Greenwashing Gasland

27 Jun

Gasland is the 2010, Oscar nominated documentary by Josh Fox, which focuses on Hydraulic Fracturing.
The process of collecting deep underground natural gas, by drilling a hole and via the use of pressure fluid, extracting the gas.
Simple engineering science – However, this process has left hundreds of people around America with flaming tap water, balding farm stock/pets, major health problems and water contamination.

Of course, the companies that deal in Fracking, are a bit pissed off with the statements that have been made in Gasland.
So they have made a ‘quality’ greenwash 4 minute video and a special website page – http://anga.us/truthaboutgasland

Lets study this video in detail:

It contains 10 shots of children, 5 of parents, 1 of grandparents, 11 shots of smiling people, 2 counts of hugs, 6 shots of natural environments, a shot of a kid on a bed, kids on swings, a fairground, a naked mum sitting on the floor with her (presumably) naked child and a couple of shots taken from the p.o.v of a car on a street. *

Then what about these sound snipits read out by a very pleasant-sounding woman.

  • 0:04 ‘We have something special in this country, our people and our freedom to express our opinions and beliefs’ – This is good, this makes the viewer think, Josh Fox is entitled to his opinion. Note: no other country on earth apparently has special people.**
  • 0:21 ‘Natural gas provides clean domestic energy’ – I’m guessing this means clean as in no dirt, not CO2
  • 0:26 ‘Its our neighbours who work every day to produce it’ – Broad statement, that includes everyone and no one.
  • 0:38 ‘Responsibility to develop this natural resource with the constant sense of stewardship of our land, our air and our water’ – Not people, they can die because of Fracking
  • 3:05 ‘New innovations’ – Some environmental operation’s they are doing to make them sound really good, they only mention 1, but still.
  • 3:20 ‘Natural gas supports 2.8 million American jobs, it is reducing our nations dependence on foreign oil’ – Yay America, boo foreign oil.
  • 3:27 and its advancing clean air in our communities’ – Advance of making it a very rare thing.
  • 3:31 Natural gas emits virtually no mercury, or pollution creating particular matter’ – Natural gas also emits virtually no dark matter or environmental degradation particular matter…..

Some Gasland claims are also looked at.
That natural gas is exempt by feudal regulations. – Natural gas is more than likely looked at by feudal regulations, but the actual question raised is, why isn’t Hydraulic Fracturing. On top of that, at this point the video shows a list of regulations, no dates, or where these regulations are set (it uses the idea that most viewers will jump to the conclusion that these are the national regulations.)
That flaming tap water is caused by Fracking – This is false, as everyone knows flaming tap water is normal…
That fish are being killed by Fracking – Wrong again, as everyone knows it’s those dirty fossil fuel coal companies…

What this video gives you, is a blueprint for all company greenwash videos – just add some children, smilies, quotes that aim to focus on the morals of your audience and some claims that you can disprove via images and blaming others for environmental pollution and bingo a divided opinion on a non-clean energy source.

I also found this article on  Talisman‘s friendly Fracosaurus, Terry.
YES ladies & germs, a children’s colouring book aimed at promoting Fracking as smart and safe.
There is even a page to colour in, all about the fact gas rises into the air, where it can be forgotten about and not cause any environmental damage….

This blog has not been brought to you by America’s Natural Gas Alliance.

*0 shots of Hydraulic Fracturing, Fracking workers or Fracking neighbours.
** At some points, I’m being very sarcastic in this blog. Get used to it idiot.

Wave your hands like you just do care

13 Jun

I’m going to add a new hand signal to consensus based decision-making and to life in general.
It’s an important one, as it confirms feelings and positive vibes, more than high twinkles ever can.

It will be based on this.

and it concerns when you are feeling –

So flipping amazed that things are coming together and you feel like you are one step closer to solving an issue which is going to make the world a better place
+
those around you make you feel so positive you need to get rid of built up energy quickly.

Reasons for this, have been gained from other youth I have worked with via UK Youth Climate Coalition and Peace Child International.

We are all trying to get ahead in the world as well as improve the world – making other youth engaged, inspired and motivated to creat positive change for a clean sustainable future.

This takes planning, meetings, emails, networking and valuable pub time – which does sometime leaves your brain a bit frazzled.
However once in a while – usually when you least expect it and within a few minutes.
Things just click – the event, campaign, policy or outreach takes one giant leap leaving you full of excitable 6-year-old energy.


My new hand signal combats this issue
& shows everyone that your really really really
happily excited!!!

The issues with climate sceptics

4 Jun

OK number 1 reason why there is a problem, is that they are wrong;

This is the kind of statement which will lead to sceptics themselves commenting on this blog and purposely leaving their own scientific
findings for why climate change is a myth/ conspiracy/ fairy-tale.

Of course, they are entitled to their opinion.
I used to be sceptical of Marmite, thinking it was made by the devil; but one day I decided to try it, I didn’t particularly like it, I won’t fight for it but I came to mutual understanding that some people really do care for Marmite and its future.

Anyways I believe the science behind climate change, as scientists are a lot smarter and spend more time studying the facts compared to myself and tons of other people around the globe.

Though, even with B GCSE science & maths grades I can make a perfectly correct climate change equation.

CO2 + atmosphere = OMG

See its really simple – only 23 characters long and made up of 5 words..ish

Or it can be shown via a talking penguin or a funky video

Now look at this

How? What? 4826 words of something or other
+

This is teeth x-rays, right...

Actually its labelled as –
Zonally-averaged distributions of predicted temperature change in ºK at CO2 doubling (2xCO2 – control), as a function of latitude and pressure level, for four general-circulation models (Lee et al., 2007).

????

Now why can’t the sceptics shorting this whole argument to a few words or a Marmite metaphor or art?

And that’s they problem, along with other conspiracy theories
http://www.elvis-is-alive.com/
http://www.ufos-aliens.co.uk/cosmicapollo.html

They need to use so many words, use graphs that make sense to no one, unless they are on hand to explain and they need to look at so many out-of-this-world tiny details that our brains become fuzzy.

So much so that Climate Change for all its future horror is just a more simply idea to digest, even if some do not rate it high on there agenda.

And if you dare to look at this video involving Lord Monckton, just concentrate on the audience, how old are they?

Competition Time: If a climate sceptic would like to comment on this, I bet you can not keep their argument under 100 words. (no links) If you are able to, you shall receive a Fairtrade biscuit.

If no climate sceptic can, then I guess you will just have to suffer the fact that those who believe in climate change are able to use more persuasive arsenal like art, humour and simply terms to justify their thoughts and are also going to outlive most of your OAP followers.

Tough break.

Promise of a Healthy Ocean

24 May

Being one of these greeny, post-environmentally, climate change, Green Ghetto (love this term!) types I like to think I know what is going on in this world – here, there and everywhere.

But sadly, I don’t.
It’s a vast world with many a thing going on and I’m just not Superman.

However I do know about one campaign launch which is happening via ClientEarth.

Client Earth are an environmental law company¹ or as they say it:-

An Organisation of activist lawyers committed to securing a healthy planet. We work in Europe and beyond, bringing together  law, science and  policy to create pragmatic solutions to key environmental challenges.²

Tonight ClientEarth along with ZSL (Zoological Society of London) launch

Promise of a Healthy Ocean.

Which is calling upon us, the young generation to demand that our world leaders keep their promises to protect the environment.

It’s the start of a year-long project to promote and improve intergenerational contact between us youth and heads of state.
leading to a contract being signed by the heads of state at the next major international environment meeting, ensuring that all future generations will be able to enjoy a healthy planet.

How cool is that?
We can tell all those suits to ‘buck up’ and actually DO what they are meant to DO and protect our planet’s oceans, not just for me or you, but for future generations – without having to resort to hippy, lets all listen to the cute youth talk about their futures,
but hard “Oh better do what it says otherwise Im in deep ****” contract terminology.

If you are able to go to the event launch tonight, It will be a perfect networking opportunity.
If not, then keep an eye on ClientEarth and the development of Promise of a Healthy Ocean

*

1. Reminds me that I need to see the film Erin Brockovich
2. Seriously need to see it & possibly Superman 2 again – that’s a great film.

What is a Post-Environmentalist?

23 May

A Post-Environmentalist is a term environmentalists use to make themselves seem up-to-date and cool.

OK there is a bit more to it then that, Post-Environmentalism is a new way of thinking for creating long-term sustainable change and not just hugging trees like normal environmentalists.
Scrap that, lets call them Retro-Environmentalists.

Tube armies...

Of course the Post-Environmentalist movement isn’t going to last that long though, because its going to be followed by the Hipster-Environmentalists, who live and dress like Retro-Environmentalists, but think like Post-Environmentalists.
& thus maybe, just maybe everyone will get sick of the word environmentalist.

*

As you may of guessed I am already pretty sick of the use of the Post-Environmentalist words, as it is now being used as a means of people differentiating themselves from Retro-Environmentalists.
But I can not fathom how they are able to do this, whilst using the same E word.

*

So, lets first take a step back to look at the basic ideology of this ‘PE’.
Micheal Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus wrote a paper in 2004 called The Death of Environmentalism  which stated that for the last 40 years the environment has been thought of as a thing and has not included all the other encompassing aspects of politics, economics culture etc..
Which are fundamental when looking at a world wide issue like climate change.

It makes good points, which all make sense to me and I would follow
(Yes, meaning that I can now can be classed as a PE)
However since 2004 this term has moved onto dismissing other RE ‘customs’ or stereotypes.
No PE would go

  • and hug trees
  • wear macs and green stuff
  • say the word peace
  • do direct action of the illegal kind

 + As I haven’t done any RE type stuff, then how can I be a PE? Surly I’m now just an E..

What we have here is  misplaced name syndrome.
Its like calling the Sex Pistols a Post-Rock& Roll band; Yes there are in essence, but everyone those them as a punk band.

So here’s the challenges for all us Post Environmentalists, we need a better name.
& I don’t mean, setting up a think-tank for a better name otherwise we could have something just as horrible as the Toyota Picnic.

Why Picnic. WHY!?!

Taking Punk as another perfect example, it was originally just the name of a fanzine that commented on the early 70’s New York band scene.

Thus I’m thinking out there somewhere, in the Post-Environmentalist world is a name already being used that today’s PE’s can take as their own.
Then when those Hipster-Environmentalists come along, they will also create they own name and we can all be under the same Post-Environmentalist banner.

Right… Anyone got any ideas of where to look?

The past & the future

20 May

Hello all

Firstly a big thank you, to all those that have check out blog posts so far.
Here is a Halloween photo for your amusement>

All the blogs before this post have been pulled from old blog sites & those blog site/ organisations I have had the pleasure of writing for.

A round of applause for

This blog is going to be made up of certain categories

  • Green > The blogs which deal with environmental, climate change thoughts, issues and events
  • from other > Many blogs have appeared upon other sites & thus it is always good to reference them
  • Film > I love watching films and it is about time I tell you the films you really need to watch
  • Music > the same goes for music
  • uncategorized > I sometimes do social media HTML stuff for organisations, and this is how I store all of them.
  • WTF > Just general updates on my odd life

So, one more time THANK YOU & a brand new blog will appear this weekend!

A free weekend of Fairtrade family fun.

16 May

Between May-August 2010 I was interning at Fairtrade Foundation, I was given the chance to blog about an event & blog I did. http://thefairtradefoundation.blogspot.com/2010/05/free-weekend-of-fairtrade-family-fun-by.html

 

It will be a lie to say that the weather was excellent for those three days of the festival. That the weather was fantastic and everyone was in T-shirts complaining about the heat.

In actually fact it was cold, windy and the sky looked like it had woken up on the wrong side of bed.

However being a happy bunch of Fairtrade staff and volunteers, we didn’t let this get us down. We drank coffee from the CaféDirect stall, had Fairtrade mulled wine from the bar (when we had finished our duties of course) and listened to the live music coming from the stage. We were there to promote Fairtrade as well as to celebrate Dubble’s 10th birthday – we were having a party.

The Fairtrade festival took place on Potters Fields on the South Bank of the Thames right beside Tower Bridge. As well as celebrating Dubble’s 10th birthday (in case you do not know it is an excellent Fairtrade chocolate bar- yum!) It was also to celebrate  World Fair Trade Day.  http://www.worldfairtradeday10.org

Stalls selling crafts, books, nuts, dried fruit, ice cream, beauty products and pants were all present; many of the stalls also had free samples. Though if you felt your kids should do something more active than just eat,  they could get their face painted, play some football, compete in the banana jousting, do some singing, drama and drumming workshops or just sit back and listen to the author Tom Palmer read from his book Foul Play. 

We cannot forget the live music upon the stage.  A wide variety of acts appeared – from samba to rock, hip-hop to folk. There was no reason for anyone not to dance to at least one genre of music over the three days. If you still did not feel like dancing then the banana people made sure you did!

What can be said about the Fairtrade festival is that it was fun, joyful, musical and cold – those working had high spirits, those that were there got stuck into the activities, whilst those that stumbled upon us on Potters Fields looked bewildered, then delighted, then amused by the variety of products and entertainment – not bad for a cold windy weekend.

The issue with going green

16 May

So you are going green, fantastic?

You feel like the sky-rocketing trend of rising temperatures, melting ice caps and C0² levels isn’t just a coincidence at that you, your community, your government and the world should move towards a sustainable future ASAP.

Therefore you decide to cut down your meat intake, dust off your bike and search for gadgets that reduce your dependency on mains electricity and use the free power of the sun and wind.

So it is only right if you turn round to your housemate and state – ‘look I should not pay an equal amount on the electricity bill as I use a lot less mains electricity energy then you do!’

Now this can seem a little bit pragmatic; but as solar power gets more powerful and smaller (just like those things called computers)

Folks will start to power their mobiles, laptops and heat produce appliances like kettles or hair straightness.

But they will still be those stuck in dark ages, which use things like plugs and have stuff on stand-by, who will complain about ‘You live here, so you should pay equally amount!’

Solution: Buying an energy monitor, which you would then look at constantly- seeing the peaks and troughs of kWh’s and calling it precious and thus becoming a Gollum of the energy world.

 Turn off that lightses!!!

 You would then produce graphs explaining to said housemate, the difference in electricity energy use and within a short time either

  • Converting them to a carbon Gollum or
  • Having them move out.

 It is a fine line between being uber carbon efficient or a (swear word)

There are more subtle ways to introduce housemates to carbon efficiency – showing how much money is saved, reeling of stats on how evil the stand-by button is and getting them to understand that many of their bad carbon habitats are more useless then actually saving power/ using your own body.

Example: I had a housemate who always switched the hall light on. No reason for it, the street light outside lit up the hall enough to read a novel; so why switched on the light just to see 0.001% better?

My cheeky solution was to take the bulb out. So he just thought it was broke and thus stopped switching the switch.  – Result!

Have any of you had similar issues? Have you resolved them?

My Climate Squad action

16 May

For COP16, whilst working for the youth intiative Climate Squad. We decided to each do a 24hour carbon cutting challenge, here is the details on mine.
*

My punishment, sorry my ‘challenge’ was to give up gadgets for the day.

If you were to tell my 16 year old self to do this – it would be near impossible. Back in those days I had TV, Playstation 2, mobile phone, laptop and Hi-Fi on 24-7

Nowadays, I have calmed down. Technology allows me to only need a mobile and laptop to catch up on TV, find interesting internet links and stay connected with friends.

I also find myself having little space or with the opportunity to own a TV and game console and being the environmental-nerd I am, I’m used to switching off appliances when not in use.

So this was more of a battle of wills – going back to the 1990’s when being connected with the world 24-7 was still a dream or part of a movie plot line. 

I was to keep off Facebook, Twitter and my mobile.

Total disconnection.  

Within minutes of waking up, I wanted to tweet- ‘flippin’ hell, I am late for work due to having to switch my phone of as a challenge’  – there was an obvious problem in doing this.

I wanted to text mates about the nights plan – Instead I had to really on the small belief chat we had two days before and that they would be still turn up at said place at said time.

I wanted to Facebook state “I may OD on mince pies this Christmas!!!’

 

However come Saturday morning I moved back into my old ways – checking the back catalogue of updates in case they was anything interesting (there wasn’t) and texting my mate to find out if he did that thing, with that thing that stood by the door of that 8th pub we went into. 

But did I save carbon? Well…

Facebook:

Just check out this watch?v=QPty-ZLbJt0

Twitter:

A twitter employer (probably the best job ever) has worked out each tweet you send equals 0.02grams of C0². Thus using some quick maths: I spend 58kg of carbon per year tweeting!) 

Mobile phones:

Roughly 47kg of carbon per year – roughly as it does depend on its manufacture, transport, how often you use it, how long you keep it, how you use it (texting, calling, internet) and what network you use.

 *  

To me, the challenge and writing this blog has been one of those cases in which you realise everything you do affects the world around you and creates carbon.

So maybe it is worthwhile ever-so-often, to switch off and notice the world around you, just to rein back those social media carbon emissions and notice clouds floating by.

After-all humanity has been around a lot longer then @Stephenfry twitter account.

VAT busting

16 May

As you may know all ready, quite a lot of people are complaining about money issues.

Complaining about student fee’s, tax dodgers and now VAT rises…

At 12.00am 1st January 2011 pretty much everyone in the land shouted out Happy New Year!

However 5 days in and already – VAT has increased by 20% !!!!!!!!!!

As you can guess, with this being a carbon orientated blog – I can go on and on about how driving you car less, saves money on the VAT and on carbon etc. etc..

However there is another important point to Vat, and that’s food. 

  • Vegetables do not attract VAT unless they are ‘ornamental’, such as a cabbage ‘grown for its appearance rather than consumption’.

Thus turning veggie, seems quite an acceptable method of saving money (and carbon)

Also 

  • Famously, no VAT is paid on Jaffa Cakes, but only after a long court battle with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, which included showing the judge a 12-inch Jaffa Cake to prove it is a cake (no VAT), not a biscuit (VAT).

CAKES!!!

What a perfect combo of low cost, low carbon food. – Veg and Cakes

Some of you, may now be thinking.

‘I cannot bake and I cannot cook any veg stuff’

Well take a minute and think of all those high street shops and supermarkets, with cake aisles and vegetable sandwiches, veggie ready meals and raw carrots.

Of course, this isn’t a precise science and maybe a full diet of cakes and veg isn’t entirely healthy.

But if your money is low and you are hungry well…

Read more on VAT:

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=520758&in_page_id=2#ixzz1AAZYE24x