Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Twitter Calm Before The Twitter Storm #gyat

The following is taken from Stop Climate Change Chaos - Scotland's "Get Your Act Together" briefing sheet, with further suggestions below:


“Get Your Act Together” is an exciting and important opportunity for people across Scotland to make
sure the Scottish Climate Change Act becomes climate action.

People from all parts of the country will come together at the Scottish Parliament at lunchtime on
Thursday 25th October 2012 for a mass lobby to tell MSPs to ‘Get Your Act together!’.

It is three years since the Parliament unanimously passes the Scottish Climate Change Act 2009, the
world’s strongest climate legislation. Unfortunately, the Scottish Government has failed to meet it’s
very first (and not particularly challenging) target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Act.

We will come together from across Scotland to show our politicians that we care about climate
change and that the Government must deliver on the Scottish Climate Act.

American Democracy

I try to avoid writing about politics. I don't support any political party nor do I have a lot of respect for or trust of many politicians. To my mind, neither parties nor politicians, have a track record of delivering what they promise at election time, especially on the environment. There are, of course exceptions: individuals with true conviction and determination but they rarely obtain a position that has a significant impact.

I especially try to avoid writing about politics in other countries as we are fed only snippets in the news and, as I am not there, I do not know the full circumstances around the issues. I'll make an exception this once because of the influence that the outcome of the forthcoming American presidential elections could have on the rest of the world.

The United States of America is the greatest and most powerful nation on earth. Not just now, but of all time. It's strength and influence permeates every corner of the world, affects all seven billion people in some way or another.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Where Has The Water Gone?

Two headlines caught my attention today.

The first was from Tuesdays Glasgow Evening Times:

Save water plea ... after wet summer

It was about Scottish Water's recently launched campaign to encourage people to save water. The reason for this campaign is not a shortage of water but a drive to save energy in treatment and pumping of the water. While I do support any measures that we can take to reduce energy use and carbon emissions, I feel that this is Scottish Water trying to pass the responsibility on to the public rather than dealing with their own wasteful inefficiencies.  They lose more water through leakage than the total domestic consumption, as noted here, so whatever individuals do to save a little bit of water is nothing compared with the amount leaking from pipes.  The volume of water lost through leakage will not reduce even if the volume used by consumers is reduced significantly, in fact it may increase as the pressure in the system would increase (leakage is higher at night when water demand reduces for this very reason). 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Green Capital(ist)

I'm confused about Glasgow City Council's commitment to sustainability.  Within the next month it will submit its bid to be European Green Capital for 2015. Yet this week it has undertaken to advertise a long haul airline for the next ten years by adopting its name for the new sports arena, selling out its green agenda. From now, any communication relating to events at the venue will refer to the E******s Arena and will, by association, promote long haul flying.

Flying is one of the worst things we do to mess up the climate and I can not square any claims to being sustainable or green with promoting long haul flying. One of the themes which will be assessed for European Green Capital is the "Local Contribution to Global Climate Change".  I had assumed the goal was to minimise the contribution, not increase it.

Other themes which the city will be assessed on, include Local Transport and Quality of Local Ambient Air but the council promotes car parks (which it owns) more than public transport, walking or cycling on its Twitter feed and the city regularly fails to satisfy air quality limits.

The council are making decent progress in some ways but any benefits will be wiped out and then some by encouraging more flying and driving.