Shorts | Earthed 1
Summer 2014 â€˘ Issue 12
Run on Sun
Our new campaign for solar power in schools Plus: Get a Bee World in your area un
on S Run
What’s happening at Friends of the Earth?
Alan Palmer/ Waltham Forest Friends of the Earth
Saving bees – the latest More good news in our campaign to save bees. Thanks to your support we’ve helped beat back a fresh assault on the fortunes of bees. When chemical company Syngenta recently applied to the Government for the go-ahead to use banned pesticides on UK crops, thousands of you emailed the Bees Minister to complain. This, combined with pressure from our beeloving allies such as Buglife, clearly hit home and Syngenta has now withdrawn its application. Other good recent news for bees includes the number of Bee Worlds that supporters like you have been planting this summer (see page 10).
The backdrop to all this is the National Pollinator Strategy (NPS) that we campaigned for and won together. This is the Government’s plan to address the alarming decline in British bees. At the moment the NPS is in its draft stage and our campaigners are working with the Government on making it suitably robust, especially on the role that farming will play and how to cut pesticide use. Watch this space.
Fracking retreat At a Belfast business gathering recently we named and shamed Susan Morrice of CHX Ltd, one of the companies trying to bring fracking to Northern Ireland. Ms Morrice was speaking at the Responsible Business Gala which we thought a bit rich, given the health and climate risks behind fracking. Now we hear CHX has withdrawn its application for exploratory drilling in Northern Ireland – hurrah! Find out about our fracking campaign.
Hull on a high Fantastic news from Hull, where ABP Ports and Siemens Energy have committed to a £310m facility that will build and service offshore wind turbines. Friends of the Earth played a major role in making this happen by championing the idea and building support through our Energising England events. Read more on this story.
UK pension funds link to land grabs UK pension funds and asset management companies could potentially have £37 billion invested in land grabs worldwide, according to a report by Friends of the Earth. What’s Your Pension Funding? is the first time such UK organisations have been linked directly – via their investments – to firms either known or alleged to be involved in land grabbing in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Land grabbing is when businesses buy large pieces of land, often to grow crops for fuel and other industries, and infringe the rights of local people. This sometimes results in families being kicked off the land they are farming and not being given compensation. Read the lowdown on land grabbing.
Shorts | Earthed 3
It’s a numbers game
Downloads of the Great British Bee Count app. We’ll be wrapping up the count as summer draws to a close, but it will be back again in the spring. Taking part will help you learn more about bees while also helping to add to the UK’s scientific data on these vital pollinators.
Fundraising for us in our Big Green Bike Ride to the New Forest. Thank you.
Raised in our Bee Worlds appeal. Thank you.
£8,000 Possible annual savings from solar panels on your school (see page 5).
Bee Worlds we’ve created together (see page 10).
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Shorts | Earthed 5
Hanover School Hanover School, Islington, London has vertical solar panels on the south-facing side of its sports hall. “It’s a great idea to turn natural resources into electricity,” says Hanover student Sole, right of picture. “I hope that other schools get solar panels too”
Photograph by Amelia Collins
What if every school in the UK had solar panels? See overleaf
IF EVERY UK SCHOOL INSTALLED SOLAR PANELS, TOGETHER THEY COULD: Produce the same amount of energy as burning
100,000 tonnes of oil
Generate the same amount of electricity as used by
*Annual figures based on ~30,000 UK schools having 50kW solar panels. Not all school roofs are suitable for solar power, but plenty of other roof space is â€“ such as on hospitals and workplaces.
sun Cut carbon emissions by the same amount as taking
110,000 cars off the road for a year
Make up to
in savings per school
Save enough money to pay the annual salaries of more than
Living with frack Skylar Sowatskey (right) poses for a portrait near her home in Connoquenessing Township, Pennsylvania. Skylarâ€™s mother claims that their water was contaminated after several shale gas wells were drilled in the area. The family have since moved away from the area where they had lived for 16 years
Fracking | Earthed 9
king What’s it like to live next door to the fracking rigs? This picture is part of a two-year photo-study of the lives of people in gas-rich parts of Pennsylvania, in the United States. Fracking, otherwise known as shale gas drilling, involves pumping water and chemicals underground to break up rocks and force out the natural gas inside them. Shale gas is promoted as a cheap form of home-grown energy, but it’s still a fossil fuel and burning it contributes to climate change – just like coal, oil and conventionally extracted gas.
drinking water and air pollution from fracking-related activities. Here in the UK gas drilling is not so far advanced and many communities are challenging plans to have fracking on their doorsteps. Thanks to your generosity Friends of the Earth is supporting them, helping raise awareness and providing legal advice. We’re calling for an end to fracking in the UK and instead want to see more investment in renewable energy from wind, waves and the sun.
Find out about our campaign at foe.co.uk/fracking
Watch our film about fracking
And what about its effect on people’s lives? In the US there is evidence of contamination of
Organic farmer Adron Delarosa prepares his house for a move from Pennsylvania to North Carolina (right). He and his wife Mary decided to leave because of gas drilling and a planned compressor station near their home. You can see more pictures from this photo essay on our website
Welcome to my
Bee World How we’re helping to save bees Thanks to your support, we’ve made the Government commit to a plan to save bees.
Watch our film about planting a Bee World in Newcastle
But saving bees doesn’t stop there. Among the other nice things we’re doing for bees is creating places that are good for these vital insects and other pollinators. We’re calling them Bee Worlds, and it’s again thanks to your support that we now have more than 200 of them.
tham Forest Friends Alan Palmer/ Wal
In Kitchener Park, east London, for example, we got together with locals in the spring to plant a Bee World (opposite). Recently we went back there to take more pictures – and just look at the wonderful results (right).
of the Earth
These havens of wild flowers can provide food and shelter for bees, and help reverse the alarming decline of UK bees.
Find out more about starting your own Bee World
The Bee Cause | Earthed 11
Can you do more? Open an ethical savings account at Triodos Bank and we’ll benefit too, says Josey Cullen If you open a savings account with Triodos Bank at triodos.co.uk/foe they’ll donate £40 once you’ve deposited your first £100.* Last year donations totalled over £10,000, helping us to continue our work on everything from saving British bees, to preventing fracking becoming a widespread reality in the UK. Triodos only lends its savers’ money to organisations that benefit people and the environment. For example, it has been funding community-owned renewable energy since 1996. The income communities raise from these projects goes into local improvements like renovating village halls, buying ground for sports fields, supporting clubs for children and creating safe public footpaths. Visit triodos.co.uk/foe to find out more and get the process started. Josey Cullen is a member of the Fundraising team at Friends of the Earth * This offer is only available for accounts opened online. For the offer, terms and conditions, go to triodos.co.uk/foe
Friends of the Earth Trust Limited, a registered charity