Archive for the 'Environment' Category

Fracking for gas is highly controversial

 

The fracking issue has united farmers, businesses, craft producers and ordinary citizens across the countryside over the last few months.

Here’s an interesting article from the associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, Martin Wolf.

Sole Rebels – How Ethiopian fashion entrepreneurs recycled truck tyres into sought-after shoes

Putting your best foot forward - 'Turning recycled truck tyres into fashionable shoes'

A young woman entrepreneur has combined the internet’s  selling power with nimble business practices.  By adding funky cotton and leather uppers to recycled tyre soles, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu has sold  thousands of pairs of handmade flip-flops, boat shoes, loafers and Converse-style trainers.


Sole Rebels now sells to Amazon and top shoe outlets worldwide, employs 75 full time and 120 part time and will have a turnover in excess of €500,000 this year.

Read her story here and here

Sex, Lies and Oil Spills?

Crews work to collect oil near and around the location where the Deepwater Horizon oil platform sank

An estimated three million gallons of oil has already leaked into the Gulf of Mexico creating a  24,000-square mile slick which is approximately 240 miles east-to-west, and 100 miles north-to-south.

So far, eleven rig workers are dead and seventeen others are seriously injured while the massive environmental devastation continues.  And yet, US legislation caps BP and Tranocean’s (the Haliburton subsidiary who supplied the Deepwater Horizon rig) liability at €75 million and €65 million respectively unless  gross negligence can be proved.

Of course, there had been sharp criticism that, during the eight year Bush reign,  George W, Cheney and assorted carbon cronies infected the oil industry’s oversight agency,  the Minerals Management Service (MMS).  It’s alleged that Cheney held meetings with over 100 oil industry officials allowing them to draft a wish list of industry demands to be implemented by the oil friendly administration.

Now the Washington Post claims that last year the Obama administration granted BP a special exemption from a legal requirement that it produce a detailed environmental impact study on the possible effects of its Deepwater Horizon drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico.

Good old Barack  delivered a special exemption for Deepwater Horizon in April 2009  –  just one of a litany of examples that reveal the close collaboration between the MMS and BP.

Meanwhile BP have recently  announced quarterly profits of €6 billion and, according to the New York Times, spent almost $16 million on lobbying in Washington last year.

So much for all the ‘hopey feely stuff’ then?

An  estimated 210,00 gallons of oil is flowing  into the Gulf of Mexico every day, that’s 8,750 gallons an hour,  as the massive slick approaches Florida and Texas.

You can see a vid of the Oil Rig Fire here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-k7GMyj0BM&feature=channel


New Sustainable Restaurant Association launched in London this week

Is McDonald's the sort of organisation which should be welcomed into the Sustainable Restaurant Association?

The restaurant trade is reeling from the economic downturn as is its dwindling customer base.  Its a cost-effective and value conscious customer that walks through the door these days.

A new Sustainable Restaurant Association has just been launched in London.

Wonder would it catch on in Ireland and, of course, is a Sustainable Restaurant Association accreditation something that would catch your eye as a customer?

How easy should it be for the likes of Pizza Hut and KFC to join such a body?

You can read the report here

Land and People: Agro-colonialism or much needed development

Investment firms possibly prompted by the 2007 – 8 global food crisis and rich countries lacking in sufficient supplies of some staple food crops have been moving into Africa and either land leasing or buying up vast swathes of land to produce arable crops.

But is this a much needed development or a form of agro- colonialism?

Here’s a report from Mary Fitzgerald of the Irish Times.

You might also like to check out ‘Is there such a thing as Agro-imperialism? by Andrew Rice of the New York Times.

10:10 Campaign launched in Dublin this week

“Oh no”,  I hear you say,  “not another one”.  But please folks, this campaign may just be the difference we have been waiting for.

Launched in the UK last month by film producer Franny Armstrong, he of The Age of Stupid  fame, the 10:10 campaign is about individuals and by extension, organisations putting their names on the line to pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by 10% by the end of 2010  – its a lifestyle change, a behavioural change.

By signing up to 10:10 you are not just promising to reduce your own emissions – you become part of a national drive to hit an ambitious goal country-wide. In homes, workplaces, schools, hospitals, sports clubs and universities, it’s a support network that backs each other to take the first necessary steps on the road to becoming a low-carbon society.

Read about the UK campaign here.

John Gormley launched the Irish version last Thursday, Oct. 29th

The End of the Line

The End of the Line is a powerful film about one of the world’s most disturbing problems – over-fishing.

Advances in fishing technology mean whole species of wild fish are under threat and the most important stocks we eat are predicted to be in a state of collapse by 2050.

The film points the finger at those most to blame, including celebrity chefs, and shows what we can do about it. This is not just a film, it is also a campaign – for sustainable consumption of fish, for marine protected areas to allow the sea to recover, and for a new ethic of responsible fishing.


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