Power Trip: Fracking in the UK

We are holding a screening of Power Trip: Fracking in the UK followed by discussion, on Tuesday 23rd October 2018, 6.30pm-8.30pm, at the offices of PECT, The Green House, 1st Floor, 4-6 Cowgate, Peterborough, PE1 1NA.

Power Trip: Fracking in the UK (63mins) takes you onto the frontlines of UK resistance in the battle to stop the controversial energy extraction process known as ‘Fracking’.

Undercurrents productions show what happens beyond the few seconds glimpsed on the mainstream TV news. We follow grandmothers (Lancashire Nanas) as they team up with younger activists (Reclaim The Power) to shut down Cuadrilla’s drilling sites. In Lancashire and Sussex trucks are occupied, drilling sites are blocked and supply chains are disrupted. Police are spending millions of pounds trying (and failing) to stop the daily protests. One man attempts to make a citizens arrest on the Prime Minister for allegedly misleading the public over this form of extreme energy extraction

The film widens the discussion to highlight the role of the media and lobby groups in shaping public perception of unconventional gas and oil exploration. We hear from energy experts, journalists and key politicians amongst the voices of local residents and councillors.

http://www.undercurrents.org/fracking.html

https://gofossilfree.org/uk/let-communities-decide/

https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/

To book your free place please email transitionpeterborough@gmail.com

Climate Emergency, Rise for Climate Justice!

We will be attending the Climate Emergency, Rise for Climate Justice Rally in Cambridge on Saturday 8th September. Please feel free to join us there!

The Climate Crisis is here, and it is just getting worse. 2018 has shown the true colours of climate change. Devastating extreme natural events have swept across the globe: record-breaking drought in South Africa, Brazil and Australia, catastrophic floods in India, gigantic wildfires in Greece, Sweden and California, and deadly heat waves in Southern Europe, Japan, Southern Asia and Quebec.

And yet, what we have seen this year is just the tip of the iceberg. Climate change has been affecting the world’s most vulnerable communities for decades. Severe drought has led to ubiquitous famine in East Africa; climate-induced displacement of herdsmen in Nigeria has contributed to a brutal civil conflict there; and sea level rise is forcing Pacific Islanders to leave their homes, cultures and identities behind. In a cruel irony, the people most affected by climate change so far have been those least responsible for it. Climate change is not only the greatest threat to humanity, but also one of the greatest injustices of our time.

Climate injustices exacerbate the systemic oppression of poor people, people of colour, and women. It is clear that the current socioeconomic system has failed for people and planet. Solving climate change, and fighting its entrenched injustices, demands system change. Historically, the city and University of Cambridge have significantly contributed to legitimise this rotten system that upholds colonial, patriarchal and neoliberal values that have led to the current Climate Crisis. And it still continues today. The University and the County Council continue to invest millions of pounds in the fossil fuel industry, the single industry most responsible for climate change. This is why here in Cambridge we say stop investing in the destruction of people and planet. Enough is Enough. We Rise for Climate.

The severe drought that has turned our green and pleasant Britain unrecognisably hot and yellow has now brought the climate crisis to our doorstep. When it is almost too late to react, we recognise that the current climate emergency threatens the harvest and leaves our national food security gravely vulnerable. Meanwhile, the Tory Government has liberalised fracking regulations against the overwhelming will of the citizens. We strongly reject the authoritarian move of the Tories. We will put our bodies on the line to protect our water, our land, our communities and our democracy. This is a climate emergency, and we have to act accordingly.

This September 8th, thousands of communities from all over the world are Rising For Climate in a Global Day of Action! Multiple organisations in Cambridgeshire have teamed up to stage a powerful action that will send a message to the County Council, the University and the Government. We demand immediate political action!

The day starts at 11am with stalls and performances at the Market Square. Join one of our discussions, learn more about climate justice and how can you get involved in any of the campaigns in Cambridge. Be part of it! This will then be followed by a march, end back at Market Square.

Register your support in our webpage: https://actionnetwork.org/events/cambridge-rise-for-climate

Map of the thousands of actions across the world:
https://riseforclimate.org/#map

#RiseForCambridge #DivestCambridge #LetCommunitiesDecide #ClimateJusticeNow

Spring Cleaning

Spring is a time for new beginnings; out with the old and in with the new. And it’s the ideal time to open the windows and give everything a good airing! The origins of spring cleaning – the ancient art of doing a thorough clean at the beginning of the season – are not known for sure, but the tradition is still practised widely. However, with today’s modern cleaning products, are we just refilling that fresh spring air with nasty, harmful chemicals? Many shop-bought products are full of artificial chemicals that claim to be harder on dirt and grime. But does this come at a cost to our health?

Scientists have, for a number of years, been warning that man-made chemicals affect human health, having been linked with reduced immunity, low sperm count, cancers and decreased intelligence. One of the biggest offenders is the cleaning products industry. In addition to scientific research, various organisations have been campaigning to tighten regulations and get the harmful chemicals removed from the market. They have had some limited success, but it is still down to us as consumers to be more vigilant in our buying habits.

When it comes to cleaning, you need to be aware that whatever you put in the water to clean the floors or the oven releases toxins that you will breathe in as you clean. Then, when they get poured down the drain, they contaminate our water supply, jeopardising the health of our ecosystems. Yes, this water will be cleaned and treated, but not before all those chemicals have already damaged the environment.

Here are some key chemicals to avoid:

Artificial musks are used in all kinds of products. If it has a fragrance, chances are it is artificial. Look for products with natural oils in the ingredients list that match the fragrance on the bottle, or buy non-scented and add your own. Artificial musks can disrupt the body’s hormone system; they have a long chemical life and can build up in the body. Due to these factors they have been found in the natural environment and even in breast milk.

The term parfum usually refers to the fragrance’s smell, and is used to cover a multitude of different chemicals that should be avoided. They cause allergies for millions of people and they can be found in most household cleaners.

Parabens are preservatives that are used in cosmetics and bathroom products to stop them growing mould. They mimic oestrogen in a way which is believed to interfere with the hormone system and increase the risk of breast cancer for women. Some parabens have been banned, but others still exist in everyday products.

Phthalates are industrial pollutants that leak from the products containing them. These products include PVC, toys, clothing, flooring, wallpaper, cosmetics and fragrances. They are ingested, inhaled or absorbed into our bodies and they have been linked to fertility problems, foetal and birth defects, altered hormone levels and genital deformities. Unfortunately, manufacturers whose products contain them are not obliged to disclose them on the label, so it is hard to avoid them.

Solvents can cause irritation when absorbed through the skin and nails, or when inhaled. They are used in all types of detergents.

Triclosan is found in most dishwashing detergents and antibacterial hand washes. It can alter hormones, especially thyroid hormones, and affect normal breast development. It also helps build up the resistance of harmful bacteria to antimicrobial agents such as antibiotics.

There are a host of man-made chemicals that should be avoided by all. However, it has been found that women and children in particular are most at risk. Women’s reproductive systems can be put in danger, with many of these products using hormone-disrupting chemicals. There have also been numerous links found between some of these chemicals and breast cancer, which typically affects more women than men. Children (and foetuses) are at a higher risk as their bodies are still developing and their organs and immune systems are not yet strong enough to combat the effects that some chemicals have. Small children are at further risk as they come into contact more frequently with their environment. They are constantly putting their fingers into their mouths and eating food from just-wiped surfaces. And, due to being so small, they are exposed to higher concentration levels.

So, what to do? A simple rule to follow would be: if you need to put on rubber gloves, a face mask or protective clothing to use a product, maybe it shouldn’t be brought into your home in the first place. A few initial ways to tackle this issue are to buy brands that use more plant-based substances, avoid the above types of chemicals, and only buy products that are clear about the ingredients that they use. A second option is to make your own. Although many people feel they do not have the time or know-how to make their own, home-made cleaning products are often quick and simple to make, and they can save you money too. You can search for recipes online, get a book, or start by switching to some of the products mentioned below.

Here are a few of the best natural cleaning agents:

Bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate) can be used to deodorise and clean fabrics. Mix with water or sprinkle on dry. It makes a very effective carpet cleaner – just sprinkle it on, leave for half an hour and then vacuum.

Lemon juice can be used to clean surfaces and remove stains and limescale. For tough limescale, just leave it for half an hour before wiping clean. If left in the fridge, a cut lemon will also absorb all the nasty smells. Mix lemon juice with water to whiten whites and brighten colours, either as a pre-soak or by adding lemon juice to the wash like you would a softener.

Vinegar can be used as a surface cleaner, stain remover, de-scaler, deodoriser and disinfectant. It can also work wonders on windows – just mix with water, wash on, and polish off with screwed up newspaper. (Malt works just as well as white wine varieties, but is obviously a bit more pungent.)

Olive oil or beeswax can be used as furniture polish (use sparingly).

Tea tree oil can be used as an antiseptic and a disinfectant. It is also effective on mould and mildew.

So, this spring may be the time to upgrade your green cleaning credentials! If you’d like to find out more, or have some tips of your own to add, why not come along to one of our socials (‘Coffee with PinT’ on the second Sunday of the month, or ‘Pint with PinT’ on the fourth Thursday of the month) and carry the conversation on with us there?

 

Resources

Washing up liquid: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=286469

Various: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/homemade-all-natural-cleaning-recipes

Various: http://eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm

 

Supporting articles / more information

https://www.aromatherapynaturals.com/pages/ewg-hall-of-shame

http://www.womensvoices.org/safe-cleaning-products/basic/

http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/ethicalreports/householdcleaningproductsreport/toxicchemicals.aspx

http://www.greencleancertified.com/green-cleaning-facts/HOUSEHOLD-CLEANING-PRODUCTS-MAY-DO-MORE-HARM-THAN-GOOD

https://experiencelife.com/article/8-hidden-toxins-whats-lurking-in-your-cleaning-products/

https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/chemicals_house_products.pdf  (Jan 2002)

http://www.foeeurope.org/search/foee/safer+chemicals

Forward Planning – April 2016

At our April meeting we decided we needed a main project to focus our energy with a clear objective. We started with thoughts around the main purpose of the transition movement, which is to be environmentally sustainable and to reduce CO2 emissions. And so we took up a new project to get the council to divest their pension fund from fossil fuels. After discovering that the pension fund does not sit with the city council, but the county council, we contacted 350.org, an organisation who help with community divestment campaigns. They put us in touch with Fossil Free Cambridgeshire (FFC), who had been running since early 2015 and we now collaborate with FFC on this campaign/project.

Our plan is 2 fold:

  • We would like to see Peterborough City Council sign up to divestment.
  • Work with FFC to get Cambridgeshire County Council Pension Fund Committee to agree to divest from fossil fuels

If you would like to join in with this project, or simply would like to find out more about it, please just come along to our next meeting.

Signs of life!

After a hiatus of six months, four members of Peterborough in Transition met on 6th
March to discuss plans to revive the group and consider new projects. We met at 6.30pm in the Brewery Tap, not long before the regular Monday night session of Handmade in Peterborough.

We discussed various ideas, including lobbying the council and asking questions at full council meetings, helping in each other’s gardens, organising a “Green Drinks” evening, and taking part in the National Plant Monitoring Scheme. A plan to hold a series of evening meetings with a bring and share meal based on the “One Planet Living” themes underlying Peterborough’s Environment Capital Action Plan was outlined. Two of the four at the meeting, Clare and Danette, were planning to go along to the Big Green Energy Show in Stamford the following evening; you can read Danette’s report on the show here. Finally, we agreed that we would meet up again in the Wortley Almshouses on Monday 11th April again at 6.30pm. It would be great to see a few more people next time.

We’ve also established a facebook group called “PinT Revitalisers” where we can share ideas and opportunities. Slightly disappointingly, only thirteen people have joined this so far, though our facebook page has well over 450 likes, and there are still close to 250 people on our mailing list.