Environmentalism

This isn’t about climate in the slightest, is it?

Men’s meaty diets are responsible for 40% more climate-heating emissions than those of women, according to a UK study.

The research also found a quarter of diet-related emissions were from “optional” food and drink, such as coffee, alcohol, cakes and sweets. The scientists said policies to encourage sustainable diets should focus on plant-based foods but switching drinks and cutting down on sweet snacks presented further opportunities.

Got to get back to working on that multiperson lamppost…..

What sodding crisis?

We are five to 10 years behind’: long road ahead for solving Australia’s textile waste crisis
Australia has the second highest rate of textile consumption per capita globally, but measures to address the issue are still in their infancy

Burn the stuff. Oz knows how to do that, the Abos had fire 40,000 years ago…..

In which I get pissy with people

Brine is salty water, those South American brines are much saltier than seawater. They cannot be and are not used for other things – largely because they kill any plants or animals they are applied to. One of the salts in that salty water is a lithium salt (salt can be the stuff we put on our food, but also a large number of chemical compounds). The way that 500,000 gallons of water is used to process the lithium is that we take the lithium out of the salt water.

That is, we don’t use 500,000 gallons of water to get a tonne of lithium, we clean 500,000 gallons of water to get a tonne of lithium.

Basing public policy on this sort of drivel just isn’t going to make us a richer and happier nation. Who knows, perhaps we could start basing what we do on some knowledge of reality? Or is that too much to ask?

This Fotherington Thomas ‘allo sky shit seriously angers me.

Stop recycling the shit then

The significant decrease in local authority waste going to landfill has been accompanied by a greater proportion being incinerated for energy recovery rather than recycled or composted in England. This has caused waste emissions to rise since 2014,” the NIC said.

“The net zero target is a key driver for change in the waste sector over the next three decades.

Stick it in he holes in the ground instead and we’re done, right?

More fun with Monbiot

So, the suggestion is:

So let’s begin by imagining something that’s easier to comprehend: the end of concentrated wealth. Our survival depends on it.

I’ve come to believe that the most important of all environmental measures are wealth taxes. Preventing systemic environmental collapse means driving extreme wealth to extinction. It is not humanity as a whole that the planet cannot afford. It’s the ultra-rich.

Logically this doesn’t work. OK, sure, so richer people emit more CO2. So, we equalise incomes – then everyone who gains income gets to emit a little more, as the billionaires emit much less. Net change in emissions is going to be?

But there’s that usual fun bit in there. “The rich” who will get gralloched are those folk over there, behind the curtain. Never the you and me that are being talked to.

The richest 1% of the world’s people (those earning more than $172,000 a year) produce 15% of the world’s carbon emissions: twice the combined impact of the poorest 50%.

No, the top 1% by global income are more like $50k and up.

Even if 90% of the population produced no carbon at all, the anticipated emissions of the richest 10% (those earning over $55,000)

No, that’s more like $20k, the top 10%.

He’s referring to this Oxfam paper. Which has the unfortunate habit of veering back and forth between the global 1% – roughly, anyone above middle class in the rich world, the global 10% being pretty much anyone at all in the rich world – and the top 1% and 10% in each nation.

He think’s he’s detailing those plutocrats behind the curtain who get gralloched. When in fact it’s near all of his readership who do under his plan. That’s a harder sell.

What fun!

Saving the world’s forests will be one of the cornerstone achievements of the Cop26 climate summit, the UK environment minister Zac Goldsmith has said, with some of the biggest forested nations and consumers of forestry products signing up to an “unprecedented” conservation deal.

Zac’s position in life is somewhere between a very very lot and entirely defined by his inheritance. Which was really created by Jimmy’s forestry exploitation in the Diamond and Crown Zellerbach takeovers.

Fun, eh? And I’ve not seen anyone else mentioning that….

Idiocy

On Monday, Mr Johnson suggested too much focus had been put on the benefits of reprocessing toxic substances such as plastic instead of cutting manufacturing of them.

The reason we use plastics is because they are non-toxic. It’s their very inertness that makes them so useful.

They just can’t help themselves, can they?

He calculates that if the UK installs 100 megawatts of tidal power a year as part of a growing global market, by 2040 the industry could be contributing £4bn a year to Britain’s economy.

Up to 14,500 jobs would be created either building or maintaining offshore tidal power systems – many of them in coastal or remote areas which the Government is keen to level up.

Might be lovely stuff, might be a disaster, but those jobs are a cost, not a benefit.

Ah, yes

National Grid is forecasting a winter margin – the buffer between supply and peak demand – of 3.9GW, or 6.6pc, with a range of between 4.2pc and 8pc.

And what’s it going to be on a still few days with a nice high pressure area over the country?

Ahahahaha

Freightliner has confirmed that it will be withdrawing its entire fleet of electric locomotives in response to soaring electricity prices.

The company – which is the largest UK freight operator of electric locomotives – says it has been forced to replace its 23 Class 90s with diesel traction following a steep rise in wholesale electricity prices of more than 200% between September and October.

A Freightliner spokesman said: “As a result of an unprecedented increase in electricity prices, FL has taken the difficult decision to temporarily replace its electric freight services with diesel-hauled services in order to maintain a cost-effective solution for transporting essential goods and supplies around the UK.

Doesn’t sound all that terribly sensible

Developers must install rainwater toilets when building new homes to stop river pollution, campaigners have said.

Britain’s Victorian water system is already struggling to cope, with sewer systems frequently overflowing, making England’s rivers the dirtiest in Europe.

Now there are calls for tougher restrictions on developers, limiting their ability to connect new homes to sewers and requiring new homes to meet water efficiency standards.

Water companies can dump raw sewage in rivers and the sea when rainfall mixed with waste water from households overloads the system, something which is only supposed to happen on rare occasions but in practice happened 400,000 times last year.

Campaigners said measures such as reusing rainfall to flush toilets as standard, reducing the volume of water going into sewers, would stop the system becoming overloaded.

The system works by capturing rainwater and filtering it into a tank where it is kept at a suitable temperature to avoid bacteria. The water is then pumped through the plumbing system when a toilet is flushed.

By diverting rainwater from sewer systems into household plumbing, sewers become less overwhelmed, decreasing the likelihood of river pollution.

Bit Heath Robinson. Every house now has to have an additional system.

Why not just build out the central sewer system a bit more?

And wouldn’t it be nice to see the proper costings on this?

BTW, doesn’t the water company own all the rainfall anyway?

So, incinerate the plastic bottles then

Clothing made from recycled bottles is actually creating more plastic waste, a pollution charity has found, as it labelled the practice “greenwashing”.

Polyester and other materials created from plastic bottles cannot be recycled and are ending up in landfill at the end of their life, campaigners City to Sea said.

Conversely, plastic bottles are some of the easiest items to recycle, and the material can be turned into new products several times.

“This process sets the plastic on a one-way path to incineration by turning a recyclable product into an unrecyclable one,” said Steve Hynd, the policy manager at City to Sea.

Just burn the stuff for the energy content after one use, seems simple enough. After all, the usual conclusion these days is we’ve too much oil because climate change.

An easy solution for Mr. Brown

Too easy for anyone to believe of course.

The former prime minister Gordon Brown has demanded fresh government financial support for households struggling to pay energy bills as he warned almost a million more households would be in fuel poverty this winter.

Currently the green nonsense adds £6 billion a year – £200 per household so we’re told – to bills. Remove the green nonsense and fewer would be in fuel poverty, right?

Don’t forget, fuel poverty is spending more than 10% of household income upon fuel. £200 is about 1% of median household income. Yes, it would make a difference.

These people are insane

Whut?

UK lags international rivals in race to go electric

In what manner are we actually in competition with Johnny Foreigner here? What rivals, in what?

Well, OK, there’s rivalry in the apparatchiki being able to boast about how screwed up consumer transport is but other than that?

A particularly stupid way of beating the petrol queues

Yes, obviously, you’re not going to be queuing for petrol:

“There is no way you would want to build 15 minutes into your journey to stop and stand there in all weathers squirting flammable toxic stuff into the side of your car, and pay 80 quid for the privilege, unless you had to. The one thing that an EV [electric vehicle] driver will tell you they never ever want to do again is go to a petrol station.”

Substituting over to something that takes 2 hours to fill up seems a strange way to beat the queue.

Worst Evah!

Well, yes:

Russia has endured its worst forest fire season in the country’s modern history, according to recent data from the Russian Forestry Agency analysed by Greenpeace.

Fires have destroyed more than 18.16m hectares of Russian forest in 2021, setting an absolute record since the country began monitoring forest fires using satellites in 2001. The previous record was set in 2012, when fires covered 18.11m hectares of forest.

Worst in 20 years doesn’t sound so bad. Ever so slightly greater than 10 years ago sounds even less horrific. And forest fires didn’t start in 2001 either – I’ve been in Moscow when those clouds of smoke roll in before that date.

The point of Pigou Taxation

I know, I know, you don’t believe me. But:

The next challenge in supermarkets is the scale. The sandwiches, soups, and hot dishes laid out in this cafeteria only scratch the surface of the Compass food options. It was the Oxford researcher Michael Clark’s job to go through the hundreds of meals made up of roughly 10 ingredients each, determining the environmental impact. Doing the same for the tens of thousands of products and myriad ingredients in a supermarket would be a Herculean task.

Assume, just for the sake of argument, that you did actually want to do this.

Getting people to switch to environmentally sustainable food options through labels is not new: hundreds of food labels exist, from ones that certify organic, to those that promise sustainable fishing. But a new type is gaining steam, one that summarises multiple environmental indicators from greenhouse gas emissions to water use into a single letter indicating the product’s impact.

What you actually want is some method of simplifying your calculation. Even, not having to do the calculation but getting someone, something, else to do it for you.

Which is what the price system does for you. All inputs into a process are indeed priced. So, the price of the item tells you the costs of all those inputs. You can therefore tell resource usage by the price of the item. This is how we know that recycling often uses more resources, because it is more expensive.

Some of those resources used are, sadly, external to the price system. So, internalise them with a Pigou tax and we’re done. Resource use is now in prices, the only thing we need to look at the judge resource use is the price. We’ve just coopted the entire economy to do our calculation for us.

Ain’t that cute?

That’s fairly cheeky

Chutzpah even:

Protesters have asked for the motorway speed limit to be cut to accommodate their demonstrations ahead of further action on the M25 on Monday.

Members of Insulate Britain brought chaos to the motorway last week, blocking it on three separate occasions.

They have vowed to return to the M25 from 7am on Monday, amid fears that the campaign will last for weeks or even months.

The group said they had written to National Highways, formerly the Highways Agency, to request that the traffic is slowed down on the parts of the M25 where they were protesting.

Frustrated that a similar request was ignored last week, they wrote: “Insulate Britain are asking the Highways Agency to review their previous decision not to reduce speed limits, even though they had been made aware that major disruption will be taking place.

“Given that this is a standard safety procedure when hazards occur on the motorway, Insulate Britain is surprised it has not formed part of the response to the campaign.”

For of course the effect would be to paralyse the M25 in all areas where Insulate Britain aren’t. They don’t even need to turn up anywhere in fact. In effect, close down the road and we’ll stay home with a cup of tea.