Tuesday, December 18, 2007

To maximise or minimise, that is the question..

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Its surely a sign that we have not moved too far in a genuinely green direction to see that a proposal for mass incineration of household waste in the Bristol area is even being seriously considered. It seems we have yet to take fully on board low waste or even zero waste thinking, which is in the end the only sustainable solution. Any giant incinerator would demand to be fed with many thousands of tonnes of waste for decades - what would be the point of building one otherwise? This is the very waste we are supposed to be trying to minimise to make waste management cheaper and more environmentally friendly!! No to waste MAXIMISATION and no to any mass burn incinerator I say. My fellow green campaigner Peter Goodwin is doing a lot of good work on this - lets hope he is successful!

The price of food: all things are connected

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All things are connected is one rule of ecology and a principle behind Green policies. More concern about rising food prices, this time from the UN, illustrates the economy-environment connection very well. Droughts and floods caused by climate change are held partly to blame for the price increases. The rapidly growing consumer-society and rising affluence with consequent changing diets in China eg the rise in demand for (grain fed) beef, is also key. Also a significant factor in higher food prices is the use of food crops to manufacture so-called 'environmentally friendly' biofuels. In fact the use of food crops to make anything other than food itself has this effect, since food supplies are reduced, pushing prices up. And the local connection? Bristol City Council is of course dead keen on making biodegradable plastic bags available for people to use in their brown bin recycling - plastics made from....corn!! The ignorance and stupidity of the push for these bags, adding to the problem I've described, as well as having its own high environmental impact, from people like Knowle Lib Dem Councillor Gary Hopkins, is staggering.