Posts Tagged ‘general election’


05
MAY

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Where the Parties stand on Green Issues for the UK General Election 2015


Category: Climate Change, Energy News for UK, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living, Wildlife & Nature
Tags: ,


Just a quick post as its Election Week to recommend you check out Friends of the Earth’s page on the Election manifestos: highs and lows to help you understand where all the parties stand on key environmental issues.

You can also check out www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2015/manifesto-guide then select ‘Environment’ under the issues which include; energy supply, climate change, flooding and air and water quality.

Hope this helps you to decide how to use your vote this week to help make a difference for the environmental and energy issues that will massively affect each and everyone one of us.

I also recommend checking out Animal Aid’s Vote for Animals website to find out your MPs policy towards wildlife, farm animals and pets on www.voteforanimals.org.uk


3Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "There is one thing we can all do, take a look at this !!
    This report by a Duke University Professor interested me: “As Duke University Professor Drew Shindell noted recently: [D]amages from a typical mid-range gasoline-powered vehicle total nearly $2,000 a year. In comparison, annual damages associated with an electric vehicle are around $1,000 if the power comes exclusively from coal, about $300 if the power is generated using natural gas, and minimal if the electricity is from renewable sources.
    The World Health Organization estimates that around 7 million people die per year as a result of air pollution exposure, and, as organizations across the board are noting, ocean acidification that hurts fisheries is a threat to both local economies and the people who rely on the ocean as a food source” It means my electric car using my own renewable energy is almost carbon free. It also means that I’m not adding to air pollution which I believe to be one of the most serious threats to our health and the Planet. My own 2nd generation Leaf will soon be up for sale as I am upgrading so anyone who is interested let me know, I don’t wish to profit from a sale but it will need a good home and be at a very fair market price with no commissions etc "

    May 10, 2015 a 11:59 am

  • Anna Celeste comments:
    "Hi Karl, it is very disappointing news for our environment and animals too. I read a great response from Animal Aid though with regards to how its people that really change things – it relates to animal welfare but it can apply to green issues too, in that we can all support renewable energy at home and in our communities, and support green organisations who are fighting to protect our planet – its on http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_living//3263// "
    May 8, 2015 a 1:28 pm

  • Karl Bristol comments:
    "I fear the worst after today’s results; our environment is in desperate need of saving and it looks like this simply will not be happening "
    May 8, 2015 a 1:17 pm


27
APR

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Ecotricity Founder talks about his politic donations for the 2015 General Election & greening up football


Category: Climate Change, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags: ,


With less than 2 weeks to go before the UK General Election, we thought we should share this recent video of Dale Vince, Founder of Green Energy Suppliers Ecotricity, talking about his politic donations for the 2015 General Election, and greening up football…

Our Lets Get Energized and Dorset Energized team, predominentaly ran by volunteers, are obviously keen that we offer a non-biased political opinion, but of course green energy in the UK is so dependent on the decisions made by government that it would be silly to ignore politics altogether at such a time. I should point out that I myself have no political affiliations at all, so am just as ignorant to politics as most everyday members of the public!

It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that there is only one party fully committed to green energy issues as a key part of their agenda, and that is of course the Green Party, so it may come as a surprise to many renewable energy supporters (like it did to me) to learn that the Founder of Ecotricity has not donated to the Green Party, but to Labour AND also to the Liberal Democrats.

Ecotricity have however previously donated money to the Green Party, specifically Caroline Lucas’ campaign, and continue to do so via a partnership arrangement, where they donate up to £60 per sign up of any new green energy customer. This has apparently been hugely successful since the membership numbers have increased significantly.

Interviewed by Robert Llewellyn (Kryten from Red Dwarf!), Dale discusses the Green issues which he thinks need to get more air time in the election debate, his donations, and why he thinks there needs to be a leaders debate if we are to really tackle the environmental issues we face.

Soundbites include:

“The idea that we could run the whole country by renewable energy is not just a pipe dream, it’s absolutely possible”

“It seems to me that the Conservatives have made this a presidential election”

“A leaders debate would be the most useful thing for all of us in the country so we can make a better judgement about the qualities of the two people who are pitching to run the country”

“The conservative ideology is a failed ideology”

“We should have a ministry of carbon, whose job is to focus on the carbon emissions from energy, transport and food”



01
APR

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Who should you vote for if Climate Change and Renewable Energy are important to you?


Category: Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Who should you vote for if Climate Change and Renewable Energy are important to you?

I put party attitudes in two categories. Twentieth century concepts of centralised energy generation, fossil fuel and nuclear technologies and a reluctance to push forward with renewables quickly to avoid the worst effects of a changed climate future, dominate UKIP and Conservative thinking. Decentralisation, strong government incentives for a rapid switch to renewables, lack of sympathy for entrenched fossil fuel dominated companies and a sense that climate change is a fairness issue because the poorest in the country/the world cannot pay to get themselves out of the firing line of flooding, sea level rise and drought characterise the other parties.

Rather surprisingly, considering their appreciation of the need to “be independent and take control of our own destiny” UKIP have not made any link between home grown renewable energy, UK resilience and reduced dependence on energy from “dodgy” countries. Instead, they express intense dislike for wind turbines in particular and “renewable energy subsidies which penalise consumers.” Let’s be honest, generally speaking, UKIPers don’t accept the premise that man-made climate change is a serious threat to our well-being. It’s clear that UKIP MPs will not be voting for any government promotion of renewable energy.

The Greens have an extensive set of policies relating to renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage. They want to see “a complete transformation of our energy supply systems to one based on efficient use of energy supplied mainly by electricity from renewable sources, accelerated heat production from renewable sources, improved energy performance of buildings, heat and energy storage, stimulation of research and development, a land and sea framework for development of renewable energy, a diversity of ownership of energy generation and energy democracy. Green MPs would evidently be voting to support renewables, as well as challenging bills that prevent or slow down development of renewables.

Conservatives support the current regime of continually reducing renewables subsidies. They promise to end the on shore wind turbine subsidy (currently the cheapest renewable!) and restrict new solar farms. Eric Pickles has called in nearly all recent planning permissions for on-shore wind turbines and quite a few solar farms. They much prefer on roof PV and would support changes in planning law to encourage this. Conservatives are enthusiastic supporters of fracking and value the contribution fossil fuels make to the economy. One senses their support for renewables is conditional, that they don’t understand the full potential of renewables to growing the economy, and would expect renewables to flourish in spite of, rather than because of, government policies.

A Labour government set up the Feed in tariff, the Renewable heat Incentive and a pathway to zero carbon homes. The coalition have continued these. More recently, Labour have announced policies on energy efficiency, interest free home improvement loans, replacement of Ofgem and freezing energy prices. Labour have a good track record with renewables and have recently stated that they “will support community energy, and explore the huge potential for individuals and communities to create and save energy through community ownership and collective consumer action.” They have not explained the instruments they would use but it seems likely that Labour would provide strong support for renewables.

Liberal Democrat controlled DECC has overseen huge expansion of PV and off-shore wind against Conservative scepticism. Their manifesto includes “doubling renewable electricity and heat generation by 2020, making the UK zero carbon by 2050, a zero carbon bill with a legally binding decarbonisation target for the power sector up to 2030, an office for accelerated low carbon innovation to fast-track new green tech including tidal power, renewable heat, ultra-low emission vehicles and energy storage.” It’s clear that a strong Liberal Democrat presence in parliament is good for the renewables industry.

The economy is the second most important issue for voters so we should focus on the fact that every pound invested in renewables contributes £3.20 to GDP and £1.27 in taxes. The UK could be self-sufficient in renewable energy, thus giving us a more resilient economy. To achieve this, the renewables industry wants stable financial and regulatory support while it matures and drives costs down. I think that’s worth voting for.



11
MAR

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Is Consumerism Dead?


Category: Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,


Is Consumerism Dead?

In a moment of utter boredom with the dismal TV schedule the other night I found myself way down the TV station list watching “Challenge”, wallowing in nostalgia with 1980s game shows. There was “Celebrity Squares”, “The Price is Right” and “Supermarket Swoop” Those of you old enough will remember that it was all about winning desirable stuff (that most of us didn’t have enough of at the time). The prices were amazing! Over £400 for a 26” TV that extended dust gatheringly backwards as far as it was wide and over £10,000 for a phallus shaped Ford Coupe with a boot that would hardly fit a couple of suitcases let alone a full complement of garden waste and other stuff to the tip! It reminded me that we really were enthralled by consumerism, the acquisition of household goods and economic growth so that we could buy ever more stuff.

It strikes me that we have now mostly got all the stuff we need to fill a house or could get hold of it cheaply second hand, or even for free through freecycle. We no longer get as excited by consumerism and economic growth. Perhaps we are even bored with it! However, I don’t think politicians have caught up.

Can our economy really continue to “grow” in the true sense of the word? Can we continue to use ever greater quantities of the globes natural resources to get richer and richer. (This is the dream our mainstream political parties still seem to be selling.) Or should we using different metrics than economic growth to measure our happiness and sense of well-being.? A modern flat screen TV is a much better device than the huge 1980/90s versions. Plus it is considerably cheaper and uses less energy and labour both in its production and use. This is true of almost everything from cars to washing machines. Is the future about doing more with less? Living within our means and eliminating the UK deficit but feeling no poorer because we produce things and organise everything more efficiently. Can we use less energy, buy less “stuff”, use communications to work more efficiently from home, maybe even eat less, but feel no worse off?

What people care about now is not continual accumulation of wealth (apart from an important minority on the breadline who need help pulling themselves up) but the feeling of well-being that comes from having decent, secure housing, a reliable NHS, good family networks, good food and drink.

That’s why the coming election feels different. The two main parties are still focused on the aspirations we had in the 20th Century but the electorate has moved on. We are now mainly worried about maintaining what we have in a world increasingly threatened by climate change and massive migratory pressure. That revolutionary Russell Brand summed up the feeling of many by saying simply “Give us something to vote FOR.” The parties we need are those that understand what is shaping our future (ie different energy sources, how and where we build our houses, making people healthier, more efficient work practices, inward migration, social cohesion etc) and their part in making it better than it might otherwise be.

Us rural types have always been better than average at living within our means. Husbanding scarce resources and managing the land so it is still fit to hand on to the next generation. We expect our politicians to demonstrate the same skill and understanding.

This article was first published in the Landsman magazine


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "I just hope more of our stuff become like mobile phones in that they require much less physical resource and more intellectual property. Peoples retail therapy then uses human rather than the earth’s resource. "
    March 17, 2015 a 11:45 pm

  • John Olver comments:
    "Nice post. I agree with the writer on most points. But although our civilization is now able to meet the basic needs of most if not all people on the planet without further degrading the environment we still seem to lack the will to do so. Excessive profit at any cost is still the goal of many and humanity continues to waste resources by fighting meaningless wars. Our science and technology have given us the means to live comfortably and sustainably but we still have a ways to go philosophically. If the basic needs of the have-nots were provided would they be satisfied? Or must people have so much that they can no longer afford the cost of storing all their stuff to be satisfied? Here is the US people sure have a lot of stuff and yet $400 phones and $150 athletic shoes still fly off the shelves even though the new owners will almost certainly never use a fraction of the capabilities of those items. Each generations seems to want that which the prior generation had plus anything new that comes up. "
    March 13, 2015 a 5:32 pm


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