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Showing posts from July, 2020

My beef with some burgers.

  One step forward, two steps back. France has announced a ban on outdoor heating which will come into force after the northern winter. And if you eat a burger in Europe there is a good chance the animal it came from will have been fed on soy grown in illegally deforested areas of the Amazon. Announcing the outdoor heating ban in France Ecology Minister Barbara Pompili said outside heating or air conditioning was an "ecological aberration". And so it is. From any point of view heating the street doesn't make a lot of sense. They have also said that any shop running air conditioning must keep the doors closed.  If this outbreak of sense continues we might have little to worry about before long. Never fear though - there are plenty of idiots to counteract the good work done by the few. JBS for example, the largest meat processing company in Brazil, and by volume the world, says that it does not process meat which has come from animals farmed on illegally cleared land. Y

Gaga on Gaia - or not.

  I've been a bit conflicted this week. I read an article online about the proponent of the Gaia theory, James Lovelock, who has recently done two remarkable things. Firstly he surpassed the age of 100, and secondly, in a video interview, he expressed the opinion that we shouldn't bother trying to save the planet. This led me to do a bit more research on the Gaia theory, although technically speaking it's more of a hypothesis than a theory, but even for me that's a bit pedantic.  At first glance, or rather 'quick net search',  The Gaia theory appears to be based on perfectly sound common sense and I do appreciate common sense so I was taken aback to read that the 'theory' had been ridiculed by one Richard Dawkins. Now, as far as I am concerned, Dawkins walks on water. Well of course he doesn't actually walk on water, no one ever has. But if perambulating on H2O was up for a bet, my money would be on Dawkins, Hitchens, Gould, or Fry to name but a

The public gets what the public wants.

  Hats off to Diageo. Who? Diageo - a British corporation with an annual revenue of GBP£12 billion (NZ$23 billion). The company owns over 200 high profile liquor brands including Guiness, Smirnoff, and Johnny Walker. Diageo has just announced that as from 2021 Johnny Walker whisky will be available in paper bottles. Well, not quite paper - it's a paper-based product made from sustainably produced pulp, and it will be 100% recyclable through standard recycling streams. They have even formed a new company to develop, produce, and market the product. This is of course great news, and I predict it is only the beginning. On the other hand Coca Cola with an annual revenue of USD$37billion (NZD$56 billion) have said they are not going to stop producing plastic bottles because their customers still want them. I have been saying for some time now that you and I should do what we can to reduce, reuse, and recycle, but the big changes are going to have to come from higher up. This i

It's free: But we don't use it.

  Back in 2006 some very clever people using some very clever techniques worked out how much solar energy is available here on earth. I haven't even tried to comprehend the technicalities but I did get my head around one of the facts presented. More energy, in the form of solar radiation, reaches the surface of the earth in one hour than the entire world uses in one year. That's not far off 10,000 times more energy available - free - than we use. In 2011, the International Energy Agency said that "the development of affordable, inexhaustible and clean solar energy technologies will have huge longer-term benefits. It will increase countries' energy security through reliance on an indigenous, inexhaustible, and mostly import-independent resource, enhance sustainability, reduce pollution, lower the costs of mitigating global warming, and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise." Seems sensible to me. Yet, even though great strides are being made technologica