Monday, December 18, 2006

More from the more equal...

This chap and I have exchanged views before: A Stern warning

'You find yourself amazed that people are deploying in camps? This was discussed when you accused car journos of being‘selfish’. I felt such absolutes can lead to lines being drawn, and the majority left cowering beneath artillery exchanges of those who think they know best, or at least better than each other, and certainly the rest of us. See what we can read today, from varied but worthy sources: Care needed with carbon offsets - Deal will let airlines carry on polluting - Eat the world

The ‘carbon’ issue is, to me, critical. So I pay heed to those who have sensible things to say, along with credible solutions. Here’s a new word to share – Vorsorgeprinzip – basically, ‘better safe than sorry’. And in this, I believe we are at one. However... We have an all-time low in trust. With a fair reason. Statespersonship has given way to self-interest. Even those once relied upon to be the voice of the public (media) and minority interests (NGOs) are now corporate in structure, with suspect, self-serving agendas. Who to believe? A huge issue we face is population expansion. We can’t handle it now, so no matter how spiffy the toys we deploy, they won’t make much difference, at least in time. It’s an uncomfortable issue, best left to more courageous souls to address. So let’s make the most of what we’ve got and, if possible, make less use of it as well. Who goes first? Drivers? The travel industry? The supermarkets? The utilities? The individual? Trouble is, they all kinda want to stay at the top of the list... human nature. So... leave it to government... who few believe or trust to do anything other than secure revenue to stay in charge. As you point out, do it they must, and will have to. But it’s not as simple as you make out, which brings us back to lines. Some live outside cities. A few through choice; many through circumstance. Most through necessity. So placing the car-load on this segment, simplistically,via cost on fuel or miles (more logical than for drivetrain arrangement), is not going to work. Because . it . would . not . be . fair. Any more than it would hitting someone in a cottage for eco-rates, while an ODPM newbuild on a flood plain gets a subsidy. Equally rationing, while fairer, is a problem allowing that we all share the world’s air (to breathe or pollute). So to avoid a “some of ‘us’ are more equal than others” allusion, you’ll find ‘they’ will need to figure out an equitable trade between ‘us’ and ‘them’, and do it PDQ so we don’t fry. I see fun with a financier or travel writer being given the same allotment as a Kalahari bushman. Done on a global basis, they’re going have to trade with a lot to fly to the annual NYC do. That’s too many negatives, but it’s pragmatic to try to see the totality of the issue, and be at a level of society to sense how those who may not be able to swap a £2k Mondeo for a £17k Prius feels. Or be told by bi-monthly carbon offsetting ski-trippers to forgo a bit of Majorca sun once a year. We’re in it together. So please, while necessary to share the scale of the problem, try and resist the easy route of criticism from on high in fighting a selective cause. That’s why, on a column such as this you will find such spirited views from those who don’t happen to share them, or have other areas of priority they are frustrated at seeing ignored. I'm proactively pushing an area I believe in and can see the potential for making a positive difference: reuse. Concentrate on encouraging the same in your area of expertise, which is automotive. If we have to travel, how do we do it and survive now as families and as a race into the future?'

Also sent it direct to the editor, with this:
ps; I'm guessing the XC90 ad was ironic:)

Make, mend, and/or save?

I got excited by this just now: A more efficient tumble drier - using a vacuum pump?

Couldn't resist a reply and plug:
Interesting. No reason why it shouldn�t work, though I�d imagine you need a mechanism to repeat the process over and over to vent the damp air and provide a fresh dry zone to migrate to, which would require the drum with the clothes to be connected through the spindle to a fairly robust valve/seal arrangement. But certainly the bearing could possibly be reduced, and the power of the motor, if one accepted a level of user participation load and seal.
There�s also some safety issues, but our pressure cooker already scares the willies out of me, so an implosion seems a better risk!

Would the elf and safety guys go for it? Or consumers if it�s a hassle. I�d don�t see the clothes suffering, especially if you pop them in with a dryer ball.

When it�s done, let me know. Of course, it's all still got an eco-cost.

Our dryer died not so long ago and we sealed up the hole in the wall:
and the metal panels are now doing good service as trays and the door as a salad bowl:

(sorry about the loooong URLs - these take you direct, with luck, otherwise you need to register and search)

The non- urgent we hang all week in the conservatory and the urgents dry overnight (and still get fluffy in the void in the cupboard over the immersion heater, despite it now being very well lagged with that bonded blue stuff. We donated the old red lagging locally via JunkkYard:

But at least you can offset the flight... er...

Further to that last post, try this: Care needed with carbon offsets

The operative word here is 'care'.

I have, obviously, been moved to write to the the author:

'In my job (well, hobby for now, until it pays), I am blessed, or maybe more accurately cursed, with sifting through the information and commentary of each day. Acres of print from the great, the good, the hopeful, those with agendas and, like you suspect, those with PRs... and, of course, politicians.

Amongst those I choose to rely upon is the BBC, confident it will be factual, well researched and in context as well as topical, which is why I tend to read it first. And often I pass the most significant on with my blog.

Your posting today was a 'wow'.

But even more so when I connected few dots with one I read a little earlier.

Just about the only vindication I see and hear from enviro-active media and the lite-green consumers they cater to, is that it's fine to ski in Verbier (while the snow lasts, but then the Rockies beckon), so long as you offset.

I do hope what you have shared will give them something to ponder in being satisfied with that equation.'

Sky High?

It's in a major paper, so it must be true: EU deal will let airlines carry on polluting

I'm losing count of the number of debates if been in and am in regarding this, and it all boils down to trust in those who would create and manage (that would be corporations, travel, and financial, and the governments who depend on them, or at least allow themselves to be 'lobbied' - is a 'lob' the same as a 'bung'?) these initiatives for the public to get on board (pun intended).

So, as I couldn't put it any better, let's leave it to Dave of Solarventi:

"And we all thought that the whole concept of the Emissions Trading Scheme was to ensure, at least in the longer term, that the airlines' pollution could somehow be mediated. The above is like saying 'Carry on chaps - we've told the public that the ETS will help save the planet longer term - please don't let on to everybody that you will actually make money out of trading your carbon permits. Oh, please remember to chuck some of the additional free profits we're giving you back to us as additional tax revenue. Just don't tell the man in the street.' Latest football result:- Corporate profits & government taxation combined eleven 3 Climate change & humanity's future 0."