing itself as an environment-friendly company,” says Benson. “But the truth is that it’s planning to lumber us with an outdated form of energy that is incredibly dangerous, extremely expensive and completely unnecessary. As the company’s HQ Is opposite Buckingham Palace, it would be fitting to call their plan a right, royal rip-off.

EDF has already caused great concern – even before construction of ‘new nuclear’ has started. An independent report published last year found that land designated for EDF’s two new mega-reactors at the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in Somerset is heavily contaminated with enriched uranium. But EDF has dismissed the report. “With such a hazardous form of energy, best practice must be observed at every stage. We find EDF’s attitude shocking,”

Cheaper, greener alternative strategies have been put forward by respected organisations including Greenpeace, the Sustainable Development Commission and the New Economics Foundation.

Says Benson, “The billions earmarked for new nuclear power stations should be invested in further developing safe forms of energy such as renewables and the type of district heating plants (combined heat and power plants) that can be run on biogas. It’s a scandal that there hasn’t been an informed public debate about this issue.”

The campaign is urging customers of EDF Energy to say ‘no to new nuclear’ by switching to other energy providers. It is also asking the public to boycott events and attractions – such as the London Eye – sponsored by the company.

There are alternatives. Nuclear, as we have seen from the tragedy in Japan, is not a green alternative.

Germany has said no to new nuclear power stations. It is time for the UK to also say no.

Edit by You and I Films.

Activists blockade EDF in London
Soft Energy Paths
Zero Carbon by 2030
How to save people in Eastern Japan
Wishes and cranes with love

Climate Rush activists protest at Tate Britain over BP sponsorship

April 20, 2011
Climate Rush activists protest Tate Britain over BP sponsorship

Climate Rush activists protest Tate Britain over BP sponsorship

Climate Rush Tate Britain

Climate Rush Tate Britain

Today (20 April 2011) Climate Rush activists demonstrated outside the Tate Britain, which is sponsored by BP, to mourn those that lost lives, as well as environmental damage resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster which began on this day last year.

Climate Rush’s Unfair Fare Dodge
Human Cost – Tate Britain Performance, charcoal and sunflower oil
The Great BP-Sponsored Tate Modern Sleep In
No Tarsands action at the BP AGM
– “5 Million Barrels of Oil Does Not Disappear”: Author, Activist Antonia Juhasz on the BP Spill, One Year Later
BP’s criminal negligence exposed
BP Imposter Crashes Oil Spill Summit

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

Living with Tar Sands

January 8, 2011

Henry Basil from the Lutselk’e Community shares his experience of living with the Tar Sands Industry.

Also see

The Earth does not belong to You

Zero Carbon by 2030

The health effects of Tar Sands

Climate Camp vs RBS – We’ve arrived

Oily Gaga

Earthship 101

January 1, 2011

Earthship n. 1. passive solar home made of natural and recycled materials 2. thermal mass construction for temperature stabilization. 3. renewable energy & integrated water systems make the Earthship an off-grid home with little to no utility bills.

Biotecture n. 1. the profession of designing buildings and environments with consideration for their sustainability. 2. A combination of biology and architecture.

Tires are not toxic in an earthship. They are hazardous in a pile… Tires are filled with rammed earth, then plastered over. We have had numerous tests and been doing this for 40 years. Not ONE complaint, problem, rumor or ANYTHING in 40 years. David Wright does not know what he is talking about.

Also see

Soft Energy Paths

Curitiba – Designing a sustainable city

Natural Capitalism

Sustainable Energy: Thermal Banking Greenhouse Design

December 2, 2010

Steven Schwen of Earthen Path Organic Farm (Lake City, Minnesota) has built an innovative greenhouse that allows him to extend his growing season while reducing energy costs. The Farmer-Rancher Grants program from SARE provided critical assistance for Schwen in the beginning phases of his project.

This is something I have always wanted to do. Heat pumps that pump energy into the ground in the summer when it is too hot, then they draw heat out of the ground during the winter. This is very very efficient.

We also need houses that are passive solar collectors.

There were some homes like this in Nottinghamshire that are south facing and partly built into a hillside, hobbit style. They also overlook a pond which has a cooling effect.

Also check out the Rocky Mountain Institute. Built into a hillside and needing minimal heating in the winter.

Also see

Soft Energy Paths

The Story of Stuff

October 9, 2010

In the natural world there is no such thing as waste either in time or space. The output of one process is the input to another.

All loops should be closed. We should either use natural materials that can be reused, recycled or composted; or our manmade materials should parallel the natural world and form closed loops. We should have zero waste. All toxic materials should be eliminated.

All trade should be fairtrade.

Also see

The Story of Cosmetics

Lush Cosmetics – Our Environmental Policy