Emissions

From Julie’s Bicycle: After Miss Julie “Classic for a New Climate” opens at Young Vic

Julie's Bicycle - News

EXCERPTED FROM: Julie’s Bicycle – News.

Last Month a re-imagining of Strindberg’s cruelest love story, Miss Julie, opens at the Young Vic after a week of previews. Set in England, July 1945, After Miss Julie takes place during the celebrations of the Labour Party’s landslide election victory and follows events which, over the course of a single night, turn Miss Julie’s world head over heels.

Adapted from the original by Patrick Marber and directed by Natalie Abrahami, After Miss Julie is also a “Classics for a New Climate” production, which has been investigating approaches to making more ecologically sustainable theatre in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle. Prompted by the Mayor of London’s target to reduce London’s emissions by 60% before 2050, the Young Vic set out to reduce the energy used to produce After Miss Julie by 50% compared to other shows that have been staged in the Maria Theatre previously.

Heating, cooling and ventilating are the three systems that use up the most energy within the theatre space, and the Young Vic has an efficient system in place thanks to a refurbishment to the building which reopened in 2006. Initiatives that this production has put in place to reduce energy further have involved using natural ventilation as a substitute for heating and cooling as much as possible. This explains why the temperature in the auditorium varies slightly and why they’ve asked audience members to wear layers.

To read the full article CLICK HERE: Julie’s Bicycle – News.

Arcola Intern goes to climate negoitations in Cancun #COP16

After the disappointing outcome of Copenhagen last December the next climate change negotiations have started to  take place in Cancun, Mexico.

Arcola intern, Anthony Ford-Shubrook has been chosen as one of a group of eight to represent UK youth at the UN conference. He will be part of the UKYCC (UK Youth Climate Coalition) delegation, to campaign for politicians to sign up to real emissions cuts and cap temperature rises before it’s too late. There’s a lot of scaremongering and even scepticism around about climate change but when a recent study shows that 98% of climate scientists that publish research on the subject support the view that human activities are warming the planet and that this warming will lead to catastrophic events such as floods, droughts and violent storms across the world he feels we have to do something. Anthony says, “I’m going to go and take part in the movement trying to call for something to be done. If we act now to cut emissions we really can make a difference.”

At the conference Anthony will be campaigning and sitting in on the negotiations each day.

Visit www.ukycc.org for more information on Anthony’s trip.

Go to Arcola Energy

Avatar; indigenous peoples, carbon credits and the rainforest

I’m loving the commentaries that have evolved around Avatar’s themes of exploitation of natural resources, imperialism and biological diversity.

Libertarian blogger Stephen Kinsella argues here that it underscores his viewpoint that the movie demonstrates that property rights are the only way to protect the environment. Interestingly this is the logic of the UN’s REDD carbon trading scheme or to give it its long name, the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries. This is based – in theory at least – of forests having assigned carbon values and of local people having property rights over those resources. The “owners” are then rewarded for not chopping down trees.

Such solutions aren’t without their problems though. Aside for the more obvious problems of carbon credits – that they allow the industralised world to delay reducing their own emissions –  Global Witness point out in this report [PDF] that was published last October, this is an untested scheme that may well benefit Africa and South America’s kleptocrat rulers more than it does the environment, or the locals to whom this property has been assigned. Assigning property rights, suggests Global Witness, is part of the process of moving from an environment protected from logging, to a “sustainably managed” forest which allows logging to go ahead.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Avatar and the power of social media

I’m loving the commentaries that have evolved around Avatar’s themes of exploitation of natural resources, imperialism and biological diversity.

Libertarian blogger Stephen Kinsella argues here that it underscores his viewpoint that the movie demonstrates that property rights are the only way to protect the environment. Interestingly this is the logic of the UN’s REDD carbon trading scheme or to give it its long name, the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries. This is based – in theory at least – of forests having assigned carbon values and of local people having property rights over those resources. The “owners” are then rewarded for not chopping down trees.

Such solutions aren’t without their problems though. Aside for the more obvious problems of carbon credits – that they allow the industralised world to delay reducing their own emissions –  Global Witness point out in this report [PDF] that was published last October, this is an untested scheme that may well benefit Africa and South America’s kleptocrat rulers more than it does the environment, or the locals to whom this property has been assigned. Assigning property rights, suggests Global Witness, is part of the process of moving from an environment protected from logging, to a “sustainably managed” forest which allows logging to go ahead.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Marcus Brigstocke’s #COP15

Just in case you’d missed the BBC’s Now Show clip, here’s the transcript. Brigstocke was one of those on the 2008 Cape Farewell expedition.

The delegates came and the delegates sat
And they talked and they talked till their bums all went flat
Then a delegate said of the country he knew
“We must do something quick but just what should we do
So they sat again thinking and there they stayed seated
Sitting and thinking “the planet’s been heated”
“I think” said a delegate there from Peru
“That we all must agree on some things we could do
Like reducing emissions at least CO2″
So they nodded and noted then vetoed and voted
And one of them stood up and suddenly quoted
“It’s the science you see, that’s the thing that must guide us
When the leaders all get here they’re certain to chide us”
So they sat again thinking about what to think
Then decided to ponder what colour of ink
To use on the paper when they’d all agreed
To be selfless not greedy McGreedy McGreed
“But how do we choose just what colour to use”
Said a delegate there who’d been having a snooze
“We need clear binding targets definitive action
We must all agree clearly without more distraction”
So they sat again thinking of targets for ink
But the ink in their thinking had started to stink
And they started to think that the ink was a kink
In the thinking about real things they should think
“If ze climate needs mending then zis is our chance”
Said the nuclear delegate sent there by France
“We need to agree on one thing to agree on
Something we all want a fixed guarantee on”
“Yes” said another who thought this made sense
Some value for carbon in dollars or pence
But the mention of money and thoughts of expense
Had stifled the progress and things became tense
The fella from China with a smile on his face
Said “Who put the carbon there in the first place”
“Wasn’t us” said the U.S then Europe did too
Then a silence descended and no words were spoken
Till a delegate stood up, voice nervous and broken
“Is there nothing upon which we all can decide
Because on Wednesday my chicken laid eggs that were fried”
“We all like a sing song” said the bloke from Down Under
But then the great hall was all shouting and thunder
Policemen had entered and were wearing protesters
Who they’d beaten and flattened like bloodied sou’westers
The police had decided to downplay this crime
With prevention detention and beatings in rhyme
The Greenies who’d shouted and asked for a decision
Were now being battered with lethal precision
All sick of inaction and fed up of waiting
All tired of the endless debated placating
They’d risen up grating berating and hating
So the police had commenced the related abating
Ban Ki-moon put his head in another man’s lap
And was last heard muttering something like “crap”
But the chap next to him said “It’s more like it’s poo”
So the great hall debated not what they should do
But how to decide between crap cack and poo
“It is poo” “It is cack” “It is crap” “We agree”
Which was written and labelled as document three
“I think if we all find one thing we agree on
Then maybe Brazil might be left with a tree on”
So they sat again thinking of trees and Brazil
And of glaciers which had retreated uphill
And they thought of the poor folks whose homes were in flood
But less of the protesters covered in blood
They pondered the species so nearly extinct
It’s as if they all thought that these things might be linked
“We need a solution we need action please”
Said a lady who’d come from the sinking Maldives
The others all nodded and said it was fact
That the time must be now not to talk but to act
Then Obama arrived and said most rhetorical
“Action is action and not metaphorical”
“Wow” they all thought “he must mean arregorical [sic]“
“I love it when Barack goes all oratorical”
“But the problem I have is that Congress won’t pass it
“Bugger” said Ban Ki then “sorry” then “arse it”
Then Brown said “I’ve got it now how does this strike you?
It’s simpler when voters already dislike you”
He suggested the EU should lead from the front
So The Mail and The Telegraph called him something very unpleasant indeed
So the delegates stared at the text with red marks on
Ignoring the gales of laughter from Clarkson
No-one was satisfied nobody won
Except the morons convinced it was really the sun
And they blew it and wasted the greatest of chances
Instead they all frolicked in diplomat dances
And decided decisively right there and then
That the best way to solve it’s to meet up again
And decide on a future that’s greener and greater
Not with action right now but with something else later

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

In Case You’re Wondering what it means #COP15

Here is a good summary of points from Grist.com

The Copenhagen Accord contains these provisions that President Obama called a start to global action to solve climate change:

1) A commitment by developed nations to invest $30 billion over the next three years to help developing nations adapt to climate change and pursue clean energy development.

2) A provisional commitment by developed nations to develop a long-term $100 billion global fund by 2020 to assist developing nations in responding to climate change and become part of the clean energy economic transition.

3) A goal to pursue emissions reductions that are sufficient to keep the rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.

4) Pledges by nations to commit to concrete emissions reductions, though the specific levels of reduction were not set.

5) A general goal to subject participating countries to international review of their progress under the accord.

6) Diplomatic space for the United States and China to work together to solve climate change. A commitment to complete an assessment of the effectiveness of the accord in reducing emissions by the end of 2015.

Full Article HERE

Treadmill Bike

I often talk to my students and people in workshops about Ancient Technology. What the term means refers to is old ways of doing things that are simple and forgo electronics. The most important part though is that they strip down systems instead of adding onto existing systems. 

An example of an ancient technology might be using steamed banana leaves for food service, or non-vitrified clay in drink ware that gets smashed and reformed. Both are sterile, both from the about of heat used to prepare them for use. The banana leaf is biodegradable entirely and the cup is truly recycled (as opposed to downcycled, though I guess you might be loose some clay in the process, but It’s just clay)

Ancient technologies are my favorites because they were created out of necessity out of what was available and they’re simple. 

A lot of our green technologies are now systems layered on other systems. Or, the incorporation of one technology into an existing one to make it greener. But, this doesn’t work as well as not making the first one benign in the first place. 

I’ll use Hybrid cars as an example.

By adding a battery into the power train of the car you do decrease emissions significantly. However, battery technology doesn’t last as long as internal combustion technology alone, so the life cycle of the car for the user is less. They would need more cars in the same period of time.

Also, the newness of the technology then asks people to buy new cars. If they already have a working vehicle and it continues to have a life with another user as a used car, you’ve not decreased the number of cars on the road creating emissions necessarily, you’ve added a car that isn’t as bad as another. 

Finally there is also issue of destruction at the end of the car’s life. New systems of disposing the hybrid batteries, or at least expansion of existing systems of disposal make are need to accommodate this new technology. 

And as it continues to evolve, like it will with plug in hybrids, more systems will be created to deal with the effects of changing existing technology. 

On the other hand, another approach to curbing emissions is building infrastructure that doesn’t require a car in the first place. Building an urban environment that is geared towards pedestrians and then added mass transit systems for longer distances that alleviate the need to have a dedicate personal car.

While these infrastructural changes might not be ancient, they do predate cars and thus would predate the issues of cars in their impact. 

As an example of what happens when you unnecessarily add technology onto another, I offer you the Teadmill Bike. It is a bike that instead of pedaling, you walk on a treadmill. 

While the intention is to give you a treadmill gym experience outside, it disregards the point of a treadmill. If you’re on a treadmill you don’t want to walk anywhere, you want to stay put in your gym. 

The better alternative? Walking… or just biking.

I personally hope this was a joke.