Category Archives: Energy

Tips for a Green New Year

It’s far from comprehensive, but here’s a link to some New Year’s tips for lightening our footprint on our precious planet:

Tips for a Green New Year | Easy Ideas for Organizing and Cleaning Your Home | HGTV.Happy-New-Year-2015-Beautiful-Green

Solidarity Sunday-Barton Moss

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image5:18PM, SUN 12 JAN 2014 SALFORD FRACKING PROTEST

UK Barton Moss Fracking
Anti- fracking protestors have marched in Salford as they try to stop exploratory drilling for shale gas.

The energy company I-Gas has been testing a site at Barton Moss since last year.

But campaigners and some local residents say they’re opposed to what’s happening.

http://www.itv.com/news/granada/update/2014-01-12/anti-fracking-campaigners-march-in-salford/

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Green MP arrested in anti-fracking protest

Green MP Caroline Lucas is arrested near Balcombe during anti-fracking protest at Cuadrilla

Pic: The Guardian

The UK’s only Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas,  was among dozens of anti-fracking protesters arrested today as a “day of action” saw thousands of people take part in demonstrations at sites across the country.

Hundreds of activists blockaded the Balcombe oil drilling site in Sussex owned by Cuadrilla, as well as its Lichfield headquarters and the offices of its PR firm.

Demonstrators hung banners at the country home of the Conservative Lord Howells, who stirred controversy by suggesting the “desolate” north should be fracked and attempted to put up a small wind turbine at the home of Tory MP Francis Maude,  whose constituency includes Balcombe.

Protesters at Balcombe blocked part of the site road but were driven back by police. Lucas, who is the The MP for Brighton Pavilion, said she joined the protest to make up for the “democratic deficit” that was allowing corporate oil and gas interests to trump the concerns of ordinary people.

“Along with everyone else who took action today, I’m trying to stop a process which could cause enormous damage for decades to come,” she said today.

“People today, myself included, took peaceful non-violent direct action only after exhausting every other means of protest available to us. Despite the opposition to fracking being abundantly clear, the government has completely ignored the views of those they are supposed to represent.”

Thousands join march against fracking

Anti-fracking protests

Demonstrations in Balcombe today. Pic: Gareth Fuller/PA

Thousands of people marched through the Sussex countryside today in the biggest show of strength to date for the UK’s anti-fracking movement, the start of a three-day campaign against exploratory drilling near the village of Balcombe in west Sussex.

More than 2,000 supporters from around the country arrived in coaches and by train and filled “matchmaking” forms to on arrival, listing their preferences and skills in activities such as climbing, standing their ground, getting through or over fences, looking after people, providing entertainment or documenting the action.

Cuadrilla has in the past few days, after discussions with local police, halted drilling activities at the site and removed some equipment. The company has also urged protestors not to attempt anything that could compromise their own safety. The firm has partially drilled an exploratory oil well on the site and tests on the data obtained from drilling will help to determine whether the company presses on with its plans.

Protestor Liz Lyddon, from Brighton, said: “I am very concerned about climate change for our future generations. Fracking is not the direction we should be taking – there should be a huge investment in renewable green energy but there is no sign that any of our politicians are even thinking seriously about that.

“This shows that the opposition to fracking is growing.. and I do think that as people start to think about fracking they will begin to think about the wider issues around climate change and energy supply.”

The people vs fracking

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You’ve probably seen the headlines and TV reports. Fracking is big news as the picturesque village of Balcombe in West Sussex becomes the latest site for test drilling in the UK.

The drilling rig itself stands 78ft tall, according to the plans submitted to The Environment Agency. It also details a laboratory, canteen and a flare stack with a possible flame rising above the surrounding trees. All this for just 40 days and nights of exploratory drilling.

Cuadrilla’s licence is to look for oil and gas by conventional means, but the company has said they would apply for licences to use the chemical fracturing technique if the rock 2,000ft below fails to deliver.

Local residents are battling against the corporate giants who want to frack their community: “We in Balcombe feel bullied. Bullied by the oil and gas industry. Bullied by our government. We stand strong in the fight against this dangerous and misguided government policy,” said Kathryn McWhirter, No Fracking in Balcombe Society.”

Friends of the Earth is supporting them  by providing hands-on advice to the local community. Here’s how you can support the residents of Balcombe by sending them a message of support today and Friends of the Earth will take your messages of support down to the Balcombe residents later this week.

Tony Bosworth from Friends of the Earth said: “We have already helped strengthen the planning guidance for fracking and worked with directly affected communities in Lancashire. Together we can continue to delay the fracking industry and help move the UK to a clean energy future.”

Local residents are battling against the corporate giants who want to frack their community: “We in Balcombe feel bullied. Bullied by the oil and gas industry. Bullied by our government. We stand strong in the fight against this dangerous and misguided government policy” Kathryn McWhirter, No Fracking in Balcombe Society.”

Friends of the Earth is supporting them  by providing hands-on advice to the local community. Here’s how you can support the residents of Balcombe by sending them a message of support today and Friends of the Earth will take your messages of support down to the Balcombe residents later this week.

Tony Bosworth from Friends of the Earth said: “We have already helped strengthen the planning guidance for fracking and worked with directly affected communities in Lancashire. Together we can continue to delay the fracking industry and help move the UK to a clean energy future.”

Former football star becomes an eco warrior

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Gary with his eco friendly hybrid car. Pic: Getty

Former Manchester United star Gary Neville has co-founded Sustainability In Sport with the aim of helping clubs and supporters become more eco friendly.

He’s also become an eco-building developer, including designing his own zero-carbon home. “I’m driving a plug-in hybrid Vauxhall Ampera,” Neville told The Metro newspaper recently. “I’ve put three tanks of petrol in it in eight months, which I’m proud of, and I really do want to do as much as I can for the environment. I want to promote green issues as much as possible and make people aware.”

Even before retiring in 2011, Neville, who is now a Sky TV pundit, was embracing a green lifestyle with plans for an eight-bedroom underground eco home. “The key for me is to live in a low-impact house that performs the best it can,” he said.

“There have been some criticisms over the design but I’m not really bothered about it. I’ve got thick skin; I’ve been criticised all my life. It was more to do with erecting a wind turbine but I take great pride in the fact there are now three wind turbines that have gone up within a mile of the site since mine got through planning. I don’t know whether people just slipped theirs under the radar while I was getting battered but it’s a positive thing.”

Neville also donated the proceeds from his farewell testimonial match with Manchester United to Sustainability In Sport. “Sport is a very important element in society and there is an environmental impact,’ he says. ‘I’m not saying get rid of anything because there is so much good that comes out of sport, so much enjoyment, but sensible decisions can be made at zero cost that add even bigger positives environmentally, so clubs actually save money.”

Neville, who is now on the England team coaching staff, is hoping some of his fellow footballers will come on board and join the cause, but says: “It has to be someone who is actually looking to improve. What you don’t want is people doing it for the wrong reasons; you have to believe in it and want to do it.”

Protesters blockade nuclear power station

More than 200 people are blockading a nuclear power station in protest at plans to build new reactors at the site.

Members of several anti-nuclear groups that are part of the Stop New Nuclear alliance say they are barring access to Hinkley Point power station in Somerset in protest against EDF Energy’s plans to renew the site with two new reactors. The new reactors at Hinkley would be the first of eight new nuclear power stations to be built in the UK.

The protesters began their blockade at about 7am on Friday, with a theatrical troupe who “enacted a nuclear disaster scenario similar to Fukushima”, the power plant which was badly damaged during the earthquake which struck Japan on 11 March. Most are local people but demonstrators also came from Belgium and Germany.

Stop New Nuclear spokesman Andreas Speck said: ”This is the start of a new movement. We intend this day to be a celebration of resistance against the Government and EDF Energy’s plans to spearhead the construction of eight new nuclear power plants around the UK.

“This blockade shows that people who understand the true dangers of nuclear power are prepared to use civil disobedience to get their voice heard.”