Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween

SeaFun Blog

Szenja, one of the polar bears from SeaWorld San Diego’s Wild Arctic exhibit, gets into the spirit of Halloween. Polar bears are the largest land carnivore and have 42 teeth, which they use for catching food. Polar bears swallow most food in large chunks rather than chewing.

SeaWorld California Polar Bear Halloween
Photo: Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego

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Climate campaigners shut down power station

On top of the chimney. Pic by @nodashforgas

Around 20 climate change campaigners shut down the UK’s newest gas-fired power station early this morning.

The protest started at 2am when they got through a security fence and climbed two smokestacks at EDF’s West Burton plant in Nottinghamshire. Some of them abseiled down inside the chimneys and set up camp inside the flues, stopping the plant’s furnaces from operating. 

The  power station in Nottinghamshire was targeted because it’s one of the first in a new generation of highly polluting gas plants planned for the UK. The Coalition Government recently announced it intends to give the green light to as many as 20 new gas plants – a move that would crash Britain’s carbon targets, contribute to the climate crisis and push up bills.

Protestor Ewa Jasiewicz, who is occupying one of the chimneys, said: “It’s pretty scary hanging inside a chimney, but we’ve been rigorously trained and have very skilled climbers. We’ve made a cosy camp with tarpaulins, and we plan to share a hot meal this evening at the same time as our friends on the other chimney. 

“We’re doing this because the gas plant is one of the first in a dash for gas that has to be stopped. The Government and the big energy companies want  to build as many as 20 new gas power stations, which would leave the UK dependent on this highly polluting and increasingly expensive fuel for decades to come.”

EDF said that the company was committed to low-carbon energy, adding: “The station is in a commissioning phase at the moment and the first unit is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.”

Guardian.co.uk – Why I’m occupying a gas-fired power station chimney.

The buzz grows about pesticides

There is growing evidence that common pesticides are playing a significant part in the recent decline of bees all over the world.

It is a worrying trend because bees are the most important pollinators of many wild flowers and agricultural crops. Disease may be causing some colonies to collapse, but recent studies have shown that chemicals in pesticides known as neonicotinoid, commonly sprayed on crops, are also harming bees.

This is backed up by a new study at Royal Holloway, University of London, which looked at the impact of multiple pesticides on bees. The results, published in  Nature, showed that exposure to low levels of multiple pesticides had subtle yet significant effects on the behaviour of  bees and the performance of colonies. Bees exposed to two pesticides performed worse than those exposed to one,  proving much less effective in bringing back pollen.

The study concluded that long-term exposure to low levels of multiple pesticides   This suggests that current methods of regulating pesticides are inadequate because they only consider lethal doses of single pesticides.

You can support the Bee Cause campaign by signing an online petition, which calls on the Government to suspend the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

Common Pesticides Are Severely Affecting Bees | SciTech Daily.

Government to delay badger cull until next year

Government plans to cull thousands of badgers have been delayed until next summer amid growing concern about the cost and effectiveness of the controversial scheme.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the cull in the south-west of England would have to be delayed because a new survey revealed there were twice as many badgers as previously thought, making the cull too expensive. Farmers felt they could not kill enough badgers before the animals start going underground for the winter. Recent bad weather was also blamed for hampering preparations.

Mr Paterson insisted that the Government was still committed to reducing badger numbers, but said the “optimal time” for the cull had passed. The announcement was welcomed by  many leading scientists, who have expressed severe doubts about whether the cull would successfully stop the spread of bovine TB. Lord John Krebs, the architect of a  10-year badger culling trial, called it “mindless” and signed a letter with 31 other eminent scientists demanding the Government reconsider its plan.

Anti-cull campaigners believe the cull is inhumane because the method of shooting could cause suffering to many thousands of badgers. They have called for a vaccination programme along with increased levels of testing. An e-petition, launched by the Queen guitarist Brian May, as part of the Team Badger campaign, attracted more than 160,00 signatures.

RSPCA Chief Executive, Gavin Grant, said the fight to stop the cull would continue and legal challenges were being drafted. “We welcome this postponement, but this must not be a temporary reprieve, but must mark an end to all cull plans,” he said.

Winning wildlife photos now on show

One hundred prize-winning images from the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012 contest are now on show at London’s Natural History Museum and this spectacular exhibition is well worth a visit.

Paul Nicklen won the overall prize with a fantastic photo of  penguins (above) about to blast through a whole in the ice. The Canadian waited motionless on the edge of  Antarctica’s Ross Sea for a  colony of emperor penguins to emerge.

UK teenager Nick Hearn took the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award with Flight Paths (below), a fantastic picture of  a red kite mirrored by a distant plane, captured at his grandparents’ farm.

Other favourites include a photo of a lone polar bear staring out from a drifting sheet of ice, taken by Norway’s Ole Jørgen Liodden, which won him the Animals in the Environment Award. Now in its 48th year, the competition attracted more than 48,000 entries from 98 countries.

Green Observers

We thought we would share with you some of Greenpeace’s “Month in Pictures” photos, to highlight the excellent work they are doing and their consistent efforts to save our environment globally.

 

 

For more incredible photos; http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/photosandvideos/photos/month-in-pictures/Month-in-Pictures—September-2012/

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Hundreds of protesters call on Chancellor to promote green economy

Deborah Meaden, one of the judges on TV’s Dragon’s Den, has attacked the “failure” of Chancellor, George Osborne, to promote green energy and businesses, as she led hundreds in a  protest outside the Treasury.

The protest, organised by Stop Climate Chaos on 18 October, saw campaigners from business, environment, trade union, faith and women’s groups, don free hard-hats to promote their message that “green is working”.

Leaders from campaign groups such as the RSPB and Greenpeace delivered a joint letter to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, calling on him to maintain support for the UK’s carbon targets and focus on stimulating green growth. Meaden said: “This is a genuine coalition. When you get such a diverse group calling for the same thing, surely it’s worth listening to. This is mainstream.”

Protesters call on George Osborne to recognise green economy’s potential | Environment | guardian.co.uk.