People power is preventing the expansion of the tar sands

People power beat Big Oil again this week when Shell announced that it was cancelling its Carmon Creek tar sands project. Shell said the decision to cancel the project (and thus take a US$2 billion hit to its bottom line) “reflects current uncertainties, including the lack of infrastructure to move Canadian crude oil to global commodity markets.”

In other words: the massive public opposition to tar sands pipelines means Shell doesn’t think it would be able to get the oil to market.

Over 25,000 citizens march in Quebec City calling on Provincial Premiers and the Federal Government of Canada to Act on Climate. 11 Apr, 2015 © Toma Iczkovits / Greenpeace

Canadians have grown accustomed to seeing pipeline protests on the evening news, but a new report from Oil Change International takes a data-driven approach to show how people power is successfully stepping in where governments are falling short.

In the case of the Alberta tar sands, people power has created circumstances where no new growth will be profitable in the sector—unless oil companies can overcome a growing movement that starts on the front lines with First Nations and impacted communities, and extends across the country, the continent and the world. 

Four thousand people from across Canada gather at the B.C. legislature in Victoria to protest tar sands pipelines, tankers, and the threats they pose to the west coast.22 Oct, 2012 © Greenpeace / Keri Coles

Faced with low oil prices and limited pipeline space due to public opposition, the oil industry has cut its growth forecast for the tar sands in half.

Canadian Oil Sands and Conventional Production over time. Source: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Source: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

But even that lower growth projection will require new pipelines to get more oil out of the western sedimentary basin, which is home to the tar sands and the Bakken oil fields. That won’t be easy. The Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines are politically dead, and the Transmountain (Kinder Morgan) and Energy East pipelines are facing massive opposition.

Takeaway Capacity versus Suppy Forecast. Source: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Source: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The yellow and orange bands are pipelines that don’t yet exist.

In Canada, the new Liberal government has committed to strengthening the pipeline review process, including the introduction of a climate test that will account for upstream greenhouse gas emissions. This is good news because building new pipelines would enable a massive expansion of tar sands production that is incompatible with a safe global climate.

Any government serious about climate change must confront the scientific reality that there is no room for major new fossil fuel infrastructure that locks in high levels of carbon pollution for decades to come.

Stephen Harper was an unabashed bully on behalf of the oil companies, but now that Canada has a new government, we have an opportunity to turn this around. The oil industry is, however, still very powerful and no matter how well-meaning the new Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is, oil companies won’t seize the opportunity to turn away from an oil-driven economy and embrace a renewable energy future without relentless pressure from below.

So let’s get back to work.

Keith Stewart is the head of the Greenpeace Canada energy campaign.

This blog was originally posted by Greenpeace Canada.

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Saving the last Japanese dugongs

The home of the last few Japanese dugongs is about to be landfilled to make way for two airstrips – part of the expansion of a US military base on the island of Okinawa. But a movement nearly 18 years old is standing up to say NO. That’s why our ship the Rainbow Warrior is en route to join them…

The first thing that drew me to Greenpeace as a young New Zealander was actually the “peace” side of things. Nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific had drawn strong opposition from local people and from Greenpeace. Ultimately, that opposition cost Greenpeace its ship, the Rainbow Warrior – bombed and sunk by the French government in an act of state sponsored terrorism – and the life of photographer Fernando Pereira. But it also helped win a nuclear free New Zealand.

I was at school, and we were studying the horrors of nuclear war, something that felt like a very real threat at the time. The bombing of the Rainbow Warrior made the issue a whole lot more real.

Many years later, after environmental studies and the start of a career in marine conservation, I found myself in 2005 setting sail with the second Rainbow Warrior to help protect Okinawa’s small population of dugongs, which were under threat from plans to construct a US military airstrip right across a coral reef.

It’s hard to imagine a more peaceful sea creature than the dugong, a hefty vegetarian sea animal that grazes on sea grasses, meanders around coastal waters and was allegedly the basis of mermaid folklore.

Japanese dugong

The campaign brought together everything that had drawn me to Greenpeace. Protecting endangered ocean creatures – not just dugongs, but the myriad of other coral reef creatures of Henoko Bay, including a huge diversity of clown fish (Nemo, and his various  colourful cousins) and other inhabitants of coral reef and seagrass ecosystems.

The struggle to protect Okinawa’s dugongs is a struggle for existence itself.

There are extremely few dugongs left, and Japan risks losing its only population. It’s also a struggle for peace for the people of Okinawa. For many decades, military bases have dominated the island, and have raised many concerns from local communities. Building a new military airstrip – on the habitat of the last few dugongs – is symbolic of military power bulldozing over local and natural values. Local values that include both “green” – protecting native wildlife and the surrounding oceans – and “peace”, building a society where non-violence finally prevails over warfare and conflict. 

Ribbons attached to barbed wire perimeter fence with SV Rainbow Warrior in background at American marine base, Camp Schwab, Henoko, Okinawa Island, Japan. 2005

For me, it’s both happy and sad to return to Okinawa ten years later. It’s sad because in a decade those voices, despite their strength and defiance, have not been listened to. The plans to drill coral, pave over reefs with concrete and construct a monstrosity from which to launch military aircraft have not been abandoned, as they should have been in 2005.

But it also makes me happy. Happy to see local leaders standing up for peace and for the environment. Happy to arrive on board the new Rainbow Warrior – the third Greenpeace ship bearing this name – to Okinawa.

Once again, we have sailed here in support of the local people that want to save the dugongs, protect the ocean and spread peace.

Take action to save the dugong and Henoko Bay.

Karli Thomas is an Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace New Zealand

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4 ways to STOP Indonesia’s forest fires

A brief spell of rainfall in Indonesia has minimised the number of fire hotspots that have been broadcasting toxic smoke across the country…for now. Here are four ways to solve the #StoptheHaze…once and for all.

13-year old sister holds her 7-month old brother who is suffering from a respiratory tract infection
13-yr old sister holds her 7-mth old brother who is suffering a respiratory tract infection

It’s been labelled a “crime against humanity”. The “biggest environmental crime of the 21st century”, and most certainly the “worst climate crisis in the world right now.”

Since August, forests have been set alight to make way for plantations – a practice that has been happening for decades. But this year’s El Nino means that conditions are extra dry, leaving toxic smoke to lay and linger. To make matters worse, about half of these fires are taking place on peatlands, which are a major global carbon storehouse. In recent days, the rate of carbon emissions from Indonesia’s fires has outstripped the entire US economy.

Brief rainfall this week in Sumatra and Kalimantan has provided modest relief, but the crisis is far from over. The fires and smoke will return so long as companies are destroying forests and draining peatlands and the government is lax on enforcing its policies. Here’s how we can stop this devastating disaster…once and for all.

Military help extinguish the fire of burning peatland inside the Orangutan conservation area in Kapuas district, Central Kalimantan province, Borneo island, Indonesia
Military help extinguish the fire of burning peatland

1. Stop forest clearance…NOW!

FACT: stopping forest destruction is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to prevent catastrophic climate change. It’s estimated that this year’s haze will cost Indonesia’s economy US $14 billion.

By enforcing all agricultural commodity suppliers to immediately stop forest clearance and any further development on peatland, as well as actively monitoring them means holding them accountable to any potential dangerous and illegal activities.

A couple guard their rubber tree plantation to make sure it doesn’t catch fireA couple guard their rubber tree plantation to make sure it doesn’t catch fire

2. Re-flood, repair, regenerate

Last year, President Jokowi vowed to protect peatlands and showed his solidarity by damming a canal to stop the drainage of a peat forest in Sumatra. Since then, the area has hardly been affected by this season’s fires.

Last week he repeated the same vow, calling for a moratorium on licensing for peatland concessions after at least 10 people died due to respiratory illnesses caused by the smoke. It’s time for President Jokowi to stick to his promise.

Re-flooding and implementing other water management measures in critical peatland areas can sharply reduce fire risks – a solution Greenpeace has proposed for years.

Firefighters extinguishes the fire of burning peatland Firefighters extinguishes the fire of burning peatland 

3. We know what you did last summer…and we have the maps to prove it

Greenpeace researchers looked at 112,000 fire hotspots recorded from August 1 to October 26, 2015, which showed nearly 40 percent of fires had occurred inside mapped concessions: land granted by the Indonesian government to companies for logging or plantation development.

There are many, many concession where fire hotspots are indicated in mapping analysis, but our research also indicates that the company associated with the most is Asia Pulp & Paper.

This is not surprising. Firstly, they are the largest concession holder in Indonesia and have a legacy of deforestation. Secondly, they are the only company that has released accurate maps showing where their own, as well as their suppliers concessions are.

However, the government has recently refused Greenpeace’s request to make public the latest concession maps for analysis. Other companies have released very little information about their land holdings and the concessions that supply them, which makes you wonder – what do they have to hide?

A hornbill is seen from a tree where the air is engulfed with thick hazeA hornbill is seen from a tree where the air is engulfed with thick haze

4. Fight fire…by working together

Creating an industry-wide ban on forest clearance and peatland development in Indonesia means coming up with realistic solutions and ways to move forward. If corporations have the ability to destroy the world’s forests, they also have the power to help save them.

Bustar Maitar is Head of the Indonesia Forest Campaign at Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Want to help #StoptheHaze once and for all? Take action and sign up here

 

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Aurora Introduced Their First Smart Product – AOne™ Control Module

The AOne control app communicates with the LED luminaires via the AOne hub. Partnering with Zigbee, the hub transmits the signal from the app into a message enabling the lamps to react to the instructions given.

ZigBee is the only open, global wireless standard to provide the foundation for the Internet of Things by enabling simple and smart objects to work together, improving comfort and efficiency in everyday life.

The ZigBee Alliance is an open, non-profit association of approximately 450 members driving development of innovative, reliable and easy-to-use ZigBee standards. The Alliance promotes worldwide adoption of ZigBee as the leading wirelessly networked, sensing and control standard for use in consumer, commercial and industrial areas.

For additional information, please visit Arora Lighting’s website

The Aurora Group:
The Aurora Group is an international LED lighting organisation specialising in high quality, competitively priced energy-saving, smart LED lighting products. With a presence in every continent, the group employs over 1,000 people at its world-class, state-of-the-art, integrated manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe and the UK. An industry leader, Aurora is dedicated to design, R&D, manufacturing, engineering, testing, research and sales and marketing to 70+ countries. Aurora’s brands are optimised for the specific requirements of each channel and market. Aurora’s award winning projects division is defined by quality, design, efficiency and sustainability. Providing personalised solutions for our target markets using application centric products makes Aurora a global partner for any size of project.

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Osram Adds Filament LEDs to Its Product Portfolio

Technical data:
Package 30 mm x 1.8 mm (diameter)
Brightness 90 lm / 130 lm / 140 lm
Forward voltage

90 lm: 56 – 64 V
130 lm: 82 – 90 V
140 lm: 88 – 96 V

Color temperature 2500 – 4000 K
Color rendering index (CRI) >80

Each Soleriq L 38 has a length of 30 mm and a diameter of 1.8 mm. This shape, which is similar to that of a conventional filament, plus an emission angle of 360 degrees and their excellent quality of light make them perfect for use in LED lamps of all wattages that mimic the appearance of classic light bulbs. Soleriq L 38 LEDs are offered in different MacAdam groups according to their color, forward voltage and brightness – at a temperature of 85°C which closely approximates to the temperature in the application. Filament LEDs therefore have an extremely uniform color appearance and quality of light.

“Customers will benefit from these properties, particularly if they want to install multiple lamps or luminaires fitted with Soleriq L 38 in a room”, said Product Manager Wong Kum Yih of Osram Opto Semiconductors. “Incorporating the LEDs in classic lamp production lines is very simple because with only minor modifications to the manufacturing process they can be installed in the lamp in the same way as traditional filaments.” Sorting by forward voltage enables multiple LED filaments to be connected in parallel, resulting in reliable operation with no overloading of individual filaments.

Like all Soleriq products, the L 38 offers high brightness. It is available in three versions with 90, 130 or 140 lumen (lm). These values enable all previous lamp wattages up to 60 W to be replaced with equivalent LED filament solutions. The driver voltage needed for the LED filament lamps can also be adjusted. All the versions have an extremely high luminous efficacy of 150 lm/W and provide warm white light (2500 to 4000 Kelvin). Thanks to the good color rendering index of over 80, the new Soleriq is ideal for indoor lighting, particularly in the home. The main applications include products with a traditional look and modern interior, such as classic glass bulbs with LED filaments.

David Lewis MacAdam was an American scientist whose research into color perception has been used to sort light sources according to homogeneity.

You can find more information on the Soleriq L 38 in the product catalog.

About Osram:
Osram of Munich, Germany is one of the two leading light manufacturers in the world. The company’s portfolio covers the entire value chain from components – including lamps, electronic control gear and opto semiconductors such as light-emitting diodes (LED) – as well as luminaires, light management systems and lighting solutions. Osram has around 34,000 employees worldwide and generated revenue of more than €5.1 billion in fiscal 2014 (ended September 30). The company’s business activities have been focusing on light – and hence on quality of life – for over 100 years. The company was listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Munich on July 8, 2013 (ISIN: DE000LED4000; WKN: LED 400; Trading symbol: OSR). Additional information can be found at www.osram.com

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Climate change in the eyes of El Nino?

This year’s El Niño can already lay claim to spawning Mexico’s record-breaking Hurricane Patricia or contributing to one of the worst ever outbreaks of peatland and forest fires in Indonesia, but it might only be just getting started.

Hurricane Patricia Bears Down on Mexico's Pacific CoastHurricane Patricia Bears Down on Mexico’s Pacific Coast [October 2015]

After playing hide and seek with climate scientists for a year, the current El Niño is shaping up as the strongest since 1998 – when millions of people suffered hunger across Africa, Asia and central America – and might even eclipse it. 

Climate experts predicted a monster El Niño in 2014, but the phenomenon did not set in as expected, even though that year was recorded as the hottest on record and sea surface temperatures remained unusually warm in the Central Pacific.

Conditions stayed ripe, however, for the build-up of El Niño in 2015 and in March the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) declared “the long-anticipated El Niño has finally arrived”. 

Not only has El Niño arrived, it is here with heightened intensity, raising questions about its link to global warming and catastrophic weather such as Hurricane Patricia.

Aid agency Oxfam is warning that at least 10 million people are threatened with hunger globally because of failing crops attributed to El Niño.

The El Niño, like climate change, will test our national coping mechanisms and Greenpeace’s response – to not only bear witness but also be part of the solution. 

This El Niño is among the strongest on record approaching what should be the 2015-16 peak (late northern hemisphere autumn/early winter), with an approximate 95% chance of it extending into 2016 before gradually weakening in spring.

El Niño has exacerbated Indonesia’s dry season and the peatland and forest fires choking much of Southeast Asia in smoke. In response, Greenpeace is demanding an end to deforestation and calling for forest friendly palm oil.

Mexico faced a different threat when Hurricane Patricia rapidly intensified to become the most intense hurricane ever recorded in either the eastern Pacific or entire North Atlantic basin. It exploded into life due to the unusually warm ocean waters that are driving the El Niño.

Across the ocean, Typhoon Koppu dumped more than a metre of rain on the Philippines to swamp the country’s prime rice growing region, complicating El Niño disaster planning for the feared drought-induced harvest shortfalls.

A farmer and his family stand in an arid field in their village in the PhilippinesA farmer and his family stand in an arid field in their village in the Philippines

Greenpeace Southeast Asia is co-ordinating a delivery of organic vegetable seeds and fertiliser to help farmers replant damaged crops, similar to our Typhoon Hagupit response.

In Australia, Greenpeace Australia Pacific is monitoring the Great Barrier Reef for potential massive coral bleaching from warmer ocean waters. Bleaching is one of the greatest long-term risks posed to the reef and why the proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland must be abandoned to stop us cooking the climate.

The El Niño is a window into the future impacts of climate change and the potential human and natural disasters we can expect from it. We must improve the resilience of our global food and agriculture system and end the fossil fuel age.

The warnings are clear. 

One recent study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that the current rate of carbon emissions could mean twice as many extreme El Niños over the next 100 years.

El Niño is now occurring on top of, and interacting with, background conditions that have already been altered by long-term climate change. 

While natural variability continues to play a key role in our weather systems, climate change has shifted the odds and changed the natural limits, increasing the probability that extreme weather will become more frequent and more intense.

This year’s El Niño is a reminder of what we don’t want and the need for strong emissions commitments at the UN climate talks in Paris. Now is the time to respond with everything we’ve got.

Aaron Gray-Block is a Crisis Response Campaigner with Greenpeace International.

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From the USA to Thailand: Let’s fight to change the tuna industry!

This week—from San Diego to Bangkok—activists sent a clear message to tuna industry giant Thai Union Group: it is time for just and sustainable tuna.

Thai Union Group is the largest canned tuna company in the world—owning Chicken of the Sea in the US, Sealect in Thailand, John West in the UK and Mareblu in Italy, among others. And it is devastating our oceans: using fishing methods that harm marine life and deplete tuna populations. What’s more, the company has been connected to abusive labour practices.

But in recent months, the movement to rein in the out-of-control tuna industry—starting with Thai Union Group—has grown in strength. More than 250,000 people have sent messages to Thai Union Group’s brands all around the world. And thousands of phone calls have tied up Thai Union Group brands’ phone lines.

Still, Thai Union Group hasn’t changed its policies. The message hasn’t sunk in. So this week, activists decided to arrive at Thai Union Group’s doorstep. From a giant tuna can outside its brand John West’s headquarters in the UK, to a real life mermaid protest outside the Chicken of the Sea’s headquarters in the US—Thai Union Group couldn’t avoid seeing the demands of ocean lovers everywhere.

Check out how activists from the UK, Italy, the US and Thailand got their message across to Thai Union Group, and join in to tell Thai Union Group to change its ways!


In the UK…

thousands came by to see the two-story sculpture and statues of dead marine life erected outside of John West’s headquarters in Liverpool. The tuna tin was ripped open to reveal a screen showing short films and messages from the people of Liverpool and celebrities. Hundreds more made calls to John West’s headquarters to demand an end to destructive fishing practices.

 

In Italy…

sharks were on parade in front of Mareblu’s headquarters in Milan. Only 0,2% of this Thai Union Group brand’s tuna is sourced from sustainable practices, while the company promised 100% sustainably-caught tuna by 2016. Mareblu has continued to use destructive fishing methods that also kill sharks and turtles.

In the US…

a special guest joined the call for the Thai Union brand Chicken of the Sea to take immediate steps to address labour abuse and destructive fishing methods in its supply chain. Hannah Fraser, acclaimed mermaid performance artist and ocean activist, joined Greenpeace at Chicken of the Sea’s headquarters to demand that the company stop greenwashing its record on ocean sustainability.

In Thailand…

activists placed a large mock-up of a Sealect tuna can in front of the Thai Union Group’s Bangkok headquarters—complete with life-sized stuffed tuna. The protest challenged the company to change its fishing and labour practices.


Activists all over the world spoke to Thai Union Group in one voice this week, but we need to keep pushing. Only together can we make powerful change for the largest ecosystem on the planet.

Add your voice to join the movement today. 

Maïa Booker is a Multimedia Editor for the Americas at Greenpeace.

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ALT Enters LED Power Supply Market a First Product Series at Hong Kong Int. Light Fair

Ever since obtaining the first patent for power supply in 2008 till today, ALT has a total of 20 patents registered under its name. All the patents are designed to ensure stable performance and longer lifespan for the power supply, which were used to focus on the light source. This year, ALT officially decided to enter the market of standard power supply. The new power supply line will be under the name of Zeus series, and it will be seen as the core strength of the lighting industry.  ALT dedicated a special section in their booth just for the Zeus series, where public can have the first peek of ALT’s newest constant current power supply, constant voltage power supply, Dali compatible high power controller and lighting protector, which can resist 20kv of surge and suitable for all kinds of LED lighting.

Another product that is under the spot light is the Theseus series explosion proof lamp that is certified by ATEX and IECEx. ALT has long been known to produce LED lightings with excellent heat dissipation technology. And their anti-explosion fixture is not an exception. It uses double sided heat sink that is made of high grade aluminum. The double sided design gives maximum thermal contact area in a fixed volume. Better heat dissipation ability means longer fixture lifespan under any conditions. ALT is confident that the characteristic of their explosion proof lamp will interest the buyers around the world and looking forward a considerable of future sales.

For further information, please visit Aeon Lighting http://ift.tt/1cb0LsC.

About Aeon Lighting Technology:
Aeon Lighting Technology (ALT) is a leading high-power LED manufacturer that focuses on precision and quality. ALT has acquired hundreds of patents, including state-of-the-art heat sink technology and has been awarded numerous international awards, including M Technology Award (2009), iF Product Design Award (2010), Red Dot Design Award (2011), and Good Design Award (2012). ALT has also obtained international safety certifications such as Energy Star, DLC, UL, ETL, CE, PSE, C-TICK, LVD, FCC, TÜV, etc. ALT’s team of designers, engineers and sales strive for perfection and provide premium quality products and service for customers worldwide.

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And the “winners” are…

We asked you which outdoor clothes and kit to test for dangerous chemicals (PFCs). Votes poured in for cherished brands such as Columbia, Patagonia, Jack Wolfskin, Mamut and Haglöfs, with The North Face topping the charts.

detox outdoor results

In just two weeks, more than 32,000 nature-lovers from across the globe registered their choices on our campaign website detox-outdoor.org.

Scientists will now examine the 40 most popular products. Gloves, jackets, backpacks and walking shoes will all go under the microscope. 

Find out now which outdoor gear is going to the lab.

What happens next? Greenpeace buys product samples from stores around the world. Samples are sent to an independent specialised laboratory in Germany where they are tested for PFCs (that’s chemicals of the per- and poly-fluorinated kind). And in January we can reveal which bits of clothing and kit are leaving behind more than just footprints in the great outdoors!

In the meantime, your amazing ideas and creativity will help in brainstorming how to eliminate those nasty toxic PFCs from the nature we love.

The journey is just beginning. We couldn’t have got this far without you. So… please stay tuned!

Detox expedition in the Sibillini mountains 5/26/2015

Mirjam Kopp is a Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace Switzerland.

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