The Clean Energy Brigades Camp
The Clean Energy Brigades (CEB) turns the discussion of how to save energy into concrete results. In short, CEB are teams of activists who go to meet the local people living around the plant at their homes in order to install energy effeciency materials such as window and door insulation, energy effecient light bulbs, and heating pads. This service is done voluntarily and free of charge - the home owner only has to pay for the materials. One primary reason we chose to serve the area around Temelin is to express to the people living here that we are not only stopping nuclear power, but trying to put one crucial alternative, energy efficiency, into their very homes.
Despite what the police, plant workers, local people and press may think, we are here to do much more than stop nuclear power. In fact, nuclear power is probably the least important part of the camp, if we compare it to the size of the question we are really trying to bring to the surface of awareness. That is, the question of sustainability on this planet. This is why Hnuti DUHA is organizing the Clean Energy Brigades Action camp from June 23rd to July 4th. This is a form of direct action which breaks through national myths concerning the energy needs of the Czech Republic and bridges the gaps between activists and locals near the plant. People of the Czech Republic continue to think that energy efficiency is expensive and complicated - this is a myth we inted to break. For every window and door insulated, the CEZ utility officials and government leaders get more nervous in the realization that efficiency is cheaper, cleaner and safer.
The history of this project screams with success. In 1994-95, three regions, a total of 567 households and 11 public buildings, were updated with efficiency installations through volunteers working under the CEB project. According to research, there has been an average savings of 20% in these areas. In other words, our efforts have saved and will continue to save the burning of 1350 tons of coal every year. This includes preventing:
25,700 kg of SO2
9,500 kg Nox airborne emissions
1,300,000 kg of CO2 airborne emissions
5,400 kg of flying ashes
One beautiful part of the project is the fact that we don't need energy efficiency experts- just a few helping hands. Karel, the CEB project co-ordinator is willing to show you how to do everything. Besides showing people that there are numerous easy, cheap, and effective ways to save energy at the community level (i.e., households, schools, town halls, small offices) there are many other reasons to get involved. First, you'll be able to check out the Sustainable European Tour - a band of performers who will entertain you during the summer nights or the Czech musicians who will be playing benefit shows against Temelin in Ceske Budejvice during the CEB camp. Second, you might learn something new and about efficiency and find yourself the victim of Czech hospitality (many locals are known for their kindness). Not to mention, you will definitely be helping people and the environment breathe easier. We hope you take this opportunity to take positive steps toward closing down Temelin. We will also be reimbursing travel for CEB volunteers (up to 50%) for those who register in advance and organize travel.
For more information on how you can get involved, register here.
If you represent an East European NGO working on energy related issues and you're interested in positive actions to fight further climate change or nuclear power - you are encouraged to check out the SPACE seminar organized by Hnuti DUHA in Prague prior to the blockade.
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