Steve Eggleston Writes

Green and Eco

Embercombe Experience Weekends warmly welcome everyone who would like to come along and volunteer their enthusiasm, expertise, or simply a willing pair of hands, to help in both seasonal and on-going work at Embercombe. Over a weekend of working on the land, cooking, eating and sharing, they create a community of people who nourish the place and each other.

Find out more here:

http://embercombe.org/get-involved/volunteering-opportunities/volunteer-weekends/

There are no palm trees to be found on this sunny island, which could generate enough electricity for 30,000 people.

Global consultancy and certification firm DNV has unveiled designs for floating solar arrays that could rival offshore wind farms.

The plans envisage a group of hexagonal artificial islands linked together and supporting 4,200 solar photovoltaic panels across an area the size of a football stadium. Multiple islands connected together could then make up a solar field of 50MW or more, producing enough electricity for 30,000 people.

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A new strategy to co-ordinate links to offshore wind farms has been published which could reduce the cost of connections by up to £3.5 billion.

Energy regulator Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have today published a report showing how more co-ordination in the development of offshore links and infrastructure can be achieved.

In tandem, Ofgem has launched a consultation on potential changes to the regulatory regime for offshore transmission assets to take some of this work forward.

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A brief animated introduction to localization.

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Across the world, people are coming to realize that today’s crises — ecological collapse, economic instability, social disintegration, even terrorism — are inextricably linked to a global economy dependent on rampant consumerism, financial speculation and “free” trade.
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Tree loss in one of the world’s largest rainforests has slowed, a study suggests.

Satellite images of Africa’s Congo Basin reveal that deforestation has fallen by about a third since 2000.

Researchers believe this is partly because of a focus on mining and oil rather than commercial agriculture, where swathes of forest are cleared.

The work is published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

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BRAZZAVILLE (Reuters) – The Republic of Congo has banned the production, import, sale and use of plastic bags in a move to fight environmental pollution in the Central African nation, government spokesman Bienvenu Okiemy said on Thursday.

Okiemy said the government adopted a decree following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. It prohibits the use of plastic bags to pack food, groceries, water and other beverages.

“For some years now, particularly in urban areas, Congo has witnessed major environmental pollution caused by discarded plastic bags which block drainage systems, causing floods and landslides,” Okiemy said.

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Sustainability experts are planning to set up a “people’s watchdog” on green government when the spending axe falls on the official body next month.

The proposal was aired on Tuesday at a meeting of the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) whose 10-year Whitehall funding is about to end.

The new body would use techniques such as crowdsourcing and social media to dissect data and lobby government.

There is no funding for the new group, although conversations are underway.

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China’s spending to develop renewable energy may total 1.8 trillion yuan ($294 billion) in the five years through 2015 as part of the nation’s efforts to counter climate change, according to a government official.

China may invest another 2.3 trillion yuan in key energy-saving and emission-reducing projects, Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said today at a conference in Beijing. China stands by its pledge to cut carbon emissions per unit of economic output by as much as 45 percent before 2020 from 2005 levels, he said.

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Wildlife rescue workers in Florida have discovered a common sandwich ingredient is perfect for cleaning toxic crude from the skin of oiled sea turtles.

Just days ago, government officials announced that the BP well responsible for the worst oil spill in American history is finally dead. Unfortunately, the crisis has only just begun for wildlife that lives in and around the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The staff at The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida are still seeing new oiled turtles come in from areas affected by the spill, and they are using an easy-to-get, safe, and effective kitchen condiment to save their lives…

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Sierra Leone, one of Africa’s poorest countries, today announced the establishment of Gola Rainforest National Park (GRNP), an area of forest home to chimpanzees, a key population of pygmy hippo, and hundreds of bird species, reports the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

The park covers 71,000 hectares (175,000 acres) in southeastern Sierra Leone near the border with Liberia. Until now the Gola had been a forest reserve, but it suffered from illegal logging and mining during the civil war that raged during the 1990s.

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LONDON — The renaissance of Britain’s rivers was underlined on Tuesday when waterways once considered polluted to death were revealed as teeming with life.

Among the list of the 10 most improved rivers published by the Environment Agency were the River Wandle, a tributary of the Thames which runs through southwest London.

It was declared a sewer in the 1960s but is now one of the best urban fisheries in the country.

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Produced by the ‘A Tree a Day’ campaign – a branch of Help Plant Trees. Visit http://www.helpplanttrees.org to learn more and sign up to plant trees for as little as 10¢ a tree with our planting partners Trees for the Future (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal) and Eden Reforestation Projects (Madagascar, Indonesia, Nepal). The ‘A Tree a Day’ campaign is volunteer run with 100% of your donation going directly to the planting project of your choice. Planting enough trees could be the most effective way to successfully overcome climate change, and it’s something we can do now by each of us helping to plant trees. Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere holds the sun’s heat in like a blanket, causing serious changes in global temperatures, which in turn causes extreme weather patterns and ultimately the rising of the oceans. Trees take this carbon dioxide out of the air as they grow, storing it as wood while also helping to store more carbon in the soil below them. Planting enough trees can restore balance to our atmosphere by converting the excess carbon dioxide into healthy ecosystems and into thousands of useful resources that people need. While trees ability to remove carbon dioxide and restore balance to our atmosphere is simply amazing, here are 4 additional ways that trees help keep the planet cool. 1. Trees Create Clouds that Help Cool the Earth The clouds that are created by trees and forests play a huge role in keeping the earth cool by reflecting the sun’s heat back into space before it reaches the earth. It’s estimated that if we could increase the world’s cloud cover by just 3% through tree planting, so much less of the sun’s heat would reach the earth, that these extra clouds alone could cool the earth enough to counteract climate change. 2. Forests Keep the Ground Cool Forests mighty canopies shade the ground and waters beneath them. This keeps the earth cooler and protects the living soil, which would otherwise dry out and become lifeless. This is very important as living soil can store an incredible amount of carbon, keeping climate change causing carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere. When soil becomes too hot and dry, the carbon molecules in the soil re-bond with oxygen and release carbon dioxide back into the air. But even areas that have become desert-like can be restored by simply planting enough trees. Large-scale reforestation can help store so much carbon back in the soil that it has the potential to remove all of the excess carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, allowing the earth’s climate to come back into balance. 3. Trees Cool the Atmosphere by Cleaning It Around cities and industrial zones, air pollution molecules combine with water vapor, hovering in what’s called a “humid haze”, trapping in more of the sun’s heat. The A Tree a Day campaign’s video, “How Trees Help Create the Fresh Water Supply”, explains how many trees breathe out both water vapor and friendly bacteria that assist in the formation of clouds. These bacteria trigger the water vapor and air pollution molecules to cluster into droplets that then fall to the ground. This removes these hazes from of our skies, allowing the sun’s heat to exit again and the earth to cool. 4. Trees Convert the Sun’s Energy into Life Since sunlight powers photosynthesis, the sun’s heat is literally used up as the leaves and needles do their job, converting carbon dioxide and water into the building blocks of plant matter while creating oxygen. This plant matter becomes food for animals, and the energy travels up the food chain. So, the miracle of photosynthesis both protects the earth from overheating, and provides the basis for all life on the planet. Knowing that trees maintain our atmosphere, keep the earth cool by shading it with clouds and canopies, regulate much of the planet’s fresh water cycle, and create the building blocks of all life, we simply have to be in awe at the amazing service that trees provide us. We can also understand that further decline of our world’s forests is not a direction we can afford to go in. The A Tree a Day campaign sees large-scale tree planting as being the world’s most affordable, practical, and multi-benefit opportunity to effectively counteract climate change. Tree planting options start at just 10¢ a tree, so you can help plant a tree every day of the year for as little as $3 a month – or you can make a one time donation of any amount. Visit http://www.helpplanttrees.org to learn more and sign up to plant trees for as little as 10¢ a tree with our planting partners Trees for the Future (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal) and Eden Reforestation Projects (Madagascar, Indonesia, Nepal). The ‘A Tree a Day’ campaign is volunteer run with 100% of your donation going directly to the planting project of your choice.