Greenpeace Blog

Green living weekly: clean, renewable human power!

Posted by tracy — 18 February 2008 at 1:32pm - Comments

Not willing to be outdone by Bex and Jamie with their new weekly columns, I've decided to start my own. Every Monday (hopefully I haven't already set myself a standard I can't keep up) I will bring some interesting, some useful, some purely insane ideas and tips for a greener lifestyle.

Ken keeps up the pressure against Heathrow expansion

Posted by jossc — 18 February 2008 at 1:27pm - Comments

With just over a week to go until the consultation process ends, London mayor Ken Livingstone is keeping up the pressure on the government to abandon plans to build a third runway at Heathrow airport. During a visit to Sipson, one of three villages threatened by the bulldozers if the plans go ahead, Ken said: "It is vital that all airport expansion in London and the South East, including Heathrow, is halted now as it is completely contrary to the growing evidence on the role of aviation in contributing towards catastrophic climate change.

Get up and dance for cod's sake!

Posted by jossc — 15 February 2008 at 4:20pm - Comments

Do you like eating fish? Did you realise that around 75 per cent of the world's fish stocks are now fished to their limit or over-fished? While you can still eat some species of fish with a clear conscience, others are being rapidly fished close to extinction. Oxford-based band Stornoway has helpfully recorded a song that tells you which are which. 'The Good Fish Guide' is based on the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) guidelines to ethical fish consumption. It will shortly be released as a downloadable single via the Truck label, an environmentally proactive record label, with all profits to the MCS.

Dead seas: human activities are killing off the oceans

Posted by jossc — 15 February 2008 at 3:14pm - Comments

AAAS map of impacts on the N Sea

It's official; mankind is killing off our oceans far faster than previously thought. The first global-scale study of human impacts on marine ecosystems, published today in the flagship US journal Science, reveals a picture of widespread destruction with few if any areas remaining untouched.

Weekly green web: lampooning the harpooners

Posted by jamie — 15 February 2008 at 3:03pm - Comments

Harpooned

Harpooned!

Interesting, exciting and downright odd things doing the rounds on the web this week:

  • Harpooned (subtitled Japanese Cetacean Research Simulator) is the best game I've played in a long time. With tongue firmly in cheek, your hunting vessel speeds through the Southern Ocean, collecting whale meat for scientific study but watch those pesky protesters and TV news crews! (Thanks, Osocio - I laughed like a drain.)
  • A nightclub in San Francisco has been going green for several years, and has plans for a piezoelectric dance floor that converts the conga into current.
  • Speaking of clubs, the world's first vegan strip joint has opened in (where else?) the States.
  • 'Go unscrew yourself' demands Unscrew America, a violently happy website doing its bit on the light bulb front with a user experience that's like a Yellow Submarine flashback.

Green bulbs switched on in the Philippines

Posted by jamie — 14 February 2008 at 6:25pm - Comments

Excellent news reaches us from the Philippines where a ban on old-fashioned incandescent bulbs has recently been announced.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced plans for phasing out inefficient bulbs by January 2010, adding the Asian archipelago to the growing list of countries, including Ireland and Japan, which are slashing their emissions by shifting to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). So pressure is building up on our own government - and indeed the entire EU - to bring in their own mandatory efficiency standards for light bulbs.

Prince Charles joins clamour against coal as industry greenwash steps up

Posted by bex — 14 February 2008 at 6:09pm - Comments

Blimey. First Al Gore, then Nasa's top scientist and now Prince Charles. Yep, Charlie has joined the clamour against new coal and, while he didn't go as far as Gore and call for "rings of young people blocking bulldozers," he did stand up in front of the European parliament and ask:

"Can we really understand the dynamics of a world in which energy and food security will become real issues for everyone? ... Can we possibly allow twenty years of business as usual before coal powered generation becomes clean? Are we truly investing enough in renewable energy?"

Government's economic case for third runway at Heathrow is "flawed and misleading"

Posted by jossc — 14 February 2008 at 1:34pm - Comments

A new report published today undermines the economic case for building a third runway at Heathrow Airport. It shows that the Department for Transport (DfT) based part of its case for expansion on an Oxford Economic Forecasting (OEF) study commissioned by BAA, the company who own and manage Heathrow.

BA airliner landing at Heathrow Unsurprisingly, the BAA funded study over- estimates the benefits of a third runway, assuming it would generate an extra 3 million business passengers contributing £400 each to the UK economy (making it worth £5billion over 70 years) - the DfT's original estimate was for half a million new business passengers spending around £120 each.

New congestion charge kicks out gas guzzlers

Posted by jamie — 13 February 2008 at 6:48pm - Comments

Traffic jam As reported in yesterday's news, London's congestion charge is being modified again to improve the capital's green credentials. From October, vehicles emitting the highest amounts of CO2 will have to pay £25 a day which gets a big thumbs-up, while the most efficient cars will get into central London free of charge.

Some commentators have pointed out that this effectively changes the purpose of the charge from reducing congestion to reducing pollution, and that's no bad thing. According to the World Resources Institute, road transport spews out around 10 per cent of global emissions (pdf), so providing incentives to move to more efficient models is going to do a lot to cut those exhaust fumes.

Welcome to The Weekly Geek: decentralised energy

Posted by bex — 13 February 2008 at 3:16pm - Comments

This CHP plant in Denmark is 95 per cent efficient

This combined heat and power plant in Denmark is up to 95 per cent efficient

To celebrate our launch of EfficienCity, we're starting a new, weekly column for all the closet energy geeks out there. Every week, we'll take an in-depth look at one of the technologies we feature in EfficienCity - tidal power, wave power, wind energy, combined heat and power, micro-hydro power, anaerobic digestion, biomass and the rest. We'll also be looking at issues like baseload and the regulatory context for decentralised energy.

So remember to check back each Wednesday and, if you have any suggestions for energy solutions to climate change you'd like to see us cover, just post a comment at the bottom of this page and we'll try to slot it in.

Follow Greenpeace UK