Monday, 16 April 2007

Greenwash etc.

The hype about carbon offsetting is beginning to annoy me. This is because, although there is clearly a major worldwide problem, no one is really confronting the real issues, and looking at the problems logically.

I will list a few issues, not in any particular order of importance, but as they occur to me. Some of them I have mentioned before, on more than one occasion, others are new. All simple to fix, but ignored, as it it either not politically correct to discuss them, or no one wants to know.

1 Public transport. I visit London regularly. And the underground system is overcrowded, and thoroughly unpleasant to travel on most of the time. Why? Because too many people use it. But, I hear the greenies say, "Public Transport is a good thing". I agree, but only if the journey is needed. If public transport is made too cheap, and too convenient, then people use it for unnecessary journeys. And in London, the travel passes, and 'Oyster' cards, mean that once you have made a couple of journeys, the rest are effectively free -- so people use it to go a few hundred yards. I never use buses in London, but I suspect the same is true on the buses.

And on longer journeys it's even worse. The rail networks offer ludicrously cheap fares all over the country, to ensure the trains are profitable outside the peak times -- but most of these are pure leisure journeys. But all this extra travel then makes the public transport system seem 'efficient' and 'greener' than any other form of transport. The reality is that, take away all the non essential journeys, and most public transport is far less 'environmentally friendly' than it is made out to be.

2 Bottled water Of all the wasteful products in the world, bottled water is surely the most unnecessary. Packaged in plastic from fossil fuels, and shipped vast distances, and drunk by people who can rarely distinguish between the product and the one that comes out of a tap, it is surely the most wasteful of all natural resources.

3 Street lighting The amount of energy that could be saved if street lighting went of at midnight is phenomenal. And all other forms of unnecessary outdoor lighting. Not only is this incredibly wasteful of energy, it is also a pernicious form of pollution, causing disruption to the behaviour of migrating birds, the lifecycle of insects and much more. Easy to do, but no will to do it

4 Greenwich Mean Time If the England and Wales were to keep summertime all the year round, and have double summertime in the summer months, not only would energy be saved, but there would probably be fewer depressed humans around. Easy to do, but no will to do it.

5 Human population enough said.......

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