Environment

Shell cut refinery gas pipe at Erris they thought was a water pipe

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hell has admitted that on Monday, the 8th April, they had to vent all the nitrogen currently in the gas pipes at the Bellanaboy refinery, after they mistakenly cut a gas pipe. Shell claim the reason for this was the gas pipe was mistaken for a water pipe in the refinery and was cut.  The gas pipes on the refinery site are currently filled with nitrogen to inhibit corrosion.   The incident only came to light because a local resident contacted Midwest Radio with details of the incident.   Shell confirmed the incident took place one week after the event. 

Hundreds gather in Erris for the Party Against the Pipe

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The June bank holiday weekend saw hundreds traveling to Erris for the Party Against the Pioe festival organised by the Rossport Solidarity Camp. The festival was held beside the Shell construction compound at Aghoose, where the tunnel for the last stage of their controversial experimental raw gas pipeline is to be started. This compound has been the site of many protests, including one earlier in the week when security punched a female Shell to Sea campaigner in the face.

Anti-water tax campaigners protest metering conference at Croke Park

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Around 60 anti-water tax campaigners placed a picket on the water metering conference at Croke Park this morning. Such a large turnout at 8.30 am must have caused concern for the attending companies who view the government plan to charge for and meter water as an easy way for them to make a fast buck.  It has been announced that 600 million euro is to be spent imposing the plan. It's fast becoming clear that the introduction of water charges will face serious resistance and those attending must be aware that the previous attempt to impose a water tax was defeated by such mass resistance in the 1990's. 

Ecuador: Oil, Rainforests & the challenge of climate change

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In previous issues, we examined aspects of the challenge of climate change. We have argued that carbon trading is merely an enclosure of the atmospheric commons, while carbon offsets are a form of neo-colonialism whereby the “developed north” continues to pollute while the “global south” are paid not to (please see: wsm.ie/content/high-price-lot-hot-air and wsm.ie/content/offsetting-democracy). Another, more radical, proposal is one based on prevention, that is, the non-extraction of fossil fuels. The argument is that once extracted, the use of fossil fuels is inevitable, and that any mechanisms to mitigate the increase in CO2 emissions will be unworkable.

Film Night: Food, Inc (2007) Wednesday 13th April at 8pm, at SolidarityBooks

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—Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner uses reports by FAST FOOD NATION author Eric Schlosser and THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA author Michael Pollan as a springboard to exploring where the food we purchase really comes from, and what it means for the health of future generations. By exposing the comfortable relationships between business and government, Kenner gradually shines light on the dark underbelly of the American food industry.

Does the Green Party have a Future?

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Eamonn Ryan was recently on the radio speaking against nuclear power, responding to a pro nuclear expert who had been given airtime to promote it on RTE the previous day. Eamonn was reasoned, logical, persuasive. Then the texts were read out a string of bile aimed at him and his party along the lines of "the people have spoken why are you interviewing this has been" etc. No real reference to the arguments or issues.

Bertie, Coillte and the Enclosure of the Public Forest

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There is an increasing likelihood that the state owned forestry firm, Coillte, will be part of a rushed fire sale of semi-state companies. Last year, the government asked “An Bord Snip Nua” economist Colm McCarthy to head a semi-state privatisation group and produce a new report, which is believed to be almost complete. The original 2009 McCarthy report recommended the selling of Coillte “with a view to realising optimal return through rationalisation, asset disposal and, possibly, privatisation”. Thus, the prospect of a sell-off of Ireland’s entire public forest estate is now on the cards.

Fianna Fail signed off on gas give away on last day in power

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Oh the last day of his brief spell in power the replacement Minister of Energy Pat Carey signed the consents on the final stage of Shell's experimental gas pipeline in Erris despite continued opposition from the local community and people all over the island concerned with both safety and the Great Oil & Gas Giveaway.  It is increasingly clear that the haste on pushing the project thorough is because the Bellanaboy refinery is intended to take not just the relatively small deposits of the Corrib field but also the hundreds of billions of oil and gas found off the atlantic coast.

The Real Issues - Dublin Shell to Sea Launch new €540billion note

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€540Billion noteAn Irish general election fever grips this place, where promises flow like water running off a mountain, and where the sun, the moon, and the stars are laid at the feet of the people, all for the sake of a no. 1 on the day itself.   From looking around us now you witness the desperate scramble of prospective candidates to get into power, into the Dáil, to receive their €100,000 PA salary plus expenses.  Jobs and Reform appear to be on top of the agenda, yet no one appears to be responsible for the transgressions of the past. 

Review: The Pipe

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This film brings to the big screen the dramatic story of Shell’s blundering, sometimes violent, attempts to impose a high-pressure raw gas pipeline on a small North Mayo community. The documentary features footage taken over three years, from 2006 to 2008, by Risteard O’Domhnaill. It has all the ingredients, stunning landscapes, riveting action scenes and the real-life stories of local people who found themselves on the front line of the drama. The film is short on background to the whole issue and mentions very little on the actual dangers posed by the pipeline and refinery, as well as the giveaway terms the oil companies ‘extracted’ from Irish state.  However, in Willie Corduff, and particularly in Pat O’Donnell, the filmmaker has struck cinema gold. Through the words and, especially, the actions of these figures we get a good picture of just what’s at stake here and what it takes to engage in effective resistance.

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