November 6th, 2019
Two pieces of good news to start with –
there is currently a ban on fracking in the UK: this is actually due to the earthquakes caused by the drilling, the government still resisting actually declaring that shale gas needs to stay in the ground. But hopefully, this is the start of a permanent ban…
and the other ‘positive’ is that the High Court has ruled the Metropolitan Police’s ban on Extinction Rebellion protests in London last month was unlawful. The Met actually had no power to impose a London-wide ban. As Caroline Lucas has tweeted: ‘Peaceful protest is a fundamental right in a democracy & must not be arbitrarily shut down.’ The Green Party has just launched their ‘Climate Election’ campaign in Bristol, just down the road.. I wish them well.
Please continue to check out what ‘your’ party/candidate is planning to do about the climate emergency.
Now, a huge depressing international situation – the long drought in New South Wales, Australia, has been declared the worst on record; and tourists are actually visiting to ‘see a place that’s running dry’. That sounds like morbid curiosity, and maybe it is, but apparently visitors are generally welcomed in such places. There are businesses that rely on passing trade. At this point, I’d like to mention my loyal reader in Australia, Sharon – she has recently been encouraging travellers to support such businesses, not avoid them. Water-saving efforts have to be complied with, though, of course – it certainly is uplifting to find people doing the best they can in the worst circumstances. But it does also make me even more keen to put pressure on the people in power, who let ordinary citizens cope with the problems while not stopping the polluters at source…
Talking of whom…
Have you noticed fancy new pumps at Shell petrol stations? They are offering us the chance to ‘drive carbon neutral’, with petrol…..?! Thanks to my friend Brenda for drawing my attention to them. This is obviously a greenwashing, public relations exercise, to make us feel better while Shell continues to drill for oil.
However, we are still stuck in driving petrol cars for the foreseeable future, so I’d love to think this might help, in a small way.
The new project (across 1,000 Shell UK service stations) claims that Shell will offset the carbon dioxide emissions from customers’ fuel purchases on their behalf. It plans to purchase carbon credits generated from projects in the UK and internationally that protect and regenerate forests.
Can we believe these are bona fide projects? This area can all get very murky and corrupt, particularly internationally.
The more immediate reassuring aspect is the partnership in the UK with Forestry and Land Scotland. The firm said it aims to plant up to 1 million trees. More trees, great; Shell, not great, but we may be stuck with you for the moment….
I’ll write to Shell and Land Scotland next week.
I’m going to finish with my responses to David Attenborough’s latest tv series. Oceans have even more carbon capturing capacity than trees, so we need to continue all the efforts to protect them.
Antarctica is warming 5 degrees more than the rest of the world – penguins and elephant seals are already experiencing temperatures that are far too hot for them. Watching the people documenting all this despairing while watching the ‘innocent victims’ is horrible. And, this week, the worst bit was those walruses packed together on dry rocks that should have been covered in ice, desperately hurtling down to the sea to escape the equally stranded polar bears, to their deaths mostly….
It was a huge relief, and such a testament to human goodness, to see the project whereby whale sharks are helped to prosper by fishermen.
I wonder if the super-rich, private jet buying celebrities watch such images…? I’ve also written to Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Honeywell Aerospace today!