Dear Mail on Sunday, Time is not on your side | Greenpeace UK

I have to constantly point out to people who use Daily Mail articles, to attack climate change and renewables.  That the Daily Mail is a paper which only pushes untruths, not only about climate change but also on immigration, benefits, NHS and welfare.  No one can really take this adult comic seriously.

Dear Mail on Sunday, Time is not on your side | Greenpeace UK.

Destruction and Disconnected Policies: The real state of #biodiversity in Greater #Manchester and the UK

The continued destruction of green space and mature trees in Manchester, by Manchester City Council is more than the act of the criminally insane.

manchester climate monthly

Dave Bishop, a regular writer for Manchester Climate Monthly, explores the damage being done to Manchester’s biodiversity – and what we can do about it. Dave will be launching his report on the state of Manchester’s biodiversity on Tuesday 16th July, at 12.45pm at the Friends Meeting House, as part of our “Beyond the Carbon Budget” event.  Book your ticket here

beyondthecarbonbudget-page001The Convention on Biological Diversity was established in 1992. Following a first meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 1994, the UK produced its first national biodiversity action plan. In 2002 world leaders agreed in Johannesburg on the urgent need to reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010, and in 2007 they recognised the need to take action to mitigate the impacts of climate change following the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

Globally, the 2010 target was missed, but it prompted at least some conservation action, including here…

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Bristol and Wessex Water

As an investor in Triodos Renewables Fund, I decided to go to Bristol to attend the AGM (Annual General Meeting) of the fund.  The meeting took place on Saturday, 15th June and had decide to spend the weekend in Bristol.  This was my second AGM, I had attended, my first being two years ago when it was held at Ness Point, Lowestoft, site of one of the funds wind-turbines.

That weekend was also the start of Bristol’s Big Green Week, which leaves Manchester’s green events in the shade.  The Friday I arrived, it was announced that evening, that Bristol had been elected to be European Green Capital for 2015.  I did noticed their City Centre did seem cleaner and greener than Manchester City Centre, with plenty of mature trees still standing.

View along St. Augustine’s Way, towards the Cenotaph.

On the Saturday morning I made my way down to the Triodos Bank offices.  I found the walk pleasant, not just because of the views but also of the pedestrian and cyclist friendly attitude of the motorists.  And the scene outside Bristol’s Council’s offices beats Manchester’s any time in my view.

Bristol City Council offices

At Triodos’s offices we were informed they had solar PV in place on the roof and rainwater was harvested.  Unfortunately, the EA (Environment Agency) had occupied the offices next door first and they were the beneficiaries of the harvested rainwater.  After the main business of the AGM, we had a question and answer session.  One of the questions was about opposition to wind-turbines.  A member of the board, stated only one site had received any complaints, which was Kessingland, a site a visited two years ago.  The complainant wrote, they could not see or hear the turbines, in fact knew nothing about them till they had read about them in the local paper.  The board member did stress, that they still took this complaint seriously and took steps to mitigate any adverse impact.  The Governments real intentions towards renewables, especially Eric Pickles stated support for those opposed to onshore wind.

After lunch, we took a coach to Avonmouth and Wessex Water waste water treatment plant (sewage farm).  After donning hard hats and high-vis, we assembled in a training room to be given a presentation by Mohammed Saddiq of GENeco.  He explained the board of Wessex Water wanted to reduce their energy consumption and reduce their carbon footprint.  Mohammed, stated GENeco was set up to explore the options, looking into energy efficiencies and into trying to be energy self-sufficient.  You need to do both, to achieve the aim of reducing greenhouse gases and moving away from a fossil fuel economy.

Originally the treated sludge waste from the sewage treatment plant, would be taken by local farmers, for a price.  GENeco, decided to put this sewage sludge through a two-stage bio-digester to produce biogas.  This left a rich compost which the company now sold to local farmers.  In fact, the company employs a team soil biologists to advice farmers on exactly how much of this bio-fertiliser they need, to improve their soil.  220,000 tonnes a year are supplied by GENeco to farmers, as an alternative to fossil-fuel derived fertilisers.

He did go on to mention a post-graduate working for them, who had suggested he could use the grits, rags and plastic instead of it going to landfill.  The screenings as they are called are composted and used of remedial landscaping and the plastics separated out and sent to an energy-from-waste plant (I do not know which one and what process it uses).  Their claim is they are zero waste, as no waste is sent to landfill.
As well as sewage sludge being processed in the bio-digester plant, they now collect food waste and use this as well.  The biogas is used in CHP plants to produce energy and heat.  The heat is used to improve the efficiency of the plant and enough electricity is produced to be able to export some to the national grid.  The even produce excess biogas, and have converted some of their vehicles to run on it,not just their promotional vehicle.

The Big Bug, biogas powered vehicle.

They are producing 42 GWhr/year of electricity, exporting biogas, produce fertiliser and compost and even send treated waste water to a power station for use as cooling water.  And all this was accomplished in 31/2 years.  What has Manchester City Council accomplished since announcing it’s Manchester – A Certain Future, in December 2009?

So why was Triodos Renewables investors here at Wessex Water waste water plant?  During GENeco‘s review of options, they had applied for planning permission for 4 wind-turbines, that was approved.  As, they were already energy sufficient, they had offered Triodos Renewables to chance to build and operate the wind-turbines.  And that was the primary reason we were there, to look at the locations for our 4 new turbines.

Pilings in place for Turbine 3 at Wessex Water, Avonmouth plant.

These four turbines will give Triodos Renewables an additional 8.2MW of capacity to the already 43.25MW of installed capacity.  A very ethical outcome for all involved.:-)

There is an ‘Ecology’, the Fascist Turn and on Privilege

To me, Joanne, describes what I found during my short time as a member of the Green Party, especially here in Manchester. I have found, those who class themselves as Marxists and other far-left doctrines, to be an elitist bunch. They shout down anyone who dares say anything they disagree with. The situation in Brighton, where one member of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas’s ex-PA, has been working against the good work her fellow colleagues are doing, under trying conditions.  Tim Jackson, (Prosperity without Growth) addressed a Green Party conference, and urged the Green Party to be bold and state, we cannot have more growth. He stated, ‘Labour – Social Democracy demands more, will only happen with growth. Capital Growth is a shark, Labour supports this inequality and unsustainable growth’. Some of them even dismiss the idea of Green Economics, what they want is a consumer society but with the riches more fairly distributed. That is, of course for those of us in the Global North. They do not consider the implications for those in the Global South. In fact Peter Cranie at a hustings for leadership of the Green Party. Claimed, it was only right that the thousands who are affected by floods in Bangladesh, should emigrate to the UK. It does not seem to understand, it is are excessive consumption of natural resources that are the cause of the floods. Therefore, moving people, will not solve the problem but will help exasperate the situation. Unfortunately, the left, of which, Caroline Lucas is one, decided to ignore Tim Jackson’s advice. And have continued with calls for more spending and consumption of natural resources. I do not know why they are in the Green Party, which was originally the Ecology Party.


When Mckenzie Wark appeared on Novara, Resonance FM on May 28th 2013 he argued that a critical theory that does not confront environmental problems as one of its central problems was not worth discussing (I am paraphrasing – what he actually said was is more complicated and is transcribed below). Oddly, in this interview Wark managed to simultaneously acknowledge the validity of the environmental crisis as a theoretical problem – while also denying its implications in practice. For me this was a significant moment for Novara since it was certainly the best attempt they have yet made (that I am aware of) to engage with the ecological problem. Unfortunately, while Wark has many good ideas, his convoluted take on ecological theory is a classic example of extravagant lengths intellectuals (and especially the environmentally disengaged radical left) devise to continue to dismiss the most fundamental challenges posed by the ecological…

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Why Are Cows Tails Dropping Off?

Another article about the negative environmental impacts of ‘fracking’.  The method of using high hydraulic pressure to fracture gas shale or coal-seams to extract methane (natural gas).

Why Are Cows Tails Dropping Off?.

This is another article explaining how the reserves of shale-gas have been exaggerated, and how it has led to another financial ‘bubble’:

The Fracked-up USA Shale Gas Bubble