Friday, March 21, 2008

Branson bites back!

I missed this from Wednesday's Guardian CIF - a response from Richard Branson to the sniping comments made by Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways.

Though he makes his points well, and they are actually DOING something (questionable as it may be), and I do agree with him that looking for viable (important key word) alternative fuels has to be done, there are some quite scathing posts in response.

New build or refurb?

Now it seems to me to be reasonable common sense that the refurb and renovation (i.e. Re:Use) of any building ought to be less costly to the planet than building new from scratch, but, until this from Inside Housing, reporting on research undertaken by the Empty Homes Agency,I'd never seen any actual figures.

The CO2 "produced to build a new home is 4.5 times that needed to refurbish a long-term empty home".

"the carbon impact of the government's new homes target could be cut by 10 million tonnes if part of it was met by reusing and upgrading England's 288,000 long-term empty homes."

Sounds like a pretty reasonable win-win situation to me, but, despite this evidence, I really don't see our Gov reviewing its 'build - build - build' (even on flood plains) policy, do you?

Food shortages WILL happen

Now we've commented on this very blog about the shrinkage of glaciers around the planet before, and pointed out some of the doom and gloom food shortage, mass migration and war scenarios that many, with perhaps more Malthusian mentalities, are predicting.

But this from the New Scientist makes for quite grim reading, and it does not hedge its bets; even the headline uses that key word WILL. Not 'could' or 'might' or 'potentially' or 'theoretically possible' but "Melting glaciers will trigger food shortages".

Quite depressing. But will anybody take note?

A foot! Let's see if we can hit it!

Oops! Govt fails to meet its sustainability targets

Can't help but feel the word 'again' might be missing here.

Targets. Gotta love 'em. Keep lots of folk in business setting them, assessing them and then explaining why they don't matter or rejigging the rules for another stab. Plus guys like us passing comment.

One thing... 'wasn’t you: it was government.'

Like many, I'd like to divorce me from t'other. But sadly, once such as the EU fines kick in for missing them I rather suspect it will be us who fork out.

Sad face again:(

Not so grand

If ever there was a reason to ponder reduction and/or insulation, this is it: Energy bills break £1,000 mark

For some, that means they are working almost a month in the year to cover this fundamental aspect of life.