World Environment Day/Dia Mundialdo Ambiente

On Sunday 5th June 2016, Tavira Em Transição held an event for World Environment Day in Tavira.

It started with a conversation on the importance of the environment to the region and in particular, the issues with the exploration for gas and petrol in the Algarve.

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This was followed by music, which attracted more members of the public to stop and listen, to what was being said.

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There also was a petition circulating against the proposed exploration in the Aljezur, which is to start shortly.  Unfortunately, I left to cycle back to Monte Francisco before the finish.  But to me, it seemed the audience was growing all the time.

 

Repost: “Final Barton Moss trial ends with not guilty verdicts”

The UK Government’s pursuit of unconventional sources of fossil-fuels and new nuclear, at any costs. Shows clearly, that the Government is not serious about tackling the serious and urgent issue of climate change and climate justice. Using the Police as shock-troops against peaceful protesters, the Government shows, it is only concerned with the interests of corporations. It also highlights what an utter farce COP21 Paris was, as a number of signatories to the agreement, are still pursuing a fossil-fuel powered future! And, lets not forget, the police also, committed acts of environmental vandalism by chopping down trees, they thought, might be used by the protesters! As well as other acts of vandalism by the police and contractor for iGas.

manchester climate monthly

Via the excellent “Salford Star

FINAL BARTON MOSS TRIAL ENDS WITH NOT GUILTY VERDICTS

Star date: 27th April 2016

CALLS FOR PUBLIC INQUIRY AS FINAL THREE BARTON MOSS CHARGES QUASHED

After hundreds of charges brought by the Crown in relation to the Barton Moss anti-fracking protests of 2013 and 2014, the final three cases were heard today at Manchester Magistrates Court where the judge delivered `not guilty’ verdicts on charges of aggravated trespass.

Now, with the overwhelming number of charges either dropped or quashed, there’s a growing call for a Public Inquiry into the policing and cost of the response to the Salford protests…

Full details here…

Barton Moss Not Guilty VerdictsBarton Moss Not Guilty Verdicts
click image to enlarge
“The results today must add to the increasing demand for a Public Inquiry into the method of policing and cost to the public purse…” Simon Pook, solicitorToday at Manchester Magistrates Court, `not guilty’ verdicts were…

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Five killed at anti-China power plant protest in Bangladesh: Rally against Coal-Murders at Dhaka and Chittagong Press Club on Tuesday

Like the UK Government, the Indian Government says it is ‘green’ whilst doing everything to support climate changing fossil fuels!

By Raaj Manik At least five innocent protesters were killed after police opened fire on a protest of 1500 villagers who were protesting against two China-backed power plants in Chittagong, a locati…

Source: Five killed at anti-China power plant protest in Bangladesh: Rally against Coal-Murders at Dhaka and Chittagong Press Club on Tuesday

Final arguments as Cuadrilla fracking inquiry draws to a close

It is accepted that, at the best possible estimates, shale gas will supply the UK, for possibly 15 years. And yet, we have Babs Murphy of The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, stating “It is our responsibility to ensure that the economic benefits [of shale gas] will come to local businesses. We owe it to future generations not to let this opportunities pass by”! So they think, for a short-term ‘gain’, future generations should be ‘inconvenienced’ and suffer the environmental consequences?
The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) has produced a new report on ‘fracking’ waste water: energy. Stating that the management and disposal of wastewater remains one of the biggest hurdles facing the ‘fracking’ industry. It does mention the possible need of a in some cases a radioactive substances permit will be required, if ‘fracking waste water is re-injected. Has the issue of radioactive waste water been down-played? Because it is classed as NORM, normally occurring radioactive material? We know United Utilities discharged radioactive ‘fracking’ waste water into the Manchester Ship Canal and the EA allowed them to.
And are people aware of the recent Federal Jury judgement: Federal jury awards $4.24 million to dimock families in fracking case

The public inquiry into Cuadrilla’s plans to frack near Blackpool reached its final stages last week with the closing arguments from  half the groups involved.

Source: Final arguments as Cuadrilla fracking inquiry draws to a close

Diz nao as plataformas de petroleo e gás no Algarve

Despite the outcome of the IPCC latest report, COP21 and a new socialist government in Portugal.  The new Portuguese Prime Minister says gas and oil exploration in the Algarve is to continue!  A group of concerned citizens in the Algarve have been campaigning against the oil and gas companies efforts to explore and exploit potential fossil-fuel deposits.  The campaign group Algarve Surfers and Maritime Activities Association (ASMAA) has been very active in raising public awareness of the issue.

These licenses are in areas that are environmentally sensitive, especially those off-shore and onshore the Algarve.  With parts of the Algarve being designated areas of Natura 2000 sites.  Also Algarve is economically dependent on fishing, sea salt, agriculture and tourism.  All of which would be adversely affected by oil and gas exploitation, even without any accidents occurring.  During off-shore exploration, seismic and sonar activity, have an extremely detrimental impact on marine life.

Our oceans are already being badly affected by pollution, global warming, acidification, overfishing and even excess carbon dioxide.  Carbon Dioxide intoxication was also covered by Portuguese papers: Peixes podem ficar intoxicados em meados deste século.  We are already feeling the affects of climate change, with major changes in our weather.  JP Sottile, writing for the Truthout magazine puts the argument against further oil and gas exploitation quite well: Mother Nature’s invisible hand strikes back against the carbon economy? 

I would call on the new Portuguese Socialist Government to cancel these oil and gas contracts.  And to revitalise the last Socialist Governments investment in renewable energy developments and energy efficiency.  The International Energy Agency (IEA) once praised Portugal’s efforts to strengthen its energy policy: Portugal 2009 review.  Though I would not agree with all the IEA’s recommendations, especially with regard to privatisation.

Terror, climate chaos, financial crisis are the costs of ‘doing business’

Unfortunately, Portugal, like the UK, is still pursuing a fossil fuel future, despite agreeing to the COP21 Paris agreement.  The Portuguese government has even granted oil and gas producers licenses to drill, onshore and offshore the Algarve.  Even though the area is part of Natura2000, is dependent of fishing, agriculture and tourism.  Even with a (so-called) Socialist coalition government, it looks like drilling will go ahead.  Instead of investing in energy efficiency and renewables!  Though there are groups such as the Algarve Surfers and Marine Activities Association (ASMAA), fighting these proposals.

The techno-narcissism of predatory neoliberal capitalism is locked into an endless war with the bastard monster of its own creation – Islamic State

Source: Terror, climate chaos, financial crisis are the costs of ‘doing business’

Total fined for North Sea gas leak

I have just seen an article about an incident, which could have been the North Seas’ Deepwater Horizon, but for favourable winds. The article in the Guardian does mention petroleum condensate causing damage to marine life: Total fined 1m North Sea gas leak. But the official press release from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) does not mention any environmental impacts of the release: Total ep UK ltd., received record fine following largest ever North Sea gas release. There was another incident reported earlier this year: Shell fined. This is how the incident was reported in the Guardian, which includes other failures by Shell: Shell North Sea oil leak. Another major incident in a mature oil and gas field, by a major oil and gas company. There a numerous incidents that occur in the oil & gas fields, that the public never hear about: HSE offshore statistics. So how can any politician allow oil and gas production in environmentally sensitive areas or even unconventional sources, with a clear concisions?

Stranded carbon assests

Even before the COP21 Paris event, some UK investors were calling on companies and local authorities to divest from fossil fuel companies.  With groups such as Go fossil free and Friends of the Earth (FOE) pushing the message to divest.

Also with organisations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calling for most of the remaining fossil fuels to remain in the ground in their latest report IPCC 5th report.  And Carbon Tracker’s report on Stranded assets danger zone, as well as others.  The UK Government has increased subsidies for fossil fuels and pushing ahead with ‘fracking’.

The Government states it needs ‘fracking’ to ensure security of supply.  But has shut down the last deep coal mine, in favour of imported coal?  It is also heavily reliant on imported biomass, for incineration and co-firing?  And new nuclear will be dependant on imported uranium imports?

Reforming harmful fossil fuel subsidies

We constantly hear from our politicians, mass media and climate change denialists, that renewables are heavily subsidised.  When the truth is exactly the opposite, with fossil fuels and nuclear being heavily subsidised at the expense of the tax-payer and energy customer.

Source: Reforming harmful fossil fuel subsidies

Burning our way towards the ecocide of the human race

Despite all the evidence, that shows our continuing burning of fossil-fuels and biomass, is leading towards catastrophic climate change. The fossil-fuel industry continues with its quest to extract the remaining fossil-fuels. This is despite the fact we passed the point of Peak Oil some time ago. These industries like BP, pulled out of any alternative investments, such as for renewable energy and now find themselves locked into stranded assets. As do Governments (local and national), insurance companies, pension funds, banks and investment funds.

There have been several reports on the economic impact of climate change, including Climate change slams global economy study.  And despite reports that ask the question, will the frackers go bust?
The UK Government is pushing ahead with fracking.  An update from Recent fracking research round-up from the UK.  They are also pushing ahead with burning bio-mass, despite it being shown to be as bad as coal, especially to human health: Pulp fiction.

 

And this is all happening, despite the Brundtland Report published in 1987, pointing out:

Page 17.

31. The objective of sustainable development and the integrated nature of the global
environment/development challenges pose problems for institutions, national and
international, that were established on the basis of narrow preoccupations and
compartmentalized concerns. Governments’ general response to the speed and scale of global
changes has been a reluctance to recognize sufficiently the need to change themselves. The
challenges are both interdependent and integrated, requiring comprehensive approaches and
popular participation.

Nearly 30 years later, after many different conferences, the Governments of the Global North’s response has not changed.  They have refused, steadfastly, to answer the ‘Call to Action’.  Even when the report stated:

Page 35.

32. Little time is available for corrective action. In some cases we may already be close to
transgressing critical thresholds. While scientists continue to research and debate causes and
effects, in many cases we already know enough to warrant action. This is true locally and
regionally in the cases of such threats as desertification, deforestation, toxic wastes, and
acidification; it is true globally for such threats as climate change, ozone depletion, and species
loss. The risks increase faster than do our abilities to manage them.

And we have Governments like the UK’s, stating we need shale and coal-bed methane gas, as a bridging fuel?  Thirty years ago, the report made this observation about fossil fuels:

Page 147.

17. In terms of pollution risks, gas is by far the cleanest fuel, with oil next and coal a poor third.
But they all pose three interrelated atmospheric pollution problems: global warming, urban
industrial air pollution, and acidification of the environment. Some of the wealthier
industrial countries may possess the economic capacity to cope with such threats. Most
developing countries do not.

Is it the sentence; ‘Some of the wealthier industrial countries may possess the economic capacity to cope with such threats’.  That makes the Governments of the Global North, continue with ‘business-as-usual’?