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Environmentalism

Oh dear

Could water companies fall any further in the public’s esteem? They may well be about to.

Not content with pumping raw sewage into rivers, imposing seemingly year-round hosepipe bans and failing to build a single reservoir in over three decades, the industry is now planning nose-bleed increases to bills in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

Ben Wright is blaming the water companies for not having built any reservoirs. Rather than the Lib Dems and Nimbys….

We know anyone in the insurance business?

Insurers are facing rising costs for vehicle repairs, which are eating into profits. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), vehicle repair costs rose 33pc over the first quarter of 2023 compared to 2022, helping to push annual premiums to record highs.

Electric cars can be particularly expensive to repair, costing around a quarter more to fix on average, compared to a petrol or diesel vehicle, according to Thatcham Research, the motor industry’s research centre.

Particular worries surround the batteries, which are commonly mounted on the floor of the vehicle. This placement can make it more likely that it will be damaged even in a minor accident such as mounting a kerb.

Insurers have had a sepcific problem with unexpected inflation. They set the premiums before the inflation, by the time the repair bills came in hte inflation had happened. 10 or 12% sorts of numbers – that’ll kill a profit margin.

On the other hand interest rates are up so the profits from the float are too. Not wholly balancing but not, overall, an entire disaster.

But insuring EVs. I’ve seen stories that insurers are wanting £5,000 a year in insure one. Is that about right? Or is that an extreme being quoted for effect? The point being that it wouldn’t take much of a rise in insurance costs to entirely negate any fuel savings….

Just another one of those problems

Britain’s biggest motorway service station provider has brought in marshals to police “charge rage” among electric vehicle drivers battling for access to plug-in points.

Moto chief executive Ken McMeikan warned the UK’s motorway service stations are facing growing “public disorder” due to a lack of grid connections preventing him from installing enough car chargers to meet the surge in demand.

Tsk. And going green is going to be so simple and cheap, isn’t it?

Well, Zac is rich, yes

Zac Goldsmith too rich to feel net zero pain, says Kemi Badenoch
Business Secretary suggests former minister is out of touch because he has ‘way more money than pretty much everyone in the UK’

One of the things that amuses me greatly is that he inherited the money from Sir Jams. OK, I’m fine with that, obviously. But the really big chunk of the Sir Jams fortune was made very late in his career with Crown Zellerbach. A forestry company in N America. Where there were more than one accusation of clear cutting old growth forests.

And it’s possible to indicate that that’s really where Zac’s money comes from.

You know, just one of those fun things.

So let’s go wipe out the beavers again, eh?

Aggressive, disease-spreading mosquitoes could plague London every summer by the middle of this century, researchers have warned.

According to a preprint from modellers in the UK, US and Israel, Britain’s capital city will become hospitable for Aedes aegypti – the “yellow fever mosquito” – sooner than thought. The blood-sucking insects also carry diseases including dengue, Zika and chikungunya.

The new research takes into account natural variability in climate – as well as human-driven warming – for the first time, and predicts that the insects will establish themselves in London for between one and four months a year by 2060, and up to five months by the end of the century.

There is a reason we went and drained all those swamps. They killed people. Somerset Levels were notorious for killing agues. But of course it’s now government policy that they all be returned to mosquito breeding grounds.

And yet we’re all living longer and longer

Europe is facing a “severe public health crisis”, with almost everyone across the continent living in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution, an investigation by the Guardian has found.

Analysis of data gathered using cutting-edge methodology – including detailed satellite images and measurements from more than 1,400 ground monitoring stations – reveals a dire picture of dirty air, with 98% of people living in areas with highly damaging fine particulate pollution that exceed World Health Organization guidelines. Almost two-thirds live in areas where air quality is more than double the WHO’s guidelines.

Perhaps it’s the guidelines that are wrong?

So, so, sustainable

The Oscar-winning actor Susan Sarandon has taken a construction firm to court over what she calls “extensive problems” at what she envisioned as a $2m eco-friendly dream home she had built in Vermont for her retirement.

Buckled siding, missing insulation, mold and an unfinished primary bedroom ceiling are among 47 issues found by engineers, contractors and Sarandon’s staff, according to a lawsuit filed against DeGrenier Contracting and Property Management in federal court in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Sarandon, 76, built the environmentally sustainable home on 45 wooded acres with meadows in Stamford, Vermont, near the Massachusetts border.

The English definition of sustainable – the minimum building density – would insist on 540 houses on that acreage.

Am amusement

The, err, minister in Slovenia, about the size of a London Borough, tells the world, eh? And that’s resounding?

#The Global Footprint Network arose out of the PhD thesis of a guy called Marcus Wackernagel. Full marks to hte guy for turning that into a well paid – and high social status – career. But it is indeed all the most entire bollocks.

What a fun game

Sausages will double in price at a leading German supermarket, which is raising prices to show the so-called hidden health and environmental costs of food.

Penny, which has about 2,150 stores throughout Germany, will temporarily raise the price of nine of its products to reflect the real cost of the staple items when their impact on public health and the environment are taken into account.

How much will they raise organic prices by to reflect the land costs there?

Modern marvels

Yes, I know, travel isn’t always like this. But from Fuseta (near Faro) to Bath, door to door, 6 hours. For £80.

Something of a modern marvel, no?

Of course, that even us plebs have the ability to do this has some spitting with rage. But still a marvel.

Bye then

Lord Goldsmith quit the Government this morning as he accused Rishi Sunak of being “uninterested” in environmental issues.

The Tory peer, an ally of Boris Johnson, claimed the Government was showing “apathy in the face of the greatest challenge we face” which made his position as a climate and environment minister “untenable”.

In a stinging resignation letter sent to Mr Sunak and posted on Twitter, Lord Goldsmith said: “Prime Minister, having been able to get so much done previously, I have struggled even to hold the line in recent months.

“The problem is not that the government is hostile to the environment, it is that you, our Prime Minister, are simply uninterested.”

If only this would then mean less enviro tossery…..

Oh aye?

Actually, this piece is absurd:

Roman Bath-style heating could turbocharge levelling up
Deep geothermal technology to keep homes warm might create 35,000 plant maintenance jobs by 2050

Creating jobs is a cost, not a benefit. And there’s nothing new about this at all – geothermal energy is used in many places right now. Finally:

The technique artificially replicates the effect of naturally occurring hot springs, such as those used in Roman Baths, by drilling into aquifers to access heat deep underground.

Err, that’s the Roman Baths at Bath – all the other Roman Baths used wood fires, slaves and a hypocaust.

By
Emma Gatten,
ENVIRONMENT EDITOR

Seriously Emma, really….

Yea, but, yea, but

Using orbital solar panels and microwaves to send energy to Earth was first proposed in 1968. Since then, a few countries, including China and the US, have spent time and money pursuing the idea. The technology is appealing because orbital solar arrays represent a potentially unlimited renewable energy supply. In space, solar panels can collect energy no matter the time of day, and by using microwaves to beam the power they produce, clouds aren’t a concern either. However, even if Japan successfully deploys a set of orbital solar arrays, the tech would still be closer to science fiction than fact. That’s because producing an array that can generate 1 gigawatt of power – or about the output of one nuclear reactor – would cost about $7 billion with currently available technologies.

A big chunk of that is launch costs. And what actually is the value of 1 GW of consistent power, as opposed to variable, anyway?

Chesterton’s Fence

The next time you pick up a Mars bar something might feel different – it will be wrapped in paper rather than plastic.

The new environmentally friendly packaging will remind older fans of how the bars were sold until 1977

So, why did they move from paper to plastic?

We can’t decide on this new move until we know that, can we?

Plastic keeps out moisture and air much better than paper, and keeps chocolate fresh for years.

Oi’l give tha’ a 364 out o’ 365 then

30 water treatment works released 11bn litres of raw sewage in a year, study suggests

Terrors.

Every day in the UK about 347,000 kilometres of sewers collect over 11 billion litres of waste water.

The system is 364 out of 365 efficient then. And getting it the next 12 hours efficient would probably cost 50% of the total cost of the system right not. Then the next 6 hours another 50% and so on. That’s just the way that marginal costs work…..

The question is never whether there will be shit in the rivers. It’s how much shit and how much are you willing to pay to have less? Oh, not that much? Well….

Care about the planete is now a synonym for protect my profit margins

Fast fashion is a “monster” which is hurting all brands as shoppers demand cheaper prices and clothes that they only wear once, Topshop’s former fashion director has said.

Retailers have benefited from “the pressure on young people to never be seen in the same outfit”, former Topshop chief Gillian Ridley Whittle said.

She added that customers had become accustomed to the idea that “if they want fashion, they can get it at cheap prices”, which was piling pressure on all fashion brands.

“Fast fashion has become such a monster. In order to keep the prices down, because it is all so throw-away, and then these companies have gone to cheaper and cheaper sources for their clothes, which don’t pay their workers fairly or care about the planet.”

Some work I do for the Americans means reading lots of the girlie mags. And it’s always the more expensive ones, the ones running the ads for the £500 blouses, which are most adamant in their opposition to fast fashion.

Funny, that.

So, don’t clean it up then

The problem was and remains that until a colossal cleanup is completed, the entire development is effectively worthless.

Safety rules dictate that at the very least the top two metres of earth across the entire 4,500 acres needs to be removed, for instance. More must be dug out if toxic surprises are found.

Those costs are estimated to be almost half a billion pounds, according to a valuation report seen by The Telegraph. Surveyors therefore ascribed the site a notional £1 value.

The costs of cleaning it up are larger than the use value once it is cleaned up.

Therefore, don’t clean it up.

Some things really are this simple