Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Low impact, natural building


New buildings aren't so bad when they're in tune with, and enhance, the natural environment. Unfortunately councils don't enforce any such thing, instead giving the go-ahead to all sorts of lifeless identikit buildings. The building below was built without planning permission, and although it is exactly the kind of building that our society should be embracing, the Pembrokeshire Council would rather have it demolished than put up with the fact that someone went ahead and built it without their permission. It's a fantastic design using local, low-impact materials, and local expertise and labour. And all for about £15,000, with the owner doing much of the work in a way that few people nowadays would have the dedication to undertake. It's an example of how the homes we live in could be very different, each unique and as environmentally-friendly as possible, part of the countryside rather than in place of it.

It's possible to support the home and object to the council's plans to demolish it - follow the instructions here if you wish to do so.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Trees to line Aberystwyth road


It's great to be able to report about some wonderful green news for Aberystwyth. We've previously covered the proposal to make the approach to Aberystwyth more welcoming and improve the environment, and are delighted to say that not only has the initial phase of planting already started (around Parc y Llyn and along past the government offices) but it has recently been announced that the regeneration money is being put to green use by lining the whole of Boulevard St Brieuc with up to 300 trees. This is an excellent greening project and will improve the environment in terms of wildlife, air quality and visual quality. Well done Forestry Commission and the Greener Aberystwyth Group.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Science Corrupted

Universities continue to play a part in the secretive world of experimenting on and killing animals behind closed doors. Cardiff University cuts up kittens, while Aberystwyth University kills thousands of animals in the average year, while encouraging dissection and experimenting with adding further artificial additives to the food chain. The number of cruel experiments in Wales keeps going up - 53,000 per year at the last count.

It seems appropriate to mention the recent report Science Corrupted, which exposes the nightmare world of genetically modified mice used for research. (Yes, Aberystwyth University kills mice too). Please take a look and watch the film on this site. Also this article from last week is interesting, looking at the culture of secrecy around vivisection.

At the end of 2012 Aberystwyth University were asked about the experiments they do. They were asked about specific experiments which an ex-employee told us take place involving cows, but in their response evaded the question by saying "we do not identify with the description [of the experiments]". They then ignored the related questions.

IBERS, and its former elements of the BBSRC-funded Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research and the University Institute of Rural Sciences, have been conducting research involving cattle for many years. Worryingly, although the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 is already a weak thing that allows untold cruelty to take place, many Aberystwyth University experiments on animals do not require Home Office approval because "the research conducted is of an applied agricultural nature". Hence the fact that the details of the experiments are kept from the public, the tax payers, the charity givers, no doubt because people would then be disgusted with what the university does.