Thursday, 18 October 2012

Ban the pesticides that are harming our bees

The 38 Degrees campaign has made a petition to stop

"Our bees are in danger. Three species of bees are already extinct and others are in rapid decline. Strong evidence points to particular pesticides being to blame for killing them. This week we have a chance to persuade the government to protect our bees and ban these harmful pesticides.

Photo borrowed from:
A government consultation on pesticide use ends next Monday. Normally the only people they would hear from would be the strong pesticide industry. But by handing in a large petition, we can make sure that the bees have someone to stand up for them.

Can you sign a petition now to demand the government phase out the pesticides that are killing our bees?

France and several other European countries have already started banning these pesticides, but the UK government is yet to be convinced. Together, by responding in our thousands, we can send a strong message to the government and counter the lobbying from the pesticide industry.

Last week thousands of 38 Degrees members responded to a poll on what we should be concentrating on together. Over 70% of responses highlighted that protecting bees was an important issue. This week is our chance to do something about it.

Sign the petition now and help save our bees:"

Tom Ballantine: Climate change talk must be backed by action

The Scotsman newspaper reported on the planned Mass Lobby on 25th of October to put pressure on the Scottish Government to work harder to achieve climate change targets under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009:

"Climate change talk must be backed by action Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, uses a platform article to encourage the Scottish Government to ‘get their act together’ and start taking action to meet important climate change targets. The piece also promotes a mass lobby event on 25th October which will bring people from across the country face-to-face with their MSPs. They will demand that the Climate change (Scotland) Act be backed up by action and emissions reduction targets met."

You can read the full article by clicking on the link:

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Campaign against Hunterston power station wins prestigious Green Award

From the Hunterston Coalition:

A successful campaign against a damaging coal fired power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire has won a prestigious Scottish Green Award in the category Outstanding Contribution to the Scottish Environment.

The “Say No to Hunterston” campaign brought together a coalition of local people, environmental NGOs and faith groups in a coordinated effort to halt the development that would have destroyed a large area of a nationally protected wildlife site, and would have compromised the Scottish Government’s ambitious climate change targets.

In June, the campaign celebrated success as the developer withdrew its plans for the site. The announcement followed the four-year campaign which generated over 20,000 objections, making the application the most unpopular in Scottish planning history.

The award was presented at last night’s gala dinner at the Glasgow Science Centre hosted by BBC newsreader Jackie Bird.

Aed├ín Smith, Head of Planning and Development for RSPB Scotland said: “We are delighted that the Say No to Hunterston campaign has been selected for this prestigious award. The success of the campaign is down to the hard work and overwhelming support of coalition partners and members of the public and demonstrates the value of working together to ensure Scotland’s sustainable future. . We will continue to work to protect the Portencross Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Hunterston, so it remains the fantastic wildlife site it is today.”

Dr Sam Gardner, Senior Climate Change Policy Officer at WWF Scotland said: “This award is well deserved recognition for the overwhelming public opposition which made plans for a new coal-fired power station at Hunterston the most unpopular in Scottish planning history.  This was a victory for people as well as the planet.  Scotland has huge renewable energy resources and it should be concentrating on those instead of being side-tracked by new dirty coal. Let's hope a proposal like this never sees the light of day again."

Tim Cowen, co-chair of Communities Opposed to New Coal at Hunterston (CONCH), said: “The biggest prize we got was when Ayrshire Power withdrew their plans in June. However, it is also good to have all our hard work recognised at such a prestigious event. Before we set up CONCH people told us that there was no point in campaigning as the coal station was a done deal. We showed that with enough collective hard work and determination, it is possible to defy the odds, take on a big polluter and win”.

The photo was borrowed from WWF:

Global grain reserves hit critically low levels

In a Guardian newspaper article published today:

"World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned... Lester Brown, president of the Earth policy research centre in Washington, says that the climate is no longer reliable and the demands for food are growing so fast that a breakdown is inevitable, unless urgent action is taken."

You can read the full article here.

Friday, 12 October 2012

October Reforesting Scotland Gathering in Aviemore

Adrian Shaw shares his experience of attending the annual 2012 Reforesting Scotland Gathering at Badaguish in Glenmore on the weekend of 5-7 October, near Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms National Park.

Scots pine at Ryvoan wood; a fragment of ancient woodland at 600 metres above sea level.

" Participants heard from an impressive list of speakers including Will Boyd Wallis of the Cairngorm National Park Authority,  Thomas MacDonnell of the Glenfeshie Estate and Dick Balharry formerly manager at the SNH Creag Meagaidh reserve.  The talks were accompanied by site visits to Rothiemurchus, Abernethy and Glenmore forests to meet the land managers. 
The weekend left participants with a number of strong impressions.  It was clear that there have been profound changes in forest management over the past century.  From the suppression of regeneration through heavy grazing to plantations of Sitka or Lodgepole pine the emphasis has moved strongly to regeneration of native species.  One of the big changes has been the decision by forest minded estates to put in place in rigorous control of deer numbers – which means shooting lots of deer.
This has resulted in dramatic changes to the landscapes of the cairngorms; from bare moor to regimented plantations to piecemeal regeneration.   This process has not been without its critics and gamekeepers objected vociferously to the culling of deer on the Glen Feshie estate, a step that was necessary to encourage tree growth.  Not all estates accept reforestation is the top priority; some continue to give priority to hunting, shooting or fishing so the speed of reforestation varies between estates.   The gathering also heard about how jobs can be created and how affordable housing can be promoted in the national park.
This part of the highlands very much remains in the ownership of large landed estates.  Some are in private ownership, such as Rothiemurchus, some are in public ownership such as the Forestry Commission at Glenmore and some by NGOS , like the RSPB at Abernethy.  The decisions of the estate managers will continue to have a huge impact not only on biodiversity and the landscape but also on the lives of the local community.  Jobs, housing, recreations are all at stake.
The debates over land use, reforestation and communities in the highlands brings to life abstract concepts like ‘sustainable development’ and points to the impact that decisions of land managers can have on both biodiversity and local communities.  The contributions from all participants made it clear that the future of both the ecology and economy of the area will be subject to further change and the future is far from certain. "
By Adrian Shaw

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Making a movement: a skills share and networking day for local campaign groups in Scotland

Stop Climate Chaos Mass Lobby 25th October

The Guardian published an article titled Scotland's North Sea energy policies 'irreconcilable with green government'/ which you may find interesting to read.

The article draws attention to the Mass Lobby taking place on the 25th of October - "Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, a large coalition of 60 green groups, development charities, churches and trades unions, is organising a mass lobby in the Scottish parliament later this month, urging Salmond to "get your act together" on cutting emissions."

If you would like to take part you can read more about on the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland website. There still free spaces for people from most parts of the country.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Fauna Scotica: Animals and People in Scotland

Polly Pullar and Mary Low have published a book entitled Fauna Scotica, Animals and People in Scotland.

According to Birlinn Limited "Fauna Scotica is a comprehensive guide to the fauna of Scotland. The expertise of each author echo's throughout the book with anecdote, mythology and a clear love of the subject enriching every page."

Polly Pullar will be appearing at Aberfeldy Watermill on Saturday 13 October at 12 noon. For further information and to order a copy contact the venue on 01887 822896.

Book cover borrowed from
For more information click here.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Fancy an Eco-friendly break?

Greener Scotland have partnered up with VisitScotland and are offering you the chance to win an amazing luxury Scottish getaway.

The Photo was borrowed from VisitScotland
 "Our competition will see one lucky winner spend an unforgettable 3 night stay for 2 people at the Lodges at the Mains in Croy, near Inverness, with a bottle of Champagne and seasonal nibbles on arrival!

The gorgeous, Green Tourism gold award-winning Lodges at the Mains are as eco-friendly as luxury accommodation can be. The 5 star rated lodges are the perfect fusion of luxury and eco, and create the perfect environment for a relaxing, comfortable and positive experience."

Enter the competition here.

No oil in the lamp: fuel, faith and the energy crisis

Carbon Conversation courses for Wider Horizons are taking place in November as highlighted on our Edinburgh Network page. People taking part in the course may find this book of interest.

Neil Hollow and Andy Mellen's new book "No oil in the lamp: fuel, faith and the energy crisis" is an overview of the oil crisis and a glimpse into a post-peak oil world from a Christian perspective.

Comment from reader Fiona Veitch, publishing feedback on the website:

"Until I read No Oil in the Lamp I had no understanding of the complexities behind the energy crisis and how it will impact every facet of life in the near future. I’ve heard scientists and politicians arguing about it but have never felt informed enough to really grasp what they were talking about. Andy Mellen and Neil Hollow have changed that. They sketch out in simple, unpatronising terms, the various arguments for and against each energy source. The concept of the long-term sustainability of each commodity consumed or energy source generated in terms of the ratio between energy-in and energy-out gave me a completely new perspective on my consumption."

You can access the review page here.

Book cover borrowed from:

Neil Hollow and Andy Mellen have made an interesting blog known as The oil lamp – shining God's light on peak oil. Please access their Blog and Facebook page to find out more!