On the way up to Burnley yesterday, I read my copy of The Times. Saturday’s edition is always graced by the nature notes of Simon Barnes, who is one of my favourite journalists and firmly in the tradition of great reporters.
Yesterday, he talked about the banning of the pesticides, that may be harming bees and finishes his piece with this.
Politics is based on short-termism — what politician ever thinks beyond four or five years?
But such thinking is hopelessly inadequate for the big questions that involve the fabric of the world we live in.
Well said, as ever! But politicians only want power, not legacies.
An article by Charles Clover, who would probably be described as an environmentalist, wrote the article in the Sunday Times entitled, “If only we still had Thatcher, the scientist and mother of cleaner energy”.
But whatever, you say about Margaret Thatcher, she was a trained scientist and worked as one. Name another Prime Minister or President of any country, with those qualifications!
This quotation is published in today’s Sunday Times.
It is possible that . . . we have unwittingly begun a massive experiment with the system of this planet itself
So who said it?
I’ll give you a clue, in that it was said in an address to the Royal Society, by someone who was tutored at Oxford University, by the Nobel Prize winner; Dorothy Hodgkin.
Was it an environmentalist like Lord Melchett or Jonathan Porritt, a scientist like David Bellamy or a politician like Al Gore or Caroline Lucas?
The answer is in today’s Sunday Times in an absolute must-read article.
I will post later, who said it.
Thames Water has problems with sewer blockages and has produced a video and press release called Changing the world from the bottom up. It is reported here in the Standard. Here’s an extract.
No, it’s not April 1. But this stab at lavatory humour from Thames Water sounds like it’s spoof.
A press release, entitled “Changing the world from the bottom up”, begins as follows: “A trend among British adults towards using wet wipes as well as with loo roll is forcing a water company to take drastic action.
“Market research shows the wet wipe market is growing at faster than 15% a year — and for Thames Water that’s a problem.
“Wet wipes, which do not break down like loo roll does, block sewers, adding to Thames Water’s annual £12 million spend on clearing around 80,000 blockages a year in its 108,000 kilometre network across London and the Thames Valley.”
How awful. But, happily, there is some good news or, as Thames Water puts it, “a solution is at hand” — geddit?
I’ve always felt that there should be extra taxes on things like disposable nappies and other non-biodegradable products. Especially, as they just end up in landfill.
I have been down the London sewers and you’d be surprised what you see there.
As I took the bus yesterday to Moorgate, I noticed a lot of tents in Shoreditch Park.
It would appear that the Occupy idiots have decided to ruin someone else’s environment. There’s a report here. Note the commenyts of locals in the report.
Later the bus passed their former site in Finsbury Square.
So it’s probably been cleaned before they left, but this time last year, it was grass and flower beds.
A large amount of the fish caught in the sea ends up as animal feed. The Sunday Times reports how in South Africa, a process has been developed to create chicken feed from maggots fed on blood from abattoirs. Sounds gruesome!
But if it means we take less fish from the sea to feed animals, it’s surely better.
It’s a good cause and I agree with the charity’s aims.
I was at Liverpool University, just before Jon Snow organised the protest against Lord Salisbury, who at the time was Chancellor of the university. There must have been an earlier protest, as I remember something about 1968. In Engineering, who didn’t take too much of a political stance. the reasons were a bit above our head. Although, we did think that Lord Salisbury was not the sort of old right-wing political buffer, who should hold that position. Wikipedia says this about the protest in 1970.
Apart from his political career Salisbury was Chancellor of the University of Liverpool from 1951 until 1971. In 1970, students at the university staged an occupation at Senate House to demand his removal, over his support for apartheid and similarly reactionary views.
I think it is true to say, that today, anybody with those views wouldn’t hold such a position.
In the end Jon Snow was rusticated for organising the protest, but the University did later award him an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2011.
C’s tutor at the University was Robert Kilroy Silk. He was also one of the organisers of the protest against Lord Salisbury, but I have read that at the last minute he didn’t turn up. It couldn’t have been because he was giving a tutorial to C, as she had graduated from the university in the previous year and we were living in London. Obviously, no punishment was handed down to Kilroy Silk.
C always found him odious and I can remember her stinking with tobacco smoke after she had been to one of his tutorials, where he chain-smoked Capstan Full Strength all the way through.
He obviously left the right impression on her, as once we were standing next to him at Newmarket racecourse and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get her to approach him and speak of her times at Liverpool under his tutelage.
So now I think justice has been done. Kilroy was here, briefly and Jon Snow is everywhere. Sadly C is no more, but I still have her memories of her tutor in my mind.
Crossrail will produce six million tonnes of earth and spoil, from where they are digging the tunnels, shafts and stations in London. Three-quarters of this are being used to create a new wetland habitat for the RSPB at Wallasea Island, north of Southend in Essex. Read all about it here.
An eminent professor of engineering at a top level university has just told me about the term Banana or Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. Or perhaps Near Anyone.
There are a lot more here in the Wikipedia definition of Nimby.
All of these people are usually members of the Council for the Fossilisation of Rural England.
I of course prefer a scientifically correct approach.
On paper and in the news this trial for environmental crime looks like a good result for the Environment Agency.
But should they have acted a lot earlier to put this criminal, who used threats and intimidation to make money by dumping toxic waste in the countryside, out of business.
Who too, is going to pay for the clean-up of the site?