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UK’s nuclear consultation sham

This is a guest post by Pete Roche, editor of the No2nuclearpower website.

radiation.jpgThe UK Government’s consultation on the Future of Nuclear Power – forced on to it by a successful legal action brought by Greenpeace – ended on Wednesday 10th October. By coincidence, Wednesday was also the 50th anniversary of Britain’s worst nuclear accident when the reactor core at Windscale caught fire sending a plume of radioactive material across the country. Five decades ago secrecy and cover-ups did nothing to reassure those with growing doubts about the risks of nuclear technology. Today, the closed consultation has carried on the tradition of wilfully misleading the public.

Britain’s leading environmental groups withdrew from the consultation prior to 8th September when a series of consultation workshops, organised by Opinion Leader Research (OLR), were held in eight cities around the UK with 1,100 member of the public who were asked to assess the case for and against nuclear power and then take a vote. The environment groups said the government had failed to fairly reflect the arguments presented at the meetings, and was distorting the evidence. Independently, 20 senior academics agreed that participants were misled.

An inconvenient truth about nuclear – that it can only make a small contribution to reducing the UK’s overall CO2 emissions – was not mentioned. The information given to the public was biased and incomplete. The Government’s intention was clear – provide very limited, biased information in order to lead the participants to a predetermined conclusion. Greenpeace has made a formal complaint to the Market Research Standards Council about the conduct by Opinion Leader Research.
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EcoSpeak: Part 2 of an interview with climate scientist Sir John Houghton

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This is a guest post by Jeremy Walters of GoCarbonFree.com

Sir John Houghton CBE FRS was co-chairman of the Scientific Assessment for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 1988-2002. He was previously chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (’92-’98), chief executive of the Met Office (’83-’91) and Professor of Atmospheric Physics, Oxford (’76-83). Sir John is still very much involved in helping world governments and organisations tackle climate change.

In his first interview, Sir John talked about climate change and the world situation as it currently stands. In part two of his interview, Sir John outlines how the wider issue is not just climate change but about ‘having a sustainable future’………

GoCarbonFree: What are your views on carbon trading?

Sir John Houghton: Carbon trading is a good way of trying to reduce emissions, but these things sometimes aren’t quite what they seem. For example, the European Trading System is not reducing carbon to the extent it needs to because the carbon allocations are far too great in the first place. People are also making a lot of money off the back of it and have got away with all sorts of things! The system has to improve and must become immune to exploitation. However, maybe that was the way it had to start…….

Read More »EcoSpeak: Part 2 of an interview with climate scientist Sir John Houghton

EcoSpeak: An interview with ex-IPCC co-chairman Sir John Houghton

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This is a guest post by Jeremy Walters of GoCarbonFree.com

Sir John Houghton CBE FRS was co-chairman of the Scientific Assessment for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 1988-2002. He was previously chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (’92-’98), chief executive of the Met Office (’83-’91) and Professor of Atmospheric Physics, Oxford (’76-83).

Still very much involved in helping world governments and organisations tackle climate change, Sir John agreed to meet GoCarbonFree at his home on the fringes of the Snowdonia National Park, Wales.

GoCarbonFree: Thank you very much Sir John for allowing us to interview you today. My first question is to ask you, as a weather scientist, what first alerted you to global warming? After all, the weather has always been unpredictable so what made you think ‘there is something different happening here’?
Read More »EcoSpeak: An interview with ex-IPCC co-chairman Sir John Houghton

Carbon offsetting is beneficial to the environment

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This is a guest post by Matt Feldman of Carbon Neutral Digest.

One of the major issues, or myths, surrounding carbon offsets is that it allows people and companies to pollute and then, just for a few dollars, “balance it out.” My take on this conundrum is that it doesn’t matter if this belief is factual or just an urban legend of the modern times, there is still some benefit for the environment.

So let’s paint a picture of the worst polluter you know. Mr. A drives an H2, he leaves all their incandescent light bulbs on 24 hours a day, he has the temperature set in is house to 68 in the summer and 80 in the winter. I already know that you hate this guy because I do too.

One day Mr. A sits down in front of his computer (which he leaves on 24/7) and finds a carbon offset provider that he likes and offsets his carbon. Mr. A spends $150.00 buys Renewable Energy Credits, plants trees, or helps build a wind turbine. Mr. A, in a small way has helped make the world a little better by funding one of these offset projects. Yes green nerds, I am not fond of every offset project that is out there. Some offset projects are better then others but for this example it doesn’t matter. If Mr. A. does nothing else, he has helped to do something positive for the environment.
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Become an eco-chic trendsetter Part 3

Freecycle: a site for trash to treasure

Freecycle is a website where people give away their used possessions for free instead of putting them out at the curb. This site is truly about someone’s trash, is someone else’s treasure. Freecycle was started in 2003 in Tucson, Arizona to help reduce the waste in Tucson’s downtown as well as to help save the desert landscape from becoming mountains of landfills. Watch their video at http://www.freecycle.org/video.html. It pretty much sums up what Freecycle is about. According to their website as of today, they have 4041 community groups with an international presence in many countries including UK, Australia, Germany, and Canada. I joined my local county group last year, which consists of over 5500 members. The listings were voluminous. Freecycle helps you start your own community group if there is not one already started. Sign up and take a look at what is being offered.

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UsedFurnitureFindex: online sale of loved possessions

Groovy Green’s Michael d’Estries’ recent article about UsedFurnitureFindex.com caught my eye. (Visit Groovy Green. It is a fun green website.) Interior Designer Denise Cooperman started this website as a resource for people to sell their loved possessions. She found that her clients did not know how to dispose of their old furniture. Many did not want to sell their furniture through newspapers or consign their pieces.

Read More »Become an eco-chic trendsetter Part 3