Posts Tagged ‘Greenpeace’

From Moth-athons to ‘Frack-athons’ & the Peak District Hen Harrier Day ….

July 28, 2014

The Thorne Moors ‘Moth-athon’ species list referred to in last nights blog post is slowly creeping nearer the target of 200, currently it stands at 177 species with two ‘stations’ still to have their data incorporated.

Clouded Border, one of the 177 species recorded so far on the 'moth-athon'.  Image: Steve Hiner.

Clouded Border, one of the 177 species recorded so far on the ‘moth-athon’. Image: Steve Hiner.

 

The state of English HEN HARRIERS

Another piece of good news is that Mark Avery’s epetition Ban driven grouse shooting is nearing his interim target of 10,000 as the ‘inglorious 12th’ approaches. It currently stands at 9,451 – can readers help him get it to that 10,000 target by the Hen Harrier Day scheduled for 10 August in the Peak District?  Chris Packham is attending the Peak District event, let’s hope for plenty of coverage in the press.  We hope the media do a decent job of reporting the rationale behind the event instead of playing politics with serious conservation issues which have been neglected for far too long.  If the industry can’t sort it’s own act out then it’s time that the people had a say and the politicians listened?

We will not repeat the various ‘arguments’ that Mark Avery and Chris Packham have used to justify the call for a ban, the series are better read via Standing up for nature, they make interesting reading as do some of the comments anonymous correspondents have submitted.  I understand that there is to be a ‘Thunderclap’ and the target, which is already exceeded, is to be a million signatures, but you can still join in see here for more about ‘Thunderclaps’.

So, if you’ve not altready signed the epetition Ban driven grouse shooting then please consider doing so here.  Send an email to your address book network and draw the issue to their attention if you’ve not already done so, the more who join in the stormy issue and ‘Thunderclap’ ….

As if no breeding Hen Harriers in England isn’t depressing enough we have another threat facing our natural resources, and no surprise it’s those owned by you and I i.e. the public!

HYDRAULIC FRACKING: A contentious business?

I’m sure I’m not the only person reading this blog post who will have received an email alert/appeal very similar to that below:

Today, David Cameron opened up huge new areas of the country to fracking. More than half of Britain is now up for grabs in the prime minister’s latest frack-a-thon, including areas in 10 national parks. 

But already, almost 250,000 people have signed our petition calling for David Cameron to keep the UK frack free. Can you help us hit 300,000 and show prime minister the strength of opposition he and his government are up against?  Readers can access and sign the petition here.

Despite the government claims that national parks will only be targeted for drilling in “exceptional circumstances”, today’s announcement is littered with loopholes – meaning the tranquillity of the Peak District, the Lake District and Brecon Beacons could still be shattered as fracking companies move in to drill.

Not only has the fracking industry still to prove it can operate safely, the oil and gas produced by fracking would increase our carbon emissions at a time when we need to be massively reducing them.

But there’s still time to stop the industry before it begins.  Last week, Cameron’s fracking juggernaut was forced off the road in West Sussex when the county council unanimously turned down an application to drill in the ancient village of Wisborough Green, just outside the South Downs National Park.

Nearly 2,500 people voiced their concerns about huge lorries thundering through country lanes. And on the day the application to drill was heard by council leaders, an expert geologist described the fracking company’s plan as “incompetent and disingenuous.”

The brakes might have been put on fracking in Wisborough Green for the time being, but the prime minister’s obsession with fracking has blinded him to the scale of opposition up and down the country. Remind him what he’s up against – sign the petition now to urge David Cameron to ditch fracking.

The email appeal uses emotive terminology and we would seek to understand both sides of the argument, so naturally we would expect that case to be accurate evidence based science.  The Guardian calls for the protection of National Parks but also our houses.  They also reported that Fracking push gets the go ahead, but there appears an expectation that we will trust politicians to safeguard National Parks, sounds like the time that the public let *politicians sort out their expenses scandal or when they bailed out the banks at the public expense or sold off public assets at less than market value?  However, ever an agnostic ….

In a tightening of the guidance, the government will ask energy firms to submit an environmental statement that is “particularly comprehensive and detailed” if they want to frack on or near protected countryside, forcing them to demonstrate their understanding of local sensitivities. It will make clear that the applications “should be refused in these areas other than in exceptional circumstances and in the public interest”.

In addition, Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, is likely to make a final decision on more appeals related to protected areas over the next 12 months, instead of leaving it to the planning watchdog.  [Read the full Guardian article here.]  Another excellent piece was that written by John Vidal when he called for Frack free zones to protect water and wildlife, see here.

Government will ‘ask’, …. firms will produce an environmental statement to demonstrate – that’s really reassuring isn’t it?   We all appreciate that we need an energy mix, that we need to conserve energy (perhaps someone should remind Government of ‘conservation’) but I suppose that doesn’t make the energy companies money does it if we reduce our consumption?  We need safe and reliable energy, we need energy companies to be accountable …. (see above*).

A useful start in terms of understanding the issue of Hydraulic fracturing can be found here.

If you are minded to consider signing the Greenpeace petition then it can be found here.

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Campaign updates & not so Scarce Footmen

July 8, 2014

CAMPAIGN UPDATES:

Syngenta’s attempt to undermine the EU pesticides ban has caused public uproar in the past few days. When the pesticide company applied to the Government for the go-ahead to use banned chemicals on UK crops, a number of organisations stepped in and called upon the public to help.  FOE and others report that ….

Thousands of us emailed the Bees Minister over the weekend and, as a result of this and the work of brilliant bee-loving allies such as Buglife, we think Syngenta and the Government have truly been feeling the pressure. [On 4 July] we found out that Syngenta have withdrawn their application.

This is fantastic news for our bees. It means the most bee-harming pesticides will not be used in the UK this year.

Syngenta say they’ll try again next year – but we’ll be ready for them.

 

Should LEGO advertise for Shell, a multinational seeking to exploit the Arctic?

There is currently a Greenpeace campaign to persuade Shell to reconsider its plans for exploitation of the Arctic for oil.  They have also raised the issue of advertising through ‘Lego’ toys, so are asking people to sign a petition to Lego to persuade them to reconsider helping Shell present itself as a family friendly and caring company.

 

‘MOOR’ GROUSING ….

Another ‘plug’ to those who might still be undecided and considering whether or not to sign Dr Mark Avery‘s epetition Ban driven grouse shooting.  Currently standing at 7.018 – can we get it to the 10,000 by the ‘inglorious’ 12th August?  Updates and background information can be found on his excellent blog Standing up for Nature.   

 

I’ve recently been reading Tony Juniper‘s What has nature ever done for us?   I think I’d suggest that it needs to be compulsory reading for all 1450 residents of the Westminster village.  Perhaps Kirsty Young should make it a compulsory companion when she interviews politicians and similar professions on R4’s Desert Island Discs?

 

NATURE NOTES:

The changeable weather recently has curtailed a little, my endeavours to boost my ‘backyard’ moth list …. but a recent addition to the list is shown below alongside its more common cousin.

Easy when they're side by side.  Eilema complana (top) and E. lurideola (bottom).

Easy when they’re side by side. Eilema complana (top) and E. lurideola (bottom).

The Scarce Footman has, in my view a completely different ‘jizz’ to that of the more frequently encountered Common Footman.  It was a pleasant find, there were two amidst more plentiful cousins and whilst not as ‘rare’ as it’s name suggests it is not a particularly common species yet …. although, according to Harry Beaumont (YNU Lepidoptera Recorder for ‘Micros’) Scarce Footman has turned up frequently during the past few years, with the records slowly making it onto the Yorkshire Moths website.  After VC61, VC63 holds the second largest number of unique sites and individuals.

 

Bits ‘n pieces of campaign updates ….

May 14, 2014

See the CAMPAIGN: Malta Massacre on Migration update here.  A disappointing reply from First Secretary Borg to our letter, but I suppose the critical mass of the re-vitalised campaign might be the momentum needed to deliver the help to the Maltese people in their quest to bring a Referendum on Spring hunting?

Mr Borg did conclude his brief email with Please do feel free to contact me for any further information.  So, watch this space to see what if any reply is forthcoming to a resend of the initial email with three key questions highlighted for ease of reference.

Malta

 

Some readers may be aware that Chris Rose has set up a 38 degree petition asking the BBC to re-introduce a previously popular [live] Nightingale Broadcast, Chris writes:

Disappointing news about the BBC’s planned May 19th special R4 Nightingale Broadcast. Despite being scheduled at 11pm, the BBC has confirmed to 38Degrees that it will not be a live broadcast, only a pre-recorded re-enactment of the 1924 Nightingale + Cello broadcast.

While the BBC deserves credit for this, it is a huge missed opportunity to contribute to engaging and re-connecting people with nature. Just as recorded music is not the same thing as live music, hearing a recorded Nightingale is not at all the same as the connection you make with a real, live, singing bird.

This is after all, why the 1924 – 1942 broadcasts struck such a powerful emotional chord. What a shame if the BBC in the digital age, cannot accomplish what Lord Reith and his engineers did back in the days of ‘string and ceiling wax’.

Apparently the BBC’s reasons are that the cello might get wet and the nightingales might not sing.  Yet this did not stop the BBC in 1924.  Nightingales, rain and cellos were the same in 1924 as they are today ?

Chris further asks us not to give up – but instead to do two things:

First, keep asking friends, relations and colleagues to sign the petition to make it a live Nightingale broadcast. It’s not too late. Send this: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/nightingales

Second, help us start a National Nightingale Night by going out to listen for one on Sunday May 18th, the original anniversary. Let me know what you find – chris@campaignstrategy.co.uk – and I’ll post reports here and at the campaign page. http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=344

If you can record one, and send me a file, I’ll post it at SoundCloud. I’ll tweet any links from @campaignstrat

I can certainly recall one particularly hearty rendition in the middle of the day as it poured with rain at Castor Hanglands when we went on a botanical jaunt to ‘tick’ Pasque Flower!   I remember them also as a breeding species on Thorne & Hatfield Moors, now just an ocassional passage bird?  Surely, like Yorkshire Red Squirrels it’s one of those ‘things to do [or hear] before you die’?  Compulsory sessions (accompanied by parents) for infant and junior school children? 

 

800px-Luscinia_megarhynchos_Ticino

 By Noel Reynolds (Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Fracking might be considered a topical issue, we’ve alerted readers to a CPRE conference in July which will look at the issue around the Humberhead. 

Well, we’ve been alerted to some interesting news …. A big fracking company, Celtique Energie, has announced it will scale back plans to drill in Fernhurst, a town in the beautiful South Downs.

Greenpeace considers that: This leap forward comes after huge public pressure, including thousands of us signing up to a ‘legal blockade’ to refuse to permit fracking companies to drill under our homes.

But the battle isn’t over. Other towns across the UK are still at risk. And even in Fernhurst, Celtique Energie are banking on David Cameron’s rumoured plan to change the law and allow drilling without permission.

We can stop this – if we show Cameron he will face a huge backlash if he tries to push ahead. Can you forward this email to 5 friends to help get to 300,000 signatures?

Your friends can sign the petition here: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/fracking-petition

Right now, the UK faces a choice. Do we pour millions into planet-wrecking fracking or do we develop clean, renewable energy? And despite the government’s enthusiasm for more dirty fossil fuels, Celtique’s announcement proves that people power works.

With enough of us onboard, we can make it impossible for David Cameron to impose fracking on us. Greenpeace suggest that by forwarding this email to 5 friends today and asking them to sign the petition here:

https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/fracking-petition

That the critical mass of community campaigning can call corporate developers and their various allies in and around Westminster to order, so three topics to consider acting on? 

 


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Mark Avery

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a new nature blog

I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

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