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  • Extinction Rebellion Bristol: July 15, 2019 - July 19, 2019
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Author Topic: Climate protests in Bristol  (Read 13722 times)
grahame
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« Reply #135 on: July 23, 2019, 08:45:55 am »

Reported in today's Guardian, an alternative way of making the point about climate change.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/22/memorial-to-mark-icelandic-glacier-lost-to-climate-crisis#img-1

Perhaps something like this should be hung up on the wall of every decision-maker.

Sadly, this report and the actions in it will reach far less effect in bringing the point to everyone who matters ... having written that, who is it important to bring the point to, and how do we bring it to them in such a way that they're likely to be positive in action rather than defensive in reaction?

Quote
The first of Iceland’s 400 glaciers to be lost to the climate crisis will be remembered with a memorial plaque – and a sombre warning for the future – to be unveiled by scientists and local people next month.

The former Okjökull glacier, which a century ago covered 15 sq km (5.8 sq miles) of mountainside in western Iceland and measured 50 metres thick, has shrunk to barely 1 sq km of ice less than 15 metres deep and lost its status as a glacier.

Researchers from Rice University in Houston, Texas, a leading Icelandic author, Andri Snær Magnason, and the geologist Oddur Sigurðsson will lead the unveiling ceremony at the site in Borgarfjörður on 18 August, local media said.

“In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path,” the plaque reads, in Icelandic and English. “This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”
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« Reply #136 on: July 23, 2019, 10:15:14 am »

Three things that caught my eye over the weekend

I live in WSM, the local paper reported two guys from town were arrested during the protests. One of them is infamous for attending any event where he can protest and is more than happy to be arrested - but he brags that as soon as he is away from the area he always gets de-arrested so has no issue with being nicked

The list of names of people in court in Bristol. There was not one person from the local area that got arrested... so thanks to them for all the wasted journeys

Finally, the picture of the boat that was used in Cardiff. It was photographed at a service station being towed by a massive 4x4 gas guzzler
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« Reply #137 on: July 23, 2019, 10:18:04 am »

Story being reported on radio Bristol that a man has called in to say he'd received a call to say his fathers health and taken a turn for the worse and he should get there as soon as he could
He got delayed in the long jams on the M4 / M32 into Bristol this morning because of these idiots chained to a bath
Arrived at the hospital a few minutes after his father passed away !!

Here's an account of it with the reactions of some of those responsible.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/extinction-rebellion-protester-fights-back-tears-as-she-hears-demonstration-stopped-man-from-a4193446.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR3iFbFxiR1SiLzKGLrK4rGv6f4Shtf1hubJQs8FWsfoYWZvLkmLk8dJ_JI#Echobox=1563487377

Crocodile tears !
She was grinning during the interview. That tells you everything you need to know about her
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #138 on: July 23, 2019, 10:20:47 am »

When we have a hot summer, no-one can say for sure whether that's climate change - or just weather.
When a glacier melts, everyone should know for certain that the climate is heating up.
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broadgage
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« Reply #139 on: July 23, 2019, 01:30:58 pm »

When we have a hot summer, no-one can say for sure whether that's climate change - or just weather.
When a glacier melts, everyone should know for certain that the climate is heating up.

Agree. Weather can vary for lots of reasons, some of which are random or poorly understood.
Glaciers melting or retreating are a sure sign that average temperatures have increased.

A single heatwave proves nothing, but a long term increase in both average and peak temperatures does show a warming trend.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
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« Reply #140 on: July 23, 2019, 05:35:39 pm »

I was rather surprised by the figure of 415 ppm CO2, which is much lower than the 600 to 700 being quoted by some in the environmental industry. But I trust Iceland in such matters much more than I trust most other sources, having visited twice and seen at first hand what they are talking about.

Whether they are acting correctly themselves is a moot point, as Iceland had the highest per capita CO2 emissions in Europe in 2016, according to their own statistical office. That surprised me greatly, given that the heating and hot water in the places I stayed was piped directly from the hot springs to the tap, and the electricity is produced by geothermal plants with so much available that plans for a UK interconnector have survived Brexit. It seems aluminium smelting is a possible culprit, along with the now dwindling tourist industry as the Faroes positions itself more prominently as a holiday destination. Air traffic to Iceland has grown massively in the past couple of decades, despite the best efforts of Eyjafjallajökull.

On the plus side, there are a lot fewer capita in Iceland - half the population of the greater Bristol urban area in 100 times the area, so it is relative. Aluminium smelting is very energy intensive, and it would be a lot more polluting if the million tonnes per year produced by Iceland were smelted somewhere without its energy advantage. So I shan't blame Iceland for its own woes, especially as it is the only country with hydrogen pumps in normal fuel stations.

A few years ago, I admired the Mendenhall glacier in Alaska from a point which, a decade earlier, had been under 10 metres of ice. My guide for the day said other glaciers were shrinking, but a few were growing. Bearing in mind that the Antarctic was once home to palm trees and that Eyjafjallajökull is by no means the only volcano at work, natural forces are at play as well as man-made. Which is no reason to stop developing ways of cleaning up the atmosphere - at least we would take the man-made part of the equation away, and know that our hands are clean when polar bears move to the frozen wastes of Ibiza, and Greenland becomes accessible only by camel.

Iceland has a tremendous natural resource. The UAE has, as well as oil, and is building an experimental solar plant, with concave mirrors focusing the sunlight onto a store of molten salt. This heats up during the day,, and keeps the heat to produce electricity at night. It should be running early next year, along with a huge conventional solar park in the desert. Even the men with the oil are planning to cut down the use of it dramatically. There is also a new nuclear plant due to open in Dubai this year. The intention is to cut emissions by half before 2050.

I can see that we in the UK will still be dithering about what to do when even China has cleaned up its act, though.
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« Reply #141 on: July 23, 2019, 09:53:22 pm »

Despite having lots of geothermal power, the Icelandics also have a thing for large 4x4s and aren't particularly keen on public transport. I seem to recall that per-capita air travel is also very high. With the high prices there, certainly pre-crash, if you needed to buy much more than a pair of jeans it was often cheaper to go to Glasgow for the weekend.   
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« Reply #142 on: July 24, 2019, 11:18:10 am »

Despite having lots of geothermal power, the Icelandics also have a thing for large 4x4s and aren't particularly keen on public transport. I seem to recall that per-capita air travel is also very high. With the high prices there, certainly pre-crash, if you needed to buy much more than a pair of jeans it was often cheaper to go to Glasgow for the weekend.   

If you go to Iceland, you will quickly realise that 4x4s are pretty much essential outside of Reykjavik. Public transport is tough enough in Bristol, let alone in a growing country with miles of tundra between settlements.

There are 14 airports with regular scheduled services, and about as many again for general aviation. With the exception of Reykjavik and Keflavik International, they are separated by long distances and / or inhospitable terrain. Prices are higher than here - it is not a good destination for a boozing holiday, for sure! It isn't alone. I once went to Norway on the Jupiter, a rather elderly ship that sails between Newcastle and Stavanger, then up the fjord to Bergen. There were a lot of Norwegians on board, who had been shopping for traditional Norwegian knitwear in the huge shopping centre outside Newcastle.
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« Reply #143 on: August 06, 2019, 11:08:58 pm »

And so to the aftermath. If the arrested protesters were hoping for a week long trial before a sympathetic jury with a variety of expert witnesses on hand to help justify the claim of necessity before the world's press, they will be disappointed. Obstruction of the highway is a summary offence, so will be heard in the Magistrates Court. The judge in the recent trial of UWE senior lecturer Steven Melia, for blocking a London road, said that although he was sure that his convictions were strongly held and genuine, he didn't have to obstruct the highway to point this out. He then handed him another genuine conviction, finding him guilty and fining him £500 plus costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £30. The case made the BBC website.

Quote
Extinction Rebellion: Ex-government adviser fined over climate protest
5 August 2019

A former government adviser has been fined for his part in the Extinction Rebellion protests which brought parts of London to a standstill.

Dr Steven Melia, 57, broke down as he told a court that his actions were a justified response to a "catastrophic" climate emergency.

Melia was found guilty of two counts of failing to comply with a condition to disperse protesters.

He was among thousands who demonstrated across the capital in April.

As part of the protests, a camp was set up on Waterloo Bridge and Oxford Circus was blockaded with a pink boat.

Melia, a senior lecturer at the University of the West of England in Bristol, has previously advised the government on eco-towns.

Melia, of Ferrymans Court in St Philips, Bristol, was fined £500 and told to pay £300 in costs.

At Westminster Magistrates' Court, Judge Richard Blake told him: "I'm satisfied that there was an opportunity for freedom of expression without the commission of these offences."

The judge said the right to demonstrate was "fundamental to a free society" but it must remain "within the law".

He said he had no doubt that Melia "strongly believes" in a climate emergency, adding: "He's not a man who has lightly taken this step."

Melia, who represented himself at the trial, had to pause after he began crying while saying that current action against climate change was "not enough, it's not working".

The lecturer told the court: "I never even had a parking ticket before I stopped driving 10 years ago. I have always paid my taxes, obeyed the law, so it was a big step to do this.

"There really was no hope left."

The other 1,000 - 2,000 arrested would save a few quid if they plead guilty, and speak in mitigation of their actions rather than denying the charge and standing trial. The ones who got the wrong building and chained themselves to the doors of Statkraft would do well to keep a low profile to avoid being a laughing stock again. Statkraft is a leading Norwegian renewable energy company who moved into the building a year ago. The former occupier was Drax, who was also a renewable energy company until even the government realised that shipping kiln-dried wood pellets from America and Canada to burn in power stations wasn't that green. That said, there's a lot of unrecyclable material in wind farms, especially the turbine blades. There is anywhere around 10 tonnes in each blade, mainly fibreglass or fibre reinforced polymer, currently scheduled for landfill when no longer required, so they may have  had a point.
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« Reply #144 on: August 07, 2019, 10:59:24 am »


That said, there's a lot of unrecyclable material in wind farms, especially the turbine blades. There is anywhere around 10 tonnes in each blade, mainly fibreglass or fibre reinforced polymer, currently scheduled for landfill when no longer required...


Why single out wind farms - one of the most efficient forms of energy production - as opposed to other heavily-subsidised sources which generally involve huge quantities of concrete?
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« Reply #145 on: August 07, 2019, 11:25:46 am »

My understanding is that Extinction Rebellion asks for people to state whether they are willing to be arrested or not, so it is likely that almost all those arrested knew they would be and had been briefed on what to do, including the decision whether to plead guilty or not.
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TonyK
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« Reply #146 on: August 07, 2019, 05:46:58 pm »


That said, there's a lot of unrecyclable material in wind farms, especially the turbine blades. There is anywhere around 10 tonnes in each blade, mainly fibreglass or fibre reinforced polymer, currently scheduled for landfill when no longer required...


Why single out wind farms - one of the most efficient forms of energy production - as opposed to other heavily-subsidised sources which generally involve huge quantities of concrete?

Prejudice. I don't like coal-fired power stations either, but at least they don't build them in the countryside any more. I'm getting used to solar, which is generally well hidden, and actually works fairly well until sunset. Factories, schools, and government offices except where listing or other considerations make it impractical should all have them. I am not against subsidised generation per se if it is cost effective and helps.*

My understanding is that Extinction Rebellion asks for people to state whether they are willing to be arrested or not, so it is likely that almost all those arrested knew they would be and had been briefed on what to do, including the decision whether to plead guilty or not.

So you end up £800 poorer, the state £800 better off, and the first couple will get a paragraph in the local paper and a mention on the BBC website. It hardly has the same impact as throwing yourself under the King's horse. The out-of-town Bristol contingent all said they would plead not guilty with a defence of necessity, a plan that didn't go well in London. I rather think that the police decided to charge, and the CPS to prosecute, on the basis of offences that are only appropriate to the Magistrates Court. The Public Order Act 1986 codified the previous common law and archane offences of riot, violent disorder, affray, unlawful assembly etc. The organisers would say that the events were not organised, and were in any event non-violent, and most are triable either way, giving the option of a Crown Court hearing. A straightforward traffic offence is easier to prove and cheaper to deal with, and the result is likely to be much the same, so why not do it that way?

(* I am expecting my cheque from the feed-in tariff scheme soon, for my own solar installation. It should pay for dinner.)
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #147 on: August 07, 2019, 06:35:39 pm »


Prejudice.


An honest answer, and not one that's easy to argue with.

The other day I stopped on my bicycle as close as I could get to one of the wind turbines of the Avonmouth Wind Farm. I was interested to see and hear for myself, because I too am prejudiced: wind turbines, particularly onshore ones, have always struck me as a good idea.

These turbines are largish at 126m to the tip, and between the four of them have a forecast annual output of just over 20GWh - peanuts compared with Hinkley C (which incidentally I will be visiting next week) but enough to power a few thousand homes.

So they're hard to miss, though in the context of Avonmouth you'd have to have an eccentric aesthetic sense to object to them. As to the noise: there was an intermittent stream of traffic on the road I was stopped by, and it was windy(!). The turbines were turning at a fair old clip, with the wind coming towards me and... there were times when I was almost confident that I could hear them; sort of like the sound of an airliner at cruise height maybe 10km away.

So there you are. I've tried to understand the objections, but I've failed.
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« Reply #148 on: August 07, 2019, 07:25:23 pm »

I am not against subsidised generation per se if it is cost effective and helps.

Well there's the rub. 6.3% of global GDP (some $4.7Tn), according to the IMF, is spent on SUBSIDISING FOSSIL FUELS. I'm not normally one to shout, but on this occasion I feel it is justified. A fraction of this subsidy, redirected towards better ways of generating electricity, would at least allow us to say 'we tried our hardest'...

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« Reply #149 on: August 07, 2019, 07:26:31 pm »

If we are going to consider the carbon cost of building wind turbines (and arguably we should) Then we should also consider the carbon cost of building new fossil fuel burning power plants.

The building of a new gas, oil or coal burning power station takes a great deal of concrete, steel, copper and other energy intensive materials. This is in addition to the ongoing carbon emissions from the combustion of the fuel.
At least a wind turbine only emits significant carbon during construction, with the ongoing emissions being negligible.

Wind power is now a significant source of UK electricity.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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