The UK’s Prime Minster had made it quite clear that he wasn’t really interested in the ‘green crap’ – in fact he wanted to get rid of it – but it seems the recent extended flooding in the UK, and perhaps the bitter Arctic vortex in North America, and perhaps the fact that the Antarctic sea ice is melting so fast it is forcing penguin colonies onto firmer land – and in South America temperatures in Rio de Janeiro hit 48C (118F) and in Australia in Queensland the heat is so extreme bats have dropped dead out of the sky (etc etc!) – might have changed his mind. The Prime Minister as now said that he suspects all of the havoc might just be linked to climate change. The Prime Minister told MPs that there were more “abnormal” weather events occurring and he “suspected” they were linked to global temperature changes.
But there again …. UK Councils that give the green-light to ‘fracking’ projects have a tempting new incentive, they will be allowed to keep millions of pounds more in tax revenue. David Cameron has announced that local authorities in England would receive 100% of the business rates collected from shale gas schemes – rather than the usual 50%. The move is part of an “all out” drive to exploit the controversial pressure mining technique. The Government believes it could generate billions of pounds for the economy, support 74,000 jobs, and lower energy costs.
Global warming has exposed a 700 year old Eskimo village in Alaska: A team from Aberdeen University have discovered toys, face masks and an ivory carving in Ninellaq – one the home of the Yup’ik people -who didn’t come into contact with modern society until the 1820s – and almost all of the finds are perfectly preserved – leathers, furs and even 400 year old grass have been found.
Four million trees will be planted in the UK next year as part of a £30 million invested into woodlands. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has also now said that ancient woodlands would only be destroyed and replaced with housing if there were ‘no alternative’.
As the world’s population races towards 9 billion, critics such as Conservative MP George Freeman say that EU rules are stifling a golden age of bio-technology – and that urgent solutions are needed if we are to have enough food, energy and medicines – and that bop technology will open up an age of ‘greener and cleaner farming’ – and that ‘minority green groups peddle emotional anti-science views’.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre have said that droughts could be common in Europe by the end of the century as climate change and increased water use by a growing population will mean many parts of the continent, particularly in Southern Europe but including Britain, will become more prone to periods of reduced water supply.
A ban on shark’s fin soup at official functions in China , and a growing rejection of the dish by young people in China, has meant that the price of shark’s fins has dropped by nearly 20-30% in Hong Kong. Bird’s-nest soups was also banned from official receptions and document from the Communist Party of China explicitly states that the two dishes, considered delicacies in China, as well as wild-animal products are not allowed at official reception dinners. The rules are meant to regulate public funding of reception dinners, and they also ban expensive cigarettes and alcohol from official meetings – and hopefully will prevent the unnecessary slaughter of sharks – about 75 -100 million sharks are thought to be killed each year for their fins, which are prized in Chinese culture for making the gelatinous yellow soup – some sharks have their fins cut off whilst still alive. Now it seems specialist restaurants in Beijing are changing their menus or closing down as the Far East begins to share world revulsion at cutting off shark fins to make a gourmet soup. “The tide may at last be turning” said Peter Knight, director of WildAid. “We are getting lots of signals that attitudes are changing and prices are dropping because people no longer want to eat shark fin soup. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/11/shark-finning-in-decline-in-far-east
And Caroline Kennedy, the US Ambassador to Japan, has denounced Japan’s annual dolphin hunt at Taiji where hundreds of dolphins are frightened and then corralled in a shallow lagoon to be slaughtered or sold to aquariums or dolphin shows.
New research says that pesticide could be making bumble bees shrink. A pyrethroid spray used by farmers on flowering crops stunted the grwoth of the larvae of worker bumble bees causing them to hatch smaller. As three neonicotinoids are now subject to a Europe wide bans, fears are spreading that replacements are also dangerous.
For a great update on the LOVE YOUR TENT campaign – why not head over to Peppermint Bar’s very well written and informative blog ‘Event Industry News‘ – its a great read and ‘stop abandoning tents’ makes the top three New Years Resolutions along with ‘try something new’ and ‘work at a festival’. As Peppermint wisely say “A well-designed, stable, waterproof tent with good ventilation will keep you dry and cool through countless British weekends as well as foreign climates. Choose a decent one and you’ll feel more inclined to care for your home-from-home than to ditch it”.
And the GO Group presented a panel on the problem of left behind tents and camping gear at this years 2014 EuroSonic convention – panellists for the packed session called ‘Teenage Wasteland’ included Ben Challis from AGF, Teresa Moore from Bucks New Uni and Katrien Goossens from Pukklepop – all hosted by Holger Jan Schmidt from the GO Group.
And are you up to date with what is going on in the live performance industry in France and internationally? Not really – then the Biennales Internationales du Spectacle (BIS) is a great chance to top up your knowledge and meet new people in the industry – and us! New ideas from The Green Music Initiative and GO Group will be presented by Lena Buck within the Sustainable Development Programme this coming Wednesday, 22nd of January 2014. We will be part of the discussion on Sustainable Development Networks in Europe at 10.30am. And Penny from A Greener Festival will join as well! Stop by and discuss with us how we can make the sustainable development networks in Europe bigger and more efficient to make the live performance industry even smarter and greener!