Category Archives: Pollution

Is Dominic Cummings championing ‘air scrubber’ tech to starve more viable green projects?

Dominic Cummings: if he’s trying to rehabilitate his rep after the Rose Garden debacle, this might not work.

It seems Dominic Cummings’s plan to pump £100 million of public money into “air scrubber” technology is intended to help the bosses of energy companies that pollute the UK in the first place.

The “direct air capture” technology would use metal “air scrubbers”, to chemically strip carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The excess carbon could then be stored safely underground.

Here‘s a graph, courtesy of The Times:

There’s just one catch: it currently costs nearly £500 to extract a single tonne of CO2.

So if all the cash the Treasury has apparently devoted to the project went on scrubbing the air alone, it would extract only £200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

In 2018, the UK’s carbon footprint – the amount of CO2 emitted in the country – was 364 million tonnes.

In other words, the amount that would be cleaned is negligible compared to the amount emitted.

Meanwhile, it seems this expensive, long-term scheme is diverting investment away from more realistic near-term solutions.

So what’s going on here?

Is Cummings really trying to help?

Or is he sucking cash away from greener solutions, while trying to give polluters an excuse to carry on stinking up the planet?

Source: Technology which ‘sucks’ excess CO2 from the air could hurt UK’s green ambitions

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Starmer may drop Labour’s net zero emissions climate target – to win elections

Heat death: Siberia is burning now – who knows what it will be like in 10 years’ time? But Keir Starmer wants to win elections so the environment can go hang.

It seems Keir Starmer thinks letting the planet burn in order to win an election is a fair exchange. Take a look:

Labour could drop the ambitious 2030 climate crisis target it adopted under Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s new leadership has said.

A spokesperson for Keir Starmer said that he had supported the plans included in Labour’s last manifesto, but that the party had lost the election.

The Green New Deal policy adopted under the previous leadership included the aim of a path to net zero carbon by the year 2030, based largely on massive public investment in green technology.

Apparently Starmer isn’t keen on investing in any future – apart from his own, maybe.

Given a choice between socialism and corporatism, it seems clear which Starmer would choose.

Since This Writer read the story, I’ve had words from a song running around my head:

So take me home to the red red skies
And the brown, brown grass
And the black, black seas,
The broken glass and the dead, dead trees

By a curious coincidence, the song is called Roses.

Whoever would have thought it referred to the Labour rose?

Source: Keir Starmer could drop Labour’s 2030 net zero climate target | The Independent

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There is now a biodegradable alternative to the plastics that are clagging up our planet. But will anyone fund it?

Obsolete: There is now an alternative to this that is biodegradable. But will it get the funding it needs?

Watch this:

It needs funding to make it a viable alternative to the plastics currently polluting the world – and especially our oceans.

Do you think it will get any?

Further information is on marinatex.co.uk

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The plastic pollution crisis hasn’t gone away just because there’s an election

Take a look at this brilliant advert and remember that, just because there’s an election, thae 

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Worried about climate change? Then DON’T VOTE TORY!

Conservative MPs are more likely to vote for damage to the environment that causes climate change than against it, despite what they may say, according to this analysis by The Guardian.

They also take gifts from polluters, it claims.

Among the worst offenders was Tory prime minister Boris Johnson, who was among several dozen MPs – mostly Conservatives – to record the worst possible score of zero.

He was also among 10 ministers who received donations or gifts from oil companies, airports, petrostates, climate sceptics or thinktanks identified as spreading information against climate action.

The average voting score of Johnson’s cabinet was 17 per cent, compared with the Labour shadow cabinet score of 90 per cent – although the paper charitably stated that this could be because they are in opposition and unable to influence government decisions..

The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, scored 92 per cent.

The conclusion is clear: if you want a government that acts against climate change and to protect the environment for you, your children and future generations, you need to vote LABOUR.

To find out how your MP scores, visit this web page.

Conservative MPs are almost five times more likely to vote against climate action than legislators from other parties, a Guardian analysis of 16 indicative parliamentary divisions over the past decade has revealed.

The Tories also registered many more donations, shares, salaries, gifts and tickets to sporting events from fossil fuel companies, petrostates, aviation companies and climate sceptics, according to declarations made in the parliamentary record of MPs’ interests between 2008 and 2019.

The Guardian, in collaboration with the investigative environmental journalism group DeSmog UK, rated MPs from 0% to 100% based on 16 parliamentary votes since 2008. The selection sought to cover a range of measures that would affect the UK’s carbon emissions, with an emphasis on votes where MPs were willing to break ranks and put the climate before their party.

Source: Tory MPs five times as likely to vote against climate action | Environment | The Guardian

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Theresa May’s commitment to net zero UK carbon emissions by 2050 means nothing

Yes, it’s time for the ‘liar liar’ image again.

How wonderful of Theresa May to make a commitment to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050 – a promise that her successor may ignore or reverse completely.

No departing prime minister or government can bind the hands of their successors and 2050 is a long way away.

It doesn’t even matter that the Tories would probably shift much of the burden onto developing countries; it’s simply unlikely to happen with Tories in charge.

You only have to look at Prime Minister’s Questions today, in which Jeremy Corbyn listed a litany of Conservative government promises that have come to nothing.

This was a last-minute attempt by a failed prime minister to create some kind of legacy – and she even failed at that.

Theresa May has sought to cement some legacy in the weeks before she steps down as prime minister by enshrining in law a commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, making Britain the first major economy to do so.

The commitment, to be made in an amendment to the Climate Change Act laid in parliament on Wednesday, would make the UK the first member of the G7 group of industrialised nations to legislate for net zero emissions, Downing Street said.

Environmental groups welcomed the goal but expressed disappointment that the plan would allow the UK to achieve it in part through international carbon credits, something Greenpeace said would “shift the burden to developing nations”.

Source: Theresa May commits to net zero UK carbon emissions by 2050 | Environment | The Guardian

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Why should we take the blame for an environmental emergency that a tiny elite has caused?

Watching the report of the UN’s findings on BBC News earlier, I was moved to tweet the following:

I tend to agree with Greta, here:

It’s infuriating.

I was watching documentaries warning of pollution-related climate catastrophe at least as long ago as the 1980s – and nothing was done about it.

All the current hand-wringing is a pathetic attempt to con the general public into thinking that this is a new crisis, when it is nothing of the kind.

There has been plenty of time to do something constructive, but the fat cats of this world decided to make a few more billions for themselves instead – as if money could somehow save them when the environment collapses for all of us.

Now, you can bet they’re going to pretend that it’s somehow the rest of us who are responsible. Look:

Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.

“Humans”?

Most of us haven’t had any say in it at all.

And yet we’re lumped in with the tiny minority who are responsible.

Despicable.

You can work out your own impact on the world by taking WWF’s environmental footprint questionnaire, here.

This Writer is pleased to announce that my environmental footprint is already lower than the 2020 target set by the UK government.

How’s yours?

Source: Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace – The New York Times

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Fracking commissioner resigns – but not because it’s environmentally crippling

This is what fracking is: It has the potential to cause huge harm – but Natascha Engels is upset that she is being prevented from causing such harm.

Here’s another name to add to the list of those responsible for the climate catastrophe and mass extinction we’re all facing: Natascha Engel.

She has resigned after only six months as the UK’s shale gas commissioner – not because fracking is hugely harmful to the environment, but because rules that try to protect that environment are stopping it.

She is upset because she has been prevented from doing harm. Contemptible.

The UK’s shale gas commissioner is resigning after just six months, saying fracking is being throttled by rules preventing mini earthquakes.

Current government rules mean fracking must be suspended every time a 0.5 magnitude tremor is detected.

But Natascha Engel said this cautious approach to earth tremors had created a de facto ban on fracking.

She claimed campaign groups “were driving policy” – but the groups say fracking damages the environment.

Source: Fracking tsar resigns after six months over ‘ridiculous’ rules – BBC News


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Greta Thunberg: Critics can’t beat her with reason so they have fallen back on insult

Greta Thunberg: They couldn’t argue with her reasoning, so they insulted her instead.

The silly season has arrived early this year.

Extinction Rebellion has announced that its protest in London will end on Thursday with a day of disruption and a closing ceremony.

The organisation that spent nine days organising peaceful mass civil disobedience said it would leave its remaining blockades after opening up “a space for truth-telling” – and it was time to spread this space both locally, nationally and internationally.

One of the highlights of the protest was the visit by Greta Thunberg, whose speech at the United Nations Climate Change Conference last year galvanised a generation – of youngsters – to demand change on environmentally-catastrophic policies from uncaring world leaders.

She’s on her way home as I write this…

… but it seems certain malcontents couldn’t wait for her to leave before spreading some “truth-telling” of their own.

And it only proved the truth of Margaret Thatcher’s decades-old claim: “If they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

Here’s a chap called Tom Harwood, who calls himself a journalist:

The clip is from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, when Ms Thunberg’s mother Malena Ernman, represented Sweden with a song entitled ‘La voix’.

Apparently Mr Harwood wanted us to think this was a bad thing. He didn’t get what he wanted.

Apparently the point was that Ms Thunberg was one of the fabled “One per cent” – the most privileged people in the world. If so, then she has more brains, more conscience, than most of the rest of them put together and is even more to be praised, This Writer would have thought. And I’m not alone:

https://twitter.com/mquinnNUFC/status/1121077264224018434

Jade Azim’s response was right to the point: “I cant believe she has the AUDACITY to have a singer as a mum and not want the ice caps to melt.”

Some chose to make a more pertinent observation – about the origin of the criticism.

Not only an employee of the Guido Fawkes blog site, but also a former press officer for the Brexiteer campaign group BeLeave, it seems:

Yes, it seems Mr Harwood was a press officer for the youth-focused Brexit movement that was used by fellow Brexit campaign Vote Leave to break spending limits in the run-up to the EU referendum in 2016, according to the Electoral Commission. According to Shahmir Sanni, he was Head of Media for BeLeave and Head of the Student wing of Vote Leave.

So before he tries to shame other people, perhaps he should learn a little contrition himself.

At least he didn’t make the enormous gaff committed by Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked.

In an article headlined The cult of Greta Thunberg and sub-headed This young woman sounds increasingly like a millenarian weirdo, he stated: “Anyone who doubts that the green movement is morphing into a millenarian cult should take a close look at Greta Thunberg.

“This poor young woman increasingly looks and sounds like a cult member. The monotone voice. The look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes. The explicit talk of the coming great ‘fire’ that will punish us for our eco-sins.

“There is something chilling and positively pre-modern about Ms Thunberg. One can imagine her in a sparse wooden church in the Plymouth Colony in the 1600s warning parishioners of the hellfire that will rain upon them if they fail to give up their witches.”

He’s entitled to his opinion, right? Well…

… maybe not.

At the end of the day, her critics have good reason to be grateful to Ms Thunberg: She is unlikely to respond in kind. For the reason, I’ll leave you with this:

International watchdog says we all have 12 years to tackle climate change

Every little helps: But don’t be fooled – these personal measures to cut your carbon footprint are tiny compared to what governments can do. Will they do anything, though?

We’ve all heard a lot of debate about whether climate change is real and whether it poses a significant threat.

Here’s the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) spelling it all out for us:

We (meaning national governments across the world) need to act without delay to prevent the destruction of coral reefs and stop sea levels rising by as much as ten centimetres. If that happened large parts of the world could become uninhabitable.

Within 12 years.

Are we all clear on this now?

The Tories are already saying the UK has the best record of any G20 country in attacking the causes of climate change.

Do you believe that?

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