Right now an airplane powered entirely by the sun is nearing the end of its historic journey across the United States.
The project, called Solar Impulse, was initiated by Swiss Psychiatrist and Balloonist Bertrand Piccard and Businessman André Borschberg. They embarked on an ambitious project to create an aircraft capable of intercontinental flights using 100% renewable solar power.
This project is the largest end-user-owned photovoltaic solar array in the country. It will be powering Apple’s internet data center in North Carolina, which stores all of your contacts, photos, text messages, and really anything else on Apple’s iCloud.
Prior to the construction of this solar array, Apple was powering its North Carolina data center with dirty coal-fired power supplied by the energy utility Duke Energy. I was surprised that a progressive company like Apple would power itself with energy that causes pollution and global warming. Continue reading →
Thom Yorke, lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the rock band Radiohead on the Rainbow Warrior during her voyage to London.
While browsing the Greenpeace photo archive today marveling at the organization’s rich history, I came across a few photos that I think you will dig.
For those of you unaware of our history, it all started when the US government decided to start testing nuclear weapons on an island called Amchitka off the coast of Alaska.The Quakers, pacifists, ecologists, journalists and hippies who were against dangerous nuclear testing came together and decided to do something about it. But what? Continue reading →
Let me start by saying I love Apple, I mean who doesn’t? They make high quality products that are well designed and easy to use. I have owned quite a few Apple devices over the years and have many fond memories of them.
It all started about ten years ago when I received my first iPod as a birthday present. My initial reaction was “Wait, I don’t need to carry around 20 CDs with me anymore?” It was mind-blowingly awesome to have the ability to listen to over 5,000 songs on a small portable device. Continue reading →
Greenpeace has launched a new campaign against tech companies including Apple that power the “cloud” with dirty energy like coal and nukes. You may be asking yourself, “What is a cloud exactly?”. It’s all a bit mysterious (even to the person writing this blog), so we have decided to get one of our experts to answer any questions that you might have.
This Friday, April 27th we will be holding a question and answer session on Twitter featuring Greenpeace International Electronics campaigner, Casey Harrell. Casey is currently leading the“Clean our Cloud” campaign against Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.com and is urging the companies to power their clouds with clean renewable energy instead of dirty coal.
Send in your questions about the campaign to Casey via your personal twitter accounts by using the hashtags: #cleancloud and #QnA.
What: Twitter Q and A with Greenpeace International Electronics campaigner Casey Harrell
When: Friday, April 27, 9 am PST, 12 pm EST, and 1800 CET
Where: Twitter! Send in your questions using the #QnA and #cleancloud hashtags.
We are looking forward to answering all your great questions.
Annalyse: We’re 2/3 Goat, a metrobilly band based out of New York City. Like most artists in NYC, we’re all from different places. I’m the Lead Singer/Mandolinist, and I come from the small town of Inez, KY, deep in the hills of central Appalachia. But the rich, craggy valleys of my homeland are getting shallower as we speak.
Mountaintop Removal coal mining is ravaging the region I call home. Thirty percent of the surface area of my home county has already been leveled by strip mining and mountaintop removal. Mountaintop Removal (MTR) is a violent process of coal mining in which the tops of mountains are blown off to gather the seam of coal within (sometimes the seam can be as shallow as 2 feet), and the leftover material is placed into hollows, deemed “hollow fills” or “valley fills.” Over 500 mountaintops have already been blown off, and over 1500 miles of freshwater streams have already been buried. More and more flooding now occurs due to this, in areas where it never before was a problem. And worst of all, the water supplies of citizens are ruined by heavy metals in the runoff from these MTR sites as well as from coal slurry impoundment releases. The highest cancer rates per capita in the nation, according to the CDC, are found right in the heart of Central Appalachia, right in these communities where MTR takes place.
I grew up around this stuff; I saw mountains being leveled by the side of the highway. Due to a slurry impoundment break in 2000, most in my community don’t drink the water that comes out of the faucet. The majority of citizens buy bottled water to drink; it is the highest selling item in the supermarket, in a county where unemployment and poverty rates are higher than most places. I’ve seen how the coal industry can wreak havoc on a community firsthand. Once I moved away to NYC to pursue my artistic dreams, I began yearning for home more and more. It really sunk in how much of my home was disappearing through MTR. My parents are activists against it. Human rights and environmental & social justice were always a topic of conversation in my house growing up. I was drawn to join the fight against mountaintop removal in full force, and to write a song to inspire others to do so too.
I set out to write a call-to-action song to try and get people fired up about stopping mountaintop removal. I wanted something people could relate to on a lyrical as well as a musical level. I started writing some words, but couldn’t quite find the catchy, driving groove that I wanted. This is where Ryan and I always come together well. I’m always focused on the details, and he’s always looking at the “big picture,” as he calls it.
Ryan (other Lead Singer & Guitarist): I had been working on a new song for a while but I only had the chord changes and structure. I couldn’t figure out what to make the song about, and Annalyse came to me and said, “I want to write something that inspires people to stand up and take control of this MTR situation.” Now I am not from KY or WV, but as my relationship with Annalyse grew, my knowledge and familiarity of MTR grew as well. Her family was the first to inform me of the atrocities that were happening in Appalachia, a place I thought was some of the most beautiful land I have ever seen.
I am from the Jersey Shore (insert laughter) and I had never heard of Mountaintop Removal. I barely knew anything about underground mining. As I learned more, I immediately wanted to join the McCoys and the rest of Appalachia and stand up to the companies that were profiting off of the death and destruction of some the oldest land and cultures in our country. I knew that most Americans were like me, and if they could just have a chance to see and hear about what was happening, then they too would want to become part of the solution. You see, we all blindly contribute to the problem, from running the electricity in our house to having retirement funds that are vested in coal companies that do MTR. We are all very much involved in this destruction, but none of us are aware that we are doing it. I also learned from many years of Anti-War protesting in the early 2000′s that you can’t change peoples’ minds by screaming at them in the streets. Sometimes you have to just to show that you are strong and willing to take a stand.
But the best way in my mind to educate someone is to lead them to their own decisions. I wanted to write a song that was thought-provoking and made people ask, “What in the world is this song about, what is it they are so passionate about?” Then through our website, or live at shows, we could inform people on where to go to learn about what is happening. I knew that after listeners educated themselves and learned about it, they couldn’t turn their backs to it and would inevitably join the fight. The music video is just another extension of this same idea: We wanted people to watch it and say, “Wow, what are they showing here, what are they protesting here?” Sadly, leadership in our country has failed us in many ways, and certain people we are supposed to look up to and certain people who have the ability to help are now just in it for themselves. We need to rise up as a country, as a culture of informed and educated people in a democracy. We have the opportunity to be the change that the world needs, but we just have to care enough to look a little deeper and think a little more about what we’re doing in our everyday choices.
Annalyse: It can be a scary thing to look around you for the first time, breathe fully, and face the destruction and corruption of corporate greed, no matter what issue you’re talking about. The number and scale of problems and atrocities that occur in this world can be overwhelming. But in the end, it’s liberating and empowering if you do so. You take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and you do what you can. That was our goal with this video. We were just trying to “serve” in the best way we know how. And if everyone does that, that is totally enough. It’s more than enough.
On Thursday October 20th, seven student activists marched into President Simon’s office at the Hannah Administration building at Michigan State University to ask MSU to transition to 100% clean energy.
UPDATE 3: Video of the Sit-In and Student testimonials.
UPDATE 2: The three students have all been released. More updates on the administration’s response soon to come.
UPDATE 1: Three students arrested at Michigan State University Sit-in.
This afternoon, seven student activists marched into President Simon’s office at the Hannah Administration building at Michigan State University to ask MSU to transition to 100% clean energy.
Activists walked in wearing Greenpeace Quit Coal t-shirts and surgical masks to display the health risks of burning coal.
Today’s protest comes after two years of attempting to work with MSU’s Administration to transition the campus from burning coal to 100% clean energy.
Michigan State University has the largest on-campus coal plant in the nation, burning over 200,000 tons of coal each year. The energy supplied by this plant powers only the campus, but its pollution spews out into the community of East Lansing, and far beyond. Incidences of asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, lung disease, and emphysema are drastically higher in areas near coal-fired power plants. Coal pollution causes 31 deaths annually in East Lansing. Not only are there serious immediate health risks, but coal pollution is also the single greatest contributor to climate change in the United States.
“Coal is harmful to our environment and us, but not everyone knows. I think it is important to raise awareness of the problem so it can be fixed and the damaging effects of coal can be stopped,” said student activist Kendra Majewski who is currently inside President Simon’s office.
Since beginning of MSU Greenpeace’s Quit Coal campaign two years ago, students have gathered petitions, rallied, marched, met with the administration, and brought clean energy experts to campus to meet with physical plant engineers. However, the administration still refuses to have a sincere conversation about transitioning to clean energy. Students are frustrated and ashamed by the lack of responsibility that administration has taken. They are demanding that the administration quit coal and commit to an ambitious timeline for the university to transition to 100% clean energy.
Just yesterday 60 students participated in a dance flash mob, and rally in front of the administration building demanding 100% clean energy. Today, students have returned to show that they are going to keep demanding clean air for their fellow students and community until the administration agrees to quit coal. These actions were performed in solidarity with hundreds of other campuses across the nation for the month of October’s 100 Actions for 100% Clean Energy.
Stay posted for more information about the action.