Posts Tagged ‘global warming’

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?

Chasing Ice

October 10, 2014

Capturing a glacier as it calves.

On May 28, 2008, Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland.

The calving event lasted for 75 minutes and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide. The height of the ice is about 3,000 feet, 300-400 feet above water and the rest below water.

Chasing Ice won the award for Excellence in Cinematography at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and the Best Documentary from the International Press Association. It has won over 30 awards at festivals worldwide. Still playing in theaters worldwide.

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

Spring Easter Monday April 2011

April 26, 2011
bluebells

bluebells

cowslips

cowslips

It has been unseasonably warm. We seem to have skipped Spring and gone straight to Summer.

Last Tuesday it was 26 degrees in London. Friday it hit 27 degrees, well ok, 26.9 if you wish to be accurate. Saturday it was 28 degrees at Wisley Gardens just outside Guildford, the hottest April Day since 1948!

We are a month ahead of where we would be. Parts of my garden are overgrown, but would not usually be like this until this time in May.

Peas, broad beans are all shooting up, roses are in bud.

Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are a woodland plant. First come the primroses, then the bluebells.

In the Spring, bluebell woods are carpeted with bluebells. Bluebell is an indicator species of ancient woodlands. In the United Kingdom the common bluebell is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Landowners are prohibited from removing common bluebells on their land for sale and it is a criminal offence to remove the bulbs of wild common bluebells. This legislation was strengthened in 1998 under Schedule 8 of the Act making any trade in wild common bluebell bulbs or seeds an offence.

Gerard Manley Hopkins from his poem May Magnificat:

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes

Up until the 1950s, pastures would have been carpeted with cowslips (Primula veris). Now with the extensive use of herbicides and modern farming methods, cowslips are quite rare. Cowslips will quite readily cross-breed with primroses (Primula vulgaris), a plant of woodlands and woody banks. Compared with primulas, a border plant in gardens, cowslips are very delicate and far more attractive.

Primula is a genus of 400–500 species of low-growing herbs in the family Primulaceae. The genus includes primrose, auricula, cowslip and oxlip. Many species are grown for their ornamental flowers. They are native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere, south into tropical mountains in Ethiopia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and in temperate southern South America.

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

Oily Gaga

August 28, 2010

Outside the historic RBS branch at St Andrews Square in Edinburgh, Climate Campers perform “Oily Gaga” in protest over RBS’s dirty investments in Tar Sands projects. A protestor attempts to open a bank account but for some reason the branch is closed.

More film footage at Climate Camp TV.

Also see

Who Are The “Principal Environmental Extremists”?

Climate Camp 2010: Twitter Backfires… or does it?

‘Phantom’ oil slick was a smear against Climate Camp

Climate Camp vs RBS – We’ve arrived

Raising a Ruckus

Ribs the Trojan Pig makes a mess at Cairn Energy

The health effects of Tar Sands

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

Ribs the Trojan Pig makes a mess at Cairn Energy

August 24, 2010

Also see

Climate Camp vs RBS – We’ve arrived

Raising a Ruckus

A case for the Camp for Climate Action

Homage to Caledonia

Climate Camp vs RBS – We’ve arrived

August 21, 2010

Climate Camp is this year in Edinburgh during the Fringe targetting RBS, bailed out by the taxpayer and now funding tar sands expansion in Canada.

Climate Camp has set up camp right next to the Royal Bank of Scotland Global HQ!

No democratic advancement has ever been achieved without direct action. Those in power do not voluntarily give it up.

Further images have been posted by Amelia Gregory.

Last year Climate Camp occupied Blackheath Common in Greewich.

Also see

Blood Bank – RBS funding clmate chaos and ecocide

Climate Camp: Breaking the Bank

Climate Camp Scotland

High Pressure Front

Climate protest camp targets RBS headquarters

Protest at RBS group oil support

Activists set up Climate Camp at Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters

Climate protester breaches RBS Gogarburn security and glues herself to desk

Pakistani floods reportedly triggered by climate change

Greenwash spill at the BP-sponsored National Portrait cotland