Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Lush Cosmetics – Our Environmental Policy

October 8, 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 Supporting Climate Rush in Liverpool St Station

UK can achieve ‘zero waste’ without incineration

The Story of Stuff

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’

The health effects of Tar Sands

August 25, 2010

But one thing I realised again and again these past few days was quite the extent to which the RBS top dogs – and consequently the police – were frightened. – Sophie

RBS has blood on its hands. The tar sands extraction project in Alberta, Canada, is by all accounts (and that includes figures inside the business) the most carbon-intensive project we have ever come up with as a species. It is leaving a UK-sized hole that looks like Tolkien’s Mordor, full of poisonous tailing-ponds, in the Canadian wilderness. – Sophie

Concerted action to tackle climate change will happen only if the public demands it for the sake of future generations. – James Hansen

The Royal Bank of Scotland was exposed as rotten to the core when it speculated in the sub-prime market, almost brought down the banking system and had to be bailed out with billions of pounds of taxpayers money. This had a knock on effect of causing the economy to collapse and creating a mountain of public debt, for which we are all paying, especially the poor, with savage cuts to public services.

The bank is now accountable, is investing in small businesses the engines of any economic recovery, is helping to finance new and growing green and sustainable businesses which everyone recognises as the future?

Err no.

€2.3 billion has been invested in tars sands extraction in Canada.

RBS is investing in brutal resource wars in Africa. $100 million to Tullow Oil for drilling on the border between Congo and Uganda. So far 15 million people have been killed in the resource wars between these two countries. Tullow Oil together with their partners Heritage Oil have been arming both sides in the conflict.

RBS is financing Cain Oil to drill in the Arctic. The CEO of Cain welcomes global warming as more ice melts giving access to more oil.

RBS is Europe’s biggest financier of fossil fuel exaction accounting for 3% of global carbon emission, greater than the UK total carbon emission.

The People own the bank. They make the effort to recycle, walk not drive, use the car less, turn down the heating, insulate their homes, maybe not take that foreign holiday they were looking forward to, buy a greener car. All of which is to nought because of the actions of a bank that they own.

also see

Climate Camp – Why RBS

Yes, we broke the law as climate change activists. And this is why

Am I an activist for caring about my grandchildren’s future? I guess I am

New Study Links Toxic Pollutants to Canadian Oil Sands Mining

Oil sands polluting Alberta river system

Climate Camp vs RBS – We’ve arrived

Raising a Ruckus

Ribs the Trojan Pig makes a mess at Cairn Energy

Raising a Ruckus

August 22, 2010

Climate Camp has set up camp outside the global headquarters of Royal Bank of Scotland to highlight their funding of dirty energy. Unless we park our tanks on their lawns nothing will change. It is only by taking direct action that we effect change.

A report revealed today by the Sunday Herald shows that RBS has provided nearly £13 billion worth of funding to the oil and gas industries since it was bailed out by the taxpayer two years ago. This is at a time when small businesses are being starved into bankruptcy through lack of finance.

Also see

Climate Camp vs RBS – We’ve arrived

How RBS funds ‘dirty oil’

Why should state-owned companies be ethics-free zones?

RBS: £13bn funding to companies blamed for global warming

RBS under siege over “environmental vandalism”

Climate change campaigners turn up the heat on RBS chiefs

RBS Porkies and Climate Camp Frogs

RBS moves to avoid protest

Hands Across The Sands

August 13, 2010

A line has been drawn in the sand. No offshore drilling, no dirty oil. Yes to clean energy.

Also see

Hands Across The Sands – youtube

How many more oil spills can we endure?

July 2, 2010

Prophetic speech from On Deadly Ground (1994).

Also see

Globalisation – the role of corporations

A hole in the world

‘I want my life back’

‘I want my life back’

June 24, 2010
BP Gulf oil spill

BP Gulf oil spill

“I want my life back” he said and we say “We want the Oil Free beaches back”!

Also see

15 BP Oil Spill Cartoons

A hole in the world

The Soul of the Earth is Hurting

Wind turbines on buildings

October 31, 2009
wind turbines on apartment

wind turbines on apartment

Over the last year I have watched apartment blocks being erected. Walking past a couple of days ago I noticed looking down at me like modern-day gargoyles a row of wind turbines. Cosmetic window dressing, an exercise in futility, as functional they are not.

The wind speed would be too low, the wind turbulence too high for any meaningful power generation. Were the wind speed to be of sufficient velocity, I doubt the building could handle the torque generated. Three of the wind turbines are in a row too close together, three are in a valley on the roof. The apartments immediately below the wind turbines are going to be disturbed by the noise, and possibly vibration, though if well balanced, vibration should be minimal.

What struck me as I have watched the apartments being built is that there is extensive south-facing roof areas, and yet no use has been made of this roof area for solar energy collection, either for water heating or electricity generation! The roof should have been covered with amorphous silicon roof tiles or slates, converting the entire south-facing roof areas into a solar-power generator, powering the apartments, with the surplus electricity fed into the grid.

Curious, I went back the next day to make inquiries and investigate further.

I spoke with the marketing suite, who directed me onto the site. I wandered around the site. From what observed and those I spoke to, the wind turbines are mere window dressing. There are higher blocks further into the site, but these were not used for the wind turbines. They are in their location because they are visible from the main road!

What I found was an opportunity lost. The site is on a gentle south-facing slope. Ideal for buildings to be passively heated, but no advantage taken of what the site offered. No use made of heat pumps, no solar arrays on the roofs or integral to the roofs. Two of the blocks are heated centrally, but not by a combined heat and power plant.

The wind turbines were shipped in from the States!

We learnt in the 1960s not to house social housing tenants in blocks. Those same mistakes are being repeated all over again. The developer has not been able to sell the apartments, 40% have been sold to a housing association, I was told these are inferior apartments, all housed in the same block. I hate to think what this little estate will be like in ten years time with bored kids and angry teenagers hanging around.

Access to the site was very dangerous. An accident waiting to happen. I was almost run down.

Much can be done with new buildings to make them energy efficient and net power generators, but it is not being done. This is due to lack of vision by architects and builders, but also to blame are local planning authorities whose level of competence goes little beyond the siting of a garden shed.

Local generation is important. A development of this scale should have had on site a local combined heat and power plant running off natural gas, feeding the apartments with hot water and electricity, any surplus electricity generated fed into the national grid. The ground floor apartments could have been fed by ground source heat pumps, the top apartments with roof-top solar collectors.

We need community-owned wind turbines, powering local communities, with the surplus fed into the national grid. It is a moot point whether or not this site could have had its own wind turbine, as it is on a slope running down into a dip, but they could have invested in a nearby community wind turbine.

No development should be permitted unless it is carbon neutral, furthermore, it should be a net generator of carbon-neutral electricity and low-grade heat.

Also see

Keith Parkins, Soft energy paths, heureka, May 2001
http://www.heureka.clara.net/gaia/energy.htm

Keith Parkins, Wind turbines on buildings, Indymedia UK, 31 October 2009
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/10/440949.html