Say that again?

Last month, Carrefour and waste recycling company TerraCycle launched an initiative to tackle the problems of plastic waste threatening to destroy the environment.

To litter the environment, yes, obviously, to pollute it, sure, but destroy? Slightly de trop in the rhetoric there, no?

Amazing, eh?

When Tony Juniper was interviewed for the job of Natural England chairman, he vowed to leave decades of eco-activism “in the past”.

The former Green Party candidate is now facing questions, however, over whether he may have broken that promise on his very first day.

MPs and campaigners have raised concerns over the timing of a controversial decision to ban the shooting of a number of birds widely acknowledged as pests, including pigeons and crows.

The announcement was made without warning last month only hours after Mr Juniper, the former head of Friends of the Earth and self-described “eco warrior”, took up his post.

Who could have guessed that Tony Juniper would do something stupid?

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?