Tag Archives: tar sands

Super Sunday

13 Nov

1. I am quite a fan of this new band, Friends, partly because the name choice is hilarious and will reclaim the word from the decade-long sitcom, but mostly because the song is rahlly good.

2. The East London Green Jobs Alliance has funding for the next year! Woop!

3. I downloaded Summer Camp’s debut album, Welcome to Condale. It is brilliant, is inspired by 80s bratpack films and teenage angst, and has a song on it called Brian Krakow. WHAT COULD BE BETTER?

4. I am back in the saddle again. This morning I cycled in London for the first time in well over a year. Cycling and walking around Brighton has been a bit of a luxury this past year, so today I decided to investigate the quieter cycle paths around my new house and I reckon that I can piece together a nice long, chilled pootle to my offices. Image from weheartit.

5. Massive win this week for the No Keystone XL Pipeline campaign over in the states! The proposed pipeline would have been a huge boon to the very environmentally destructive Canadian tar sands industry. It was basically a done deal, but 3 months of incredible campaigning has resulted in Obama delaying the decision – yay! You can read more about it here.

“Yes, the Spice Girls were created to cash in on “feminism” and “girl power,” at a time when those things were popular. Yes, the “Girl Power” slogan ripped off Riot Grrrl—although, actually, the Spice Girls ripped off girl groups like Salt-N-Pepa or TLC far more than they did Pacific Northwestern indie culture. But do you know what it looks like when someone “rips off” girls being empowered? Well… it sort of looks like… girls being empowered.”

6. Great great great post – In Defense of the Spice Girls. Now I don’t feel so bad about going to see them when I was 14!

7. I am feeling a bit depressed about the fact that it looks like I’m intolerant not only to dairy, caffeine and alcohol, but also wheat. It’s hard to be a good baker when you can’t use wheat or dairy! It would be SUPER if anyone could point me to any good recipes / websites / or cookbooks that are friendly to a positively MONKish dietary requirement, and that actually taste good. Thank you!

hanna ♥


Tar Sands Action

27 Aug

This amazing photo is of the tar sands sit-in that is happening right now outside the White House, protesting against the planned Keystone XL pipeline which would pump tar sands oil from Canada into the States. The sit-in started on August 20th, is planned to continue until September 3rd, and so far 381 people have been arrested. I’m really grateful for the men and women who have been brave enough to take this step, as the Keystone XL pipeline would spell disaster if built.

Extracting and burning the oil in the Canadian tar sands alone would release enough carbon emissions to tip the world into runaway climate change, plus the development is pushing indigenous peoples out of their native lands and having incredibly harmful impacts on local communities’ health. You can read more about it here – http://www.tarsandsaction.org/.

Photo credit – Milan Ilnyckyj

Ah, yes, I’m afraid we did

22 Mar

Right. Before I head off on Saturday, I have to write another 4000 words on the tar sands. I already have a lot to prepare for and finish up this week, so tonight is going to be a loooong night. I wanted to share this quote with you first though, that I found on my tar-sands-researching travels…

The very unethical Ezra Levant

2 Mar

I have to get this off my chest.

I’m currently writing an essay on the tar sands, inspired by a quote from the Canadian environment minister which claims that it is “ethical oil”. It is a pretty extraordinary claim, coined first by Ezra Levant, author of Ethical Oil: The case for Canada’s oilsands. Levant is quite an influential man – a Canadian right-wing “personality” who has worked as a political organiser and aide, writes regular columns and makes appearances on tv and radio. I was unaware of all of this however, when he interrupted a twitter exchange I was having with Ed Gillespie from Futerra:

Now see watch and see what Ezra does…

He only goes and edits my tweet to look like I’m saying the complete opposite of what I meant. I react accordingly…

Rude… and oh, yeah, completely UNETHICAL. Continue reading

CETA and the tar sands

20 Jan

Excellent video of a No Tar Sands action that happened earlier this week. I haven’t done much tar sands stuff for a while, but throwing myself back into it with an essay and a presentation this term. Hoping to spread the word about this to the rest of my classmates, because when you start reading about it, you just can not believe it is happening.

Does this mean I can have a baby shower?

25 Sep

Writing the piece for Call4 this week on UKYCC‘s Adopt an MP campaign reminded me that I had yet to get my act together and adopt mine. So, having confirmed that my new MP was indeed Caroline Lucas from the Green Party (inner cheer!) I looked up when her surgeries were and lo and behold, within a few hours I was sitting opposite her and her aide, chatting about climate action and the coalition government.

Things you might like to know:

– She is very lovely. And her staff are very nice too (bonus points).

– I asked her about Chris Huhne’s battle with the Treasury to save DECC and to what extent any cuts (or the scrapping of it entirely) would affect the UK’s ability to keep on track with our climate commitments. She responded that in light of George Monbiot’s recent article (which basically says that all current and previous attempts to curb climate change have failed) perhaps we need to scrap DECC and see climate change for the national security issue it is – moving its whole remit into the MOD. She was only half-serious, but I see her point. She predicted however that it wouldn’t end up getting scrapped, as it is such a symbolic department – but it might get hollowed out.

– Much more of a serious issue to Caroline was the scrapping of the Sustainable Development Commission earlier this year, which had been carrying out valuable environmental auditing work. Caroline told me that the SDC had saved the government £300m through their work, over the 10 years that they had existed. The cost of running the commission? £4m per year. So scrapping it…. kind of didn’t make any sense on any level. She also made a very good point – how can the coalition ever deliver on their promise to be the “greenest government ever”, when they no longer have any auditors to tell them whether or not they have achieved that aim?

– Other things we touched on briefly were those who were doing their environmental bit in parliament (Chris Huhne, Peter Ainsworth *applause*); how, through green job creation, we can have an economic recovery and tackle climate change at the same time; how our government is getting sidetracked by nuclear; and how she wanted to learn more about the Canadian tar sands and might put forward some parliamentary questions about them (yay!).

So that was my first meeting with Caroline Lucas! I have an enviable job on my hands – tracking an MP who basically thinks a lot of what I think, where no persuasion or lobbying might be needed. What I would like to provide though is a boost, links or contacts where I can and one more voice cheering her on when she stands up in parliament. I’m looking forward to the next few months!

Josie Long & Otesha meet Climate Camp

2 Sep

This is cross-posted from The Otesha Project UK blog

Ta da!! Here is our first foray into film with our patron, comedian Josie Long! Over the next few months, we will be showcasing some of the coolest and best aspects of the social and environmental justice movement here in the UK and relating it back to our daily lives.

This month, we went to Climate Camp in Edinburgh. A thousand activists camping outside RBS headquarters and protesting against their investment in fossil fuels and destructive projects like the tar sands may not seem relevant to a lot of us, but when you think that the bank is 84% owned by the UK taxpayer, it makes you wonder where your money is going.

So this month, we’re not necessarily asking you to siege your local bank branch (although, that of course, is your individual choice). We are asking you to put your money where your ethics arepester your parents about their pension and above all, be honourable. That’s the title of Josie’s current show (nominated for an Edinburgh Comedy Award!), which is about trying to act in line with your beliefs, saying goodbye to complacency and just being aware that there are people out there fighting for a cleaner, greener, fairer world. Sounds pretty good to us.

You’ll have to excuse some of the poor sound and light quality in the video – it was me, Josie, a flip cam and a bike light running around in the dark! The next one will be more fancy.