“Numbers should be a light, not a crutch”

Unfortunately, the use of percentages (%) instead of hard figures is used within all Government departments including the NHS (National Health Service).  Even the Health Protection Agency HPA), in their reply to a planning application for a biomass incinerator in Davyhulme, Trafford.  Stated it was acceptable because it would only increase the local death rates by 0.06 per year.

 

application predicts that the particulate emissions from the plant would result in a 0.011% increase in deaths brought forward (paragraph 12.180). This is also expressed as 0.06 deaths brought forward per annum for this population. The applicant considers this impact “would not be noticeable”.

Of course, any increase in the local death rate is totally unacceptable.  And, yet we have a Government department, the HPA, supposedly responsible for the protection of human health finding it acceptable.  Though they put it as, ‘would not be noticable’!

We also have the use of percentages, when they talk about ‘fracking fluid’.  The highly toxic cocktail of water, sand and chemicals they use in high-pressure hydraulic fracturing of shale gas.  Hydraulic fracturing for shale gas is likely to involve the use of large quantities of clean water, typically 10,000 to 30,000 m3 water per well (10,000,000 to 30,000,000 litres).  Which is mixed with sand, around 5% and other fluids at around 2%.  Which makes it sound as miniscule amount, until you do the maths and 2% = 300,000 to 600,000 litres of highly toxic and carcenigenic fluidsbeing added.  Which has the potentail to seep into aquifers and pollute drinking water.

As the blog below ststaes, it is time the Government stopped hiding behind percentages, and gave clear figures that people can clearly understand.

“Numbers should be a light, not a crutch”.

Alameda Beer Fest, Faro.

Garden Alameda João de Deus

I had only been in the Algarve for a week, when I found out about Faro’s first beer festival.  It was during the weekend of Friday 3rd July till 0200hrs, Monday 6th July with the temperature in the high 30s.  It was opposite the police station and entry was free.  It was €2.50 for a festival glass (copo), and beer and food was purchased by vouchers.  They had a number of kiosk, where money could be exchanged for vouchers.  There were individual stalls for the different artisan breweries and food outlets, with plenty of space to sit down.

Main seating area
Main seating area
A square meal
A square meal

On the first day, I tried a pork dish and like festival in the UK, it was short on vegetables.  But it could be described as a square meal, 250mm x 250mm (10 sq ins), bread was included.

The food outlets, were all selling bottles of Samual Adams and the Faro Motorcycle club selling, Trooper!  There were a large number of Portuguese and Spanish artisan brewers represented:

Sovina, Cabbeer (Spanish), Moura, Octava Colina, Praxis, Rolls Beer, Ballut, La Cibeles, Rapada, Maldita, Deck Beer Lab, Post Scriptum, Letra, Mammooth (Spanish), Amphora, Zézé Blond, Marafada, Seleccáo 1927, Boheme and Vadia.  Unfortunately, the weekist beer was 4.8% with most in the 7 and 8%.  They were especially keen on stouts and porters, with some only selling the dark beers.  Because of the heat, I stayed with the IPAs and wheat beers.  The Spanish Mammooth’s wheat beer, was ‘interesting’, a very orange colour.  One brewery, Deck Beer Lab, had a badge a bit like Brew Dog with Bath Ale’s hare in it.  I was informed, it was an adaption of their restraunts sign, but instead of a pig, they have a rabbit.  They also mentioned, the restraunt had being a around a lot longer than Brew Dog.

Mammooth's wheat beer.
Mammooth’s wheat beer

Also available in the park was a gym and puddings for people to really comfortable in.  Though I would imagine, most CAMRA members would not be able to get to their feet again.  There were also scenes of mothers openly breast-feeding the children, which might have brought about an early demise for some CAMRA members.  Musical entertainment and cookery lesson went on throughout the day.  It was very much a carnival atmosphere, with families very much in evidence.

Gym
Comfy bean bags Gym and comfy bean bags

A youtube video of the event

Public Ownership as Aspiration

Since privatisation of the buses and railways, the servvices they provide are wholefully poor. When it once took a bus from Benchill, Wythenshawe to Manchester City Centre, twenty minutes. It now takes an hour and the service has been reduced to a half-hourly service during the day, from a three-hourly service. And there used to be an additional limited service during peak-hours, which took 10 minutes.
Then we have the railways, who terminate trains, if they are running late. It has happened on several occasions, when a train has by=passed Sheffield. And when it arrived in Manchester Piccadilly, passengers for Liverpool are informed, the train will terminate at Manchester Oxford Road. Is it any wonder, our streets are congested with private motor vehicles and air pollution killing people. Private compaanies running public transport, does not work for the public good. The East Coast Mainline Railway was a prime example. Where a failing private company lost its franchise and the line was run under public ownership. It was a successful and ‘profitable’ business, an example on how to run a public transport business. Blair promised to re-nationalise the railways when he got into power, but never did. It was one of his many failings and yet the media, think the man is some sort of hero? Unfortunately, with the undemocratic electoral system we have in the UK, I doubt we will have any real change.

juxtaposed

The latest explosion of ridicule and indignation finds its target in Jeremy Corbyn daring to speak about ‘public ownership of some necessary things‘. Media is abuzz with ideologues, lexical hair-splitters and supercilious interpreters making great effort to draw attention away from any constructive debate. If public ownership of natural monopolies had been advocated as a vehicle of Cameron’s Big Society I wonder whether the response would be this inane.

Clause Four! Clause Four! Oh, my good gods but the hysteria and vitriol, from both political wings, is woeful and tedious in its predictability. The capacity to focus in on the least relevant aspect of a message is remarkable. Clause IV (commitment to the “common ownership of the means of production”), re-nationalisation, pre-distribution, mutualism, socialism… Really, I don’t give a rat’s arse for the semantic games and the expedient framing they afford. The concept matters more than a loaded label…

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Stop burning fossil fuels now: there is no CO2 ‘technofix’, scientists warn #Auspol 

Featured Image -- 1946

Drastic cuts in fossil fuel use, but #UKGovernment wants ‘fracking in the UK. The public can do their bit, that also means dumping the motor vehicle. Far too many people use their vehicles for journeys, easily made on foot. A move to organic farming that is not dependant on fossil fuels, as industrial farming is. Cutting waste, especially food waste and wasting energy leaving lighting lighting and equipment on. Ever little counts and it is those with money who could do far more, to cut energy use and their CO2 footprint.

jpratt27

Researchers have demonstrated that even if a geoengineering solution to CO2 emissions could be found, it wouldn’t be enough to save the oceans
German researchers have demonstrated once again that the best way to limit climate change is to stop burning fossil fuels now.
In a “thought experiment” they tried another option: the future dramatic removal of huge volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This would, they concluded, return the atmosphere to the greenhouse gas concentrations that existed for most of human history – but it wouldn’t save the oceans.
That is, the oceans would stay warmer, and more acidic, for thousands of years, and the consequences for marine life could be catastrophic.
The research, published in Nature Climate Change today delivers yet another demonstration that there is so far no feasible “technofix” that would allow humans to go on mining and drilling for coal, oil and gas (known…

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Reducing emissions alone won’t stop #climatechange: new research #Auspol

Featured Image -- 1944

As well as rapid reduction in CO2 emissions, we also need to stop deforestation. We need to protect what is left of our forests and mangrove swamps, and to start restoring them. It is the cheapest option in the long run and though it will not prevent Global Warming. It would help reduce its impact and over time reduce atmospheric CO2. Forests and mangrove swamps help the environment and biodiversity is so many ways. We do not need expensive geo-technical fixes, that might actually worsen the situation. Especially, if you are using valuable finite resurces.

jpratt27

Based on currentgreenhouse gas emissions, the world is on track for 4C warming by 2100 – well beyond the internationally agreed guardrail of 2C. To keep warming below 2C, we need to either reduce our emissions, or take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Two papers published today investigate our ability to limit global warming and reverse the impacts of climate change. The first, published in Nature Communications, shows that to limit warming below 2C we will have to remove some carbon from the atmosphere, no matter how strongly we reduce emissions.
The second, in Nature Climate Change, shows that even if we can remove enough CO2 to keep warming below 2C, it would not restore the oceans to the state they were in before we began altering the atmosphere.
How we’re tracking
Currently, we’re at 400 parts per million – rising from 280 ppm before the industrial revolution.
To…

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