| Friday 25th August 2006 |
WAKE UP! IT'S YER
Charge! | Crap Request Of The Week |
GM Motors On | Courting Publicity
| You Can F.O. | High Moral Ground
| Party & Protest | Save The Wales
| ...and finally...
SURVIVING THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW
The double-whammy of peak oil and climate change have recently
become much more mainstream, but the (if youll pardon
the expression) roadmap to a sustainable future is still
very sketchy. Of course our governments are still too focussed on
unsustainable growth of an oil-based economy to do anything much
about either issue. But theres little point in waiting for
them to sort it out, when theres so many positive ideas and
capacity for real change to be found at the community and grassroots
As well as dismantling the political structures which have been
built around the free market economys addiction to oil, if
we are to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century without a
massive die-off of our species (and every other), individuals and
groups need to change en-masse to other ways of generating and using
energy. Carbon emissions will have to be reduced by 60-90% to prevent
further damage to global weather systems, and even if we did this
tomorrow wed still be heading towards some climate chaos.
The only way out is a combination of massive scaling back of usage,
and a sharp turn towards renewables... in other words a drastic
change in the way we eat, travel and house ourselves. Our ability
to influence geo-politics might be limited but we can make changes
right now on a local level.
Although we dont want oil-based market capitalism to simply
jump onto the renewables bandwagon and maintain the consumption-led
status quo, there are viable zero-emission, renewable power options.
You can cross nuclear off the list straight away (See SchNEWS
522). Apart from the danger of reactors, and waste deadly for
thousands of years, estimates of global uranium deposits suggest
wed get less than a decade of power before we started running
out - peak uranium!
Solar energy is the most abundant renewable source on earth. A
recent report claims that every year, each square kilometre
of desert receives solar energy equivalent to 1.5 million barrels
of oil. Multiplying by the area of deserts world-wide, this is nearly
a thousand times the entire current energy consumption of the world.
* It suggests the use of Concentrated Solar Panels (CSPs), which
focus heat on solar arrays using mirrors, driving conventional steam
powered generators. This has been used in California since the 1980s
and costs half the amount per unit than oil energy. (* For more
While all-year sunshine isnt something were blessed
with, the British Isles are estimated to have enough wind power
using current turbine technology to meet our power usage three times
over. And when it comes to the wave power, it would be economically
viable to meet 25% of our current demand.
That our government isnt pursuing these options with any
real intent shows how clearly it is in the pocket of the oil companies.
As any good anarchist will tell you, power needs to be decentralised
down to the grassroots level...
GET OFF THE GRID
A wide range of actions are needed, both in terms of shutting down
the causes of climate change, and building a sustainable future,
globally and in your own community. Here is just a few areas to
get involved in if you want to do something about it...
- Air Travel is the fastest growing cause of greenhouse
emissions - yet Britain has a programme for massive Airport
Expansion. For contacts to campaigns across the country fighting
individual airport expansion plans see SchNEWS
- Avoid flying calculate the amount of carbon created
for each seat on a plane, per mile, at www.climatecare.org/calculators/flights_calc.cfm
- Road Building: In 2005 the UK Govt laid out a programme
of road building with over 200 approved schemes. To get involved
in local campaigns see www.roadalert.org.uk
- In Glasgow, plans have been approved for the M74 Northern
Extension, which would put a 6-lane elevated motorway through
the southern suburbs of Glasgow. To join the campaign to stop
it going ahead see www.jam74.org
- Protect Forests Worldwide. Over the past 150 years, deforestation
has contributed an estimated 30 percent of the build-up of CO2;
likewise climate change will have a devastating effect on the
remaining forests. For an international roundup see www.ran.org
- Ride a bike, dont drive a car and get involved
in campaigning to make cities more bike friendly. Critical
Mass events are held all round the world for cyclists to reclaim
roads to see if theres one in your area visit www.urban75.com/Action/critical.html
See also Sustrans a charity which designs and builds
routes for cyclists and walkers. www.sustrans.org.uk
- Food Production: Buy local food, go vegan and/or grow
your own. Get your own Allotment for advice see
The transportation of food on a large scale gives rise to food
miles and is directly related to oil consumption and
climate change. For more see www.sustainweb.org
Permaculture is a theory and practice for sustainable,
localised food production, as well as having other applications
for more see www.permaculture.org.uk
To find out how supermarkets are stitching up the food
market see www.tescopoly.org
- Generate Your Own Energy: While the start-up costs can
be expensive, it is possible to set up a 12 volt system in your
house using batteries charged by wind turbines, photovoltaic
panels or pedal power with a bike generator. Normal
domestic appliances can be powered using an inverter. While photovoltaic
panels are expensive and resource-intensive to create, it is not
too expensive to build your own wind turbine (if youve
got the room). For info on building small scale turbines see www.scoraigwind.com
To build a Bike Generator see www.stewardwood.org/resources/DIYcyclepower.htm
- For advice on making your home more energy efficient,
and grants for those on low income to get better insulation see
- For info on Bio-Diesel, and how to use it see www.schnews.org.uk/diyguide/howtomakebiodiesel.htm
however while using waste oil for fuel is good, this could lead
to large scale intensive fuel crop farming.
- For info about Peak Oil and other large scale energy
issues see www.energybulletin.net
- And most of all, bite the bullet(point) and CONSUME LESS!
For Climate Action
|Its happening now at a site in Megawatt
Valley, near Leeds, home of the Drax power station, the largest
single emitter of carbon dioxide in the UK. This ten day camp
goes on until September 4th and features 150 workshops discussing
and planning actions around climate change.
Request Of The Week
As ever were broke and need help to meet our monthly bills.
Why not help keep SchNEWS free by donating just a small amount to
us regularly by standing order? (And one-off donations still gratefully
received of course) Massive thanks to all of you who have/do support
us without you we might not still be here... To donate contact
the office or visit www.schnews.org.uk/extras/help.htm
The genetically modified food giant Monsanto continued their buy
up of the seed industry this week with the announcement of their
takeover of the worlds leading cotton seed company Delta &
Pine Land Company (D&PL). Once the merger is complete Monsanto
will control over 57% of the US cotton seed market and will hold
power over millions of cotton producers over the world. Farmers
have always been at the forefront of the fight against GM, with
the storming of a biotech plant in Brazil in 2001 (SchNEWS
292) and the trashing of a research centre in India in 2003
(SchNEWS 425), just two examples of local
resistance. But will they be able to resist the ever expanding Monsanto?
And what are they so worried about anyway?
Delta & Pine Land (www.deltaandpine.com
for the corporate webshite) is notorious for its early development,
with the US Department of Agriculture, of Terminator technology
- plants that are genetically modified to produce sterile seeds
at harvest. With 75% of the worlds farmers saving their seed,
theres some serious cash to be made. With the risk of cross
contamination so high, a farmer whose crop becomes contaminated
by a neighbours GM variety will find their own harvest infertile,
and despite having sewn seed saved from previous years crops
for generations will be forced to buy new improved seed,
from their chisel-jawed Monsanto sales rep, who says, Ill
be back every year for ever more.
Monsanto originally responded to the worldwide outrage against
the commercialisation of Terminator technology by pledging in 2005,
not to commercialize sterile-seed technologies in food crops.
Sounds good, however, the pledge went on to say, Monsanto
people constantly re-evaluate this stance as technology develops.
So even if they dont re-evaluate their position,
what about non-food crops, like cotton? Cotton production already
uses more than 25% of all the insecticides and 10% of all pesticides
used in world agriculture, causing untold damage.
If Terminator and other GM technologies are allowed to spread around
the world this can only get worse. The whole point of herbicide
resistant strains is to allow the use of yet more herbicide, and
according to the D&PL website, new varieties allow the use of
insecticides from crop emergence until one week prior to harvest.
Get th face masks and gloves out, Margret, its
sprayin time! For more chemical free resistance see www.etcgroup.org
* It looks like GM crops might be grown in Britain again soon.
The government is considering allowing BASF to conduct two field
trials of GM potatoes modified to resist blight.
The trial begins in Bristol next week for Margaret Jones and
Paul Milling, who are charged with conspiracy to commit criminal
damage to military equipment at RAF Fairford in March 2003. They
used hammers and bolt cutters to disable several dozen vehicles
used to fuel and load cluster bombs onto US B52 bombers at the base
during the initial invasion of Iraq. They acted accountably, putting
warning notices on the trucks and notifying police.
After three years and nine court appearances, the maximum sentence
is ten years if convicted. There will be a Peace Vigil outside Bristol
Crown Court, Small St, on the first day of the trial, September
the 4th at 9am. The trial is expected to last two weeks, with witnesses
being called for the defendants to prove they were acting to stop
war crimes including Jo Wilding, and other British and Iraqis who
were in Iraq as Shock And Awe devastated the country.
Anti-war protesters will maintain a presence each day of the trial.
For more info email email@example.com
or see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bristolsocialforum
YOU CAN F.O.
Earlier this week (Monday 21st) Anti-war activists managed to blockade
the Foreign Office in central London for two hours in a protest
against the UKs warmongering in the Middle East. Unfurling
a giant banner reading Foreign Offensive: Blood on Your Desks,
around 50 protesters blocked vehicle access at the King Charles
Road entrance to the FO from 8am. An hour later, truckloads of barricades
arrived. Workmen constructed a small fenced area near to the activists,
who, wishing to avoid getting penned in, collectively and calmly
shifted to the opposite side of the road. Busily building more barricades
didnt work, as these were frequently re-opened by the demonstrators,
who eventually decided to just move round to the main entrance,
where they linked arms and effectively blocked all access for another
A samba-band attempted to liven up the bored bureaucrats with their
funky drumming, and some serious clowning around occurred, with
dramatised scenes of war, death, and destruction on the street until
cops nicked a bunch of clowns for spilling drops of fake blood.
Although easily removable with a spot of water, the police claimed
that they had caused criminal damage. The police became
increasingly frustrated and resulted in some odd and aggressive
behaviour including rough shoving, elbowing, and the occasional
inappropriate grope. They then decided to prevent the group from
leaving and nicked someone for sitting on the pavement. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
for more info. For report and pics see www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/08/348828.html
HIGH MORAL GROUND
Following the successful recent lock-on protest (See SchNEWS
552), two Brighton SMASH EDO activists occupied the roof of
local arms dealers EDO MBM on Wednesday (23rd). The pair unfurled
a banner saying, 16 dead children in Qana, Lebanon
EDO profits from murder. Peering down from on high, they were
supported by a day-long noisy demonstration in front of the factory.
One protester said, We know for a fact that parts for the
Hellfire missile are made by EDO MBM in Brighton. They are, as far
as we are concerned, as complicit in murder as the generals who
ordered these killings and the fighter pilots who carried out the
bombings. They are a link in the same sorry chain. Sarah Johnson,
press spokeswoman for Smash EDO, added, Over a thousand civilians
have died as a result of Israels bombing of Lebanon. Israel
continues to kill civilians in the West Bank and Gaza with weaponry
armed with components made in Brighton. EDO MBM are profiting from
murder, and we will not tolerate their presence in Brighton.
As soon as news of the protest was published by news agencies,
by strange coincidence EDO MBMs parent company, US arms giant
EDO Corp took a 50 cent hit in their ever decreasing share price
(easy to follow at www.finance.google.com/finance?q=edo).
Smash EDO demonstrate every Wednesday at EDO MBM, Home Farm Road,
Party & Protest
- AUGUST 25th - 29th One Life Free Festival back for its
4th year in a secret countryside location not too far from London.
A very non-commercial event for campers to enjoy anarchist bands,
soundsystems, alternative therapies and more. For details call
07922 103690 or 07922 103693
- 26th Fur protests at shops selling real fur in
London including Harrods in Knightsbridge and branches of fashion
chain Joseph Ltd. From 11am til late afternoon. For Harrods, exit
at Knightsbridge tube and meet at Harrods Brompton Rd entrance.
Call 07899 775493. For more animal rights actions see www.veggies.org.uk/arc.php
- SEPTEMBER 2nd - BASS Community Fayre, free one-day festival
at The Level, Brighton, 11am till 7.30pm. Web www.bass23.org
Well be there!
- 2-3rd Soil Association Organic Food Festival the
fast growing food festival with 150,000 visitors and over 200
exhibitors. Bristol Harbourside, www.organicfoodfairs.co.uk
- 4-9th - Week of action against vivisection at Oxford University.
Part of the campaign by SPEAK to prevent the building of a new
animal research lab, culminating in demo and leafleting
on Sat 9th, 12pm outside The Church of St. Michael, Cornmarket
Street, Oxford, OX1 3EY. For more see www.speakcampaigns.org.uk
Check out the rest of our Party & Protest dates here.
Save The Wales
On Wednesday protesters blockaded the entrance to Hafod Quarry
part of which is an SSSI home to great crested newts - in
Johnstown near Wrexham, which is to become a landfill site for Liverpools
rubbish. The campaign, led by local Johnstown residents, have fought
the planned landfill site for years through legal channels, but
this week the dump trucks arrived at Hafod Quarry, so they took
direct action to stop it, and are calling for more support (nearest
station Ruabon). They blocked the entrance for several hours before
police removed them, and are calling out for more support from Wrexham
and Merseyside for subsequent actions. Mersey Waste Holdings are
dumping in Wales because of a legal loophole which allows landfill
in Wales without penalty. For more see www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/08/348841.html
In the home of overreaction and paranoid fear, three men of Middle-Eastern
descent were arrested on suspicion of plotting a terrorist
act after buying a large number of mobile phones from a WalMart
store in Michigan, USA.
An eagle-eyed cashier alerted the cops after the men purchased
eighty $20 phones, which is in violation of the stores policy
restricting the number of phones to three per customer.
Stopping the mens van, cops found a cache of nearly 1000
mobiles. When questioned the men said they were going to sell the
phones on at $38 dollars each to a merchant in Texas. Just yer pure
naked capitalism in action (American Dream) but the
police accused the men of plotting to use the phones as detonators
to blow up a local landmark, the five mile long Mackinac Bridge.
The plod knew that this was the target as they found pictures of
it on a camera owned by one of the men. Must have seemed odd that,
photos of a local attraction on the camera of a man visiting the
area for the first time... No shiite Sherlock.
Despite the FBI saying that there was no evidence to link any of
the men with terrorist organisations or activities, local police
and prosecutors are pushing ahead with the case salivating
at the chance to get fifteen minutes of fame in their very own high
profile terror trial.
SchNEWS warns all readers if youve got a Drax
to grind, be blunt about it... Honest!
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