Category Archives: Climate change

London march for global action on climate change

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Campaigners marched through central London on Sunday to demand global action on climate change, in one of thousands of events worldwide ahead of a UN climate summit.

Some 2,000 events took place in 150 countries, with more than 100,000 people taking to the streets of New York – where the summit is being held – to demand leaders take action to tackle rising temperatures. The summit has been convened by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in a bid to drive action and momentum towards talks in Paris in 2015, where it is hoped a new global climate treaty can be agreed.

In London, campaigners were joined by celebrities, including actress Emma Thompson and musician Peter Gabriel, and church bells rang to mark the march through Westminster to Parliament, where speeches and a rally were held.

Thompson said: “There is little time left to prevent the worst excesses of climate change, yet our world leaders continue to stall. I’ve witnessed the impact climate change is already having on the melting Arctic and on poverty-stricken communities in the developing world. We can’t go on pretending nothing’s happening.”

In a statement on his website, Peter Gabriel said: “This big blue ball is the only possible home for humanity in the near future. If our family home was being destroyed and poisoned in the same way, we would do something immediately.

“This is not just a campaign for activists, but for everyone who wants to live on a planet capable of sustaining us. We will only achieve a sustainable future if global citizens demand global action.”

The Big Green Bike Ride 2014

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Pic: Friends of the Earth

This year’s Big Green Bike Ride looks like being the biggest ever and it’s such a great way to raise funds for Friends of the Earth.

Overall there will be 120 miles of cycling, but you can pick the challenge that suits you. This year’s ride starts on Saturday, 17 May, and the 85 mile route will take you from the hustle and bustle of London, through the country lanes of Surrey and Hampshire, to the New Forest.

The next day will be a much shorter 35 mile ride, spent exploring the heather-covered heath, farmland, ancient woodland and mudflats of this beautiful corner of the countryside. You can take part in both days or choose just one of these challenges. All riders will receive a goody bag and there will be an evening of food and entertainment in the heart of the New Forest.

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Climate change blamed for storms

Storms continue to batter Britain


Huge waves batter Newhaven Lighthouse. Pic by Getty.

Scientists from the Met Office have described this winter as the wettest on record and have warned that the recent stormy weather could be linked to climate change.

In an open letter published in The Times and signed by weather experts, including the Met Office’s chief scientist Dame Julia Slingo, said the risk of flooding is increasing with global warming.

The letter  states: “We have looked at the potential influence of climate change and all the evidence from observations, theory and models which show that a warming world leads to more intense daily and hourly rainfall. When we add rising sea levels, then the risk to our communities from serious flooding and coastal inundation are increasing with climate change.”

Butterfly numbers at historic low

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UK butterfly numbers are at a “historic low”, according to conservationists.

The charity Butterfly Conservation issued the warning ahead of its annual survey, the Big Butterfly Count. Difficult weather conditions, including last year’s wet summer and the recent cold spring, have exacerbated population declines.

But it is hoped that the hot start to July could help the insects to bounce back.    “The washout weather of 2012 proved a disaster for our butterflies; these conditions, coupled with long-term declines, means there are probably fewer butterflies in the UK than at any point during my lifetime,” said Sir David Attenborough, the charity’s president.

“Butterflies are vitally important. Their presence acts as a barometer of the health of our environment. Their ongoing decline tells us that all is not well in the British countryside.”

The Big Butterfly Count is a survey where the public are invited to record the insects flying in their local green space. They are provided with a chart of 19 common garden butterflies and 2 day-flying moths and asked how many of each can be spotted in 15 minutes.

Last year more than 220,000 butterflies were counted with 15 of the 21 species declining compared with the previous year’s survey. This year’s cold spring led to butterflies emerging three weeks late but the recent heatwave could boost numbers.

“This summer heatwave is the perfect tonic for Britain’s beleaguered butterflies,” said Butterfly Conservation’s survey manager Richard Fox. “The hot, calm conditions of recent weeks are ideal for butterflies to emerge, mate and lay eggs so we hope that their populations will start to recover and people can once more enjoy a profusion of butterflies in their gardens and the countryside.

“Spending just 15 minutes to take part in Big Butterfly Count over the coming weeks will enable us to see if butterflies have bounced back.”

The Big Butterfly Count takes place from the 20 July to 11 August.

We have lost 80% of the Artic sea ice

Be a Seed for Change

We made it!
Last week, along with five other women, I scaled Europe’s tallest skyscraper to show  our leaders and Shell that we don’t want Arctic drilling. Now we need you to take the reins and make sure the whole world knows why we need to protect the Arctic.
This feat took us 15 hours of climbing. Despite our exhaustion, the outpouring of support from tens of thousands of people all over the world kept our spirits high. When we reached the top, we waved a flag for the Arctic in direct view of Shell’s three London headquarters.
There were only six of us up there, but there are millions of us in every corner of the world who want the Arctic protected. The most effective action we can do now is to make everyone else care for the Arctic as we do, and to do that we need to make it big…

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Six Arctic protesters scale the Shard

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A group of six female protesters from Greenpeace were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass after scaling London’s 72-storey Shard tower on Thursday.

The group of female activists climbed all day and reached the top of the Shard in central London at around 7pm on Thursday night after 15 hours of climbing in protest at oil drilling in the Arctic. After reaching the summit of the 72-storey building, two of the campaigners unfurled a huge flag with “Save the Arctic” written in white across it.

Greenpeace said: “This building – modelled on a shard of ice – sits slap bang in the middle of Shell’s three London headquarters. They don’t want us talking about their plan to drill in the Arctic. We’re here to shout about it from the rooftops.”

Greenpeace posted pictures at 7:30am of a group of female protesters, and said the team had started climbing at 4am. It named the group as “Sabine, Sandra, Victo, Ali, Wiola and Liesbeth”, adding: “Wish them luck, they’re awesome”. You can watch the climb here.

Gardeners urged to give nests a rest this Spring

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Pic by RSPB

If you are planning to do some gardening at the weekend be careful of nesting birds that may have made their home in trees, hedges, shrubs and in roofs.

With the long, hard winter now hopefully behind them birds have started making nests, but because of the prolonged wintry conditions and late start to spring, they are already up against it. The RSPB has warned that nest sites are at a premium thanks to many of the usual sites provided by trees, shrubs and hedging still being lifeless and providing no cover.

Val Osborne, the RSPB’s head of Wildlife Enquiries, said: “At this time of year there is normally is plenty of shrubbery for birds to make safe nests in and hide from predators, but the late start to spring has meant that many leaves are yet to come out.

“Instead of their usual spots, birds may opt to build homes in more unusual places as well as ivy and other evergreens, so gardeners should stay alert and be vigilant when pottering about this weekend. If you come across a nest, leave well alone – birds that are disturbed may decide to abandon their eggs or young for fear of the site not being safe.”

And for those of us ready to get started in the garden, the RSPB is asking to hold back on the hedge cutting to avoid destroying nests and baby birds.

“This is a crucial time for our feathered friends. They’ve already been through a lot – especially the migrants with their late arrival into the country and the terrible conditions they had to contend with – so we need to make sure we help them as much as we can through the breeding season. Leaving nests well alone, providing high-energy food and a good supply of water should do the trick.”

The RSPB is also warning us that birds could be nesting in our roofs, including house sparrows and starlings, so hold off on any repairs until the nest is no longer in use.  “Usually no damage is caused by nesting birds, in fact the only way you’d know they were there is because of all the chattering and cheeping they do, but most people find that endearing,” said Val.