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Pursuit of Arctic oil is “profoundly reckless”

Conservative MP and environmental journalist Zac Goldsmith has slammed oil companies that continue to ignore the risk of a spill, even after the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010.

Talking with Blue & Green Tomorrow about the devastating impact a major spill would have on the Arctic region, he says, “[It] would cause unimaginable damage, and yet despite the acknowledged risks, it is very clear that the major oil companies we spoke to are hopelessly unprepared.



Conservative MP and environmental journalist Zac Goldsmith has slammed oil companies that continue to ignore the risk of a spill, even after the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010.

Talking with Blue & Green Tomorrow about the devastating impact a major spill would have on the Arctic region, he says, “[It] would cause unimaginable damage, and yet despite the acknowledged risks, it is very clear that the major oil companies we spoke to are hopelessly unprepared.

“It is almost unbelievable that even while they plan to commit vast resources to a risky venture, they haven’t even bothered to calculate the downside for their shareholders.

“The very widespread disagreement between the experts, and even within the industry itself, about the usefulness of pretty much all the methods they will count on in the event of a major spill can only add to the feeling that their pursuit of Arctic oil is profoundly reckless.”

Goldsmith’s strong words come after Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, urged firms to consider the impact the BP spill had on both the environment and its image.

“There is no reason to believe that any lessons have been learned from the Deepwater Horizon blowout”, she said, after an Environmental Audit Committee meeting.

“[Oil firms] seem to be shutting their eyes and crossing their fingers that they will not have a spill and it beggars belief that they are not able to tell shareholders how much it would cost to deal with a worst case scenario.

“Either it has not been done or we were not being told.

The Committee launched an inquiry into Arctic exploitation back in January, to examine what Britain can do to protect the vulnerable region.

After this announcement, Blue & Green Tomorrow spoke to Greenpeace climate campaigner, Ben Ayliffe, who highlighted the “disastrous” risks involved in attempting to extract resources from the Arctic.

And, when contacted about the revelation that oil companies have a distinct lack of spill prevention measures in place, Ayliffe said it was almost like the Deepwater Horizon disaster had never happened.

“The oil industry still has no credible plans for cleaning up an Arctic oil spill, no idea what the final cost of an accident would be for shareholders, and is relying on untried technology to prove its competence”, he claimed.

“Companies like Shell, responsible for 207 oil spills in 2011 alone, have told MPs with a straight face that its Arctic containment dome won’t be tested in ice because they don’t think the Arctic will be freezing this summer, even though its own oil spill response plan says in black and white that ice could be present at the drill site.

“This staggeringly reckless company doesn’t have a clue and should not be allowed to drill for oil in the pristine Arctic.

The continued search for ever-harder-to-reach resources is jeopardising the planet’s fight against climate change. We simply cannot afford to lose the Arctic, even though it’s disappearing at a rate of knots, right beneath our feet.

The vast mirror on top of the world that is currently reflecting the sun’s rays and keeping the Earth cool is itself rising in temperature twice as fast as anywhere else.

It is imperative that we spurn companies that are attempting to exploit it for everything its worth. Because, as Zac Goldsmith’s brother, Ben, told us, “There’s no business on a dead planet”.

You can invest in dozens of sustainable and ethical funds that either support firms that are striving to protect the region or ostracise the ones that are doing the most damage.

Ask your IFA how your money can make a difference or fill in our online form and we’ll help you.

Photo: NOAA photo library via Flickr

Related links:

Greenpeace highlights “disastrous” risks involved in Arctic exploitation

UK inquiry launched to protect vulnerable Arctic

Arctic investment fund: A response from EIA chair

US firm to launch “unethical” Arctic investment fund


Road Trip! How to Choose the Greenest Vehicle for Your Growing Family



Greenest Vehicle
Licensed Image by Shutterstock - By Mascha Tace --

When you have a growing family, it often feels like you’re in this weird bubble that exists outside of mainstream society. Whereas everyone else seemingly has stability, your family dynamic is continuously in flux. Having said that, is it even possible to buy an eco-friendly vehicle that’s also practical?

What to Look for in a Green, Family-Friendly Vehicle?

As a single person or young couple without kids, it’s pretty easy to buy a green vehicle. Almost every leading car brand has eco-friendly options these days and you can pick from any number of options. The only problem is that most of these models don’t work if you have kids.

Whether it’s a Prius or Smart car, most green vehicles are impractical for large families. You need to look for options that are spacious, reliable, and comfortable – both for passengers and the driver.

5 Good Options

As you do your research and look for different opportunities, it’s good to have an open mind. Here are some of the greenest options for growing families:

1. 2014 Chrysler Town and Country

Vans are not only popular for the room and comfort they offer growing families, but they’re also becoming known for their fuel efficiency. For example, the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country – which was one of CarMax’s most popular minivans of 2017 – has Flex Fuel compatibility and front wheel drive. With standard features like these, you can’t do much better at this price point.

2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

If you’re looking for a newer van and are willing to spend a bit more, you can go with Chrysler’s other model, the Pacifica. One of the coolest features of the 2017 model is the hybrid drivetrain. It allows you to go up to 30 miles on electric, before the vehicle automatically switches over to the V6 gasoline engine. For short trips and errands, there’s nothing more eco-friendly in the minivan category.

3. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Who says you have to buy a minivan when you have a family? Sure, the sliding doors are nice, but there are plenty of other options that are both green and spacious. The new Volkswagen Atlas is a great choice. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient third-row vehicles on the market. The four-cylinder model gets an estimated 26 mpg highway.

4. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

While a minivan or SUV is ideal – and necessary if you have more than two kids – you can get away with a roomy sedan when you still have a small family. And while there are plenty of eco-friendly options in this category, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is arguably the biggest bang for your buck. It gets 38 mpg on the highway and is incredibly affordable.

5. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel

If money isn’t an object and you’re able to spend any amount to get a good vehicle that’s both comfortable and eco-friendly, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel is your car. Not only does it get 28 mpg highway, but it can also be equipped with a third row of seats and a diesel engine. And did we mention that this car looks sleek?

Putting it All Together

You have a variety of options. Whether you want something new or used, would prefer an SUV or minivan, or want something cheap or luxurious, there are plenty of choices on the market. The key is to do your research, remain patient, and take your time. Don’t get too married to a particular transaction, or you’ll lose your leverage.

You’ll know when the right deal comes along, and you can make a smart choice that’s functional, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.

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How Climate Change Altered this Engineer’s Life



how climate change affect our lives
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Living the life of an engineer likely sounds pretty glamorous: you are educated and highly regarded, typically have high paying gigs, and with the breadth of knowledge and array of fields of specialty, your possibility for jobs is usually immense.  But what if there was something else that needed your attention? Something bigger than just being an engineer, going to work every day and doing the same technical tasks typically associated with the profession?

For Kevin McCroary, that is exactly how it played out.  A successful engineer, gainfully employed in a prosperous job, a simple trip to the Philippines made him see that there was a bigger issue at hand than using his engineer training in a traditional profession.  This bigger issue was that of climate change.  And working as a volunteer for underprivileged children in the Philippines, he saw first-hand the extensive pollution and poverty that existed here and that impacted the livelihood of these kids and their families.

Upon returning home, from his trip to the Philippines he had a new perspective of the impact we as individuals and as humanity have on the earth, and more than that Kevin wanted to know more.  He started to do some research and study these human-environmental interactions, and shortly thereafter ended up in Greenland.  There, he spoke to a man who had lost his home in a tsunami, and, who, through consistent weather tracking could indeed confirm that the current weather trends were “strange:” there was undeniably a general warming tendency happening in the arctic, causing an array of negative effects.

The combination of these observations, as well as his own research, led Kevin to conclude that something had to be done.  With that in mind, he launched his project Legend Bracelet.  The mission is simple: create a reminder of the legacy we are leaving behind.  As individuals and as humanity, we are leaving behind an imprint on the earth, and the magnitude of it is something that needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness.  The idea is to have a bracelet that can serve as a daily reminder of the impact on the earth that each of us can have every day, regardless of how big or small.  The bracelet has two capsules: the first is filled with sand or earth, and the second is empty.  As the owner, you are to fill the empty one with your own earth, carrying it with you as a reminder and symbol of your connection and commitment to helping look after our environment.

We are all impacted by climate change, and we all have a responsibility to help.  And it can start with something as simple as putting on a bracelet.  Support Kevin on his Kickstarter campaign for Legend Bracelet, tell others about it, or take action in your own way and play your part in slowing down the effects of climate change.  You may think “but I’m just one person!” You are indeed.  But so is he.  Every change starts with one.

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