From an article in the Observer 2nd February 2009
What do children’s crayons, a clown’s costume, balloons, tents, plastic buckets, soap, nail clippers, cycle helmets, life jackets, paddles, blankets and bin bags all have in common? They are all among the 2000 items confiscated by Kent Police during the protests against the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station. The Police, described as being ‘over the top’ by protestors, initially tried to justify their £5.9 million pound policing bill by saying a heavy police presence was necessary to ‘prevent unlawful incursion of the power station’ and to protect protestors themselves and that seizing that items was a pre-emptive action to prevent them being used in crimes. One wonders what one crimes one can commit with crayons and soap but there you go. The police also originally said that 70 officers had been injured in the protests until it came to light that the injuries were basically – errrm – toothache, sunstroke, insect bites and …. headaches!!! I am not quite sure what HM Constabulary are up to, but making themselves look like fools doesn’t do much to inspire confidence in our police and policing.
Britain’s big energy companies are investing on average only £30 per year from each customer in renewable energy according to a study compiled for independent green power group Ecotricity. Ecotricity claims that British Gas parent company Centrica has spent £397.3m on renewables over the last five years – this might seem a lot but it is just only £13.28 per customer per year. E.ON, the German-owned group at the centre of the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station controversy, spent just £210.5m or £5.37 per. Worst of all is French group EDF which is leading the charge to build nuclear reactors in Britain. It is estimated to have invested £89.6m on renewables in this country, or £14.14 per customer. Green Energy and Good Energy are excluded from the calculations by Ecotricity as they are supply companies which do not generate power, instead buying it on the open market. Centrica hit back at the findings, saying the Ecotricity figures gave no indication about the level of future spending. Ecotricity have also said that energy regulator Ofgems’s new green tariffs, issued earlier this month, are likely to make matters worse. Ecotricity will not sign up to Ofgem’s guidelines as it predicts they will make green tariffs more confusing and expensive for consumers and will do nothing to encourage energy companies to build new renewable energy.
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Numerous wild bird species including the Lapwing, the Snow Bunting, the Snipe, the Red Kite, Leach’s Petrel and the Scottish Crossbill are facing extinction in the United Kingdom as climate change and intensive farming drive them out of their habitats according to a new report from Durham University and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The report says that Britain’s birds are being driven northwards and in some areas are being replaced in habitats with birds from the Mediterranean region, themselves being driven north as well leading to significant wildlife transformation. Scientists have calculated that the 0.6C degree rise temperatures in the last two decades has already had a significant impact and that the average range of British birds will move 550 kilometres (340 miles) by 2100 as the climate heats up – but for some that means they will be without a home – the Scottish Crossbill will be forced off the top of Scotland with nowhere to go – it would not be able to fly as far as the only option – Iceland. One of the scientists involved, Dr Steve Willis, had already studies the effect of climate change on insects. With the nation’s temperature gradient moving northwards at 41KM each year he showed that many species were too slow to migrate with the change.
The Red Kite is the logo of The Greener Festival Awards