Environmentalism

A fascinating little point

The Bank of England has warned that the UK is more exposed to lockdowns due to its higher share of “social consumption” in the economy. Spending on activities involving interaction with other people – such as cinemas, restaurants or live sports – accounts for around 13pc of the UK economy, compared with around 11pc in the US and 10pc in the Eurozone.

We spend substantially more on experiences rather than things than other peeps. Like wot the Greenies tell us we must do. Althoughm for some reason, they never seem to point out that we already do more of what they say we ought to.

Today’s cretin

Nobody benefits from a world of 8 billion or 11 billion people, except for large capital interests that need cheap labour and mindless consumers.

It might be possible to argue that 8 to 11 billion people benefit from being able to have a life…..

Idiot calculations

The cost of preventing further pandemics over the next decade by protecting wildlife and forests would equate to just 2% of the estimated financial damage caused by Covid-19, according to a new analysis.

Cretins. They’re placing the direct costs against the consequential losses. So, how much does it cost to have game rangers protecting the wee animals etc, as against the losses to the economy of having another pandemic.

When what we actually want to know is what are the consequential losses of protecting the wee animals – what economic development don’t we do because no one is allowed to cut down a tree – as against the consequential losses of having another pandemic.

Given that we’ve been cutting down forests for some 8,000 years now and the economy is larger than ever a rough pencil sketch on an answer is damn les animaux…..

What’s the betting then?

Sudden outbreak of worms reported in South Korea’s water supply
City officials believe that insects may have laid eggs in water treatment facilities as an urgent investigation is ordered

This is happening in many cities at the same time.

My bet is that some environmentalist got them to change the water treatment system. Perhaps chlorine is that poison that Greenpeace says it is (some environmentalists really have gone after chlorine as a water treatment, causing cholera outbreaks as a result) or summat like that.

Isn’t this lovely

Conservationists have branded a decision by the Ugandan high court to allow swathes of forest to be cleared for a sugarcane plantation “an unforgivable shame for all people”.

So, there’s a protected area and there’s ancestral land. The ancestral land is what is being developed, not the protected.

But Costantino Tessarin, chairperson of Association for the Conservation of Bugoma Forest, said: “Whether the land falls inside the boundaries of the gazetted reserve or not … is a merely sterile exercise for primary school students.

Who gives a buggery about the law, build nothing near anyone ever.

Sigh

Towering over the average human and weighing as much as a grand piano, the bears found in south-west Alaska are considered among the best in the world to observe as they pad around in a largely untouched wilderness of soaring mountains, pristine rivers and rocky beaches.

About a third of Alaska’s 30,000 brown bears are found on the Alaska Peninsula, which separates the Pacific Ocean from Bristol Bay, a place that hosts the most productive wild salmon fishery in the world and draws large numbers of bears to catch their food in the tumbling waters once they emerge from their winter hibernation.

How cool is that?

Most salmon species migrate during the fall (September through November).

Oh. Not very then.

Lord he’s a grotty little shit, isn’t he?

Colin Hines:

This radically new approach will involve listening to climate experts, funding the transition needed through massive government borrowing and introducing policies to curb our “freedoms” to travel, eat and consume in ways that threaten the planet.

The peasants will have to do as I say.

At its heart must be a labour-intensive social infrastructure

That means peasant work for the peasants too.

Non Sequitur

Well, yes George:

There is also a real story to be told about the co-option and capture of some environmental groups by the industries they should hold to account. A remarkable number of large conservation organisations take money from fossil fuel companies. This is a disgrace. But rather than pinning the blame where it lies, Planet of the Humans concentrates its attacks on Bill McKibben, the co-founder of 350.org, who takes no money from any of his campaigning work.

The allegation is that organisations take money. That an individual does not take money from one of those organisations is not a refutation of the point now, is it?

A slightly different question though. Does McKibbin take fees for the articles he writes? Given the number of them that would be an interesting income right there…..

And George, really, you’ve revealed yourself here:

the structural, systemic causes of our predicament: inequality, oligarchic power, capitalism.

None of which are the causes of our environmental problems and at least one of which is going to be the cure for them.

This might not be the way to do it

Strengthening environmental regulations must be a key plank of the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis to help prevent the spread of future pandemics, say a cross-party group of MPs – and bailouts for industries must contain strict conditions on their future environmental performance.

The economy’s entirely in the crapper, we’re going to be struggling to revive it when the time comes. So you want to add more regulation to make this more difficult?

Still, at least there’s a solution to this. We get the proponents to stand in front of the crowd and tell them all that they’re going to have to remain 25% poorer forever. The lampposts won’t be able to take the strain….

How we know we’re dealing with the ignorant

The business model is hugely profitable. The cost to buy that municipal water is exceedingly low – and once bottled, the mark-up can be about 133 times greater, a Consumer Reports analysis of company water billing and usage records found.

Having a high mark up doesn’t mean profit. That depends upon what your costs are.

For example, the direct cost to me of writing a piece for a newspaper is about one bottle of beer. That’s the specific and necessary input to get the juices flowing to write it. Or perhaps the reward for having done so. The income from having done a piece for a newspaper is, perhaps 200 times the cost of a bottle of beer. Or the type of beer I drink and the place I drink it in etc.

That’s a mark up that’s 200 times greater than that marginal cost.

It really doesn’t mean that the profit from having written a newspaper piece is £200.

But what’s good for businesses isn’t necessarily good for consumers, according to CR’s review,

Which is more idiocy of course. It is consumers who decide what is good for consumers. They buy the stuff, they think it’s worth it, adds to their utility, it’s good for them.

More bollocks

Irrigated land has increased by 100% in only 15 years, mainly to enable dairy farming in areas too dry to otherwise grow grass. Irrigation is now the single biggest water user in New Zealand, accounting for nearly half of all water taken out of the ecosystem.

You don’t take water out of an ecosystem. Because there’s something called the water cycle. Might be that the water runs through one bit then into another, might be that it’s recycled through that system called clouds. But you never do abstract it from the ecosystem.

Gosh, isn’t this amazing?

Living bridges and supper from sewage: can ancient fixes save our crisis-torn world?
From underground aqueducts to tree-bridges and fish that love sewage, indigenous customs could save the planet – but are under threat. Landscape architect Julia Watson shares her ‘lo-TEK’ vision

This bird has gone out there and looked at what people actually do to solve problems:

Many of the phenomena were never intended to be solutions to ecological breakdown, but simple responses to local circumstance, practised for generations. Some are bound up in millennia-old mythologies and religious practice, while others, such as Kolkata’s thriving aquaculture system, were the result of happy accident. According to local legend, in the 1920s a cultivator named Bidu Sarkar realised untreated wastewater from sewage pipes had started to flow into his fish pond. He expected disaster, but instead of killing his fish, the effluent doubled his yields.

Others took note and followed his lead, realising the combination of sewage in the water and sunshine broke down the effluent and allowed plankton, which fish feed on, to grow exponentially. The fishponds now cover around 3,000 hectares, holding 300 fish farms, and the technique has caught on elsewhere in the world – in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Germany and France.

Cool. People react – at this level of local knowledge – to the resources, problems and incentives they face. Those solutions that work spread as a result of the profit motive.

Of course, if The Guardian had realised that the name for this system is capitalist free marketry they’d never have published the piece.

Oh, Cool!

In his forthcoming book, Our Final Warning, Mark Lynas explains what is likely to happen to our food supply with every extra degree of global heating. He finds that extreme danger kicks in somewhere between 3C and 4C above pre-industrial levels. At this point, a series of interlocking impacts threatens to send food production into a death spiral. Outdoor temperatures become too high for humans to tolerate, making subsistence farming impossible across Africa and South Asia. Livestock die from heat stress. Temperatures start to exceed the lethal thresholds for crop plants across much of the world,

Hmm. August average high temp in Edinburgh is 3 degrees less than that in Brighton.

Wheat grows in both places, doesn’t it?

Note what Nick Dearden actually says

This is a classic example of the casuistry common to Global Justice Now and their ilk:

Unsafe baby food
Even baby food carries higher risks in the US. In Britain, baby food has special standards including a complete ban on artificial colours and E-numbers, very low maximum levels of pesticides and limits on added sugar. The US has no specific regulations for baby food. A recent test of baby foods in the US found that 95% contained toxic metals, with 73% containing traces of arsenic. While the amounts may be small, the lack of tight regulation on US baby foods, and the certainty that sugar is often added to toddler snack food, should cause deep disquiet.

And what were the results of testing European baby food for those same toxic metals and arsenic? For that’s the thing he doesn’t tell us, isn’t it?

He says the rules are different for E-numbers and sugar, then talks about proof of metals – but then doesn’t compare the metals contents.

That is, the usual somewhere between lying and mere propaganda……

Interesting

Sioned Jones used to adore the landscape and wildlife of her adopted home in Bantry, a bucolic region in west Cork on Ireland’s Atlantic coast. She planted vegetables and herbs, foraged for nuts and berries and observed birds, insects, frogs and lizards.

Then, on land above her house, the state-owned forestry company Coillte planted a forest of Sitka spruce, a non-native species that Jones considered a dark, dank threat to biodiversity.

The Welsh grandmother got a chainsaw and started cutting – and cutting. A few trees at first, then dozens, then hundreds. In their place she planted native broadleaf trees – birch, hazel, oak, alder, crab apple and rowan – a guerrilla rewilding campaign that lasted more than 20 years.

What right does a non-native human have to discriminate against non-native plants?

What horrors!

We do not live in an ideal world, however, but one in which profit and consumerism are rampant.

A world in which the proles get what they want, when they want it, and people benefit from providing it to them.

No wonder the Guardian’s against it all. What point in being elite if it doesn’t mean anything any more?