Why we should care more about the environmental impact of nutrients

The Soil Association highlighted the issue of peak phosphorous and its threat to food security in their report: A rock and a hard place, in 2010 (which appears to be no longer available on-line?). And made several recommendations for the UK Government, it would like to implement.  In an article I posted in 2013, I highlighted the work Wessex Water was doing to recycle nutrients.  Using the waste from their bio-digester plant, which also produces electricity and bio-gas.  They also employ chemists to work with their customers, to ensure their land gets the right amount of nutrients.

Unfortunately, the Agra-chemical companies, who produce the fertilisers (mostly from fossil fuels) for industrialised farming industry.  Have the money and the lobbying might, to try and prevent, the large scale uptake of organic farming practices.  In fact, one of the issues being highlighted at the present time, is the pharmaceutical drug residue, that might be present in the recycled waste?  In September 2016, the European Commission’s Science for Environmental Policy, published a news alert.  It was titled: Applying sewage sludge to soil may spread antibiotic resistance.  It has been widely acknowledge, that their has been an abuse of the use of antibiotics in humans and animals.  From which the chemical companies also benefit from, as well as their trade in fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

Inside track

crop-spraying_chafer-machinery_flickrBack in 2007, Green Alliance examined the challenges and opportunities for the more sustainable use of nutrients, chiefly nitrogen and phosphorus, in the UK. It recommended a suite of policy principles to make a more circular system a reality.

Little has happened since in the UK. But last month I was asked to present Green Alliance’s policy principles to a conference of Nordic countries in Malmo, and to discuss how to take the agenda forward. I discovered that the ideas remain relevant and useful. 

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No job no house begins 7 November

The UK definitely has gone backwards and is now in The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists days.  With the Labour Party being no different than the present Conservative Government.  Which is what happens in an undemocratic FPTP (First-Past-the Post) electoral system.  A two-party state, with the two parties being almost identical!  Also, the present situation in the UK, shows that capitalism does not work, wealth does not trickle down.  Consumerism, part of the capitalist agenda, also increases inequality and accelerates depletion of finite resources and climate change.

The overall benefit cap level reduces by £115 per week from November and means no job no house.  That is not scaremongering or exaggeration it is simple fact. As well as mass eviction of existing t…

Source: No job no house begins 7 November

Repost: “Final Barton Moss trial ends with not guilty verdicts”

The UK Government’s pursuit of unconventional sources of fossil-fuels and new nuclear, at any costs. Shows clearly, that the Government is not serious about tackling the serious and urgent issue of climate change and climate justice. Using the Police as shock-troops against peaceful protesters, the Government shows, it is only concerned with the interests of corporations. It also highlights what an utter farce COP21 Paris was, as a number of signatories to the agreement, are still pursuing a fossil-fuel powered future! And, lets not forget, the police also, committed acts of environmental vandalism by chopping down trees, they thought, might be used by the protesters! As well as other acts of vandalism by the police and contractor for iGas.

manchester climate monthly

Via the excellent “Salford Star

FINAL BARTON MOSS TRIAL ENDS WITH NOT GUILTY VERDICTS

Star date: 27th April 2016

CALLS FOR PUBLIC INQUIRY AS FINAL THREE BARTON MOSS CHARGES QUASHED

After hundreds of charges brought by the Crown in relation to the Barton Moss anti-fracking protests of 2013 and 2014, the final three cases were heard today at Manchester Magistrates Court where the judge delivered `not guilty’ verdicts on charges of aggravated trespass.

Now, with the overwhelming number of charges either dropped or quashed, there’s a growing call for a Public Inquiry into the policing and cost of the response to the Salford protests…

Full details here…

Barton Moss Not Guilty VerdictsBarton Moss Not Guilty Verdicts
click image to enlarge
“The results today must add to the increasing demand for a Public Inquiry into the method of policing and cost to the public purse…” Simon Pook, solicitorToday at Manchester Magistrates Court, `not guilty’ verdicts were…

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Cam pain and compassionate conservatism

Prime Minister, I have a question on ESA from Rachael from Swindon who has been asking your colleagues the same…                                             Oh sorry the question… …

Source: Cam pain and compassionate conservatism

Final arguments as Cuadrilla fracking inquiry draws to a close

It is accepted that, at the best possible estimates, shale gas will supply the UK, for possibly 15 years. And yet, we have Babs Murphy of The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, stating “It is our responsibility to ensure that the economic benefits [of shale gas] will come to local businesses. We owe it to future generations not to let this opportunities pass by”! So they think, for a short-term ‘gain’, future generations should be ‘inconvenienced’ and suffer the environmental consequences?
The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) has produced a new report on ‘fracking’ waste water: energy. Stating that the management and disposal of wastewater remains one of the biggest hurdles facing the ‘fracking’ industry. It does mention the possible need of a in some cases a radioactive substances permit will be required, if ‘fracking waste water is re-injected. Has the issue of radioactive waste water been down-played? Because it is classed as NORM, normally occurring radioactive material? We know United Utilities discharged radioactive ‘fracking’ waste water into the Manchester Ship Canal and the EA allowed them to.
And are people aware of the recent Federal Jury judgement: Federal jury awards $4.24 million to dimock families in fracking case

The public inquiry into Cuadrilla’s plans to frack near Blackpool reached its final stages last week with the closing arguments from  half the groups involved.

Source: Final arguments as Cuadrilla fracking inquiry draws to a close

Greens unpack IKEA tax dodge scam

Unfortunately, the British Public is being betrayed by companies like IKEA.  As the taxes they avoid paying, could be going towards the NHS, Education and Social Services.  Also, by avoiding paying taxes, they are able to undercut competition, especially from small UK firms.  It is a depressing state of affairs, especially when the tax-paying poor, are struggling to make ends meet.  And people behind the likes of IKEA, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Starbucks and others, just get richer!

Source: Greens unpack IKEA tax dodge scam

Diz nao as plataformas de petroleo e gás no Algarve

Despite the outcome of the IPCC latest report, COP21 and a new socialist government in Portugal.  The new Portuguese Prime Minister says gas and oil exploration in the Algarve is to continue!  A group of concerned citizens in the Algarve have been campaigning against the oil and gas companies efforts to explore and exploit potential fossil-fuel deposits.  The campaign group Algarve Surfers and Maritime Activities Association (ASMAA) has been very active in raising public awareness of the issue.

These licenses are in areas that are environmentally sensitive, especially those off-shore and onshore the Algarve.  With parts of the Algarve being designated areas of Natura 2000 sites.  Also Algarve is economically dependent on fishing, sea salt, agriculture and tourism.  All of which would be adversely affected by oil and gas exploitation, even without any accidents occurring.  During off-shore exploration, seismic and sonar activity, have an extremely detrimental impact on marine life.

Our oceans are already being badly affected by pollution, global warming, acidification, overfishing and even excess carbon dioxide.  Carbon Dioxide intoxication was also covered by Portuguese papers: Peixes podem ficar intoxicados em meados deste século.  We are already feeling the affects of climate change, with major changes in our weather.  JP Sottile, writing for the Truthout magazine puts the argument against further oil and gas exploitation quite well: Mother Nature’s invisible hand strikes back against the carbon economy? 

I would call on the new Portuguese Socialist Government to cancel these oil and gas contracts.  And to revitalise the last Socialist Governments investment in renewable energy developments and energy efficiency.  The International Energy Agency (IEA) once praised Portugal’s efforts to strengthen its energy policy: Portugal 2009 review.  Though I would not agree with all the IEA’s recommendations, especially with regard to privatisation.

Corbynomics: let’s be sceptical about the growth rhetoric.

On a finite planet, with finite resources, it is impossible to have continuous growth.  So why do our so-called, educated politicians think we can?

Source: Corbynomics: let’s be sceptical about the growth rhetoric.

Terror, climate chaos, financial crisis are the costs of ‘doing business’

Unfortunately, Portugal, like the UK, is still pursuing a fossil fuel future, despite agreeing to the COP21 Paris agreement.  The Portuguese government has even granted oil and gas producers licenses to drill, onshore and offshore the Algarve.  Even though the area is part of Natura2000, is dependent of fishing, agriculture and tourism.  Even with a (so-called) Socialist coalition government, it looks like drilling will go ahead.  Instead of investing in energy efficiency and renewables!  Though there are groups such as the Algarve Surfers and Marine Activities Association (ASMAA), fighting these proposals.

The techno-narcissism of predatory neoliberal capitalism is locked into an endless war with the bastard monster of its own creation – Islamic State

Source: Terror, climate chaos, financial crisis are the costs of ‘doing business’

Stranded carbon assests

Even before the COP21 Paris event, some UK investors were calling on companies and local authorities to divest from fossil fuel companies.  With groups such as Go fossil free and Friends of the Earth (FOE) pushing the message to divest.

Also with organisations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calling for most of the remaining fossil fuels to remain in the ground in their latest report IPCC 5th report.  And Carbon Tracker’s report on Stranded assets danger zone, as well as others.  The UK Government has increased subsidies for fossil fuels and pushing ahead with ‘fracking’.

The Government states it needs ‘fracking’ to ensure security of supply.  But has shut down the last deep coal mine, in favour of imported coal?  It is also heavily reliant on imported biomass, for incineration and co-firing?  And new nuclear will be dependant on imported uranium imports?