Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oh, the buzzing of the bees

... in the cigarette trees......(From 'The Big Rock Candy Mountain'). Maybe a sound that you will not hear that much in the future, and that is a cause for great concern, as our little friends, the bees, in their many species, appear to be in almost terminal decline. Full report from the Indy.

So what? I hear many of you ask. Well, without bees, a lot of our food crops will not be pollinated, and yields will drop dramatically. So they are, kind of, errrrm, rather important to humanity.

The article explains how CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder), which has devastated parts of the USA, has since hit Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece hard too. Now it seems to be spreading into the UK. And the cause of CCD? There is some research which now points the finger at mobile phones. The suggestion is that mobile phone signals somehow interfere with the bees navigation systems; they are unable to find their way back home, and they die.

Yet another serious enviro issue to worry about. And that's NOT tongue in cheek!


NEW - (Junkk Male) I was not aware of it at the time or I'd have picthed in, but here's a response from No10 to a petition on this topic.

What goes down, can come up

Is it just me, but wouldn't it make a wee bit more sense not to chuck it out in the first place?

High price of plastics raises prospect of rubbish mining in dumps

I must be sitting on a gold mine (just personally - what is set up to offer by way of getting people paid by those willing to fork out cash rather than a fine seems an opportunity, too!

Britain's bin baron says: get recycling like the Germans

Recycling: mining muck

The hidden cost of recycling - now that sets a cat in even my own set of enviROI notions!

PRW - Mining for plastic in landfill within a decade

MRW - NEW - Councils miss out on "green gold"

Everything is relative, I guess

And I know that it's hard to reduce things as populations expand (even if economies might not be).


After all the bazzillions spent on system and 'awareness' comms budgets, do these figures look good to you on an ROI and/or enviROI basis?

Defra says results show waste policy progress

Household waste is down from 25.8m to 25.6m tonnes;
Waste sent to landfill is down from 16.9 to 15.8m tonnes;
Average household recycling rates increased to 33.9%; and
Municipal waste reduced overall from 29.1m to 28.8m tonnes.

From the country that brought you 'bring out your dead...'

You have to admire the official optimism of some town hall policy wonks..

Manchester: Bring in bins to stop fire starters

'Entertain your kids. Impress your friends! A bin in the hall is a sure sign that you have the health of our balance sheet well up on the agenda, and the heck with smell or hygiene or space!'


Numbers game

Just love it when arts and science meet

The oxygen crisis

I live in hope that just one liberal media outlet will hire someone who didn't do classics for Oxford of History of Social Work and Knitting at Kingston Poly.

Switch. But what to?

Our environmental concerns are on standby

Have to agree with (almost) all posters here, especially if the stats stand up, which makes it a very useful blog.

FWIW I charge my phone besides my desk and off it goes the moment it's 'done'.

Not for great enviro reasons, but a warm transformer is a penny-sucking transformer.

At current mobile usage, even if left on 24/7 (and with the alarm on - what's the carbon footprint of an additional, new bedside clock?) that's about 3hrs per week.

We also only do the washing at weekends and so that's off as soon as done (killed off the dryer years ago).

Even the dishwasher* is off before the 'drying' light goes out. At post wash heat opening the door and leaving a while seems to do as well.

A £5.99 gizmo on the TV/SKY/DVD combo plugs seems to kill 'em all pretty well without having to risk life and limb getting into the back-end spaghetti.

But I do totally agree that there is no excuse for these aspects not to be designed in.

ps: Having had a problem I had an eye-opening chat with my engineer. He reckoned the eco-setting was anything but. 5 degrees cooler but two hours longer. Plus the lower temp on appliances means the seals and pipes end up clogged more often and require him called out more often and bits being replaced.

If true, hardly seems very sensible ROI or enviROI even to me, more like another type of 'washing', if you know what I mean:)

Careful what you campaign for...

How I became an 'enviro-criminal'

First they came for the plastic bags, but I did not give Sir Stuart his 5p...

At least we can count on the Guardian not to leap on any ban-wagons that may lead to more fines and... oh.

Imagine if they decided travel ads were out, and car mags (like AutoTrader).

And a side order of getting your own house in order with that...

Fish on film: can it stop the waste?

Phew, at least they aren't targets. Think of the waste then!

And a side order of agenda with that...

Junk food ‘makes toddlers learn slower’

Too many Big Macs as a kid I guess, but to me it would have scanned better as '... more slowly'.

Also, is it just me, or does this just slightly look like the kind of 'report' we're going to be 'fed' (excuse pun) a fair bit from now on to help shape our actions in a better direction?

I'm all for sharing positives to encourage, but less keen on negatives to spin up scares. Especially if they backfire.

Money talks, losers walk

I have used them and abused them. But have also been used and abused.

Awards. Can't PR much without them; but waste so much trying to deal with them.

And really, what are they really there for, other than to use those who enter, and those like them (plus a pliant, culpable media and gullible audience) to make money?

Who pays... wins.

Wonder wall

Saving the planet by the pound

Soon we will be off on hols.

After a few years camping and a bit of relly duty, it has to be admitted that we are going somewhere sunny (actually also in the vicinity of terrorist bombing, and outbreak of hemorrhagic fever, a 2,000 sqm forst fire and small war) as the kids want to swim, the missus wants sun and I want to eat fun food.

So, what to do?

Well, reading this, in the absence of outright bans (yet), maybe an interim advocacy would be that airlines charge by the pound/kg.

However, there is slight self-interest at work here. Other than the missus' unmentionables and unneccesaries (actually very little compared to some of the fairer sex), other than Speedos* and toothbrushes for me and the boys we are struggling to fill one 20kg suitcase. Oh, and other than yours truly, the rest of the family swings in at about another me.

*There is a limit to what I will bare, and the planet could bear