Monday, 29 April 2013

Passing 400ppm

After all the conferences, all the "commitments" all the politics..... all the protests.
Global CO2 levels are expected to pass 400ppm atmospheric concentration in the next few days.  While there have been "blips" this is different. 
What can I say  Do you still have hope?  With our governments subsidising fracking and deep sea drilling, with the tar sands barely started, and with coal still big business,  I do not. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

This site is tapped

The header of this site is dark today because of CISPA.  This proposed Act would mean that your and my information would be passed to the US government without any warrant.  And of course, sharing intelligence and the threat of intelligence sharing withdrawal was one of the justifications for the UK government's Crime and Security bill, and the secret courts contained in it. 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Thoughts today

I was coming home on the bus today, having crashed on a friend's floor last night after having attended a meeting of Transition Shetland, concerning their intent to take over management of and to utilise the Tingwall Glasshouses. and a screening of the inspirational film In Transition 2.0. 
On the bus on the way home we passed what looks like accomodation for the oil and gas workers ,related to the Clair and Bentley fields,under construction and there has been a floating hotel, the Bibby Stockholm which has arrived in Lerwick to accomodate workers.   Passing Sullom Voe terminal, with its gas flaring, it just does make you think about the real underpinning of our industrial civilisation and all that is invested in it. 
While I often feel despair, I draw some hope from the effectiveness of MEND, who seem to me to be the successors of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni activists who were hanged after non-violent action against Royal Dutch Shell. 
I recognise that it is much harder to get traction against a domestic polluter than a foreign one and that conditions are very different in the UK than in the Niger Delta.  But if MEND can acheive what they have, maybe there is some hope. 
With the use of anti terror legislation against environmental activists from Climate Camp and the whole Mark Kennedy affair and the provision for secret courts under the Crime and Security Bill which is going through parliament.  It does seem that we are, or will be, targets.   
Maybe Anonymous have a point

Monday, 15 April 2013

More local drilling

It has been reported that Xcite Energy is saying that the Bentley Oilfield, 100 miles east of Shetland contains 250 million barrels (recoverable) of oil and gas, which is more than double the original estimate.   The Bentley field, like the Clair, was discovered in the 1970s when the technology to extact its heavy crude wasn't around.  Extraction is planned to begin in 2015 and they hope to be producing 2 million barrels a day by 2017.
A point worth making here I feel, is that we are subsidising them!  Tax breaks for the offshore industry are important.  We are living under austerity and the Oil and Gas industry is about the most profitable industry there is, yet we are foregoing tax revenue to subsidise their profit and extraction and processing of this heavy crude, knowing that it will just add to the real oncoming crisis of climate change. 
While we may look towards the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, as a sort of model.  It is worth remembering that the process of getting there took around 20,000 years and we are talking about getting there within a century.  Also, as James Hansen has pointed out, the Sun is warmer now.  There is no guarantee we will not tip the planet into runaway climate change and end up like Venus. 

So we face a very real crisis and we really cannot afford to continue doing this, it amazes me that we still are.

Something that I feel sort of connects to this is the ideas around protest.  I think that mass demonstrations and petitions need to be a warning.  There needs to be an "or else" and that "or else" needs to be followed through on.  Without that I feel that in the face of all the profit and political donations and "the national economic interest", it is likely to fail.  Look at the protests aginst the invasion of Iraq, look at The Wave....   Do the government and the Oil executives feel scared?  Are they concerned about the consequences of their actions?   I think not.  I feel that until they believe that there will be real consequences then they will not change their actions.  And we do not have the time to wait.  So I have to say that I feel groups like Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Sea Sheperds, Anonymous,  Rising Tide, Earth First and Deep Green Resistance have it right.  We have to fight this. 

Thursday, 11 April 2013