Thursday, July 9, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 9th July 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

There has been a disturbing report recently that the government that once claimed to be ‘the greenest government ever’ intends to end support for on-shore wind farms by removing subsidies by April 2016, a year earlier than previously proposed.

On shore wind is the cheapest form of renewable energy and we desperately need to produce more energy from wind, not less. All forms of energy production are subsidised through tax incentives and other methods and to remove subsidy from clean energy production while continuing to support fossil fuel use is madness for our climate. Alternatively, the government has agreed to go ahead with more off-shore wind power.

There are already 1,000 on-shore wind projects in the pipeline that could have their investment plans affected by the government’s announcement and could dissuade investors considering future projects. It is also possible that consumers could end up paying more for their electricity if subsidy is removed from wind power.

In contrast, we have the report from Lancashire that the county council has turned down a planning application by Cuadrilla for permission to frack for shalegas. The government is quite prepared to give tax incentives to companies that wish to set up fracking operations, with all the dangers that that entails.

Once more our government has shown disregard for the future, both in the short term concerning jobs in the renewable industries and the long term where there seems little regard for our renewable obligation or the effects of climate change.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Chris Boardman Challenge: Deal traffic and cycling meeting Weds 8th July Golf Rd Centre

Local people can bring their traffic issues to an open meeting in Golf Rd centre next Wednesday to share with neighbours, councillors.and local amenity societies.
CHRIS BOARDMAN, legendary professional rider and now British Cycling’s policy advisor, used the AA’s Magazine to set an “urban challenge”. 

He says that, if people want their town to be a better place to live, they need to take steps to make where they live “more people friendly”. A few e-mails to newly-elected MPs and councillors can have a “profound effect” on local transport priorities  he claims. Making walking and cycling attractive will make a town where people are  “fitter, healthier and happier and shops and restaurants thrive”, says Boardman.

The meeting is expected to look at making Deal High St and seafront better for pedestrians, congestion around local schools and the effects of traffic speeds and heavy vehicles in our historic town centres of Deal and Sandwich - also the Mercury-backed campaign to discourage drivers from texting while they drive.
More details at the local cycle forum website,
- with the opportunity for you to identify the issues places that should be high on the politicians’ priorities over the next 4 years.

The meeting  to discuss Chris Boardman's URBAN CHALLENGE will be chaired by local Transport campaigner IAN KILLBERY of the Spokes cycling group and Trains4Deal.
It is at 7pm on Wed 8th July 2015 in Golf Road Community Centre

See Cycle Forum website for more information and to respond:
best wishes
Ian Killbery
Dover District Cycle Forum

Sandown Beach Clean....

Thank you to our 15 volunteers at the Deal Beach Clean this evening at Sandown Castle 

We shifted some 18bags weighing over 58kgs of rubbish from the beach and surrounding around the great Community Garden on the Castle Site. 

Thank you all and also to the people who did turn up this morning! 

The weather was much nicer - great to be on our beach.

Deal Beach Clean postponed to 5pm today

Given the heavy rain earlier we have decided to postpone the beach clean on Deal Beach to 5pm today. 

We are still meeting at Sandown Castle for our first evening clean!

There is quite a lot of rubbish on the beach and surrounding areas to the Community Garden at the Castle site

Thanks to the people who did brave the rain

Saturday, July 4, 2015

National Meadows Day - Deal Station Garden Meadow

Today is the first National Meadows Day and right on cue our meadow at the Deal Station Garden is in full bloom.

If you have time this week try to get down there for a peek - it will be even better next year!

Back in March we had about 20 volunteers helped to ready the site and sow perennial meadow seed.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 2nd July 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

There are a lot of reports these days about the wrangling between developers, builders, local residents and wildlife groups regarding the building of new homes. We all know that there is a huge shortage of houses throughout the country, particularly affordable homes for ordinary people. We also know that developers always prefer to build on virgin land, quite often these days it’s also green belt land, which usually kicks off a local protest by residents like the one over the Sholden Fields development and the forthcoming development in Station Road in Walmer. There are many brown field sites around the country that could be developed but builders do not like to waste time and money clearing a site that may have been used for industry.

It was very interesting to read about a development near Aylesbury where there has been co-operation between the builder and the RSPB to create a large, nature friendly housing scheme which will include wildlife corridors to enable creatures to move around; nectar rich plants for bees; homes for swifts and bats; hedgehog highways and fruit trees in gardens. The development will also include 250 acres of wildlife rich open space which will be accessible to all residents of the area.

It is intended for the project to continue when the homes are finished and new residents have arrived; the RSPB will work with residents for them to learn about the wildlife around them and to help them maintain the ecosystems that have been created.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Deal Beach Clean 5th July 10am

The next Deal Beach Clean will be this Sunday (5th) starting at 10am. We will be meeting at the Sandown Castle end of the Beach.

We supply pickers, bags and gloves - we will not be logging what we find for the Marine Conservation Society - Please sun hat (tasteful), sun cream and something to drink. The clean will last about 1-1.5hrs.

This is an important one as are using it to show support to colleagues at the Sandown Community Garden Group who have worked so hard to transform this end of the beach - The Garden will be on the SE in Bloom Judges tour on the 10th July so we do want to give the whole area a good litter pick

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 25th June 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

We know that we cannot continue to burn fossil fuels as we have done for hundreds of years - the climate is already changing and global warming is having an effect in many parts of the world.

It seems that the oil companies don’t share our concerns and are continuing to explore for new fields as if nothing is happening. Those in charge of the big five oil companies have been encouraged in their work by bonus payments linked to $1 trillion of exploration and extraction.

Even when the price of oil has dropped so dramatically, projects to find more reserves have gone ahead though companies know that the world will be unable to burn the fossil fuels they find. Shell’s chief executive has actually endorsed warnings that reserves cannot be burned unless some form of carbon capture is available. At present, only trials of carbon capture and storage (CCS) are going ahead and no commercially viable project is in the offing. If CCS were up and running, there would be so much carbon dioxide removed that we would be unable to find places to store it.

We have to remember that shareholders in oil companies are ‘in it for the money’ and therefore would not approve of oil companies putting their money into renewable technologies to produce clean energy because the returns would be so much less. Shell has only invested $1billion each year on green schemes out of $33 billion of capital expenditure.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 18th June 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

Amazing news this week! The G7 nations have agreed on strong measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions by phasing out the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has headed the negotiations that have reached this historic conclusion. There was also agreement on limiting average global temperature rise to 2°C as compared with pre-industrial levels.

This result makes for great hopes of a plan for complete decarbonisation at the Paris climate talks in December. It is unfortunate that leaders had failed to sign up to an immediate agreement on binding targets but we must be grateful for what we have. This agreement has followed the UN climate change panel, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), in its recommendations that greenhouse gas emissions must reduce from between 40% and 70% by 2050, using 2010 as a baseline.

The G7, Germany, France, Britain, USA, Canada, Japan and Italy, have also agreed to work for an end to extreme poverty and hunger worldwide, aiming to reduce the number of people suffering hunger and malnutrition by 500 million by 2030. There is also an agreement to improve the global response to crises such as the Ebola epidemic.

We can only celebrate such a momentous agreement between such powerful nations and we can look forward to the Paris talks when we hope that we can get a definite agreement to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions well before the end of the century.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 11th June 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

Oil has been produced from tar sands in the Canadian province of Alberta for 50 years. Tar sands produce the dirtiest form of oil which, when burnt, produces more carbon dioxide than any other fossil fuel. It also leaves behind polluted grounds and rivers.

Fort Mckay, a First Nations hamlet in Alberta, is home to the Cree and Dene nations and has descendants from Scottish and French fur traders. While the oil has made some people rich it is also poisoning the waters of the Athabasca river. There have been high rates of cervical cancer and a rare bile duct cancer among those that fish in the river and hunt on the land.

The Canadian government claims that the tar sands are the third biggest proven oil reserves in the world after those in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. There are 168 billion barrels but huge amounts of energy are required to extract the thick crude oil from the earth which makes it about 4 times more carbon intensive than ordinary oil.

Early mining projects also stripped away 1,850 sq. miles of forests to get to the oil and remaining trees were robbed of their water supply and slowly died. So another sink that could have absorbed many tonnes of carbon dioxide was removed.

Scientists have warned that mining all the tar sands oil will mean game over for the climate but the Canadian government does not heed any warnings and continues to go ahead.