Good point

Far from prosperity being the problem, it is the answer. It weans people off habitat-destroying dependence on burning wood, and it leads to reforestation, the creation of nature reserves and the return of wildlife. Why are wolves increasing, lions decreasing and tigers now holding their own? Because wolves live in rich countries, lions in poor countries and tigers in middle-income countries.

No doubt the Senior Lecturer will come by to prove causality to us – lions make a place poor, wolves rich.

Err, George?

And I’m struck by the amazing variety of ways in which cars have ruined our lives.

Let’s abandon this disastrous experiment, recognise that this 19th-century technology is now doing more harm than good, and plan our way out of it. Let’s set a target to cut the use of cars by 90% over the next decade.

It’s a classic, isn’t it? George gets by just fine without a car – although as I recall he didn’t in rural Wales with a small kid – and therefore the rest of us should. Project much George?

Erm, why?

Unlike plastic waste, there is a ready market for used tyres within the UK. They are – or were – compressed into tight blocks to make road foundations, embankments and drainage beds. It’s not the closed-loop recycling that should be applied to everything we consume, let alone the radical reduction in the use of materials required to prevent environmental breakdown.

Doesn’t rubber grow on trees? You know, it’s a renewable resource?

Aren’t we about reaching the time when we just throw this society away?

Dump it in the ocean, burn it, bury it, summat? For it’s clearly well past its sell by date:

We’ve a useful sign here that we’re in the grips of a religious mania – the government is to ban the kiddies using clingfilm to wrap their packed lunches. This following on from another arm of government’s announcement yesterday that they’re to make the Big Mac illegal. That this is mania of the religious kind is easy enough to show. If we begin with a standing start, that government should insist upon a law to make children’s sandwiches stale, one to make them fall apart, then we’d all insist that the ergot has got into the bread again. Perhaps that some other madness inducing chemical was infesting the water supply in the committee rooms. And yet we’ve got here by stages, as religions do. The same way the Catholic Church ends up saying that condom use is indeed permissible but only between a married couple, only if one or other has HIV and even then there must be a hole in it.

That is, it’s entirely logical assuming that we accept the initial claims but we end up somewhere ridiculous – thus it’s the initial claims which require the analysis.

It’s not waste, you idiot

Charity shops are being flooded with poor-quality clothes that they have to turn away, because of fast fashion, the head of the environment select committee has said.

Mary Creagh, Labour MP and chair of the Environmental Audit Committee said the fashion industry is failing to cut waste, leading to tons of clothes clogging up landfills.

She explained: “the whole industry is based on us buying more than we need, and not valuing an item of clothing when it comes to the end of its life.”

Things that people desire are not waste. It’s their utility that matters, not what you think they should value.

Organic food and cancer

The absolute risk difference was very small. While those who ate the most organics were 25% less likely to get cancer, this actually equated to an absolute risk reduction of about 0.5% (cancer is relatively rare, read more about absolute vs relative risk here).

The results did not hold true for men, younger adults, less educated people, people who never smoked or smoke currently, or (and this one is important), those with a high overall dietary quality.

Doesn’t look like it really does work then. About the better diet part, not the organic… that stuff about milk and Omega 3. It’s not because it’s organic per se, it’s that organic farmers have more clover in their fields. A side effect, not the thing itself.

An excellent idea. Anyone want to do the maths?

From Gamecock:

From “the Left’s shi+ don’t stink department,”
we are to accept the din of wind turbines, but not the hardly perceptible alleged earthquakes from fracking.

Noise is energy. An earthquake is energy. All we need now is an earthquake of 0.5 on the Richter in the form of noise. Preferably, in the form of distance from a wind turbine.

So, a 0.5 quake is like being x metres from a wind turbine in air speed of y. Or summat like that. And also, perhaps, being x metres from a solar panel falling off a roof.

That would take me weeks to work out but some of you guys are clever.

Seems sensible

Fracking laws on earthquakes could be relaxed to encourage more drilling, the energy minister has suggested.

Homeowners living near Britain’s shale gas sites may have to put up with more powerful earth tremors under plans revealed in a letter by Claire Perry.

The current rules can force frackers to down tools following even a minor quake measuring above 0.5 magnitude on the Richter scale.

A tremor of this intensity would be barely perceptible to most residents, but would register as a ‘red’ on the Government’s fracking safety traffic light.

It’s difficult to say that a tremor of that intensity actually exists.

Anyway, these rules were put in place to kneecap fracking in the first place. Want fracking, relax the rules.

It’s male rationality that’s the problem Love

Simply put, the research confirms that women recycle more, are more likely to support environmental regulations, know more about the scientific aspects of climate change and are more likely to express concern about its effects.

By all measures, men just seem to care less.

It’s not that they are engaging in aggressively anti-environmental actions necessarily; but on average they simply don’t appear as concerned as my female friends about excess packaging, carbon emissions, reducing plastic products, the zero-waste movement, or sustainability in general.

Some things are indeed important about the environment. Replacing all those coal fire plants with nice clean nuclear for example. Others are just wibble, like much recycling, or positively counterproductive, like using salmonella infested cloth bags instead of one use plastic.

It could also be true that men are simply uncaring thugs. But that’s a choice, a distinction, that should be made by examining the evidence. Or is that sort of logic too male in this discussion?

Well, yes

In the cloud of toxic dust thrown up by the Kavanaugh hearings last week, two new Trump initiatives slipped by with less notice than they deserve. Both are ugly, stupid – and they are linked, though in ways not immediately apparent.

In the first, the administration provided the rationale for scrapping President Obama’s automobile mileage standards: because Trump’s crew now officially expects the planet to warm by 4C . In the environmental impact statement they say it wouldn’t make much difference to the destruction of the planet if we all keep driving SUVs.

Given that the CAFE regulations themselves gave birth to the SUV perhaps we should get rid of them?

Because reasons

The head of the United Nations’ environmental agency has been strongly criticised for his frequent flying in a report raising doubts over his environmental concerns.

Erik Solheim, a 63-year-old Norwegian former environment minister, spent 529 of his first 669 days in the job travelling, according to a draft UN report obtained by Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper.

The UN’s office of internal oversight services (OIOS) claimed that Mr Solheim spent 79 per cent of his time away from the agency’s Nairobi headquarters.

The auditors accused him of taking a flight from Washington DC to Paris for the weekend, before boarding another flight to New York.

In total he spent 90 days in Oslo and Paris, with some of the trips registered as “bilateral meetings” – despite taking place on weekends or during the Christmas holidays.

Don’t you know how hard that nomenklatura saving the world work?

This is an interesting claim, eh?

As background, so I claimed that energy poverty was, in part, driven by the costs of renewables. This is a response.

Perfectly willing to consider – not agree with, but consider – the idea that total long term bills will be lower. That the costs now are lower than the damages avoided in hte future.

But the idea that renewables now are lowering power bills now? That’s really a hell of a stretch, isn’t it?

John Vidal’s environmentally friendly transport arrangements

I write this from St Martin’s, one of the largest of the Isles of Scilly, where in five days spent among its 120-odd inhabitants I have seen only three moving cars, two tractors and a few boats. With 28 miles of Atlantic ocean in one direction between it and Cornwall, and just a few rocks before the Canadian coastline in the other, St Martin’s has some of the cleanest air in the world.


As individuals, we can learn to avoid heavily polluted streets by taking backstreets; apps can show us in real time where the pollution hotspots are; and we can avoid buying diesels or sitting in front of open fires. These all offer individual respite from the clouds of gases and particles we emit, but will not bring about real change.

We must also understand that air pollution comes not just from cars but from ships, farming, heating of houses and workplaces, and the burning of firewood and rubbish. We can wean cars off fossil fuels, but that is just the start. Ultimately, we need to both get out of our cars, and burn fewer fossil fuels.

For that to happen, we need to think very differently about how we live. On St Martin’s in the Isles of Scilly, it’s just about possible to imagine that.

OK, that’s from 19 Sept 2018. This is from 15 Sept 2018.

About this content
John Vidal in Dar es Salaam

Sat 15 Sep 2018 15.00 BST Last modified on Sun 16 Sep 2018 08.55 BST

In Dar-es-Salaam, local fishermen are being squeezed out by illegal boats with explosives which take much of the catch, killing coral reef and putting an eco-system at risk

I think that’s most impressive and John Vidal is to be congratulated. Managing to cycle from Dar es Salaam to the Scilly Isles in only 4 days is damn good going.

Hmm, what’s that? Because reasons?

This is such a horror

The green belt is disappearing at an “alarming rate” with the equivalent of 5,000 football pitches lost because of a relaxation of planning laws, a report warns today.

Developers are being allowed to “gobble up” green belt land as local authorities release it for house building to meet Government targets for new homes, the report says.

The situation is set to get worse, according to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) with 460,000 homes currently planned for land which will be released from the green belt.

5,000 football fields is usually said to be 10,000 acres.

Green belt is 1.6 million hectares, some 3.8 million acres. A while 0.25% ha been gobbled up.

Tragedy, eh?

As opposed to the idea that people now get to build homes where people would like to live……

Greenpeace are experts now, eh?

Campaigners have called for action after the maritime regulator ruled that foreign ships can continue to dump palm oil in British waters for three years.

In February, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) approved regulation that will require tankers carrying palm oil and other food oils to pump the tank residue into purpose-built disposal facilities, instead of washing it out in open water.

But the new rules will not come into force until July 1, 2021, a timeframe the IMO says will give states and industry time to increase capacity at shore-based oil disposal facilities.

Britain already has the infrastructure required to deal with oil residue and experts say it should ban the dumping of food oils in British waters ahead of the 2021 deadline.

“UK ports have oily water reception facilities that were put in place to process crude oil waste,” said Paul Johnston, an honorary research fellow at the University of Exeter and principal scientist at Greenpeace’s research laboratories.

Campaigner, yes, expert? Well, not exactly an unbiased observer, is he?