Skip to content

Been kind to Owen for too long

Been kind to Owen largely because I’ve not mentioned him:

But back to basics here. How can anyone observe such stinking messes as the Aral Sea and claim that it’s the pursuit of profit that damages the environment? From which we must conclude that Owen doesn’t observe.

But then we knew that.

18 thoughts on “Been kind to Owen for too long”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    You write:

    Richer people in richer places have more income to devote to environmental preservation.

    and that’s certainly part of it but there’s also the aspect of centrally controlled communist countries paying scant regard to the environment because the government faces no threat from a population that might otherwise protest.

  2. But wealth brings power, TMB. The environmental movement’s generally been an obsession of the wealthier end of the middle-classes. There wasn’t much interest amongst the owners of rusty Ford Anglias in the advantages of catalytic converters. Or amongst those with Bentley shooting-brakes parked in their stable yards. Communist countries were (are) little different from the Britain of the Industrial Revolution. The people responsible for the mess don’t have to live with the consequences of the mess.

  3. As I see it, there are environmental problems, some are serious, but all of them are manageable if the will is there. The problem that is coming to the fore at the moment seems to be plastic waste. The rise of plastic waste littering the environment does seem to be correlated with the rise of the emphasis on recycling. Whether causation exists as well I don’t know. Is it down to poorer countries developing and becoming less poor and then using more stuff that comes in plastic packaging? Poor countries that haven’t yet got round to disposing of their garbage responsibly? Nearer home, it is depressing, when out driving or cycling, to see the tons of litter strewn along the side of the road.

  4. Whenever I see one of those face nappies dropped on the pavement, I wonder if it was left by someone who supports Extinction Rebellion

  5. Stonyground – where I live in rural France, there’s zero plastic waste. None whatsoever. Not sure exactly why but it makes the place a joy to live in (compared to semi-rural Hampshire where i come from, and where the hedgerows would be filled to the brim with all manner of garbage)
    I have to put up with the inhabitants being French, but you can’t have everything..

  6. Anteros – It must be a cultural thing.

    Here is Cyprus rubbish is strewn everywhere… Had a take-away McDonald’s or a coffee? Just chuck it out of the car window… They must spend a fortune on the gangs of people that clean the edges of motorways.

    And you can walk miles into the countryside and be almost guaranteed to find a sofa, chairs and old tyres.

  7. And you can walk miles into the countryside and be almost guaranteed to find a sofa, chairs and old tyres.
    Somewhere to sit if you’re tired, and something to burn to heat up the tea?

  8. Fly tipping in the countryside is caused directly by onerous regulation and of course EU landfill tax. Litter on the other hand is just done out of callous disregard.

  9. @Anteros
    Much the same where I lived in rural France. But what’s your trash collection like? Ours, they took everything. Without question. Household waste. Broken furniture. Car batteries. Yes they did recycling. But they weren’t obsessive about it. Plastic sacks you could put it in. No one ever checked your bin.
    Here, in Spain, we don’t have home collection. There’s below pavement trash skips with a lidded access chute at ground level. They hoist them up & empty every night. Anthing wont go down the hole you leave on the pavement. Again, they take any & everything.
    I’s suspect much of the litter you see by the roadside is stuff people dump because he councils make rubbish disposal such a performance. Who wants to sort garbage?

  10. @bis
    We’re rural enough that there’s no trash collection. I even forgot that such things exist. But there are dozens of recycling/trash bins along all the road sides, and about every fifth one will also have a glass recycling bin. Of all the systems I’ve seen it seems to work the best.
    And of course there’s always a local dechetterie for all the bigger stuff.
    What doesn’t work is that the dechetteries don’t take asbestos – you have to pay a fortune to have that dealt with. So, guess what (incentives matter) – when anyone has an old asbestos roof to dispose of, they dig a hole in the ground, chuck it in there and save themselves a couple of grand.

  11. Bloke in North Dorset


    Its my observation that hot countries are quite rightly obsessive about rubbish collection. When I was on a long project in Rome I used to go running at 6am, or earlier, partly for fitness but mostly for a bit of sightseeing. It was amazing how many rubbish collection vehicles were around. I know they had to do it that time for access, but the numbers were amazing and it looked like they took everything.

    I witnesses something similar in Madrid and HK.

  12. @bis “Its my observation that hot countries are quite rightly obsessive about rubbish collection” – this doesn’t include Morocco or Egypt with Morocco being a clear winner of total shitheap , full of cnuts who make a convincing argument for carpet bombing. That’s Arabs for you – not happy unless they are wading in filth , whilst smelling like the perfume counter in boots.

  13. I both feel for and am envious of Stonyground – when out cycling I’m concentrating on avoiding the potholes so much I wouldn’t notice any Pepsi Max cans strewn on the verges. There must be decent road surfaces where you pedal.

  14. “I’s suspect much of the litter you see by the roadside is stuff people dump because he councils make rubbish disposal such a performance. Who wants to sort garbage?”

    Having spent yesterday afternoon and most of today litter picking on the road that goes through the middle of my farm, I would disagree. The litter on the sides of roads is not (by and large) household waste, its car based eating and drinking waste. Its people who are consuming food on the go, and rather than take their cans, bottles and food wrappers home and dispose of them for free (as they do with all the stuff they consume in the houses) they just chuck them out of the window. I was going to say like animals, but that would be an insult to animals. It has nothing to do with cost, or difficulty of disposal, its pure laziness and disregard for others. Personally I’d have them all knee capped, but maybe thats just the result of hours of bending over to fish discarded bottles etc out of hedges and ditches talking…………

  15. It is an interesting cultural thing.

    I just came back from a small, poor corner of Eastern Europe.
    Not much in the way of litter there. There was some, obviously (was a city, there’s always a percentage of just cnuts everywhere).

    As a previous commenter said, is down to the “cost”.
    There are bins everywhere, literally every 10m in some parts of parks. There’s an element of recycling – some bins have separate recycling bits – but if you don’t separate, no biggie. Domestic waste collected from big communal bins several times a week.

    Seems like making stuff easier makes it happen more…

  16. Bloke in North Dorset

    I agree with Jim, it’s car occupants.

    In January when the verges and hedges are easy to get at I take a bag and litter picker on my walks and most of what I collect is as Jim describes. It’s noticeable that there was a lot less this year. Maybe correlation but we have had a lot less tourism in the area this year.

  17. The Meissen Bison

    BiS – I had in mind more the heady smell of the exhaust from a Trabant or the invigorating miasma of brown coal rather than the preachings of a Roger Harrabin.

    The shrinking of the Aral Sea during the Soviet era which left fishing communities stranded and land-locked didn’t cause as much disturbance as Bristol experienced last night.

  18. @Bongo
    I’m afraid that the roads are in a pretty appalling state around my way. I have a racing bike but when the roads are wet and there are puddles I use an ancient mountain bike with mudguards on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *