Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Art installation (removal) leads to controversy at Wyoming University

This post comes to you from Cultura21

British environmental artist Chris Drury´s art installation Carbon Sink: What Goes Around Comes Around created back in July 2011 on the Wyoming university campus, was originally intended to inspire a conversation about a prevalent environmental problem in the region. Global warming has, so scientists say, led to less pine beetles dying off by below zero temperature and thus more forest infested by the tree-killing beetles.

The sculpture features a 36-foot-wide circle of logs from beetle-killed trees, arranged in a circular pattern around a pile of coal and thus it points at the link between human induced climate change and dead forests. A big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions however is the burning of coal.

Plausible topic for an art installation, but in a state where the fossil fuel industry is a major economic driver as well as a known financial supporter of the University of Wyoming, some toes were bound to be stepped on.

Still, surprisingly the quiet removal of the installation after less than a year by university presidentTom Buchanan (it was supposed to stay till it decomposed) was confirmed to be the result of pressure by energy officials and their political allies. This stark display of interference by corporate sponsorship in the curatorial decision-making is just a more public and recent one of many and gives a gloomy outlook on the future of censorship in art institutions.

For more information:

http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2012/11/energy-donor-artistic-freedom-censorship/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-anne-hitt/university-of-wyoming-artwork_b_2018743.html

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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UN COP17 Climate Negotiations kick off in Durban

The 17th UN negotiations to try and limit the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions and potentially catastrophic climate change began on 28th November, in Durban South Africa. Since the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entered into force in 1995, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC have been meeting annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change.

With the slogan “Working Together; Saving Tomorrow Today”, it seems as though there is plenty of optimism and a will to achieve. However, recent COP meetings, in Copenhagen and Cancun, were felt by some to have failed to deliver lasting commitments from countries to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions.

Here’s an update from the UKYCC delegation in Durban on Monday 5 December:

“It’s the first day of the second week and the pressure’s started to build. This is the make or break week for the negotiations and I’ll be  honest – I’m afraid it’s going to be break time. There are some really important issues on the table – the one a lot of people are talking

about is the Kyoto Protocol. It’s the only legally binding treaty we have to reduce carbon emissions but it runs out in 2012. If we want to have emissions reduction targets (which we do), then we need action now.  The KP (as it’s called) only applies to developed countries. The US never signed up to it (they just don’t like playing fair or acknowledging that they’re part of the world) and now Canada is actively trying to kill it so it can sell highly polluting tar sand oil to every other country in the world for maximum profits. Japan and Russia are being lame too.

It’s not often I’m proud to be British but the EU, and the UK within it, are doing their best to keep it alive – I’m 100% of the way behind them. Say it loud and say it proud: ‘I heart KP!

Other important issues are having a broader mandate for a universal treaty that will cover both developed and developing countries come out of Durban. That, and money. Always with the money! But the UNFCCC want to create a Green Climate Fund to manage the money that will support mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The big question is, who’s going to take care of the money and where’s it going to come from?

For a more in-depth insight, check out the second UKYCC hand puppet video. If talking hands can’t explain what’s going on, nothing can!”

Websites to keep up to date with progress of the talks:

Go to Arcola Energy

The Green Deal: a new revolution in energy efficiency

The Green Deal: a new revolution in energy efficiency

As part of its sustainability, Arcola Theatre continuously strives to improve its energy efficiency. In this post, we take a closer look at the Green Deal initiative being set up by the government to increase energy efficient efforts in the UK.

What is it?

The Green Deal is a new government initiative, which is intended to revolutionise the energy efficiency of British properties. It is anticipated the Green Deal will be launched in autumn 2012.

Through the Green Deal, many households and businesses can improve their energy efficiency and reduce their fuel bills through better insulation and installing energy efficient boilers. The Deal is hailed as an innovative financing mechanism which allows consumers to pay back through their energy bills. Thus, the crucial aspect is that there are no upfront costs whatsoever. Therefore, consumers can see the Green Deal charge alongside the reductions in energy use which generate savings on their bill. It also means that if they move out and cease to be the bill-payer at that property, the financial obligation doesnt move with them but moves to the next bill payer: the charge is only paid whilst the benefits are enjoyed.

Why is it needed?

At a local level, the Green Deal will enable many households and businesses to improve the energy efficiency of their properties and thus generate economic gains. At a national level, the UK needs to become more energy efficient to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

Break down of the consumer journey

1. Advice
All businesses and households will be permitted to an energy efficiency assessment, undertaken by an accredited assessor.

2. Finance
A new finance mechanism is introduced, whereby the cost of energy efficient installations is paid back through the energy bill.

3. Installations
Accredited installer will install the measures, subject to the highest standard and to ensure that genuine energy bill and carbon savings are met.

4. Repayments and follow up
After the energy efficiency measures have been installed, a charge will be added to the energy meter at the property and will enable repayments through their energy bills for any Green Deal charges taken out. Repayment obligations belong to the occupier of the property.

Go to Arcola Energy

PUBLIC ART and LEED – Energy & Atmosphere

This post comes to you from Green Public Art

continued from… PUBLIC ART and LEED – Sustainable Sites and Water Efficiency

ENERGY & ATMOSPHERE

Decker Yeadon

Refrigerant Management – is a great opportunity for glass curtains. Points will be awarded if the project does not increase and/or reduces a building heat load.

False Creek Energy Centre

Example: Architectural material technologists, Decker Yeadon, have developed a material that regulates a building’s climate by automatically responding to environmental conditions, without need of people, or energy intensive machinery. Watch the video to get a real sense of how revolutionary their Homeostatic Facade Systemcould be for building design.

On-site renewable energy – must always be used if artwork needs to be powered

Example: In Vancouver, at the False Creek Energy Centre, public art is activated by the operations of the facility, which produces domestic hot water and space heating for the adjacent community. At the top of each stack is a LED light fixture which changes color from blue – orange – red relative to the heat output of the plant.

piezoelectric walkway

Example: PIEZOELECTRIC WALKWAYS is a power technology which uses pressure generated by people walking to produce electricity. Toulouse, France is now using the technology to generate enough electricity to run streetlights.

Green Power – to earn credits in the Green Power category projects must use renewable energy and make it visible and traceable. By definition green power produces no manmade greenhouse gas emissions and can be solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and hydroelectric

Mags Harries & Lajos Heder's SunFlower: An Electric Garden

Example: Mags Harries & Lajos Hedder’s SunFlower, An Electric Garden is a public art project in Austin, Texas feeds about 15 KW of electricity into the grid for credit, which funds the maintenance and operating costs for the project.

The conversation continues here: PUBLIC ART and LEED – Materials & Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality

Rebecca Ansert, founder of Green Public Art, is an art consultant who specializes in artist solicitation, artist selection, and public art project management for both private and public agencies. She is a graduate of the master’s degree program in Public Art Studies at the University of Southern California and has a unique interest in how art can demonstrate green processes or utilize green design theories and techniques in LEED certified buildings.

Green Public Art is a Los Angeles-based consultancy that was founded in 2009 in an effort to advance the conversation of public art’s role in green building. The consultancy specializes in public art project development and management, artist solicitation and selection, creative community involvement and knowledge of LEED building requirements. Green Public Art also works with emerging and mid-career studio artists to demystify the public art process. The consultancy acts as a resource for artists to receive one-on-one consultation before, during, and after applying for a public art project.
Go to Green Public Art

Going Green

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Julie’s Bicycle just launched a publication, developed with the Mayor of London and Frieze Art Fair, on the visual arts.  This is one of a series of ‘how to’ guides across artforms.

Starting with work in 2007 that looked at the Greenhouse Gas emissions of the UK Music Industry, Julie’s Bicycle has researched and produced guides on CD Packaging, Audience Travel to Festivals, Performing Arts Touring, as well as Promos and Green Riders.

All organisations should be looking seriously at these issues, not only in terms of management of buildings, but also management of programming.  Whilst the recent glut of plays about climate change may have been met with some criticism, there are artists making interesting work focused on environmental crisis across all artforms.  The question in the end is whether this is didactic or whether it opens up dialogue.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

Julie’s Bicycle Helps UK Theatres Cut Carbon

Reprinted from The Guardian: “Green Dreams: How Can Theatre Cut Its Carbon Emissions?” by Chris Wilkinson, June 29, 2010

As the financial climate gets ever chillier, much has been said about the need for theatre companies to band together if they are to survive the coming cuts. So it is good to see that a new spirit of cooperation is now developing across the industry – albeit in response to an entirely different climate. The curiously named Julie’s Bicycle – an organisation that exists to help the creative industries lower their greenhouse gas emissions – has recently announced the launch of a “UK-wide theatre programme” aimed at helping theatres play their part in the fight against climate change.

Of course, for some theatres, an interest in the environment is nothing new. There have been individual efforts going on for a number of years now. Some companies are building theatres that are literally recycled, the National Theatre has been working with Philips to reduce its energy consumption and east London’s Arcola theatre has made itself the industry leader with its hugely impressive Arcola Energy project.

Yet what is particularly exciting about this new initiative is that it seeks to foster a much greater level of cooperation across the industry as a whole. The aim of Julie’s Bicycle is to bring together producers from both the commercial and subsidised sectors, and they have already attracted some of the biggest names on both sides of the theatrical divide. A steering committee for the project has been set up, chaired by Nick Starr, the executive director of the National Theatre, which boasts representatives from organisations as diverse as Cameron Mackintosh Productions, Glyndebourne, the National Theatres of Scotland and Wales, the RSC and many others.

Sian Alexander, Julie’s Bicycle’s associate director for theatre, says this shows that there is a “huge appetite” in the industry for tackling this issue. The plan is that companies will share information and ideas so that eventually Julie’s Bicycle will be “able to produce an annual report for theatre on GHG emissions and progress towards targets based on the data collected by the industry”. Given how secretive theatres can be about their plans and operations, it is good to see that differences are being overlooked in the face of this major challenge.

In fact, as the Stage recently explained, Julie’s Bicycle has already launched one major report about the impact that touring theatre has on the environment. They calculated that in 2009 British touring companies produced approximately 13,400 tonnes of greenhouse gases: equivalent to flying round the world 2,680 times. In one sense this is good news – Alexander points out that this figure is not as high as they had initially feared it might be – but she adds that there are also many areas where things could be improved.

As well as working directly with theatres, the organisation has provided a number of resources on its websites to enable companies to measure their impact themselves. These include a free carbon calculator, which theatres can use to work out what their carbon footprint is, and a range of other advice on how to become more energy-efficient.

Recent years have seen a range of shows – from Filter’s Water to the Bush’s Contingency Plan – that have sought to tackle climate change from an artistic point of view. So it’s good to see theatres attempting to be green not just in word, but in action too.

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The Stage: Carbon footprint of touring theatre revealed

An exclusive story over on THE STAGE, so we can’t give it all away, but please do head over there at the link below!

Moving sets, transporting casts and lighting hotel rooms for British touring theatre companies creates as many greenhouse gas emissions every year as flying around the world 2,680 times, new research has revealed.

According to a new report to be published by green arts organisation Julie’s Bicycle next week, and seen exclusively by The Stage, British touring theatre companies caused around 13,400 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions within the UK and globally in 2009.

The Stage / News / Exclusive: Carbon footprint of touring theatre revealed.

Kresge Foundation Folds Green Building Initiative into Env’t Program

The Kresge Foundation has announced that it will be folding its Green Building Initiative into its existing Environment Program.  Whether this was due to a downturn in funding, management consolidation, or a feeling that their efforts were being duplicated by other foundations is unknown.  However, funds will remain available for theaters seeking to rebuild or renovate their existing spaces according to the US Green Building Council’s LEED accreditation system.

Via Philathrophy News Digest, March 2, 2009:

The Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, has announced that it is winding down its green building initiative and has set May 29 as the last day that it will accept applications to cover the planning costs associated with constructing or renovating facilities in an environmentally sustainable manner. At the same time, the foundation has committed to advancing environmental stewardship through its environment program. Launched in 2007, the program is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment, accelerate the adoption of renewable energy technologies, and develop strategies for helping society adapt to the impacts of climate change. Going forward, the foundation will allocate more resources to the program to support policy changes designed to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient practices in building construction, renovation, and operation.

“The green building initiative has served its purpose just as Kresge intended,” said Lois DeBacker, Kresge senior program director and Environment Program team leader. “The nonprofit organizations that received green planning grants and went on to construct green buildings raised awareness in the nonprofit sector, in the design and construction professions, and in the physical communities where these projects are located.”

Kresge logo

Links:

“Kresge Is Retiring Its Green Building Initiative in May 2009”: Kresge Foundation Press Release, 2/27/09

“Why Build Green?”: Kresge Foundation

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