Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

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.

The race to save coffee

November 8, 2017

Coffee can only adapt by moving higher up the mountain, and in doing so moves into an ever more inaccessible, fragile and hostile environment.

The Devil’s Cup documents that in Europe when coffee was first introduced, it was  the drink of the rich.  Coffee will revert to what it once was, the drink of the very rich, ironically the very people who are accruing wealth through destroying the planet.

Coffee resides on a very narrow genetic base.

One reason why the work by Kew Gardens and Union  in Yayu Forest is so important, not only important in helping to safeguard an important forest but help safeguard the wild coffee trees which are a vital genetic reservoir.

But if we are serious, we have to support coffee roasters like Union who engage in direct trade, money goes back to farmers, encouragement to protect the trees and work on reafforestation.

But even more important, we have to deal with climate chaos.

This year, not yet ended, is likely to be one of the warmest on record.

As I write, yet another round of climate talks, corrupt politicians fiddling whilst the planet burns.

Polar bears dying, polar caps melting, a succession of hurricanes devastating the Caribbean, bleaching and die back of coral reefs, projections of the near future of coastal cities under water, it all has no effect, there is a disconnection from our lifestyle.

Could it be denial of coffee, will be the jolt that makes us finally act?

Gaza flooded

November 30, 2014

As if Gaza had not suffered enough with the destruction by Israel, now facing flooding following two days of heavy rain.

UN has declared a State of Emergency.

Three months on from destruction by Israel, reconstruction has still not begun.

An estimated 100,000 Palestinians remain homeless in Gaza three months after Israel ended its offensive on the Gaza strip.

There are still those who do not believe Climate Change exists.

Top Story in Climate Change Exchange (Sunday 30 November 2014).

Chasing Ice

October 10, 2014

Capturing a glacier as it calves.

On May 28, 2008, Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland.

The calving event lasted for 75 minutes and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide. The height of the ice is about 3,000 feet, 300-400 feet above water and the rest below water.

Chasing Ice won the award for Excellence in Cinematography at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and the Best Documentary from the International Press Association. It has won over 30 awards at festivals worldwide. Still playing in theaters worldwide.

The sun is shining

March 27, 2013
the sun is shining

the sun is shining

The sun is shining, the snow is melting, the daffodils are out, it is marginally above zero.

The first week of spring.

The cold winter weather is projected to continue for the next 2-3 weeks.

Allan Savory: How to green the desert and reverse climate change

March 14, 2013

“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And it’s happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.

The end of the British Antarctic Survey?

October 8, 2012
Shrinking ice in the Antarctic means scientific research more vital than ever

Shrinking ice in the Antarctic means scientific research more vital than ever

Since coming to power the ConDem government has declared war on the poor, the disadvantaged, the arts, science, welfare budgets have been cut, the Tories are now bragging they intend to cut a further £10 billion from welfare budgets, libraries closed, a failed attempt was made to sell off our historic forests for commercial exploitation. Now they are wishing to destroy the British Antarctic Survey.

Everyone has heard of Scott of the Antarctic, the ill-fated attempt by Captain Scott to reach the South Pole and how he and his team died in the attempt. But even if they had succeeded they would have found they were beaten by a Norwegian team.

A legacy of Scott is the British Antarctic Survey. It was the British Antarctic Survey that discovered the hole in the ozone layer.

At a time of global warming, with warming taking place much faster at the Polar Regions, we need the British Antarctic Survey more than ever before, were the west Antarctic ice sheet to collapse sea levels would rise by 3 metres wiping out many coastal cities including London, and yet the ConDem government wish to abolish the British Antarctic Survey based in Cambridge. They wish to merge it with National Oceanography Centre based in Southampton and Liverpool.

To put a 3m rise in sea level in context, the Thames Barrier was built to cope with a 16cm rise in sea level over the next 20 years. 

This summer has seen more melting of the Arctic ice beating previous records. The ice is melting far faster than previously forecast leading to the very real possibility of the Arctic free of ice during the summer within the next ten years.

The British Antarctic Survey carries out research and collects data on climate change, ice dynamics, ecosystems and fisheries, work that is vital to understanding climate change.

Next month a 12-strong team will use a custom-built hot-water drill to penetrate a three-kilometre layer of ice to reach the waters of the subglacial Lake Ellsworth on the west Antarctic ice sheet. Sixteen years to plan, this investigation will open new research into the Earth’s past climate and possibly could find new life forms or if not, the limit at which life can exist.

The Cambridge headquarters will be closed, the name lost (losing the link with Scott). This will pave the way for later sell-off of ships, aircraft, the closure of bases, redundancies, lose of expertise.

Already senior personel have left seeing no future for the British Antarctic Survey.

Only the ConDem government could be this foolish, this shortsighted.

Please sign the petition opposing abolition of the British Antarctic Survey. Please pass to all your friends and colleagues and ask them to sign.

Tamsin Omond talking about Climate Change

December 21, 2011

There’s no Planet B – Climate Rush mount dawn raid

June 7, 2011
Climate Rush crime scene

Climate Rush crime scene

Well done Climate Rush who this morning gave two Cabinet Ministers an early morning wake-up call. Between 5.30am and 7.00am Philip Hammond MP and Vince Cable MP had their homes wrapped in ‘Climate Crime Scene’ tape as part of Climate Rush’s doorstep protest.

On their first day back in Parliament after half term Ministers were called on to attend the United Nation Climate Change Conference in Bonn, which began yesterday and will last two weeks. Climate Rush stuck banners to Cable’s and Hammond’s house reading ‘THERE’S NO PLANET B – SOLVE CLIMATE CHANGE’.

Both Vince Cable MP and Philip Hammond MP clashed with Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change over proposals for the fourth carbon budget. The Prime Minister eventually stepped in, supporting Chris Huhne and the Climate Change Act – legislation passed by the last Government.

Demands for greater Government action on climate change follows news that the greatest level of greenhouse gas emissions ever were released last year, contrary to expectations that the global recession would decrease global emissions. [1]

Philip Hammond MP and the Department for Transport has been condemned by environmentalists as Hammond is opposed to the inclusion of Canadian Tar Sands oil in the EU fuel directive. England and Holland are the only EU countries opposing the inclusion of Tar Sands from this directive. Extraction of crude oil from the Tar Sands is up to three times more carbon intensive than other crude oil extraction methods [2]. Hammond also plans to hike rail fares by 31% over the course of this Government.

Before election Vince Cable assured voters that economic growth would go hand in hand with green investment, however he now says that there will be no new investment in low-carbon technology until the second half of 2020. [2]

A blue chalk line was marked on the brickwork of the Ministers’ homes to show the danger of floods due to sea-level rises.

Tamsin Omond, founder of Climate Rush, said:

Climate Rush is ready to hold this Government to its promise to be the greenest ever. We need a roadmap with policies that unite the needs of the environment with the need for economic growth. This Government might be considering a plan B for the economy. They don’t have that luxury with our environment: there is no planet B. Cabinet ministers that oppose these measures are gambling with our future. We need to prepare for the impacts of climate change and we need to limit our carbon emissions now. There’s no future for this or any Government on a dead planet.

It is easy to see why the LibDems were all but wiped out at the local elections in May. It was Vince Cable who helped pushed through the massive hike im student fees last year. More recently Vince Cable has threatened to push through legislation to make industrial action against public spending cuts illegal.

Climate Rush is an environmental action group which models itself on the Suffragettes. They have mounted over 20 environmental protests including storming Parliament with 1000 members dressed as Suffragettes; closing down Heathrow Terminal 1 by holding an Edwardian-style picnic and dumping a large pile of manure on Jeremy Clarkson’s lawn. They aim to raise awareness about climate change and encourage action to prevent it.

Notes

1: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/29/carbon-emissions-nuclearpower
2: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/pollution-fears-as-uk-blocks-european-ban-on-fuel-from-tar-sands-2291598.html
3: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/10/adair-turner-carbon-budgets-row

Spring Easter Monday April 2011

April 26, 2011
bluebells

bluebells

cowslips

cowslips

It has been unseasonably warm. We seem to have skipped Spring and gone straight to Summer.

Last Tuesday it was 26 degrees in London. Friday it hit 27 degrees, well ok, 26.9 if you wish to be accurate. Saturday it was 28 degrees at Wisley Gardens just outside Guildford, the hottest April Day since 1948!

We are a month ahead of where we would be. Parts of my garden are overgrown, but would not usually be like this until this time in May.

Peas, broad beans are all shooting up, roses are in bud.

Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are a woodland plant. First come the primroses, then the bluebells.

In the Spring, bluebell woods are carpeted with bluebells. Bluebell is an indicator species of ancient woodlands. In the United Kingdom the common bluebell is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Landowners are prohibited from removing common bluebells on their land for sale and it is a criminal offence to remove the bulbs of wild common bluebells. This legislation was strengthened in 1998 under Schedule 8 of the Act making any trade in wild common bluebell bulbs or seeds an offence.

Gerard Manley Hopkins from his poem May Magnificat:

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes

Up until the 1950s, pastures would have been carpeted with cowslips (Primula veris). Now with the extensive use of herbicides and modern farming methods, cowslips are quite rare. Cowslips will quite readily cross-breed with primroses (Primula vulgaris), a plant of woodlands and woody banks. Compared with primulas, a border plant in gardens, cowslips are very delicate and far more attractive.

Primula is a genus of 400–500 species of low-growing herbs in the family Primulaceae. The genus includes primrose, auricula, cowslip and oxlip. Many species are grown for their ornamental flowers. They are native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere, south into tropical mountains in Ethiopia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and in temperate southern South America.


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