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241. 廣深港高速鐵路(香港段)絕不應上馬


高鐵香港段是曾蔭權十大基建之一,公眾諮詢未有定論之際,就決定2009年動工,不但草率,更盡顯霸道作風。此鐵路由落馬洲經米埔、新田、牛潭尾、大江埔、石崗、八鄉,穿過大欖郊野公園、林村郊野公園、大帽山郊野公園、城門郊野公園,再經石蔭、金山郊野公園、蘇屋、大角咀、旺角到西九龍總站,將旅客由邊境帶去西九。耗資395億,搗山破石,截流毀田,對全港市民有損無益,我們絕不能讓工程拍板過關,理由如下:

一. 高鐵香港段並無必要興建:如此短距運輸(26公里)根本無須建高速鐵路(時速200公里)。政府和地鐵公司都強調這條鐵路可以節省交通時間,「市民每年節省4,000萬小時的交通時間」,其實是誤導,因為那是指中國大陸的高速鐵路部份。

二. 近年大量基建工程草率上馬,名義上是用公帑製造就業,但完全沒有證明所花鉅款會去到需要合理收入的基層市民手中——聘用顧問公司及重重外判之下,最後工人得到的根本就是被壓到最低的工資。

三. 近年草率上馬的很多工程,在香港如此細小空間交叉出現,可見就每個工程通過的環境影響評估(EIA)其實是全無意義的,是完全不反映其共同製造的效應的。例如在九龍區就會在2009-2016年間有六個大型工程同時進行,對地對人造成的干擾、困擾,誰來計算﹗而此等運輸基建是一方面鐵路與公路路線重覆,使用率偏低,另方面,鐵路本身亦是互相重覆,如這條高鐵香港段的好一段,便與已拍板的北環線重疊。

四. 此工程是引進其他新界工程的前奏,包藏將新界鄉郊開發得面目全非之禍心,是令郊野公園、生態敏感地帶成為名存實亡的重要分水嶺。新界郊野是香港要有一口新鮮空氣、一掬凈水,保留僅餘的野生動物及山林景色的最後堡壘。進一步開發新界事關全港市民,不能由政府、發展商,結合一小撮「專業人士」揑造的歪理去將新界變成「副都市」(例如某專業聯盟就將新界比喻為「必須要100%開發的第三世界」)。另一方面,政府從不回應長期以來民間要求修復新界被破壞的土地、支援有機農業、嚴懲亂倒亂伐亂燒的行徑,相反地,還以「已被破壞」為藉口去在各處策動工程——這高鐵香港段就是一例。此舉根本就是鼓勵人去違法破壞,等待收地。

五. 此項工程規模龐大,影響全香港市民的生活質素,但在立法會上,對這方面全無討論,財務委員會就已於2008年7月8日批准其設計及地盤勘察的撥款近28億。在所謂公眾諮詢過程中,則只在極少地點張貼通告。而一直以來,有關當局根本沒有向公眾提供合格的生態資料,讓全民質詢、分析和判斷工程後果之嚴重性。例如,地下鐵路在施工階段,會如何影響地下水位?會否污染地下水源?對多個郊野公園的植被和生物會帶來甚麼影響?對米埔及后海灣濕地又有何影響?未來鐵路及通風樓在運作時,對這些生態敏感地區的影響又如何?

六. 即使已公佈的資訊,也不儘不實,完全隱瞞會引致的環境危機。以下是一些例子:

(a) 將EIA包裝為科學、客觀、獨立,實際上香港的EIA是項目倡議者委託而做,為工程能輕易上馬服務的。

(b) EIA條例下的「工程項目簡介」以落馬洲支線為先例,誤導市民這只是又一個「無害」的地下鐵路工程而已,事實上,落馬洲支線的環境影響——尤其是長遠影響——公眾根本無從得知,也無法跟進。

(c) 將一些牽涉甚廣的工程部份輕輕帶過,例如單說要建一些通風樓,殊不知建樓就要建路;而單說鑽挖隧道,又不提挖掘出來的以百噸計的石將丟往何處?

(d) 強調鐵路作為集體運輸工具,比其他路面交通工具更環保——事實上,建了鐵路,是否就廢棄本來的公路?當然不是,所以,多建只是增加污染,加速地球暖化吧。

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242. Say yes to businesses going green

A. Companies and organizations use large amounts of energy and have large amounts of waste, and most to not recycle at all.

1. The Rockspace Green Survey polled 3000 of the vendor’s customers to gauge their attitudes toward their impact on the environment.

2. Sadly what it found was most say they care, but few were willing to absorb the costs to go green.

B. 48% of respondents said they are concerned and looking for ways to reduce the impact of their company has on the environment.

1. That is a 12 point increase from last year. Only 9%indicatied that green vendors are central to their organization.

2. 71% said that they would have chosen the green vendor if the money was the same.

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243. Alive Utrish

The environmental movement and Ecological Watch on North Caucasus (EWNC), «Alive Utrish», Greenpeace of Russia, WWF of Russia and the International Socio-Ecological Union collect electronic signatures under the open Internet reference to the President of Russia, the Government of the Russian Federation, and the heads of Administration of Krasnodar Territory and the cities of Anapa, Novorossiysk and Gelendzhik about taking effective measures on preservation of the unique natural complexes of subtropical Mediterranean-type forests, located at the Black Sea coast of Russia, including the prohibition of any construction in the territory of these natural systems and the earliest performance of the order of the Government of the Russian Federation № 725-r about the creation of the reserve «Utrish».

Utrish is:

- the only typical Eastern Mediterranean landscape at the Black sea cost, which preserved well,

- the habitat of more than 60 species of plants and animals listed in the Red Book of Russia, for many of which it is the only habitat in the territory of our country,

- the seat of growth of relic trees aged up to 600 years,

- the last well-preserved, thanks to its remoteness from major settlements and highways, corner of nature at the Russian Black Sea coast in the extent about 12 km.

In December 2008, in violation of Russian legislation, the construction of a road through the reserve to the Black Sea coast began, destroying on the way the relic juniper, pistachio and other trees. The part of the coast is leased and it is planned to start construction on it. It will destroy the eco-system of Big Utrish and will make impossible the performance of the governmental order of the Russian Federation about creating a reserve in this territory.

Only owing to efforts of ecologists who have organized in Utrish a camp of public resistance and have blocked the way for the machines, the construction of the road has been stopped. However Utrish is still in danger and the constructors can return at any moment. Your voice can help to save its nature.

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244. Stop Deforestation in Madagascar

Deforestation in Madagascar is a very important issue which can not be put off or ignored because if this happens all of the rainforests in Madagascar will be gone within the next 40 years.

Currently 90% of the rainforests in Madagascar have already been destroyed because of logging, slash and burn agriculture, mining, etc. Madagascar is also home to hundreds of endemic species found no where else on earth, if the rainforests are all cut down then many endangered species will also go extinct.

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245. Make GWMS More Environmentally Friendly

The school of George Washington Middle School is one of the many middle schools all over the globe that use styrofoam trays at lunchtime. These trays are recyclable but none of the students bother to put the trays in the recycling bins that are already full of empty bottles and cans and are way to small to fit the trays too.

The styrofoam is not biodegradable and will stay in the landfills for a while and that is not right! The school needs to change!

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246. Get rid of plastic bags

The world uses between 500 billion and 1.2 trillion plastic bags a year and about 96.5% of all plastic made is not recycled. And when it is thrown away it gets taken to landfills where it is squashed into the ground.

Plastic is not bio-degradeable and can take anywhere from 500-1000 years to break down and when it does finally break down in landfills it does so anaerobically and breaks down into smaller toxic particles which contaminate the soil, waterways and oceans. This also causes methane to be produced which is a potent greenhouse gas that damages the atmosphere.

Plastic does not only damage the environment but also the marine wildlife. It is estimated that the oceans contain just over 100 million tonnes of plastic. Wildlife can get entangled in plastic leading to them starving or suffocating and it is often ingested by them and as a result they can choke to death. It is thought that about 100,000 seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife die each year as a result of plastic debris.

Paper bags are one alternative but the fact that paper uses up a lot more resources in its production than plastic is a problem. But paper is bio-degradeable and at present in the UK more paper bags are being recycled than plastic bags.

The best option for a retailer would be the bio-plastic bag. Bio-plastic is made from plants which are a renewable resource and it is 100% bio-degradeable. Also the process through which bio-plastic is made takes up less energy than conventional plastics and it is fully compostable.

The government and retailers themselves are not bringing about this change quick enough and although some supermarkets only give out plastic bags if you ask for them and places like Ireland have put a tax on plastic bags this is not enough as they will all still inevitably end up in landfills so plastic bags need to be gone altogether.

But it is still important that we re-use our bags as many times as possible and then recycle them. If you could please let as many people know about this petition as you can that would be great and I'm going to advertise it as much as possible. So please sign this petition if you agree and thanks for taking the time to read this.

If you want more information these are some good websites:

www.plasticbagfree.com
www.messageinthewaves.com

Thanks

Sam

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247. Save A Tree

The issue is that we are losing trees at a very fast pace. Without trees we can expect more runoffs of topsoil, the temperature of the earth to change, extinction of animals that rely on tree’s to live, and irregularities in the balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen.

Some might think that this won't affect us, but it can/will create a reaction on the earth that will affect other resources in the area. By saving the trees we are creating a better future for ourselves and our future children.

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248. STOP largest polluter of the Netherlands, the one in Curaçao

Curaçao’s refinery, Refineria Isla (Curaçao) BV, is the largest polluter of the Netherlands, the largest single polluter in Curaçao and probably the largest polluter in the European Community (EC).

The Netherlands and Curaçao governments turn a blind eye to the plea of 25,000 locals, who live under the worst circumstances, all this just to please PDVSA, Venezuela’s state refinery that operates this outdated oil factory. (1915).

They have a binding contract with the Curaçao government till 2019 unfortunately. This is the reason why MSi asks not to extend the contract beyond this date and to close the refinery at the end of the present contract period. Please take this decision NOW! This year! Don’t wait any longer. Not extending the contract and guaranteeing the closing in 2019 is a clear sign to developers. It will reduce our double digit unemployment immediately.

Meanwhile instruct and order PDVSA to operate according to our environmental laws. Check control and start measuring the emissions of CO2 output and if PDVSA can’t operate clean, levy heavy fines and close them down till they have cleaned up their act.

If PDVSA threatens to leave, let them leave. The waterfront property can be used for better and cleaner industry, generate 25 times more income than PDVSA is paying us now.

Curaçao receives no major benefits from the refinery. Get no riches. The population doesn’t even get quality products. PDVSA supplies the worst diesel. PDVSA pays a pittance in rent. (About 3.4 dollar cent/square feet/month).

The refinery once employed over 12,000 workers. Today less than thousand people find work in the refinery. Another 600 are employed by supply companies and contractors.

Pollution is deadly. A game only a few powerful people and handful corrupt officials play to fill their pockets. It benefits them, it benefits PDVSA, it benefits Venezuela, while our people in Curaçao starve and have to live with all kind of pollution related illnesses.

18 people die prematurely every year! 25,000 people live under the worst circumstances. High ranked Curaçao politicians are employed and paid by PDVSA.

Please give serious attention to the failure of our national refinery and our own government to comply with our environmental laws. Our government also fails to regulate and control the refinery. Refineria Isla has been demanded in court three times to clean up their act, but pollution continues to foul the air and threatens the health of neighborhoods west of the refinery. This has been going on for more than 20 years.

Fence communities like Habaai, Wishi, Marchena, Veeris and Buena Vista are home to many of our most neglected people. Our largest nursing home for the elderly is situated right under the smoke of the refinery. 6000 school children and teachers go to school under polluted smoke and gasses and have to endure foul smells to attend classes. Only when black clouds shoot excessive soot in the air, are these schools ordered to close.

People take great pride in the humble little homes they have built over the years with hard earned money. They can’t move. Children can’t go to other schools and the elderly have no choice. They are trapped and don't even know it. Nobody told them.

It is these communities that ask that the refining industry stop polluting the air immediately and stop releasing deadly gasses into the air. They ask YOUR help. PLEASE listen to them and act, even if it is far away from your home.



Thanks,
MSi (Fundashon Movementu Solushon Isla)

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249. Stop The War

STOP THE WAR!..
ΝΑ ΣΤΑΜΑΤΗΣΕΙ Ο ΠΟΛΕΜΟΣ!..
LIGHT HUMANITY TOGETHER
ΦΩΤΙΣΜΕΝΗ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΤΗΤΑ ΜΑΖΙ!

"ΥΠΑΡΧΕΙ ΜΟΝΟ ΜΙΑ ΦΥΛΗ
THERE IS ONLY ONE RACE
Η ΦΥΛΗ ΤΩΝ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΩΝ!
THE RACE OF MEN!
ΥΠΑΡΧΕΙ ΜΟΝΟ ΕΝΑΣ ΘΕΟΣ
THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD
Ο ΘΕΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΑΠΗΣ!
THE GOD OF LOVE!
ΥΠΑΡΧΕΙ ΜΟΝΟ ΜΙΑ ΓΛΩΣΣΑ
THERE IS ONLY ONE LANGUAGE
Η ΓΛΩΣΣΑ ΤΗΣ ΚΑΡΔΙΑΣ!"

THE LANGUAGE OF HEART!

STOP THE WAR NOW!..
http://LightHumanityTogether.blogspot.com

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250. Stop Global Warming

Climate change may be a big problem, but there are many little things we can do to make a difference. If we try, most of us can do our part to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere. Many greenhouse gases come from things we do every day. As we have learned, these greenhouse gases trap energy in the atmosphere and make the Earth warmer.

Driving a car or using electricity is not wrong. We just have to be smart about it.Some people use less energy by carpooling. For example, four people can ride together in one car instead of driving four cars to work. Here are some additional ways you can help make the planet a better place!

Read
Learning about the environment is very important. There are many good books that will help you learn. To get started, ask a teacher or a librarian for some suggestions. You also can look at the Links page to find other good web sites with information about the environment and climate change.


Save Electricity
Whenever we use electricity, we help put greenhouse gases into the air. By turning off lights, the television, and the computer when you are through with them, you can help a lot.


Bike, Bus, and Walk
You can save energy by sometimes taking the bus, riding a bike, or walking.


Talk to Your Family and Friends
Talk with your family and friends about climate change. Let them know what you've learned.


Plant Trees
Planting trees is fun and a great way to reduce greenhouse gases. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the air.


Recycle
Recycle cans, bottles, plastic bags, and newspapers. When you recycle, you send less trash to the landfill and you help save natural resources, like trees, oil, and elements such as aluminum.


When You Buy, Buy Cool Stuff
There are lots of ways we can improve the environment. One of the ways to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we put into the air is to buy products that don't use as much energy. By conserving energy, we help reduce climate change and make the Earth a better place. Some products – like certain cars and stereos – are made specially to save energy.


Some Things to Think About
Did you know that you can help the environment if you buy recyclable products instead of non-recyclable ones? Look for the recycle mark – three arrows that make a circle – on the package. Recyclable products are usually made out of things that already have been used. It usually takes less energy to make recycled products than to make new ones. The less energy we use, the better.


Solar Energy
Imagine that it's a hot summer day. You put a scoop of ice cream on the sidewalk, and it melts. Why? Well, you probably know that the sun causes the ice cream to melt. But you may not know that the sun produces solar energy. Solar energy is a fancy way of saying "energy that comes from the sun." Solar energy can be used to heat homes, buildings, water, and to make electricity. Today, more than 200,000 houses in the United States take advantage of the sun's energy.


Cars
Cars are an important part of life for most people. But cars also cause pollution and release a lot of greenhouse gases into the air. Fortunately, there are some cars that are better for the environment. These cars can travel longer on a smaller amount of gasoline. They don't pollute as much, either. Using these kinds of cars can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the air.


ENERGY STAR®
Many things, like computers, TVs, stereos, and VCRs, have special labels on them. The label says "Energy" and has a picture of a star. Products with the ENERGY STAR® label are made to save energy. Buying products with ENERGY STAR® labels will help protect the environment.

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251. Make Copenhagen Count

Climate change is the challenge of our generation. A challenge that will define our legacy. This is the moment to meet it. For our leaders to represent us and our children to respect us.

Adding your voice to this petition will help sway the decision towards a sustainable future. We'll deliver it, amplified, to the negotiating table in Copenhagen on the 30 November 2009.

Thank you and please pass this on to your friends.

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252. Belgrade Calling: Save the Christmas Trees!

Last year Belgrade started with unique ecological project: “Save Christmas trees”. Namely, we recognize terrible fact: millions of Christmas trees are being killed every year, in the name of Christmas. For example just in our capitol Belgrade last year we devastated one half of million Christmas trees. Unbelievable! In the name of Jesus, we are killing the planet !

We started to think how to solve this problem and we (NGO Return beauty to the rivers) started with realization of a marvelous idea (originally made by Vesna De Vinca).

Our idea is to teach kids how to educate their parents to buy Christmas tress with root, how to give water and nourish them during Christmas days, and after Christmas holidays are over, how to plant them together, making a new park. So instead of tree cemeteries, we will have in the cities wonderful new parks, and children playgrounds.

But above all we are teaching children how to start a new year, with a wonderful new energy by planting every year a new Christmas tree, and also celebrate life together!

That’s why when we finished planting, we organized a performance: a small concert of children quire, special children karate exercise, a famous singers... Then we invited everybody to send wonderful emotion to the planet for one minute! And most important for the beginning, everything was covered by every TV station, and newspapers in Serbia. We had enormous, unexpected media coverage.

NGO Return beauty to the rivers, Belgrade, Serbia; Media Education Centre (International Organization), Media Laboratory (Belgrade, Serbia) with EKO Portal Stari Grad; International Youth Media Summit, Centre International du Film pour l'Enfance et la Jeunesse and many other organizations like to invite all of you to support our movement and to help us to safe us much is possible Christmas Trees. And not just Christmas trees! We have to safe every tree in the Planet.

SAVE THE PLANET - PLANT A TREE

More about our other activities you can find at our web sites and portals:

www.roamingreporters.net/BelgradeCalling

And we will have leave streaming in real time from SAVE THE PLANET - PLANT A TREE
CHRISTMAS TREES performance:



3rd of January 2010 at 12:00 (Belgrade time). If you like to screen video clips please find link to our BELGRADE CALLING TV at www.roamingreporters.net/BelgradeCalling

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253. Keep the Forest in Forest Hill!

The area of land at between Tyson Road and Honor Oak Rd in Forest Hill should not be developed into flats. We think that this wild area is a valuable area of natural beauty and important for Forest Hill in retaining it’s biodiversity.

This open green space is extensively wooded and has many old trees under preservation orders. This area is one of the oldest and most established green sites in Honor Oak as it was once a Georgian garden. To retain the character and identity of Forest Hill, we are strongly opposed to the devastation of this area, which as an open space enhances the standard of living of residents in the area, not to mention the many schools and resident families surrounding the site.

We have seen the proposed plans and architect’s model of the flats and in my opinion, the development is unnecessarily large, over-dense and ambitious for the size of the site. This can only lead to a feeling of over-cramped living conditions in the local area. The existence of a 77 space car park will generate traffic problems in an already busy area, not to mention an increase of cars in a dangerous road with two schools.

The scale of the development is completely inappropriate for the area: the height of the buildings will completely compromise residents’ privacy and disrupt many currently beautiful views of Victorian and Georgian buildings and trees. The nature of the development is such that we feel it will cause total disruption in the area, not only to residents, but more importantly to the abundant nature in this spot.

Please object to the Council by sending an email to planning@lewisham.gov.uk quoting reference 08/70207 in the subject line, and include your name and address.

More info on the application is here

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254. Protect Jerrys Plains from coal mining

Jerrys Plains is a beautiful and historic farming community located in the Hunter Valley, NSW. 'Jerrys' has a unique combination of wineries, horse studs, beef cattle and lucerne farming, in addition to being located at the foothills of the world heritage listed Wollemi National Park.

Coal mining companies Wambo, Resco and Doyles Creek Mine have announced plans to mine Jerrys Plains and surrounding areas of Appletree Flat and Doyles Creek.

Coal mining threatens to destroy forever the social fabric of Jerrys, in addition to the irreversible environmental destruction and decimation of its existing valuable food growing areas through loss of underground water, land clearing and mine subsidence.

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255. Co-sign Letter To Obama from one of Earth's Leading Ecologists

Please sign and forward on to demonstrate your support for these basic, but necessary national priorities for Barack Obama's presidency.

The objective of this petition is to organize citizens who support Stephen R. Carpenter's position of saving human life support systems, emphasize the urgency of the situation to the Obama administration and draw attention to the seemingly unnoticed 1,300 leading scientists' Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Reports (www.MAweb.org).

Names will be submitted to President-Elect Obama promptly with a copy of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Reports (www.MAweb.org) already donated by Island Press.

This letter is used with permission of Stephen R. Carpenter.

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256. Abbotsford to Vancouver Train

The highway congestion from the Fraser Valley to Vancouver during rush hour is a terrible state of affairs. The pollution caused and time lost by thousands of workers stuck in traffic, is a problem that needs to be addressed. A frequently running commuter train is the easiest answer to this.

In the 1950s there was an existing passenger trainline that ran from Abbotsford to Vancouver, and as traffic becomes worse and the environmental condition worsens, it is time that money be invested to re-instate such transport.

The West Coast Express only operates five trains during weekday peak periods and it is simply not enough and does not offer the convenience of commuter trains in the United Kingdom or Europe, of running regularly and everyday. The stations are only convenient for a minority of people and there needs to be a more comprehensive service.

Studies show that people who use public transport, such as trains and buses, to commute to work have less stress in their lives, and have more time to spend with their families and loved ones. The price of travel is less than constantly filling a fuel tank and maintaining a vehicle. Businesses lose less employee time due to traffic reasons and commuter problems. The environmental impact of running one train versus many individual vehicles is far less. In summation, a commuter train from the Fraser Valley into Vancouver makes economic, environmental, business, and social sense.

To contact the Ministry directly:

LOWER MAINLAND DISTRICT
200-1065 Columbia Street
New Westminster, V3M 6H7
(604) 660-8300

Perry Dennis,
Perry.Dennis@gov.bc.ca
A/District Manager

Kurt Edmunds,
Kurt.Edmunds@gov.bc.ca
Operational Program Manager,
Lower Mainland

Brian Atkins,
Operations Manager,
Sunshine Coast,
Sea-to-Sky and Upper Levels
Chilliwack Area
45890 Victoria Avenue
Chilliwack BC V2P 2T1
(604) 795-8201

Barry Eastman,
Barry.Eastman@gov.bc.ca
Operations Manager

Therefore there is no reason that a commuter train should not be established.


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257. Save Carr House

Carr House is a historic rural building which has been repaired in a environmentally responsible way. It is ‘Off-Grid’, generating its own energy, and could provide affordable housing to local people.

Eden District Council has ruled to disallow planning permission at Carr House and enforce its partial demolition. The Council’s and Planning Inspector’s rulings indicate that both the current and emerging planning policy framework is worded and/or interpreted in a way which prevents sensible proposals like Carr House.

We consider that Eden District Council’s LDF Documents, including the Core Strategy which is currently out for consultation, should be amended to make clear that proposals like Carr House are supported by policy and the Council.

You can read more about Carr House and the Planning Application at http://www.edenrecycling.co.uk/?Eco_Living_-%26nbsp%3BCarr_House

You can read about the Council’s Core Strategy Development Plan at
http://www.eden.gov.uk/planning-and-development/eden-local-development-framework/development-plan-documents/core-strategy-dpd/

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258. Mandate biodegradable plastic bags for consumers

This petition is to voice frustration and anger by the general public concerning the lack of availability of biodegradable plastic garbage bags and other plastic containers for purchase in major grocery and retail chains throughout the world.

Knowing that the pollution caused by these plastics is an ever growing threat to the health of the planet and the worlds oceans and wildlife.

Recently there were several stories reported in the news about a debris field of plastic garbage in the Pacific Ocean which is now the size of the state of Texas!!!!

This is unacceptable and is horrendous environmental tragedy.

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259. Keep Macedon Ranges Rural

Please help and support us to protect Macedon Ranges and keep it rural! We are calling on the Victorian Legislative Assembly to protect Macedon Ranges so that this precious environment and the area’s rural amenity are safeguarded.

World Famous Hanging Rock

Background To The Petition


Macedon Ranges, home to iconic Mt. Macedon and Hanging Rock, is the ‘lungs’ of Melbourne and a vital component of Melbourne’s liveability. It is an area of State environmental significance – that means all Victorians have a stake in what happens in Macedon Ranges.

This sensitive environment is a unique combination of natural features and resources valued by the people and state of Victoria: striking natural beauty; high quality rural landscapes; significant geological features; drinking water catchments; groundwater and recharge areas; headwaters of important rivers; high quality agricultural soils; gold rush and rural heritage; natural recreation; State forests and parks; rare flora and fauna; high quality native forests.

Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 – Macedon Ranges and Surrounds [the ‘Macedon Ranges policy’] was introduced in 1975, supported by State legislation. Its purpose is to protect Macedon Ranges’ environment, towns and rural land from over-development.

Three areas around Melbourne are of similar environmental significance, and all have Statements of Planning Policy: Yarra (Dandenong) Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, and Macedon Ranges. Yarra Ranges also has a Regional Strategy.

The current Victorian government has included Yarra Ranges and Mornington Peninsula in the Green Wedges and has strengthened their protection with legislation as well as in the State section of the Victoria Planning Provisions (Clauses 57 and 53).

Before its election in 1999, the Labor Party (now the Victorian government) promised:

“Labor will protect Melbourne’s green belts and sensitive areas such as the Dandenongs, Macedon Ranges and Mornington Peninsula…” Labor Position Paper On Planning Policy, August 1998

However, despite residents’ campaigns and a 2004 Council resolution calling for the Victorian government to act on this election promise, Macedon Ranges still only has Statement of Planning Policy No. 8. The policy itself is no longer underpinned by State legislation and has been downgraded to local policy in Macedon Ranges planning scheme.

The Department of Planning and Community Development [DPCD] has now ordered, without public consultation, that the ‘Macedon Ranges policy’ be deleted from our planning scheme.

For 35 years, Macedon Ranges’ residents have said in survey after survey they want Macedon Ranges to stay rural, as indeed has Statement of Planning Policy No. 8. The Department’s action will guarantee the suburbanization of Macedon Ranges.

This beautiful, irreplaceable natural asset cannot be allowed to be squandered in such a wasteful and unsustainable way.

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260. Ban plastic bags

Are you sick of plastic bags that only cause bad to our environment? Do you hate that no one can't just stand up and say i want plastic bags banned?

Well, if you are that person, please sign this petition as it is very important for us. We want a well-treated environment, not bags all around.

So I now say, let's make a difference now or never!

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261. Make the Film *A Sacred Duty* Your Sacred Duty To View

Millions of people who eat meat and other animal products are in denial about anything and everything having to do with animal farming. They know that it must be bad, but they don’t want to look at any part of it. So all of it stays hidden and the abuses flourish—to animals, workers and the environment. If you never thought that eating meat was an environmental (and by extension, political) issue, now is the time to rethink that position.

According to a little-known 2006 United Nations report entitled “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” livestock is the major player in climate change, accounting for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (measured in carbon dioxide equivalents). That’s more than the entire transportation system! Unfortunately, this incredibly important revelation has received only limited attention in the media. It turns out that nearly every aspect of the huge international meat trade has terrible environmental and health consequences, with global warming at the top of the list.

The few commentators who have taken on the connection between meat consumption and global warming ignore the most obvious solution: not eating meat. Al Gore was even afraid to point out in his film *An Inconvenient Truth* that the livestock industry is the number one cause of global warming. The benefits of the vegetarian option are rarely on the agenda of meat eaters and governments that support and promote the live stock industry even when the environmental effects of the meat industry are under discussion. Because vegetarians enjoy lower levels of blood cholesterol and suffer less frequently from obesity and hypertension, their life expectancies are several years greater. From a sustainability point of view, what’s really needed is for people to understand the connections between factory farming, meat eating and environmental impacts.

Governments throughout the world should be sponsoring major mass media campaigns to convince people to eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Cutting down meat consumption should be a public health priority everywhere!!

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262. Help save our critically endangered habitat

The petition refers to the illegal clearing of remnant grasslands in the Wyndham shire in May/June 2008. The clearing occured just outside the urban growth boundary to the west of Werribee. This area contains the largest mapped patch of federally listed critically endangered western plains grassland on the Keilor_Werribee plains. The removal involved The ~375 ha with approximately 50% moderate to good quality rocky remnant native grassland. Plants and tussock in remnant grasslands could be in excess of 100 years of age.

A large rolling machine went over it in May, pushing rocks, surface vegetation including grassland, about 5cm into the soil. Bare earth paddock resulted which has been sown to crop which about 1 – 2 cm high on the 14th of September. This activity is illegal pursuant to clearing controls (52.17) part 1 in Section 5 (Particular provisions) of the Planning and Environment Act. The landholder is most likely claiming that an exemption under the clearing control table exemptions (52.17-6) applies and any vegetation under 10 years old previously used for agriculture is exempt of clearing. However this exemption only applies to land previously used for agricultural hence this landholder should face prosecution as 50% of the area bulldozed was remnant grassland that has never been worked and the majority of flora on site would be well in excess of 10 years old.

This type of activity is not new to the area with 3000 hectares lost per year with most removal having no applications to remove applied for under state or federal jurisdiction. This rate of removal was calculated in the mid 90's and has most likely accelerated.

With respect to the clearing control act only the respective Council, the minister of planning and environment (Justin Madden) or his office are authorised officers able to prosecute the land owner pursuant to section 126 of the Planning and Environment act. It applies to owners and occupiers and states that it is an:

Offence to contravene scheme, permit or agreement;
(1) Any person who uses or develops land in contravention of or fails to comply with a planning scheme, or a permit, or an agreement under section 173 is guilty of an offence.

This act allows for criminal charges be laid and a rediculously low offence of up to $126,000 paid.

Interstingly, concerned individuals or state bodies such as DSE are able apply for an enforcement order pursuant to section 114 of the Planning and Environment Act. This section states:

“any person may apply to the Tribunal for an enforcement order against any person specified in subsection (3) if a use or development of land contravenes or has contravened, or, unless prevented by the enforcement order, will contravene this Act, a planning scheme, a condition of a permit or an agreement under section 173.

Although no criminal charges can be laid an order of restitution can be made perhaps using Paul Gibson-Roy’s method for restoring grasslands and effectively block any future development on this site as per section 119-b(iv) which states:

“to do specified things within a specified period (A)to restore the land as nearly as practicable to its condition immediately before the use or development started”.

This impost will be far greater felt to the land owner than the maximum offence carried under section 126 of the Planning and Environment Act as no doubt the land owner is speculating over positioning of the UGB in the next few decades and on current market value that would cost him $1,000,000 per hectare in land he can no longer develop.

Hence not only should section 126 be enacted with Council and/or The Minister enforce planning controls but a body such as DSE, charged with protecting such habitat under the Fauna and Flora Guarantee act should also prosecute by enacting Section 114 of The Planning and Environment Act. Unfortunately no resources have been given to DSE to prosecute such cases and as a result DSE will likley not prosecute. This short coming has been highlighted and although aknowledgement has been made no funds have been made available to DSE. The Minister for Planning and Environment needs to rectify this immediately.

Obviously if DSE prosecuted utilising section 114 of the planning and Environment Act then would be speculation would be stopped and irresponsible landowners put on notice.

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263. Be environmentally friendly and get rid of the Olympic Flame

There should be no Olympic flame at London 2012 because they are banging on about this will be the most environmentally friendly games but the flame is the most polluting part of the stadium.

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264. Cotonelle Can Go To Hell

Whereas:

 Every year millions of trees are cut down to make disposable paper products

 If every American household replaced just one 250-count package of virgin fiber napkins with 100% recycled ones over 1,000,000 trees would be saved

 By replacing one 70 sheet roll of virgin fiber paper towels in every American household with 100% recycled ones 544,000 trees would be saved

 Over 424,000 trees would be saved if every American household replaced one 500 sheet roll of toilet paper with 100% recycled t.p.

 The Kimberly-Clark corporation is one of the world’s largest paper company, manufacturing more than twelve of the best known consumer brands, made over 18.3 million dollars last year. But their products do not contain any recognizable amount of post-consumer waste (recycled matter) in their products.

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265. Stop the Solar Rip-off

Electricity companies have used the introduction of the South Australian solar feed-in premium laws to make a windfall profit at taxpayers’ expense, at the same time as ripping off households who produce power from the solar panels on their roof.

Before July 1 2008, when the scheme commenced, companies like Origin and AGL paid households 16-24c/ kilo watt hour (kWh) for the electricity they produced from their solar panels. Since July 1, when the 44c/kilo watt hour premium came into law, some retailers have chosen to replace what they were already paying to households rather than making the new premium additional.

So instead of earning 20c/kWh from the retailer plus 44c/kWh from the solar premium = 64c/kWh, many people are only getting the 44c/kWh passed on by their energy company. This makes a huge difference to the payback period for solar panels.

Electricity retailers were quite happy before July 1 to pay for the power generated from household solar cells (which saves them the cost of buying electricity from the wholesale market), but now they are choosing not to pay a cent for the electricity they are receiving.

This was definitely not the intention of the scheme. The feed-in incentive was intended to be on top of, not replace, what the electricity retailers were already paying.

The cost of the 44c/kWh feed-in premium is shared across all South Australian households. Therefore, ordinary South Australian electricity consumers are effectively paying almost half of the feed-in law benefit directly to the big end of town, not to the householder with the panels.

This will potentially deliver a windfall profit of about $350,000 (and possibly much higher) to big energy companies - money that should be going to households as an incentive to encourage more people to install solar panels, not as a subsidy to big energy retailers.

Companies like Origin and AGL are collecting windfall profits while expecting the rest of the community to pick up the tab for climate change action.

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266. The banning of Motor Racing

My name is Taylah Walker, and my friend is Tayla Robertson. We believe that the racing of vehicles as a sport should be banned.

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267. Save Bells Rapids

The Developers (Peet Ltd) have a proposal to develop approx 1050 acres above Bells Rapids. The last remaining natural part of the Swan River.

For more information please visit www.bellsrapids.com

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268. Leave the Roycebrook Golf Course Zoning Alone

The current owners of the property commonly known as the Roycebrook East Golf Course in Hillsborough NJ are trying to change the current zoning and land use of the property to close the sale of the property to the Erickson Retirement Communities (a $1B company).

The proposed development consists of 3 "communities" that each include a community building and 4-6 residential buildings. The proposed residential buildings will be 4-5 stories tall. Where possible, they claim the buildings will be 4 stories high in front and 5 stories high in the rear.

Incorporated into the project is a 264 unit apartment building with 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments of affordable housing.

Please keep in mind that the details of this project have changed several times and to date there has been no detail site plan provided.

To make this project happen, the property will need to be added to the Local, County and State Wastewater Management Plan. It will require a DRASTIC ZONING and Land Use Change.

This property has several MAJOR environmental issues and characteristics that are the primary concerns of the community.

The Roycebrook Watershed runs directly under this property that feeds drinking wells nearby and is an environmentally sensitive resource. You can read extensive studies of this natural resource at www.thewatershed.org

The property has several wetland areas within it's borders. Neighboring areas have a history of flooding issues dealing with storm water runoff and a very high water table around this property. Streams that take the water off this property are direct tributaries to the Millstone River.

What will be the true impact of this project on the Roycebrook Watershed, our roads, our traffic, our sewage capacity, our flooding problems, our high water table, our schools, our taxes, our home values and ultimately - our quality of life?

Our organization strongly believes that this project is not a good fit for this environmentally sensitive site!

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269. Protect the Persian Leopard

The Persian or Iranian Leopard is a secretive animal, like all leopards, and is seldom seen in the wild. Residing in hilly and forested areas. It is a solitary feline that faces a variety of threats in it's natural habitat and is struggling to survive in nature.

There are fewer than thirteen hundred Persian Leopards in the wild today and the highest number are in Iran with around six to eight hundred reportedly existing. There are some conservation projects underway, at the moment though, this magnificent animal is classified as Endangered. This is due to poaching for fur, trophy hunting, poisoning, fires, and habitat and prey loss, also continued warfare within it's geographical range.

The Leopard is a flag species, and it's presence shows the health of the entire ecosystem.

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270. Global warming solution - Green cities

My friend, Ben Hope, who lives in Switzerland, and I have developed a concept of Green Cities. The concept is simple. Build modern new cities with modern public transportation like subway (called “metro” in Europe). The same trains that run in New York subway can run on the surface, transporting hundreds of passengers at a time.

Most of the people in Green Cities would not need personal automobiles. The solution is cost-effective, because people will save a lot of money on cars, maintenance, repairs, insurance, etc. The air in our cities will be clean, and we would reduce global warming.

We would save many thousands of people who die every year in car crashes.
We would save thousands of soldiers who will die in this Iraq and future Oil Wars.

Let’s admit it: we can not drive with water in our fuel tanks, and that is why we are in Iraq, - to secure reliable supplies of oil.

Ben Hope and I have contacted all major environmental organizations, but none of them have supported the idea of Green Cities. The reason is that nuclear energy will be needed to power trains, but environmental organizations are against nuclear energy, even though the facts say otherwise. Nuclear energy is the most safe and environmentally friendly source of energy.

We are entering a Peak Oil era, when Oil Wars will be conducted on a global scale. The only solution is to gradually replace gas-powered automobiles with nuclear-energy-powered public transportation.

Everyone should read “The Nuclear Energy Option” by Bernard L. Cohen, Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburg. The book is free to read on this web site:
http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/. Please read the book and sign the petition.

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