Climate Action Day 2 in Mohill

GEAI (Good Energies Alliance Ireland) is currently running Climate Action days for Transition Year students in Mohill Community College.  This activity is lead by our team of EVS volunteers.

IMG_1515On November 20th we met again for the second Climate Action day. The aim of this session was to take a closer look at the actual problems the world (and Ireland in particular) is facing, and come up with the ideas for our personal actions, something easy to do and at the same time interesting for the students.

IMG_1516.JPGThe issues about the challenges students came up with were brilliant:

  • Apathetic governments;
  • World leaders not believing climate change is an issue;
  • People aren’t open to change;
  • Organic products too expensive;
  • Deforestation for extraction of palm oil;

And many more.

We were all impressed by this piece of work, and in the second part of the session we came up with action plans for the nearest 3 weeks.

IMG_1527IMG_1529We had 5 groups working on the following topics:

  • Nature and biodiversity;
  • Green energy and transport;
  • Waste, plastics and recycling;
  • Food and composting;
  • and an extra one which took the political route and decided to interview local politicians.

IMG_1543IMG_1545Next time we’re going to meet in the Organic Centre in Rossinver. The students will present the results of their work. We look forward to it!

IMG_1505For more pictures follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/geaireland/

Alexandra Peralaika

Ecosia – An eco search engine

ecosia-buscador

Still searching with Google? Help the planet with every search with a greener alternative: Ecosia.

The forests are fading away and with them all the species that inhabit it. The rapid destruction of forests has put in a state of emergency a great variety of species of flora and fauna that depend on that ecosystem. Deforestation leads to a drastic decrease in local and national water supply. It also breaks the climate balance increasing the threat of the global climate change.

In view of that, an international global preventive and response measures is required and given the absence of policies one platform called Ecosia wants to supply it.

Ecosia is a search engine that donates to tree planting programs. How does it work?

  1. Set Ecosia as your default browser.
  2. Search the Internet with Ecosia.
  3. Internet search ads generate revenues for Ecosia.
  4. Ecosia uses these revenues for tree planting.

When you search the Internet with Ecosia, 80% of the benefits of search ads go to tree planting programs. Until now Ecosia have planted more than 12 million trees and have the objective of one billion trees in 2020. They are planting trees around all the world: Nicaragua, Perú, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Madagascar e Indonesia.

Who is on Your Back?

The game

On Wednesday 26th April, EVS volunteers leaded a biodiversity game in Youth Café Drumshanbo. The name of the game is «Who’s on Your Back?». The concept was reviewing Irish wildlife through team communication.

Rules of the game

We prepared sticky labels with the names of well-known animals on it. For instance: whale, rabbit, snake and so on. Then we stuck the labels on everyone’s back without letting them know «who they were». Each member had to find out who was on their back by asking questions to the others in the team. Questions were asked in such a way that the answers could be just «Yes» or «No». The player could ask no more than two questions then it was other’s player turn. Once they found out who they were they could play again with another animal on their backs.

The result

It was an useful game to develop children’s communication skills and attention. They were listening to each other carefully and with interest. The environmental outcome of the game  showed that children are really curious about Irish wild life and they  guessed the answers very quickly. It was great craic!

The problem with Biomass – it can emit more carbon per unit of energy than most fossil fuels!

 

harvesting wood 2
Is wood a carbon-neutral energy source?

In February 2017, Chatham House published Woody Biomass for Power and Heat: Impacts on the Global Climate, by Duncan Brack.  The report argues that policies promoting wood for renewable energy production are based on the flawed assumption that wood is a carbon-neutral energy source.  In fact, as reported, emissions from wood burning may be higher than the fossil fuels replaced.

Biomass in general emits more carbon per unit of energy than most fossil fuels. EU policies do not account for the emissions from bioenergy in the energy sector, because it is assumed that these emissions are accounted for at the point of harvest in the land use sector. However, whether these emissions can be recuperated by future growth of biomass is not only uncertain, but often unlikely.  The report finds that part of the emissions may never be accounted for, such as when EU countries use biomass imported from the United States.

Policies must distinguish between different types of feedstock

The report, in line with earlier recommendations by environmental groups, proposes that policies clearly distinguish between different types of feedstock and provide support only to those which reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short term, taking into account changes in forest carbon stocks. With regard to wood harvesting, only residues that would otherwise have been burnt as waste or would have been left in the forest and decayed rapidly can be considered to be carbon-neutral over the short to medium term.

In principle, sustainability criteria can ensure that only biomass with the lowest impact on the climate are used; the current criteria in use in some EU member states and under development in the EU do not achieve this.

EPA FRACKING STUDY HAS MAJOR FLAWS

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Aedín McLoughlin hands Submission to Hildegarde Naughten TD, chairperson of Oireachtas committee

GEAI submission to Oireachtas Committee.

GEAI has made a major submission to the Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Climate Action and Communications on the EPA-commissioned Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction (UGEE) Joint Research Programme.  This Study had as its major research question: “Can UGEE be carried out while protecting the environment and human health?”

Conclusions do not reflect findings

We have discovered that the overall summary report did not reflect the findings of the five research reports, which more correctly should have highlighted that:

  • UGEE (fracking) operations globally have major impacts on the environment and on human health, but as human health was not included in the Terms of Reference for the study, the impact of fracking on human health was not included in the study.
  • There are several unknowns around the process of fracking globally and it is not possible to guarantee that hydraulic fracturing can be carried out without contamination of groundwater and air.
  • The hydrogeological profile of the Northwest Carboniferous Basin (mainly Leitrim and Fermanagh) is heavily faulted with deep-seated aquifers and shallow shales, which makes it unsuitable for fracking.

Summary Submission

Full Submission

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