Friday, May 15, 2009

There's talking the talk. But it will always be 'money rules' first.

A new day, a new opportunity. Though I might have forgone any pussy-footing.

When food packaging can reduce climate change gases

Reduction of any consumable will inevitably reduce GHGs.

However, in a consumer society there are pragmatic constraints and limits, and they need to be worked towards.

Other mitigations can include recycling, and it is clear there are many issues surrounding this that can be improved from all sides, though I'd say the public is the only one doing their darndest in the face of some epic finger-pointing distractions from bottom-line driven business and quango-ridden, target-obsessed authorities. About the only binding feature would seem to be bonus-structures.

I had not before heard of Morrisons' Keep It Fresh test and packaging laboratory, and will try and track it down. Some of the insights are already surprising: 'We have found, for example, that wrapping peppers in plastic has no impact on freshness or quality so we have stopped doing it. But wrapping cucumbers in recyclable plastic - a target for anti-packaging campaigners - means they last five times as long.'. My question would be more along the lines of 'why on earth had you then gone to the cost and expense of wrapping those peppers, for so long, until now???'. Ignoring history seems to be a feature of senior types in the news at the moment.

The 'Great Taste Less Waste' campaign is also to be lauded, though I hope the sticker labelling will be clear to an already confused public assaulted by various initiatives.

And for those who do still end up with packaging material, especially plastics, they'd prefer not to throw away, might I direct you to, which tries to help with reuse ideas. There's even a competition running currently which is trying to motivate through reward... a bit of a novelty in many quarters.

Morrisons may even be inspired to hook up with such a low cost-high benefit initiative.

Though the last time we tried, with them, they said their foyer need to be kept clear of distracting promotions such as sharing the joys of reuse, as customers 'didn't like it'. Ironically the day that rejection email came in was the same our local store felt a conservatory company was actually indeed worthy of the space in question.

There's talking the talk. But it will always be 'money rules' first.

I really hope a PR, and maybe even the author reads this.'s a wonderful town! The battery's flat and the generator's down

Again, I get interested in a bit of science reporting.

Losing sustainability in the urban canyons

I was simply intrigued by the back of envelope calculations, but my enquiry did provoke an interesting response, which at least allowed me the opportunity to expand and clarify (plus indulge in a little blogger teasing:)....

Just looking at the nice picture at the top, I merely wonder what the consequences might be as the sun moves and certain areas end up in the shade of various tall structures around and abounding. At least in the original piece there was a caveat on the wind contribution, though again I have to wonder to what extent there may be problems from the wind patterns around such urban canyons. I am sure if Mr. Cameron had a penthouse overlooking Central Park we may have some better idea. So no matter what people can and then decide to do, even en masse, I'd still be keen to know what the realistic generation capacities might be, bearing in mind the ambient climatic and architectural conditions, from someone who might know. I am still hoping in matters of renewable energy deliverables, historical data and professional experience and calculations can get pretty close to a reasonable estimate. Perhaps a tad closer than the current rough calculations? This indeed may be of value to the journalists from Bulgaria, India, Kenya and Peru, and the numerous interest groups represented at the meeting, who I am sure have flown in from far and wide to appreciate all the facts about what causes climate change... and possible high enviROI mitigations, of course. Though some terribly reasonable optimistic level lampooners may still prefer to stick a finger up in the air. To measure, of course.

After this, it kind of fell apart on the moderation, which seems to be almost inevitable.

So my questions on the science get buried under stupid finger pointing. Again. Nice one, Aunty.

Would you like ice with that?

Actually, it's more about the business model for Junkk's survival.

News pay walls? Consumer says no

But I did see an opening for some input on the calibre of science reporting.

As one with a blog that sifts a lot of 'good enough', if often wildly disparate 'free' in a niche area (green issues) to try and get to something approaching objective fact in matters scientific, and yet more reasonable commentary via subjective analysis that is clear of overt agendas, I'd say amen to most of that.

However, looking at this paper's own coverage on some plucky types' hike in the chilly wastes dipping rulers in the water, and comparing it with other reports, it is often not very easy.

BBC - Ice sheet melt threat reassessed

BBC - Relief as Arctic quest concludes - two aircraft landed on the floating Arctic ice to collect Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley.

Telegraph - Global warming explorers in Arctic get nasty shock: polar ice caps blooming freezing

BBC - The Catlin Arctic Survey: daring, yes, but is the science any good?

Indy - Melting ice could cause gravity shift - My favourite word, 'could', sets the tone

Gaurdian - NEW - Arctic explorers end mission to survey sea ice