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Technology
Would you give up flying to save the environment?

Would you give up flying to save the environment?

That’s what Flight Free UK is asking, and they have an ambitious target: they want 100,000 people to make the same pledge.

Culture
My Joyous Extinction Rebellion Experience

My Joyous Extinction Rebellion Experience

It felt truly great to be alive and present witnessing this vibrant earthy rebellion

Technology
Protesters disrupt top corporate polluter Carnival Corporation's AGM in London

Protesters disrupt top corporate polluter Carnival Corporation's AGM in London

As part of Extinction Rebellion's spring uprising campaigners call for immediate action

Nature
Until the seas run dry: how industrial aquaculture is plundering the oceans

Until the seas run dry: how industrial aquaculture is plundering the oceans

The use of wild fish to feed farmed fish is causing huge environmental and social damage according to new report

Technology
100% Renewable Energy is possible, it’s now time to demand it

100% Renewable Energy is possible, it’s now time to demand it

A historic new report from Energy Watch shows we can reach 100% renewable energy in just a few decades, and it’s affordable; making this the clear answer to tackling climate change

Culture
Activists aren’t those people ‘over there’ anymore

Activists aren’t those people ‘over there’ anymore

They’re Me and You

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Technology

Would you give up flying to save the environment?

That’s what Flight Free UK is asking, and they have an ambitious target: they want 100,000 people to make the same pledge.

Flying has given us a technology that allows us to easily travel far and wide; we can access the other side of an 18,000-mile-wide globe easily, comfortably and relatively quickly. Many of us get on a plane without thinking twice: it’s the way we travel. We work hard all year and we earn our holidays.

But aviation also has the unattractive accolade of being one of the biggest contributors to climate change on the planet. It’s ironic to think that this method of exploring this fascinating and beautiful world is something that is likely to cause its destruction. If aviation were a country, it would be among the top 10 polluters globally. As a consumer product, an airline ticket is about the most carbon-heavy thing you can buy. And there is nothing else you can do as an individual that raises your carbon footprint so much in so short a space of time.

So, could you ditch flying for a year? The flight-free movement is spreading across Europe with campaigns in Sweden, Belgium and Denmark asking the same question, with the same target: 100,000 people making a collective pledge to remain grounded in the year of 2020. It’s easy to feel that individual actions don’t make a difference, but when you are one of so many, you can really feel part of a movement for change.

A sustainable future means an annual carbon allowance of around 2-3 tonnes each – and that’s being generous. One trans-Atlantic flight is roughly 3 tonnes – your entire annual budget used up, and that’s before you’ve done any of the things you actually need to do to live.

Could you be one of the 100,000? You can make the pledge here, and read more about the campaign on the Flight Free website , Twitter and Facebook page. And if you think not flying means not travelling, check out the inspiring blog posts showing the possibilities of travelling by other means.

And as one of the 100,000, Sue Hampton, says, giving up flying is not a loss or a sacrifice, but a gift to the children of the future. #flightfree2020

Culture

My Joyous Extinction Rebellion Experience

It felt truly great to be alive and present witnessing this vibrant earthy rebellion

The Extinction Rebellion was calling!

I am not a veteran campaigner but I was so excited and happy to be in London - my hometown, able to witness and be a part of this incredible new movement.

Not knowing what to expect, I headed out on Tuesday straight to Marble Arch to visit the Wellbeing hub where a friend was holding space for the rebellion activists. With wholesome events and talks on all week it was a warm welcoming nook in the open vibrant streets of London. A lot of effort had gone into creating somewhere special to support tired, hungry or concerned citizens who are on the streets because they cannot bear what is happening to the natural world any more.

The minute I walked out of the tube it just felt right. A group of people giving a demo on using bicycles to create energy were right outside with what can only be described as a wonderfully friendly and happy looking crowd. Families, couples, the elderly and big groups of friends just floated through the streets with huge grins on their faces.

The energy was full power and infectious. I took a few deep breaths standing on a ledge overlooking the campsite of where hundreds of people had slept overnight, really breathing in this incredible scene and giving thanks to the organisers and all the people on this planet for protecting and caring for mother earth, Pacha mama, Gaia or however you feel earth to be.

I felt so content and proud to be a part of that moment, in a loving non-violent way. The people I continued to meet throughout the day only added to its glory. The most beautifully eclectic people with one common purpose, to love and take care of our home. Mmm, that was goodness right there. It was wonderful to spend time with Antarma - a London based musician and meditation teacher who performed at both Oxford Circus and Marble Arch helping to focus minds on the true purpose of protest - to help those in need.

As I walked up marble arch to Oxford Circus the vibe was electric, so much warmth and happiness emanating from peoples faces and spreading like wildfire. Everyone was a part of a friendly revolution. Beautiful displays of love and connection everywhere. Music playing from a big pink boat in the middle of the road in Oxford Circus, and just to add to the sweetness, layers of soil spread across the ground for soft landing dancing feet. I felt that was such a genuinely attentive and thoughtful thing to do.

I held onto another moment of gratitude for amazing humans and this inspiring collection of growth going on. A hilarious tuk tuk ride was another unforgettable moment with the djembe's beats blaring down the street, drumming sacred sanskrit melodies creating a wave of appreciation as we drove past. It felt truly great to be alive and present in that moment, holding onto a couple of watermelon juices whilst the gentle raindrops cooled my face. I think if I were to describe the experience in a few words they would have to be inspiring, powerful and joyous.

I feel a huge amount of gratitude and that in itself is a powerful sentiment. I also feel its a beautiful thing for everyone to witness, so if there is an extinction rebellion is taking place in your city, I couldn't recommend it more to just get out there and be a part of it! Its amazing. Forever in awe at the humans organising these events, thank you for helping to guide us to collectively defend mother earth.

"Loca Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu!" May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all.

Technology

Protesters disrupt top corporate polluter Carnival Corporation's AGM in London

As part of Extinction Rebellion's spring uprising campaigners call for immediate action

Environmental activists demand end to company’s use of heavy fuel oil, one of world’s dirtiest fossil fuels

LONDON — As cruise ship giant Carnival Corporation held its annual general meeting (AGM) this morning at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London, gas-mask wearing protesters welcomed shareholders with the somber message “Carnival pollutes” and called on the world’s largest cruise operator to switch from using ultra-dirty heavy fuel oil to cleaner fuels to power its global fleet.

The activists, with international environmental organization Stand.earth, pointed to last week’s shocking revelations from the U.S. regarding Carnival Corporation’s engagement in recurring and pervasive criminal conduct and flouting of environmental regulations, and demanded the company and its shareholders take immediate action to clean up the company’s behavior. Environmental violations occurred across several Carnival Corporation brands, including those that frequent European, U.S., and Canadian waters — AIDA, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, P&O Cruises UK, and Seabourn.

Inside the AGM, retired mechanical engineer and former Ministry of Defense naval scientist Ralph Hardwick intervened to ask a question of Carnival Corporation’s executives. Hardwick, who was instrumental in stopping the expanded cruise terminal at London’s port in Greenwich, acted as legal proxy for Stand.earth staff who hold shares in the company.

“How will Carnival Corporation address its gross failures on environmental stewardship and prevent further criminal prosecution? When will Carnival Corporation stop discharging toxic scrubber water into the ocean, and what steps will Carnival Corporation take to phase fossil fuels out of its global fleet?” asked Hardwick.

Outside the meeting, protestors gathered along the sidewalk, wearing gas masks printed with the words “Carnival pollutes.” Nearby stood a large sign with the words “Carnival pollution puts families at risk” while a cruise ship sculpture belched “smoke” — visceral reminders of the pollution emitted from cruise ship funnels as a result of the burning of the dirtiest fossil fuel available for marine transportation — heavy fuel oil. An undercover investigation published earlier this year by a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health professor revealed that air quality on Carnival Corporation cruise ships can be worse than some of the world’s most polluted cities.

Stand.earth is calling on Carnival Corporation to move its global fleet away from heavy fuel oil to cleaner-burning marine gas oil with pollution filters, and to ultimately transition away from fossil-fuel powered ships completely.

“As long as heavy fuel oil is on board cruise ships, there is a temptation to use it — even where it’s prohibited. We saw this last year in France, when yet another Carnival Corporation ship was convicted of criminal environmental violations. Carnival Corporation’s track record shows a company doing everything it can to save money at the expense of the climate, our oceans, and public health — including breaking the law and trying to cover it up. Our lungs, our waters, and our air are not trash receptacles for Carnival’s toxic pollution,” said Kendra Ulrich, Senior Shipping Campaigner at Stand.earth.

In 2020, the International Maritime Organization will ban the shipping industry from burning high-sulfur fuels like heavy fuel oil. But the ban includes a loophole to allow the continued use of these fuels if ships install open-loop scrubbers, systems designed to remove pollution from air and discharge it into water. Carnival Corporation is doubling down on open-loop scrubbers, aiming to install them on its entire global fleet by 2020. Open-loop scrubbers are unreliable for pollution control, with dozens of failures documented across multiple Carnival brands, as reported by the U.S. court in charge of the company’s ongoing criminal case.