Archive for the ‘climate change’ Category

Plastic Free July

July 17, 2021

Those empty laundry detergent containers, empty shampoo containers, do not throw away, take to a zero waste shop and have them refilled.

That is what I did last week, laundry liquid from ecoleaf, the shampoo coconut from Faith in Nature (which matched the previous contents).

But please never put wrong liquid in mismatched container, it is not only the labelling, we have iconic shapes, ketchup bottles, coke bottles.

Classic, weed killer in a Coke bottle on the shelf in the garden shed.

A zero waste shop recently received a lot of stick when a foolish employee bragged she had found a use for an empty ketchup bottle, filling with cleaner.

If have an Nespresso machine do not not buy the disgusting coffee from Nespresso, and if thinking of buying choose an Opal One a superior machine, the capsules buy from reputable coffee roasteries.

  • Kiss the Hippo — compostable
  • Colonna — compostable and aluminium
  • April — compostable

Compostable, throw on the compost heap.

Aluminium, obtain a gadget from Colonna, Lakeland or Hotel Chocolat and use to extract the spent coffee grounds, scatter the extracted coffee on compost heap or garden, the emptied aluminium capsules, stack to increase their bulk, drop in a recycling bin.

If order from Riverford, veg box or recipe box, delivered in a card box which can be reused, recycled or composted, inside tins, maybe little plastic boxes, fruit and vegetables loose, strong paper bags or compostable plastic bags. The boxes are collected next delivery.

When we recycle, reuse, compost, we are not only reducing waste and closing the loop, we are also saving on embedded energy used to produce the products, thus helping to cut carbon emissions.

We face several global crisis

  • global warming
  • mass species extinction
  • pandemics
  • plastic pollution

When out and about, wishing for a coffee, never takeaway or offer a reusable cup, relax and enjoy coffee served in glass or ceramic. The only exception a kiosk or cart.

Riverford declare Climate Emergency

May 16, 2021

Riverford Organic Farms are best known for their veg boxes, but they also supply individual orders of fruit and vegetables and recipe boxes.

Organic is not sufficient, we have to look after the soil, regenerative agriculture, rewilding, how do we ship, where do we ship from, what is our carbon footprint, are we carbon negative?

We must look at lifecycle costs. Too many businesses, hype, greenwash, one part of their business, to draw our attention from other aspects.

An example would be Nestle and the podback scam, to draw attention away from other aspects of their business. Do not be fooled, buy coffee capsules from reputable coffee roasteries.

  • Kiss the Hippo – compostable
  • Colonna – aluminium and compostable

Riverford ship in cleverly designed boxes which can be reused, when reach end of their life can be shredded and composted.

Within the box, loose fruit and vegetables, packed in paper bags or compostable plastic bags or in small boxes of compressed card.

The large box collected on next delivery, the compressed trays used for kitchen waste to transfer to the compost heap, used as seed trays, when reach end of life pop on the compost heap.

The carbon offset scam tends to be just that a ploy not to reduce carbon emissions. Planting a tree that takes at least 20 years to reach maturity does not offset an easyJet flight of four hours.

We are not only facing a Climate Crisis, we are facing an ecological crisis, mass species extinction.

Riverford will be increasing biodiversity on their network of farms.

Coffee certification

March 14, 2021

Marketing hype to make Big Business look good and Middle Class feel good?

The trick to finding great coffee is looking for transparency. Not a see-through bag, but a bag tells you where the coffee is from – the country, the farm, and sometimes even info about how it was produced. Coffee labelled like this is usually specialty. — Kiss the Hippo

A lost opportunity by Adventures in Coffee, trivializes an important topic leaving subscribers to the podcast none the wiser.

FarirTrade scam, pay growers a tiny premium above commodity price, coffee is coffee is coffee. Worse still, maintains farmers in poverty, no incentive for farmers to improve quality.

Percol is Big Business, low quality commodity coffee, find on the shelves of supermarkets. But hey, we greenwash with a FairTrade sticker.

The Cost of a Cuppa, a BBC Radio 4 documentary looked at tea plantations in Assam, the appalling working and living conditions on the tea plantations, the child slave labour, whether the tea was supplied to some of the most expensive tea suppliers on the market or commodity tea it made no difference, the various designations meaningless, not worth the paper they are written on.

Tea workers in Assam earn 115 rupees a day, just over £1 ($1.50), well below the minimum wage (177 rupees in Assam). This is legal, as part of their wage is paid for with housing, clean water, sanitation, food. There has been a small increase in wages since the programme was recorded.

The housing is not fit for human habitation, no safe drinking water, no toilets, cesspits overflowing, roofs leaking. Plantation owners in India are obliged by law to provide and maintain ‘adequate’ houses, and sanitary toilets for workers.The women pick the tea leaves, hard work, but not hazardous. In the fields the workmen are spraying hazardous pesticides, no protective gear, wearing only t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. The chemical used deltamethrin, harmful possibly fatal if absorbed through the skin or inhaled. The local hospital sees 5–6 patients a week suffering from pesticide poisoning.

The Source, a year long investigation by The Weather Channel and Telemundo gathered evidence that child labour is commonplace during the coffee harvest in Chiapas, the poorest state in Mexico.

Armies of kids walking down a road, 60–70 lb sacks of coffee strapped to their backs. Kids as young as six, if not younger, picking the coffee cherries.

The coffee is mainly exported to the US, commodity coffee to large corporations, companies like Nestlé and tax-dodging Starbucks.

Nestlé when challenged denied all knowledge, they outsource the certification to a company called 4C, now Global Coffee Platform.

No mention of the square-root rule. Take the square root of the number of farms to be checked, then check once every three years.

The square-root rule is used. This is fine for uniform widgets, test a small random sample. It does not work when certifying working conditions on remote inaccessible farms.

The square-root rule, inspection of only a fraction of the number of farms, less than half of the square-root, then only every three years.

What this means is that for 5,144 farms the reality of any farm being inspected is vanishingly small, a little over 0.5%.

The larger the number of farms to be inspected in an area, then if we apply the square-root rule, the number inspected as a percentage approaches zero.

Incorrect to state organic not productive. Look to the work of Vandana Shiva in India.

We should be supporting grass-grazed agriculture, agroforestry,  coffee trees grown in the shade of trees, slowly ripening of the coffee cherries. High altitude coffee grown in the shade of trees, protects the forests, yields higher quality coffee cherries, the growers receive a higher price.

Union Hand Roasted Coffee and Kew Gardens have worked together to help local communities protect Yayu Forest. The forest has designated status, but counts for little if the local communities are mired in poverty. Union offered to buy wild coffee picked from the forest. The forest is an important for biodiversity, and for genetics of coffee.

Ninety Plus Coffee have restored a degraded cattle ranch in Panama, on the estate they grow Panama Geisha.

Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique is working with local communities, supporting agriculture, health and education. The growing of high quality arabica is bringing money into local hands, supports local projects.


My advice to Katie, ignore the certification scams, not worth the paper they are written on, trust the roastery, look for direct trade, long term relationships with famers, what is happening on the ground, and please do not buy poor quality, stale coffee, from supermarkets or from retailers with no knowledge of coffee.

Read Coffeeography, where Stephen Leighton takes us on a journey, the relationships with the coffee farms.

Take a look at Kiss the Hippo, note the degree of transparency.

Tim Wendelboe publishes an annual account on sustainability and transparency.

Mokka takes a pride in their relationships with growers, as does Coffee Gems, as do many small roasteries engaged in direct trade.

I recently had a conversation that was the exact opposite, asked of an amateurish operation that was roasting from home, Q grade of their coffee. Did not know. How can they claim speciality coffee? Was then given more information that did not match their website. Followed by a childish response, it was for them to decide what is their businesses and what information they supply. It goes without saying, I would not be buying coffee from Jackalopie Joe or recommending to others.

What applies to coffee equally applies to chocolate. Support bean-to-bar chocolate makers, who engage with the growers, form long-term relationships, pay a higher price for quality.

Adventures in Coffee a collaboration between Caffeine Magazine, Jools Walker and Filter Stories. Presented by Jools Walker and Scott Bentley.

Energy from waste incineration is not green energy

March 13, 2021

An excellent Channel 4 Dispatches programme The Dirty Truth About Your Rubbish only touched the tip of the iceberg.

Gordon Brown had a wheeze of off balance sheet accounting, the PFI scam. It made public spending look low, a prudent Chancellor. Infrastructure, hospitals, schools, incinerators, built by the private sector, leased by the public sector, for which the tax payer is paying ten times the original cost.

Incinerators have to be fed. Local authorities sign contract for minimum waste. If fall below, they pay penalties. There is thus a disincentive to reduce waste.

Government needs to step in and annul these contracts.

Incinerators emit CO2. They should be forced to buy carbon credits for their emissions, and be hit with a carbon tax.

Incinerators emit carcinogens and other toxins.

Mass is not created or destroyed by incinerators. What is left residual waste, plus what goes up the chimney.

The residual waste is heavily contaminated with heavy metals.

A scandal several years ago, residual waste spread on an allotment in the North East, the Byker ash scandal in Newcastle – in which the city council was prosecuted after 2,000 tonnes of ash from the old Byker incinerator was found to contain potentially cancer-causing dioxins.

Incineration is not green energy, it is dirty energy. It is also destroying valuable resources which should be recycled, or placed in an industrial biodegrader.

All these measures in place, many incinerators would no longer be viable, and those in the planning stage shelved.

The figures published by local councils for recycling, are for that collected, it does not mean that collected is recycled. it is going to incineration.

Local councils need to do more to encourage recycling, some do, most do not.

We all should do our part, reduce, recycle, reuse.

We should also tackle the worst offenders, Waitrose and M&S obscene levels of plastic packaging. Is it really necessary bananas in a plastic bag, a coconut shell hacked off, then wrapped in plastic shrink wrap?

Mindful Chef, owned by Nestle, deliver recipe boxes, overpackaging, obscene use of plastic. Their frozen food boxes, a card sleeve, plastic film over what appears to be a paper tray, a plastic-lined paper tray.

Waste does not exist in the natural world either in time or space, the output of one process is the input to another, a closed loop system. We should emulate the natural world.

In Lincolnshire, the official green agenda carbon neutral by 2050, two decades too late, opposition to on-shore wind turbines, support for oil and gas exploration.

Am I damaging the planet with my coffee habit?

February 13, 2021

Are reusable coffee cups doing more harm than good?

Indie coffee shops are as always showing the way, ahead of the game, compostable coffee cups, reusable cups, but are we doing more harm than good?

We are in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, takeaway coffee cups, contactless payments, necessary evils to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Best practice is that shown by Coffee Aroma. Only one person allowed into the coffee shop at a time, contactless payment only, takeaway cups a necessary evil, no reusable cups. No reusable cups accepted, anyone who tries will not be served and if persist will be asked to leave.

At the other end of the spectrum, Brian of Brian’s Coffee Spot going around coffee shops insisting they take his coffee cups, in one coffee shop he handed over two different coffee cups, then bragging on social media his cups accepted and encouraging others to do the same. Highly irresponsible behaviour.

A minority of coffee shops have reusable coffee cups on sale. Why reusable cups on sale? If on sale customers will expect to be able to bring in reusable cups. When I have queried this, no one should be using reusable cups during coronavirus pandemic, I was told if someone brings a reusable cup, they fill a takeaway cup, up to the customer to then fill their own reusable cup. Somewhat self-defeating.

It cannot be emphasised enough, no one should be taking a reusable coffee cup to a coffee shop, no coffee shop should be accepting. It is to introduce an unnecessary disease vector that puts staff and customers at risk.

Compostable coffee cups are not compostable, at least not on a compost heap, they will biodegrade in an industrial biodegrader, though I have found they will compost on a well made compost heap. What do we we do with them once we have drunk our coffee, unless on our way home to drop on the compost heap, assuming we have a garden let alone a compost heap.

Reusable coffee cups simply address a symptom, not the underlying problem of grab it and go, instant gratification, pointless consumerism.

The only way to enjoy a coffee is to relax in an indie coffee shop with coffee served in glass or ceramic, which sadly not possible in the midst of coronavirus pandemic. And even when coffee shops were open, even before the first lockdown, many coffee shops were only serving in takeaway cups contactless payment to reduce the risk of cross infection.

Coffee shops get lumped together with pubs as hospitality, they should not be, they were not spreading coronavirus.

When we come out of lockdown, it should be slowly slowly, pause at each stage with a willingness to immediately impose hard lockdown, with testing in the community. We should close our city centres to traffic, pedestrianise the streets, the first to open as the weather warms up indie coffee shops and restaurants with socially distanced tables in the street. Win win for everyone, kick starts the local economy, helps local businesses, improves city centre ambience.

I would berate Scott though not for forgetting his reusable cup and using a takeaway cup. I would berate Scott for using either. If the coffee was so good he wished to brag about, why did he drink it from a disposable cup (pandemic excepted but then should not be using a reusable cup)? I would berate Scott for not relaxing in a coffee shop, the excellent coffee served in glass or ceramic. To do anything less, is to not do justice to the coffee and the person who brewed it.

Would we treat a red wine in this way, slosh into a takeaway cup and jog off down the street? I think not, not unless we are a wino. Therefore why do we treat coffee with such contempt?

We face several existential crisis, global pandemics, climate change, plastic pollution, mass species extinction. We have to address all, we cannot pick and choose.

UK later this year hosts COP26. Cumbria has given the go ahead for expansion of coal mining, Leeds airport expansion, relaxation of rules on night time flying at Leeds Bradford Airport.

Worrying about drinking a cappuccino is pissing in the wind. We would better direct our efforts at closing down drive-thru takeaway coffee outlets.

Plastic-lined takeaway cups contribute to plastic pollution.

Currently whilst in the midst of a global covid-19 pandemic, a takeaway cup a necessary evil to reduce risk of cross infection. No one should be taking a takeaway coffee cup to a coffee shop, no coffee shop should accept, it is to introduce an unnecessary disease vector which puts staff and customers at risk.

Grass-fed cows, the grass continually eaten acts a carbon sink, improves soil structure, soaks up rain water, soaks up carbon, slows flash floods, good for wildlife. We have woods, hedgerows, ponds and marshes.

Yes, we should be concerned about about our carbon footprint. A cappuccino is the least of our worries.

Drinking a cup of coffee, drive to a drive-thru coffee shop? What of flights?

Fake milks cause huge environmental damage, soy destruction of rainforest (and unless certified organic almost certainly gmo), almonds drain the California water table.

I would not have coffee beans shipped from outside the country, not when add shipping cost. On the other hand, if out of the country, I may pick up a bag of coffee and bring it back home.

But what of my arranging coffee beans to Cyprus? If not, do we deny coffee shops source of speciality coffee beans?

Beggars belief incineration being suggested as alternative to landfill, landfill we are running out of, hence a landfill tax.

No, we close the loops, we reduce waste, we do not use takeaway cups, we do not use reusable cups. In the natural world waste does not exist either in time or space, output of one process feeds into another process.

How many coffee shops place their spent coffee grounds outside in a strong paper bag to be taken away to be used on the garden?

Carbon neutral transport? Electric vehicles powered by renewable sources, or the carbon offset scam? The only way to reduce carbon in the atmosphere is not to emit carbon.

We have to look at whole life cycle cost. At best the plastic cup can be downcycled, the metal cup recycled many times, the energy recovered.

And that was the problems with the discussion, takeaway cups or reusable cups, which is the better? Neither, neither should exist, instead we should address the underlying problem of takeaway culture.

If we care about the coffee we are drinking, let us do it justice, let us show respect for the barista, the roastery, the farm and the growers.

Laura Young sums up Oatly:

I don’t want my money going to the destruction of the planet, and putting peoples lives and land at risk just so that I can have a creamy coffee in the morning!

A man flogging fake milk tells us to drink fake milk. Now who would have guessed that?

Comparison of Oatly with milk from cows was biased, but then what to expect when the source is someone flogging fake milk.

We heard of transparency. No mention of acquisition of a share of Oatly by Vulture Capitalists responsible for forest destruction or by a Chinese state owned company to facilitate access to the Chinese market.

Oatly used to be a small company that made a profit. They are now a big company that made a loss of $35 million in 2019.

The comparison was with industrial agriculture, the same industrial agriculture producing oats for Oatly, intensive agriculture.

Cows have an advantage, they are very efficient at converting to something edible what we cannot eat, converted to meat, milk and cheese, cheese produced by an age old natural method of fermentation.

Yes, cows produce methane, and yes methane 20 times more potent than CO2, but CO2 lasts decades in the atmosphere, whereas the methane produced by the cows short lived. We fill a field with cows, assuming we do not increase the stocking level, a small increase in atmospheric methane which will then remain constant, it will not increase, the grassy field will be a carbon sink.

No mention of nutritional deficiency

The only thing can be said in favour of Oatly, one of the better fake milks, nevertheless a cappuccino poured with Oatley looks and tastes disgusting.

Is that milk with your cappuccino or watered down porridge with enzymes added?

Milk needs fat for structure and flavour, essential for a cappuccino.

If do not wish for milk in a coffee, then ask for a V60 pour over.

The only fake milk maybe worth trying, and I confess I have yet to try, Rebel Kitchen, they at least have attempted to address the issue of fat.

Plant-based has become the new low fat, a means of marketing the output of global food corporations.

We should be supporting grass-fed agriculture, agroforestry, not monoculture, rows of monoculture crops which require herbicides, fertiliser, pesticide, will enable runoff, loss of soil, no improvement of soil structure.

Climate Change is a result of a mindset, that is based on monoculture, fossil fuels, chemicals, corporate control. We do not address Climate Emergency by applying the same mindset that caused the problem, global corporations trying to control what we eat and drink, destruction of local culture and diversity, is not the answer.

Excellent environmental issues being raised and discussed, but please do not greenwash on behalf of Oatly.

Adventures in Coffee a collaboration between Caffeine Magazine, Jools Walker and Filter Stories. Presented by Jools Walker and Scott Bentley.

Lincoln Eco Pantry

December 20, 2020

Passing through Lincoln Central Market I learnt of a zero waste shop uphill, ‘competition’. As I was en route to the Lincoln Christmas farmers market on Castle Hill, I decided to try and find it and check it out.

Lincoln Christmas farmers market a very sad and sorry affair.

Lincoln Eco Pantry in Bailgate opposite Redhill farm shop, not difficult to find. A queue outside, though everywhere had a queue outside.

Lincoln Eco Pantry a long time in opening. There was rumour of opening in the town at least two years ago, but a bad location, then at St Marks, another bad location. The current location, should have opened early November, finally opened on Friday.

Letting agents Banks and Co which means will be paying high rent or a surprise if not, Bailgate location would also be high rent, though in current dire circumstances maybe rents are starting to fall,

The location, apart from the high rent, excellent as compliments butcher, baker and greengrocer. All we now need is a specialty coffee shop, currently lacking in Bailgate.

Sympathetic restoration of an old building. How it has been fitted out creates a pleasant environment.

Ground floor, bulk refill for shampoo and laundry liquid. No names I recognised. For shampoo, Faith in Nature from the health food shop opposite Mary le Wigford Church just off the High Street, laundry liquid the zero waste shop in the Central Market.

The point was made, choose suppliers to compliment not compete with what already exists in Lincoln.

All the more baffling therefore a large amount of prime shelf space by the counter which encounter as enter the shop devoted to poor quality chocolate laced with additives, chocolate that can buy in any Oxfam shop and in most supermarkets, with not very environmentally friendly package. A definite negative.

Helpful young lady manning the till fed me nonsense additives were because vegan chocolate. Er no, emulsifiers substitute for cocoa butter because the emulsifiers are cheaper. Dark chocolate cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, occasionally vanilla, nothing else. Only milk chocolate and white chocolate are not vegan due to addition of milk.

For quality chocolate visit Imperial Teas on Steep Hill. Excellent selection and knowledgeable about chocolate. The only place in Lincoln for quality chocolate.

Limits on numbers in the shop, limits on numbers on the first floor, a notice on the door, not that anyone took any notice of the notice on the door, nor was it enforced.

Upstairs on the first floor, loose nuts, cereals, dried fruits, tins of tea and coffee. All bagged and weighed by a helpful young lady.

But, this is not how to handle coffee beans, loose in the tins the beans will oxidise, they will already have oxidised in the plastic boxes shipped in, no information on the coffee beans, their provenance, where roasted when roasted roasted, their origin, country not sufficient.

I have recently been in discussion with a coffee shop and roastery, shipping of green beans, roasting, then supply to the coffee shop. I did consider supply in boxes, but dismissed, not good for the beans, they will oxidise.

DT Coffee Roastery supply roasted beans to Coffee Lab Academy and to The Square by Coffee Lab. The beans are supplied in bags even though located near each other in Winchester. Also true of coffee shops where the roastery is located within the coffee shop, the beans are bagged.

Beans popped in bags after roasted will outgas CO2 which creates a positive pressure in the bag, keeps out the air and stops the beans from oxidising. Roast, leave to rest for a week, then at their optimum for three weeks. Once the bags are opened, coffee beans go stale very quickly.

Coffee should have a wonderful aroma, a hint of things to come. I lifted the lid of the Brazil beans. Instead of a pleasant enticing aroma, I saw burnt over roasted beans with accompanying smell of burnt stale beans. Not pleasant.

And even if by happenchance bagged freshly roasted beans as they arrived in a brown paper bags, by the time arrived home, the beans would have oxidised,  not unless arrived prepared with vacuum storage jars.

If wish for coffee beans,  visit a reputable coffee shop where they care about coffee, Madame Waffle or Coffee Aroma, or try the zero waste shop in Lincoln Central Market.

Tea is fine in the tins, but for tea I would visit nearby Imperial Teas on Steep Hill.

Indy coffee shops and roasteries are always ahead of the game. Much work is being done on closing the loop with sustainable coffee bags. There are no easy answers, no quick fixes, packaging for shipping coffee beans keeping the beans fresh whilst at the same time reducing waste. [see Horsham Coffee Roaster – Recycling our coffee bags]

On sale reusable coffee cups during a coronavirus pandemic when coronavirus is out of control and a new strain is spreading like wildfire is an absolute no no. No responsible coffee shop will accept reusable cups for the simple reason it is to introduce an unnecessary  disease vector. They care about staff and customers and do not wish to place them at risk of infection.

The only reusable cup worth considering is a glass KeepCup, but if dropped, smashed to smithereens or consider a huskee cup. But why use reusable cups, why takeaway coffee, reusable cups addresses a symptom, not the underlying problem, stop using grab and go takeaway coffee.  During covid-19 crisis takeaway cups a necessary evil to reduce cross contamination.

Walk in Coffee Aroma, only one person at a time, strictly enforced a sign No Reusable Cups, and they will refuse to serve anyone who insists on using their reusable cup. Safety of staff and customers paramount.

Post-pandemic, relax and enjoy coffee in glass or ceramic served in an indy coffee shop.

In the natural world the concept of waste does not exist in space or time, the output of one process is the input to the next. Therefore we either use natural materials or we emulate a closed loop system with our manmade materials,  as we do with glass, steel or aluminium.

In Athens it is the norm, loose nuts and dried fruits, loose bars of chocolate, shops, stalls outside Athens Central Market, no special name as this is the norm.

Cashew takes it to another level, loose nuts, dried fruits, bars of chocolate jars of honey and peanut butter combined with a coffee shop serving speciality coffee. Coffee beans on sale are in bags.

The big difference to UK, far wider choice far higher quality. For example, more than one grade of dried apricots, pistachio nuts, peanuts.

I picked up muesli and chocolate-coated coffee beans, bagged, weighed and down to the till downstairs to pay. I may have lingered longer and bought more but it became unsafe, too many people allowed in.

The muesli, soft muesli, more like a muesli base, could have done with added fruits, but nevertheless excellent with the raw unpasteurised milk off the Christmas farmers market.  The chocolate-coated coffee beans reasonable but very poor quality when compared with chocolate-coated Brazil nuts from Athens or chocolate-coated coffee beans from Colombia.

The name Eco Pantry always wise to check if already in use. I found myself wondering why looked different to the shop I visited. I was looking at Eco Pantry in Sevenoaks.

Covid-19 biosecurity poor if not very poor. Ground floor door open thus ventilated, tiny crack window open first floor not sufficient ventilation, a girl on the first floor handled all the goods and bagged, but there were too many people in the store, this when we have a mutant highly infectious strain of covid-19  spreading like wildfire and Lincoln  recording double the national average of new covid-19 cases. Sale of reusable cups highly irresponsible. No one should be taking reusable cups to a coffee shop and no coffee shop should accept. The lax covid-19 biosecurity so poor Lincoln Eco Pantry should close until further notice until they address these issues.

Portugal easyJet director living in an alternative reality

May 4, 2020

Airlines, airports and travel industry in general live in a different world to everyone else. They talk of back to business as usual, airports expanding.

Covid-19 has opened up another now. There is no return to normal as normal was not normal, mass tourism was killing the planet. People have become used to bird song, streets traffic free, cities pollution free. They are not going to give this up without a fight.

Aviation a major contributor to global warming, has spread covid-19 around the world, therefore within this context the comments by director general of Easyjet in Portugal José Lopes objecting to quarantine for arrivals into the country beggars belief.

The director general of Easyjet in Portugal José Lopes has said that the resumption of the company’s activity in Portugal is very dependent on the elimination of the quarantine imposed on passengers arriving in Madeira and therefore suggested “the elimination of these barriers to connectivity ”.

Portugal, together with Greece, one of the few countries in Europe to have acted promptly and contained coronavirus. José Lopes wishes to throw this all away.

José Lopes is not alone in expressing these sentiments, UK Airlines has come out with similar comments. Objecting to quarantine, claiming aviation vital to the UK economy.

What has been the economic cost of coronavirus pandemic, of wild fires in Australia, of floods in England?

Airlines, tour companies, and tourism industry, live in a different reality to the rest of us.

Not satisfied with trashing the planet then spread covid-19 around the world, they are now objecting to quarantine for arrivals into a country.

When other countries closed borders, closed airports, and where open were screening passengers, UK did not. Inbound flights from coronavirus hotspots from around the world, no screening, hop straight onto public transport. Very late in the day, consideration of quarantine, though in reality not quarantine, self-isolation.

At the weekend a friend travelled from Spain to Cyprus via Germany. On arrival at Larnaca she was taken into quarantine. She did not object, even though she has gone from lock down in Spain to quarantine in Cyprus, as she sees that it is necessary to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Covid-19 may have arisen in China, airlines spread it around the world.

Airlines are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

There is no going back to normal as normal was not normal.

We cannot have a third runway at Heathrow, a second runway at Gatwick, airport expansion.

We have to live within the limits of the planet, one of those limits is the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. We have to reach zero carbon by 2035.

In the future we will have pandemics, we have to be prepared, stop them spreading rapidly around the world.

Aviation contributes little to the economy. We have seen how fragile our supply chains, how easily pandemics are spread around the world.

We have to relocate manufacturing within our own borders, grow our own food.

No international travel anytime soon

April 17, 2020

I won’t be booking a summer holiday at this point. Let’s put it that way. — Grant Shapps Transport Sec

Airlines trashed the planet then spread covid-19 around the world.

It cannot be return to normal as normal was not normal.

We have peace and quiet, can hear birdsong, low levels of pollution, traffic-free streets.

Greece which is in lockdown, has explicitly barred tourists from UK.

UK is in lockdown for a further three weeks.

UK is headed to be worst effected country in Europe thanks to failure to act sooner.

FCO advice, no foreign travel indefinite.

Insurance companies have pulled travel insurance, those that still offer, have excluded codid-19 cover and I daresay hiked the price.

When people have experienced lockdown, social distancing, they are going to think twice to pass through a busy airport, sit on a crowded plane.

A Qantas flight to Brisbane on Monday in middle of covi-19 pandemic, passengers packed in like sardines, illustrates why no one will be flying anytime soon.

EasyJet grounded indefinitely, forecast to run out of money by August, is it their idea of a joke, we will leave the middle seat in a row empty?

If assume Airbus A320, would have to have one person on a row of three seats, no one in the row in front or behind, no one in the row aisle opposite. If assume 100 euros flight Gatwick to Larnaca, would have to charge 900 euros. And this is not even 2 metres separation, nor does it take account of breathing in the same air for over four hours.

In China, one passenger on a bus infected nine fellow passengers.

On landing, aircraft would have to be thoroughly cleaned, not a quick turnaround and tidy by the crew.

At airport, temperature screening, facilities to isolate and quarantine.

Cabin crew on an American airline and BA have tested positive for covid-19. Two Border Force offices at Heathrow have died. Fifteen employees of Transport for London have died.

What is sickening, easyJet are still promoting international travel. An e-mail today entitled Imagine yourself in the Canary Islands.

Tax dodging conman Richard Branson who is demanding a taxpayer funded £500 million bailout is flying near empty planes across the Atlantic.

But if not fly, a cruse ship?

Cruise ships are floating environmental disasters, floating plague ships, flights to and from start and end of a cruise.

Cruise ships are floating all-inclusive hotels, a disaster where ever they dock.

Venice is being destroyed by cruse ships.

Athens when a cruise ship docks, streets are clogged by passengers, streets clogged and polluted by tour buses, and no money flows into the local economy.

Those who think we are nearing the end, we are not, we are at the beginning of coronavirus pandemic.

The Black Death ravaged Europe for two hundred years. Venice lost a third of its population and never recovered.

We have no vaccine, there may be no vaccine.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, much to the chagrin of the tourist industry, has warned there will be no summer holiday this year, do not book a summer holiday.

Qantas flight packed in like sardines

April 15, 2020

Shocking. Er, social distancing, no, pack em in like sardines.

This is how airlines practice social distancing, packed in like sardines.

This was a Qantas  flight on Monday to Brisbane, in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, at a time when advised avoid public transport, no unnecessary journeys, social distance, do not congregate.

Will these passengers self isolate when they arrive at their destination?

Qantas blatantly lied when claimed ‘there have been no known cases anywhere in the world of people contracting coronavirus on board a plane’.

BA cabin crew, crew of an American airline, have tested positive for covid-19.

At Heathrow, at least two Border Force officials have died of covid-19.

One man on a bus in China infected nine fellow passengers.

If nothing else, shows why tourist destinations, for example Cyprus, will not be seeing tourists anytime soon. Will travellers wish to risk, passing though a busy airport, sat on a plane,  packed in like sardines, breathing in the same air, for a flight of several hours?

Qantas and Virgin Australia are both demanding bailouts.

There should be no bailout of airlines.

It is not a Chinese virus, it is an airline pandemic. The same airlines expecting taxpayer bailout.

Not a penny to greedy grasping tax-dodging conman Richard Branson

April 14, 2020

It beggars belief greedy grasping tax-dodging billionaire conman Richard Branson has his hand out for £500 million bailout of his ailing Virgin airline.

Taxpayers should not give him a penny.

£500 million is only from British taxpayer, Branson is also seeking £700 million from the Australian government to bailout Virgin Australia.

Recently he shifted a billion dollars from American Virgin Islands to British Virgin Islands.

A couple of years ago Branson sued NHS for millions. How many lives has that cost, how many ventilators for patients, protective equipment for front-line staff?

His running of the East Coast Mainline was a disaster. The rail franchise has now reverted back to public ownership, much to the relief of train crew and passengers.

In his call for a bailout Branson is backed by Airbus, which makes the planes, and Rolls-Royce, which makes the jet engines for the planes. He is also backed by Manchester Airport and Heathow Airport which wish to see a return to businesses as usual.

No bailout for airlines, no return to businesses as usual. We should not bailout out industries which are trashing the planet, which delivered covid-19 around the world.

Bailout people not airlines, bailout local indie businesses not global corporations, then fund a Green New Deal.  Any bailout should be of strategic sectors by acquiring a controlling stake.

The rottenness is at two levels, rottenness of billionaires who think the role of the taxpayer to bail them out, whilst calling for the strivers to return to work and make them more money, and the rottenness of the travel industry who think they can return to businesses as usual trashing the planet with the the help of the taxpayer.

Rich football clubs owned by billionaires, have laid off their workers, expected the taxpayer to pay 80% of salaries of the lowest paid, whilst overpaid footballers remain on full salary sitting on their arse doing nothing.

Philip Greed expects the taxpayer to bail out his ailing Arcadia group.

Mike Ashley tried to open Sports Direct during lockdown claiming it was an essential business.

Tim Martin forced sick workers into work at J D Wetherspoon by refusing to pay sick pay, encouraged drunks to go drinking at pubs, then when pubs forced to close, told his workers to go find another job and refused to pay suppliers (many of whom are small craft breweries).

Vulture capitalist owners of Waterstone’s forced their workers into work, refused to implement social distancing, refused to allow workers to wear face masks or gloves.

We face two global crisis, global pandemics spread by airlines and cruise ships and climate emergency.

We were told could not reach zero carbon by 2035, impossible, unrealistic within the time scale. We have shut down polluting industries overnight, we have seen what is possible, we hear bird song not traffic noise, our skies are free of aircraft, our streets traffic free, our cities pollution free. We cannot return to businesses as usual.

Covid-19 has jolted us into another now, a different trajectory. We have a glimpse of what is possible, what could be. We must now create and maintain another now, our future and that of the planet depends upon it.


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