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Sustainability

Olympic Park Energy Centre contractor wrecking Amazon rainforest

London's Olympic Park Energy Centre, flagship of its sustainability claims, is being built by a company described as "one of the worst and most violent companies in Brazil in terms of its social and environmental record". It will form part of a profitable portfolio of energy projects including massive dams in the Amazon rainforest that are being widely condemned for their ecological damage and social injustice.


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A bit of a stink in the River Lea

Chemical discharge into the Old River Lea: July 2009, &copy: Martin SlavinChemical discharge into the Old River Lea: July 2009, ©: Martin Slavin
On 25th of February 2010 the Hackney Gazette reported; “More than 500 people in the north-east of [London], ...including many from Hackney, [have complained]..that their water smells of faecal matter.” A week earlier it reported that one resident said, “The water smells like faecal material. If you taste it you want to spit it out.” Another complained of the water having, “an incredibly strong, acrid chemical, sour milk or sewage smell"..


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Olympic Resistance on the Global Day of Action against Climate Change

From: Alex Hundert, Narrative Resistance

It was not out of place for us to protest the Olympics today, as one might potentially suggest, on the Global Day of Action against Climate Change. For one thing, the City of Kitchener was holding a pre-torch Olympic celebration yesterday on public property at City Hall. Second, because Olympic sponsor RBC and the country of Canada are using the Olympics as a greenwashing campaign, to cover up their true record on climate change and the environment.


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Demonstrators Disrupt 2010 Olympic Torch Relay


2010 Olympic Torch Relay Starts Off Disgraced, Delayed, and Disrupted


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Rail Freight Group critical of 'High Carbon Olympics'

The Rail Freight Group is a company which lobbies on behalf of its members "to promote cost effective rail solutions for freight. Our members include customers, logistics providers, suppliers, terminal operators, ports and freight train operating companies." On May 22 2009 it published a paper 'A High Carbon Olympics at Stratford?'


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Cost overruns are endemic to mega-projects

Professor Bent Flyvbjerg took up his post as Chair of Major Programme Management at the Said Business School at Oxford University on April 1st 2009.

“In a landmark study, ....[he] analysed over 250 major transport infrastructure projects and found that 90% went over budget — and that the benefits averaged only half of those promised. This was so consistent that Flyvbjerg concluded it amounts to “strategic misrepresentation”, and that the culprits are politicians and bureaucrats competing for scarce public resources or seeking to get a suspect project off the ground to make political capital.“


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LDA's Destruction of Century Old Evicted Allotment Community

UPDATE ON MANOR GARDEN ALLOTMENTS FEATURED IN BBC2'S 'BUILDING THE OLYMPIC DREAM' SERIES. By Julie Sumner

After belated planning permission was finally acquired, £1.3M hurriedly spent on building temporary plots, the ravaged Manor Gardening Society (MGS) had earth under their feet again. Perhaps the hope that bursts through with the first broad bean shoots would begin to heal the wounds.


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REAPing the Olympic park!

After writing about the new and reduced park I found myself involved in an email discussion about replacement funding. At the risk of repeating myself I thought part of it deserved a little airing. Below is part of an email from a Hackney Councillor, Christine Boyd, in response to a discussion about REAP funding which was meant to compensate local communities, notably at Hackney Wick, for loss of open space.


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The Real Political Lessons From Vancouver's Leakgate Election

I'm getting more than a little tired of being told by the likes of his Highness Larry Campbell (or is it Sir Larry?) and, today, columnist Milo Cernetig in the Vancouver Sun's lead post-election story, just how awful the recent leaking of secret loan documents was and how the leakers should be hunted down and "hung out to dry." I'm not debating the legality of stealing government documents. What I do question is that they had to be stolen and leaked to the media just for the public to be aware of an important civic detail, like the fact I'm on the hook for $100 million loan to prop up private development that will have a very brief use as the Olympic Athletes' Village.


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