Saturday, January 20, 2007

Bin there. Posted that.

Bored. Saw a chance to plug Junkk. Took it: In praise of... wheelie bins

"I have often looked at these things with wonder as I travel outside our fair county (we don't seem to have them here - black bin liners for the once a week nasties and two blue RE-Boxes for the dry (paper) and wet (cans, bottles - no plastic) weekly kerbside collection. I have to say they are, in comparison, huge, and frankly both ugly and daunting, but obviously necessary if collections are less regular. Why is there no national standard?

But as space created will always be filled, I do wonder at their size. They are monsters.

We compost most and haven't thrown anything else out in a few years. I like to make things out of some stuff and am storing the rest until I can figure out what can be made of them too... or the missus figures out what is in the loft. It's amazing looking at a few hundred Pot Noodle containers slotted together, and surprising how little space they occupy so stacked No, I’m still stumped on these).

So let’s not forget another option: re:use (try http://www. to find, or indeed suggest ideas around that we can all share - if I can make a rucksack out of an old vacuum cleaner, anything is possible).

And if all else fails, there is one final option (almost said solution... oops). We could always try to use... less.

Recycling is awfully spiffy, and much better than not, and meets all sorts of targets and stuff. But it's still not that high of the waste hierarchy ladder, sadly. Wheelie and truly."

There's snow business like no snow business

Charles cancels ski trip to back green pledges

Why does this not seem so depressingly predictable? And so pathetically pointless? And leave one with a slight sense of besuited spinmeisters digging their master's next hole.

'Chaz no mates' gives up something that is no fun any more, and may not be able to be done quite soon (What's the snow like there? I overheard a mobile conversation last night where a guy had phoned his mate from the ski holiday to say there was no snow - something to reflect upon on the flight home).

I'm impressed. Not.

Daring to speak its name?

I'd hesitate to infer too much or indeed any of it was a consequence of what I wrote (deliberately vague, because a) I don't have a satisfactory solution to hand and b) am a coward), but looking back at subsequent comments to mine in the Newsnight blog referred to in my last post there were some very interesting ones there. And, to my mind, both moderate and balanced too.

Usually such discussion, where it rarely takes place, quickly degenerates into something rather nasty, with anyone making a simple factual point accused of promoting some kind of Final Solution in defence of Lebensraum. Or at best a rather murky set of exchanges on Malthusian theory.

Hence I found what had been written there quite informative and worth pondering, to factor in. It is indeed odd that so many cultures are so worried about population slow down, and its consequences on economic growth, and that they don't seem so concerned with the other side of this: increased consumption, pollution and... well you can see where it leads.

As I say, I don't have ready answers, and hence don't want to go to far 'there'. I have two kids. Is that balance or excess? They are half-Chinese, and that leads to an interesting point. While I'm sure I need to research it a lot more to be sure of my facts, I do believe that in the face of some of the more excitable pro-population expansion (or at least population consequence discussion) censors, this country has quietly been maintaining a policy of control for some time now. I wonder how they did/do it, and why it has attracted so little attention?