Posts Tagged ‘Climate Emergency’

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.

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.

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.

Australia first country to commit Climate Suicide

January 5, 2020

Australia will go down in history as the first country to commit Climate Suicide, assuming there is anyone left to write the history books.

As Paul Mason succinctly notes, this is the fossil fuel elite’s Chernobyl.

Australia together with pariah states like Saudi Arabia has over the years done its best to sabotage climate talks, digs up coal, elected a corrupt fascist in the pocket of Big Coal as their prime minster, absorbs mind rotting fake news from Murdoch, and now is reaping the benefits.

As Australia burns, the prime minister in the pocket of Big Coal sabotaged COP25 climate talks in Madrid, then went on holiday.

This is the moron who once walked walked into Parliament with a lump of coal to pass around.

Last week fascist PM visited a burnt out town. The local residents told him to fuck off. This was their Ceaușescu moment, when Nicolae Ceaușescu stood before a crowd and was booed.

What we are seeing is an Apocalypse of Biblical proportions, and this is only the beginning.

A bookstore in the fire-ravaged village of Cobargo, New South Wales, has a new sign outside that reads:

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction has been moved to Current Affairs

The carbon released by the bush fires into the atmosphere will accelerate towards the climate tipping point, the point of no return.

Smoke from the fires has engulfed New Zealand, turned the glaciers brown, accelerating the melting of the glaciers.

The extent of the fires is such it is generating its own weather system. The temperatures hot enough to cause the metal of cars to melt.

Already over twenty people have died in the fires, the count is mounting daily, more bodies will be found when people return to burnt out towns. But as nothing to the tens of thousands who will die as a result of breathing in the toxic smoke. And it beggars belief the imbecile mayor of Sydney went ahead with New Year fireworks to add to the toxic mix.

Mass destruction of wildlife. Wildlife not burnt alive, dying due to the high temperatures.

Any politician who accepts dirty money from coal is a climate criminal and should be in prison.

Under the fascist Prime Minister, a crack down on unions, civic organisations and journalists. Legislation pending in Tasmania, and expected to be copied across Australia, environmental protesters now face up to 21 years in jail for demonstrating. This is what we are seeing from the Fascist regimes in Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Egypt, India, Bolivia and Brazil.

When the fires are finally put out, Australians need to rise up, remove their prime minister from office, topple the government,  and take direct action, whatever it takes, to shut down the coal industry. And to boycott the poisonous toxic crap from Murdoch and his ilk.

River Witham flowing high

December 21, 2019

On the train to Nottingham on Wednesday, to Sheffield two weeks ago, the fields flooded, the ground saturated from weeks of heavy rain.

Thursday and Friday, heavy rain, the ground saturated, the water flowing straight into the rivers.

River Witham flowing under High Bridge through the centre of Lincoln flowing very high., flowing very fast and very muddy. The mud, top soil washed off fields

Drainage, dredging rivers is not the solution. It simply sends the water faster downstream.

We have to rewild, re-afforest the uplands, farmers change their farming practices, animals grazing fields not crops, flood plains allowed to flood.

Downstream of Lincoln was fen lands. These should be returned to fen land., sea marshes allowed to expand. Soft flood defences not hard defences.

Guildford, the River Wey poised to flood the town. Not only England, Portugal and Spain, heavy rain, widespread flooding.

Forest fires in California, Siberia and across Australia.

COP25 in Madrid collapsed with no firm commitment to the deep cuts required in carbon emissions. Corrupt politicians fiddled whilst the planet burned.

One of the worst countries that went out of their way to sabotage COP25 was Australia. Australia on Tuesday and Wednesday, the highest record temperatures, the continent ablaze with bush fires. Sydney encircled by bushfires, 45C, engulfed in toxic smoke. How many will die in Sydney as a result of breathing toxic smoke? The response of the Australian Prime Minister in the pocket of the coal industry, to go on holiday.

 


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