Thursday, 26 April 2007

Palm Oil and Orangutans

I couldn’t help but be effected by the BBC’s Orangutan Diary and began looking at how many items in my house have palm oil. We don’t eat biscuits and processed foods so not much there but I was disappointed to palm oil in some of my personal care products like soap. A quick search on the internet revealed I was pleased to find a retailer that was already aware of the palm oil issue and had been writing to their manufacturers. I have to recommend their customer service too, my order arrived the following day! As well as skincare they have a wide range of products including juicers, inversion tables and water filters as well as a lot of well researched information. I also sponsored an Orangutan

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Coal Power Stations Blamed for Increase in UK CO2 Emissions in 2006- But we Plan to Build More?

Last year
In March 2006 the government published the UK Climate Change Programme which detailed the policies and methods which the UK is using to decrease its emissions of greenhouse gases.

This Year
In April 2007 DEFRA announced that carbon dioxide emissions rose more than 1% during 2006. So much for the ‘UK Climate Change Program’. Apparently DEFRA has blamed the this increase on the burning coal to for electricity generation.

I find it rather ironic then to remember that only a few days ago the BBC was reporting that two energy companies were planning to build new coal fired power stations. Although these new power stations should be 22% cleaner than existing stations, they will be relying on technology known as "carbon capture and storage" which even the power company concedes has "many financial, legal, regulatory and technical hurdles" to overcome before it can be implemented.

Next Year
I wonder whether this time next year we will be extolling the virtues of these new power stations or blaming them for yet more failed carbon emission targets?

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Friday, 30 March 2007

The Baiji Dolphin – Extinct

I have just heard that another species of animal has joined the ever increasing list of animals wiped out by man. The Baiji Dolphin of the Yangtze river was once revered by the Chinese, but in 1958 it lost its protected status and become food. Although in the 1980s the Chinese government realised the Baiji was in trouble and placed a conservation order on the Baiji it was too late. Man has made the Baiji dolphin extinct is just 50 years. For more information see: WDCS Technorati icon Technorati Cosmos: other blogs commenting on this post Technorati Profile

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Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Animal Farm - The Spin Doctors Approach to Genetics

Technorati Profile I can just image the spin doctors now, sitting around a table in some plush office.

“We are being paid bucket loads to promote genetic modification so what can we do?” says Spin Doctor 1. They all think for a while and then Spin Doctor 2 says “Lets make a documentary putting a positive spin on genetic engineering so the ignorant masses will accept genetic modification as the way forward.”. “Hurrah” says Spin Doctor 1 excitedly, “but the ignorant masses aren’t stupid, just ignorant. Why will it convince them?”. “I know” says Spin Doctor 3, who is after all number 3 for a reason, “why not make it appear impartial?”. “Yes that always works” says Spin Doctor 1, “let’s find an attractive professional looking female scientist to extol the virtues of genetic engineering. While a rustic food journalist mutters about how un-natural it all is”….

Well it might not have been exactly like that but I bet it was not far off. Think about it, generally we are programmed into accepting the views of scientists, who are deemed as ‘authority figures’, while journalism and journalists are often despised. The whole program was a intellectual David and Goliath, a total mis-match. Surely they could have found one scientist who believes caution is a valid approach to progress?

The final ‘discussion’ between journalist and fanatical scientist was pointless. The journalist just didn’t have the background or the knowledge to argue convincingly against the technology being discussed.

The program should have been presented by two impartial scientists so that a valid debate could have ensued.

The program is called Animal Farm and is currently on Mondays Ch4 at 9pm. The first program looked at selective breeding and discussed, among other things, featherless chickens and glow in the dark rabbits.

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Sunday, 25 March 2007

Politics: Doing What is Right Vs Doing What is Popular

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Welcome to my new blog!

Why have got a blog? I wanted to vent my thoughts and feelings in a hope that I might make at least one other person think, who in tern might make another person think.

For example, in the news the other day the presenter mentioned that the Conservatives were planning a new environmental TAX on flights to help fight climate change. Great idea, but then they continued to say the TAX would be implemented so it did not hit people who only have one package holiday a year. George Osborne, the shadow chancellor said “the tax proposals would be targeted at frequent fliers and not families taking their annual holiday”. Why? Are holiday flights any less detrimental to the environment? Are holiday flights vitally important? Of course not! Its simply fear that nobody would vote for them if they implemented policy that increased the cost of a package holiday, even if that policy helped to save the planet. We are not even talking about a small number of flights as holiday flights from the UK accounted for 63.6 million trips abroad last year.

Only a few days before I watched a news item concerning the Alaskan island of Shishmaref that was disappearing under rising seas. Not long before that we heard about the Lohachara island, the first inhabited island to disappear in the rising sea levels. I’m sure it will be a great consolation to the thousands of innocent people forced to change their lives and re-locate, to know that the English holiday maker will not be required to be responsible for their part in increasing the sea levels. I can just imagine the refugees in their tents sitting around saying “hey we will never see our homelands again, but look on the bright side, at least George and Mildred from the UK enjoyed a fortnight in Spain again this year”. Hmm

I can understand why the Conservatives are scared to do what is completely right for the planet, but I cant understand why people as individuals would not understand that they do not ‘need’ their planet damaging package holiday. Or why the conservatives have not thought to try and educate the masses into understanding that what they ‘want’ is not always what they ‘need’ and what they ‘want’ is harmful to the planet and therefore everyone.

Before everyone (lol how presumptuous of me to expect anyone to read my blog!) jumps down my throat saying that they do ‘need’ their package holiday, I would like to suggest that only a relatively short time ago it was customary to holiday in our own countries. None of my family have ever flown abroad for their holidays and yet I still remember family holidays as wonderful times full of laughter and fun and we only travelled 60 minutes to get there. Psychologist Haim Ginott once said: "Happiness is not a destination." and I agree.

The media and society have brainwashed the masses into believing that the only holiday worth having is one you fly to, even though 30% of people holidaying abroad have their holidays spoilt by illness. Certainly over the years when telling colleagues and friends that I was holidaying in the UK I have detected a certain snobbery regarding destination. Excuses mainly involve in unpredictability of British whether. It’s flawed on two counts, one it is possible to still have fun when it rains and secondly it rains abroad too! 32 million overseas visitors came to the UK last year, so it can’t be that bad as a holiday destination. Just imagine how much extra revenue the UK would have earned if the 63.6 million holidays taken abroad by UK residents had actually been spent in UK destinations.

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