Greening Deserts visited the climate camp Klimacamp Leipziger Land in Pödelwitz and exchanged with many awesome people about climate changes, coal, environment, environmental protection, conservation, nature, system changes and a lot of alternatives and solutions for a fast and efficient coal exit. It’s not just possible but urgent to save the environment, animals, humans, plants and all life forms from extinction, especially in the concerned regions.
Coal mining, burning or coal-fired generation causing a massive toxification of air, soils and water. The air pollution going around the world and like global warming it affects all humans and nations around the world. Mostly the poor people or communities suffer the most, because the coal industries destroying also their environments, even if they are on the other side of the world. This is not just unfair, it’s against any ethical and moral principles. It’s also a crime against humanity and violating many Fundamental Rights and Human Rights! Where is the justice and true rule of law.
Another massive problem with the coal is the radiation. The Swiss environmental network and BUND Germany published important articles and scientific reports about this issue: “Coal mining produces radioactive excavated material, mine water and radioactive particulate matter that is released into the environment. Coal transport with uncovered railway wagons also contributes to further distribution. If the coal is burned, the radioactive substances with the ashes get into the environment. Although filters in large-scale plants reduce the amount of radioactive ash by 99.5 percent, certain radioactive isotopes – for example, radon, lead and polonium – are still released into the environment. They become gaseous during combustion and can therefore hardly be removed from the exhaust air. The filter dusts must be safely stored as highly hazardous waste; for example, in a repository. This is because when burning the radioactive substances accumulate in the ashes: If the burned coal contains an ash content of five percent, so at the end of the combustion, the concentration of radioactive substances massively increased..” Thorium and uranium are another nuclear waste products caused by coal mining and concentrated by coal burning, the radioactive contamination is immense.
There are not just bad news. We have seen many good developments and news in so many fields. Two important things we exchanged about was that all the good alternatives and innovative solutions should be brought together (assembled or compiled) in one overview, so that everyone can understand and work better. The other thing is that Greening Deserts overworked the concept for the greening and research camps, it would be possible to establish a permanent climate camp in each bigger mining landscape. It would be a great platform for climate researchers and also for other scientists. The coal branch could see or understand that the potentials of a fast and effective coal exit are enourmous. More and better payed jobs could be created and the profits would be multiple times higher. It’s really complete nonsense to keep on with coal mining, not just because of the reasons stated here. Keep the coal in the ground and make peace with yourself and the humanity.
To a free discussion round we exchanged with some kids about good ideas for the panel. We had the idea to establish conservation, climate and environmental protection as fixed school subject in schools, at least once a week.
Another thing is to restore and recultivate old natural German landscapes which were very important for the water cycle and balancing the climate, environment and natural processes. We want to restore for example old wetlands like were destroyed by coal mining companies or other responsibles in the region of Leipzig. The region Leipzig was moorland landscape, alluvial or floodplain forest and now it’s much dryland or artifical lakeland. We need to create much more natural habitats and reservates there, more ancient plants and trees like bald zypresses and pin oaks. You must know wetlands are and were important for carbon capture or storage, a process known as carbon sequestration, holding up to 50 times as much carbon by area as rainforests! https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/03/scientists-hope-wetland-carbon-storage-experiment-is-everyones-cup-of-tea
..there are much more serious and scientific evidences that the air pollution caused by coal burning and coal mining kills humans, not just nearby coal-fired power plants or in coal power nations like China, USA, Russia, Poland, Germany,.. also all other nations are affected. The killing of people caused by coal combustion, gasification and mining is not better than any other genocide – also if it is passive and during a long time.
After the climate camp in the lignite mining region in Saxony nearby Leipzig the Klimacamp in the Rhineland started today and will run until 22th of August. The Climate Games Basel in Switzerland are still running. The climate camps are serious events with very diverse programms. It’s not just about climate change and global warming, but also about cultural, economic, ecologic, educational, social, scientific and much more imporant issues! Take a look on the websites for more details.
Don’t ignore or misunderstand these events and movements. They inform and share important climate and environmental themes, especially in relation to conservation, environmental protection, human-made climate changes and pollution. The main goal is to stop or block the coal mining, coal burning and coal-fired generation which is responsible for so much many deaths and the massive destruction of our environment and nature. Support all the great movements and organisations working for a fast and effective coal exit! Clean air and a healthy environment are Human Rights, too.
People wake up, finally – especially the responsibles! We need to establish environmental awarness and sustainability in so many fields or areas. It’s never to late to do so. There is a good Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Reduce and stop the worldwide ecocide and genocide by environmental pollution!
Houston we have a problem!
Human-made climate changes like global warming and air pollution (actual 9 million deaths in a year) killing millions of humans yearly! By coal plant emissions (coal burning and coal mining) and radiation of coal-fired plants and coal mines dying around a million. Is this not mass murdering or genocide? An interesting question, Human Rights organisations and international lawyers (bodies, courts, institutes and universities) for environmental rights, climate justice, business, health and Human Rights analysing and monitoring now the responsibles (key persons and companies). Special anti-corruption divisons are informed and criminal investigations will follow. Big thanks to Harvard and Washington University of Law and all the other universities with Human Rights departments who working on these issues, too.
To all the politics and responsibles like the Coal Commission or Coal Exit Commission, start finally to act, work transparent and present your solutions how to replace the dirty coal fast and efficient – so fast as possible, before more humans die by the air pollution! You all are responsible, too.
Current members of the German Coal Commission:
Commission leaders – Stanislaw Tillich (CDU, former state premier of lignite mining state Saxony), Matthias Platzeck (SPD, former state premier of lignite mining state Brandenburg) & Barbara Praetorius (Climate economist, former deputy director at Agora Energiewende*) & Ronald Pofalla (CDU, former Chief of the Chancellery, now board member at Deutsche Bahn)
Representatives of 8 federal ministries: economy & energy (BMWi, also hosts commission’s secretariat), environment (BMU), internal affairs (BMI, includes department for construction), labour (BMAS), transport (BMVI), finances (BMF), agriculture (BMEL) and education & research (BMBF)
Representatives of 6 federal states: North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony and Saarland
Three members of parliament (without voting rights): Andreas Lämmel (CDU), Andreas Lenz (CSU) and Matthias Miersch (SPD)
Source: Clean Energy Wire
If you look at all the pictures of the mines and open heaps (stockpiles), why the responsibles don’t cover them? For years, the coal industry released tons of toxic and radioactive coal particulates, toxic substances and pollutants into the environment (air, soil and water cycle). Some of the hazardous substances are arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, selenium, aluminum, antimony, barium, beryllium, boron, chlorine, cobalt, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, thallium, vanadium and zinc. We demand immediate coverage of the tailings with tarpaulins, also the coal transport (assembly lines, dump trucks, transporters, trains, etc.) must be covered – because even the storage and transport is dangerous and should be treated as nuclear waste as dangerous goods and it must be legally regulated! It is really no problem or great effort, tarpaulins or durable foils do not cost much – it could be done in a few days. This would at least temporarily hold back a lot of fine dust, which is whirled up especially by strong winds in spring and autumn. Politicians and business leaders need to respond as quickly as possible to this issue and act accordingly, especially to avoid further illnesses, deaths and negative long-term effects (cancer and other serious diseases). All opencast mining regions will continue to be extensively scanned and recorded by satellites. It would be good if DLR, ESA and Nasa finally made the complete scientific data (especially with regard to air pollution and pollutants) available to researchers and the public. We have been calling for open access of such important satellite data to the public for years. During the last years the Greening Deserts founder reported many times such issues like explained here and on all the articles or pages to responsible authorities and institutions.
The future greening camps and research camps will be set up outside of contaminated areas, like in the opencast mining region of Leipzig, maybe nearby the lakes in the post-mining area, close to the other open-pit mines. We will do also research on the detection and neutralization of radioactivity or radioactive particles. Together with nuclear experts and scientists from nations like America, Canada, China, India, France, Japan, Korea, Ukraine and Russia we can make it happen. With innovative methods and technics in this area, the entire nuclear waste could be neutralized in future. We strongly reject the current insecure use of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, but there is nothing wrong with safe use of nuclear power in certain areas (research, medicine, space, etc.). It is similar to the ‘clean coal’ technology, if it should be ready in 15-20 years you can build new really clean power plants, but without open pit mining and the consequences of environmental degradation or destruction. Ever thought about underground drone mining? All truly sustainable and clean technologies in these relations need to be developed, and by then humanity should focus fully on renewable and clean technologies (cleantech) or sustainable energy and resources (renewables).
Drought and heat are also a problem for the farmers. European farms expect harvest losses of 30 to 50 percent compared to the previous year. In parts of Germany, the soil is as dry as it has been for 50 years. Extreme drought, thunderstorms and floods often occur together and can severely affect affected countries. These extreme weather conditions are increasing not just in Africa but also in Europe, particularly hit countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy, where massive forest fires and the resulting desertification increases extremely. This year, even European countries such as Germany and Poland are affected, where some regions even introduced emergency harvesting and water restrictions after the second drought. In some regions, rivers and lakes dry up, even the groundwater and drinking water is scarce. Greening Deserts has been reporting extensively on these topics for years, especially in terms of soil degradation and desertification. Large opencast mining areas (surface mining deserts), cities (concrete deserts) and urban regions also contribute to this extreme climate. Many of these consequences of man-made climate change are not exactly predictable, but can be estimated very well with today’s scientific findings in climate research. We discussed with many climate researchers, nature and environmentalists and exchanged about this problem.
Other topics such as the reform of agriculture, soil improvement and water improvement have been and will be discussed in detail. Unfortunately, we have not received any active and financial support from the responsible authorities since years. For a long time we could do research on more effective cultivation and irrigation methods with a first greening and research camp in the surface mining landscape of Leipzig (Lakeland Neuseenland) – if our inquiries and demands had been taken seriously, especially by the big parties who were informed several times. Our demands and requests for help to German foundations, especially in the field of education, nature and environmental protection were ignored or there were the usual excuses.
We hope for quick help or support, so that we can work together with all involved parties to make the coal exit and transformation of the energy industry and agriculture to clean energy and technologies (cleantech) fast and efficient. We want to cultivate bamboo, hemp and palm trees on a large scale in opencast mining areas – not just because of the benefits in these areas, but also because of new innovative developments and compensatory measures in relation to global warming. In addition, special desert plants, extremely resistant, robust and undemanding plants are explored, such as rock garden plants and desert bamboo. Thus, many useful plants for improving the quality of soil, air and water can be used not only on land, but also in urban areas and large cities. Of course we will run a diverse agriculture and gardening – this is also called ecofarming. Wild blooms and flowerbeds counteract massive bee and insect deaths or in general the massive extinction of species. As you can see Greening Deserts is not only concerned with deserts and desertification but with many other important tasks and topics. If this is not eligible .. an extensive consultation and accompaniment to appropriate funding would be really appropriate.
Visit our social and scientific pages and groups for more information. You’re welcome to discuss and to exchange with us about all these topics!
The Greening Deserts greening projects and research camps also develop and conduct research in the climate and weather sector. Effective methods and measures for climate and disaster control are and will be researched and developed. Below are a few approaches and ideas listed.
A definition for flood protection according to DIN 4047:
“All the measures of watercourse development through water regulations and regulation, flood retention and / or structural alteration to the structures and facilities to be protected, which serve to reduce the flood area, lower the flood level and / or encourage flood discharge.”
A continuous discussion of the conflicts between the recreational and / or use forms and nature conservation is sought, also during the operation of projects and ventures in Post-Mining Landscapes. This serves the smooth running on all sides, the improvement of synergies and the avoidance of errors and duplicates or really unnecessary work. Ignorance should be avoided and communication promoted, especially in today’s times. This applies to all participants or agents in the region of the respective surface mining areas. The possibilities and potential of transparent working in mining landscapes are also important, as a result of which the overall image of the mining industry and the respective regions can be considerably improved. It also promotes awareness of nature conservation and positive change in the society.
It is also important to observe and comply with provisions, laws, regulations, guidelines and values for nature conservation in connection with or in relation to sustainable tourism, leisure and recreational use in mining landscape. Minimizing conflict potential and risks in this regard must be a task and in the interests of everyone, and extensive risk management for the region should be sought from all sources. Therefore, with this work and this concept is called to participate, to contribute ideas and suggestions. This can be done via the public pages or channels and by the official contact information.
Article published in October 2017.