Tiny House in Pipeline's Path Sends Big Message to Kinder Morgan
Members of the Secwepemc Nation in British Columbia started building Thursday the first of 10 tiny homes directly in the path of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline.
The house is a symbol of the community's opposition to the pipeline and is based on a design from allies at Standing Rock. The tiny house will be 18 feet by 7 feet by 12 feet, and will feature a hand-painted mural.
"We are building this tiny house and placing it in the path of the Kinder Morgan pipeline to show in no uncertain terms that this land is our home," said Kanahus Manuel, a leader in the build and member of the Secwepemc Women's Warrior Society. "As Kinder Morgan tries to force through a pipeline without our consent—risking polluting the land and poisoning our rivers—we are rising up to create a resistance rooted in family, community and hope."
If built, Kinder Morgan's pipeline would cross 1,309 bodies of water, including the North and South Thompson Rivers, which are in the community's traditional territory (the largest Indigenous territory the pipeline plans to cross). Given that a spill is virtually inevitable, the 900,000 barrels of diluted bitumen the pipeline would carry through 518 kilometers of unceded Secwepemc land pose an ongoing threat to the community, its culture, homelands and waters.
"There will be no reconciliation without consent, and we can not confuse consultation with consent," Manuel continued. "If Trudeau and Kinder Morgan try to rip this land, our home, apart, we will be there to stand-up and stop them. Like our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock, like Indigenous Peoples rising up across Turtle Island, we have a responsibility to protect the land that is home and the water that is sacred."
"Neskonlith opposes the Kinder Morgan TransMountain tar sands pipeline because of the damage we know it would bring," Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson said. "We support the People's Declaration and the construction of these tiny houses for the use of our people and the enjoyment of our lands. Issues of bitumen being piped across waterways should be everyone's concerns. We've seen with Mount Polley that the provincial and federal governments aren't ready to deal with a spill and the effects are left for us to deal with for years or decades, we won't let that happen again."
Greenpeace Canada partnered with the Tiny House Warriors to build the house, assisting with logistics and supporting their act of nonviolent resistance.
"The Secwepemc Tiny House Warriors are creating community and building homes for their people," said Mike Hudema, climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace Canada. "This is why we stand with them—the rightful defenders of their lands and waters in this peaceful and courageous act of defiance. Every step of the way, we will continue to oppose Kinder Morgan and the financial institutions bankrolling this climate-killing, Indigenous rights-bulldozing pipeline."
In June, the Secwepemc Peoples Declaration on Protecting Our Land and Water against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline was declared at the Secwepemcul'ecw Assembly. The declaration articulates the community's lack of consent on the pipeline and reasserts their traditional rights, title and laws, including those which are protected under Section 35 of Canada's Constitution, the UN Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples, and the legally-binding International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic Social and Cultural Rights.
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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