Monday, 20 June 2022

Top 5 Environmental Movie Quotes

Top 5 Environmental Movie Quotes 

Below are my top 5 Environmental Movie Quotes: 

Number 1 - Donald - Interstellar 

"When I was a kid, it seemed like they made something new every day. Some, gadget or idea, like every day was Christmas. But six billion people, just imagine that. And every last one of them trying to have it all."


This for me is the single most thought provoking line, in any movie with regards to the Environment. The reason I found Donald's (pictured) line  so profound is that it points out the insanity of our current consumerist habits. We are being gaslighted in to thinking, that we need new stuff and it will make a us happy, and in following this false doctrine we are  destroying the planet. 

Number 2 - Scientist vs Politician - The Day After Tomorrow 


Vice President Becker: "Our economy is every bit as fragile as the environment. Perhaps you should keep that in mind before making sensationalist claims." 

Jack Hall: "The last chunk of ice that broke off was about the size of the state of Rhode Island. Some people might call that pretty sensational.”


This brief exchange sums up the impasse that we have been at for year with regards to climate change. Polarised thinking, with no consideration of middle ground leaves scientists such as the character dennis quad (pictured) trying to justify facts, to politicians who often work in the realms of opinion.  That fact that our current course, of global capitalism, and corporate governance  is very unlikely to deliver the change we need, should be everyone's most pressing concern!

Number 3 - Freeman Lowel - Silent Running 


"There is no more beauty, and there's no more imagination. And there are no frontiers left to conquer"

 This quote is a bit depressing, but is it also realistic? We might consider hat we have conquered all frontiers here on earth. But this is not true. In quantum physics there are still a lot of discoveries and understanding to be made. 

But looking outward to the stars, and imagining (and they are just that) of us colonising other solar systems, the distances are so huge how will we get there? The distances a re so massive, that just to accelerate a human body up to sensible speed (in order to make trip in sensible stasis period) would probably kill it. So many unknowns. And all the while we degrade and destroy our only habitable planet. 

Number 4 - Marco Lambertini - A Plastic Ocean

“Not only are plastics polluting our oceans and waterways and killing marine life – it's in all of us and we can't escape consuming plastics.”

In this documentary film, we see the breadth and depth of damage done by humanities reliance on plastics. It is not that plastics are a problem in themselves, but our mistreatment of them them after we have used them is a big problem. 

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Does California have the most environmentally friendly Cars?

Does California have the most Environmentally Friendly Cars?

Having visited LA a few years ago, the first thing that struck me was how unnecessarily large, and overpowered most of the vehicles were.

On that basis alone, I would say no. Japanese or European Cars (if telling truth!) will have lower emissions!

Air Quality - 25% better than Europe, but worse than Japan.

Whilst we still try and measure end of pipe emissions, most environmental measure also considers the . . . environment. We measure quality of the air, California is no exception.

California aims to maintain an Average Annual Air Quality of 0.03ppm, or 30ug/m3. This is better than the European Air Quality Objective, set at 40ug/m3.

Japan have a Hourly Average Air Quality Objective set at 0.04 - 0.06ppm. This will result in annual average far lower than those found in california.

Efficiency

The wider use of diesel cars in Europe is not great. They produce a lot more pollution. Many smaller diesel cars will easily get 50 - 60 miles to the gallon, which would meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards of 54.5 miles to the gallon. Despite giving off very high NOx, and PArticulate Emissions.

Emission Control

So let us compare actual emissions standards, I will compare two countries:

Japan


California


Europe 



Now there is a lot to go through in these tables, the units are all different as are the substances measured. But dwelling on NOX:

California has a NOx limit of  0.05 grams per mile, or 0.03 grams per kilometer 

European Cars have a NOx limit of 0.06 grams per kilometer 

Japanese cars have a NOx limit of 0.05 grams per kilometer 

Life Cycle Assessment Consultants 

Environmental Claims Consultant 



Friday, 17 December 2021

Climate Change Offset & Obstacles - Notes

 

Intro

We know what the problem is, we know how big it is, and how to stop it. This includes companies and their directors. Looks at news . . . could it be any clearer. So why no rapid action?

'comparing financial incentives to environmental issues',

Carbon Offsetting

EU Benchmark Price 71 euros (£60).

Brazilian REDD+ $10 (£8).

Terrible Scheme such as capping of well, or CFC destruction. £2.

Example: Shop fitters. 138 tons (Scope 1 and 2) costs from £8200 to £250.

Farmers: 500 tons ha, = £7500 – less certification costs (subsidy for planting)

 

'how does ease of implementation encourage or discourage sustainable action?'

Word on knock-ons: Solar (easy): BUT roof replacement, structural engineer,

 'is there any structure to a report that can create a more persuasive argument?'

People will read a report or not read it. You should highlight cost savings ahead of carbon savings, or other benefits e.g. biodiversity gains. 

Summary

The problem is well defined, and measured.

The company’s main objective is to make profit.

Consider real world Practicalities

Gauge you client, are they a front runner (keen) or are they just following crowd, regulatory minima. You may need to adjust your MO, on that basis.

What will work.

Carbon Tax. £75 per tonne. Cheese 14kg / kg. 7.5p - £1.

CEOs

What will get you voted out at SEO, failing to make a profit or failing to progress climate action.

 

 

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Climate Change Notes on Boris's Speech - 06/10/2021

Climate Change Content Boris's Party Conference Speech on the 6th October 2021

Below are a few notes notes of Boris's party conference speech, where he discusses topics related to climate change. 

It's slim pickings, as you might expect from a party who regularly shout about "their" targets and commitments to zero carbon, whilst doing very little to augment change outside the change that is automatically delivered by economic forces. 

Protesters

In reference to  Insulate Britain Protesters and their M25 protest. He dubs them a nuisance and that they should be placed in "well-insulated" police cells. 

Comments: Cringe worthy. If Boris had been shown to act meaningfully on climate change, then these protests would not be happening. Does he imagine that members of the public enjoy sitting in roads, being abused by drivers, and with criminal records earned from their activities, damage their employability. The suffragettes, remember them? They had no choice but to protest, it is the same with this new wave of suffragettes. 

Hydrogen Buses

"Some" Buses will run on hydrogen. This is a clean air initiative, and may well be more carbon intensive that using diesel. 

Rewilding

Boris makes reference to the rewilding of Britain with a figure 30% of land area, and 10's of millions of trees. Beavers reintroduced to certain areas. 

Comments: This will only happen if it is made economically possible. New farm subsidy replacement ELMs may offer some routes for farmers to rewild, but it will not happen quickly enough to make a meaningful contribution towards climate change. Trees only meaningfully begin to remove carbon 5 years after they have been planted, and it takes 10 to 15 years for them to get up to speed. 

COP

"Can we keep alive the ambition of paris, to stop the planet heating by more than 1.5 degrees. The government cant do it alone, and taxpayers certainly can't do it alone, the other day I took a boat out in to the Moray Firth to sea this aquatic forest of turbines towering over water like redwoods of california."

Comments: This reference to wind energy is run for around 2 minutes, and then Bris flips back to perceived successes of vaccine roll out. Wind now makes up about 25% of UK grid energy (3.4% for Solar). The reason we have 25% wind is economic it is the cheapest form of generation capacity. 

Environmental Consultants Bristol 







Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Climate Impact of Clicking Cookie Preferences

Climate Impact of Clicking Cookie Preferences

Annoying and Bad for the Planet

It is very annoying having to click on Cookie Preferences nags for every website you visit. And it this pointless exercise is also killing the planet, releasing approximately 18,000 tons of CO2 to atmosphere every year, in the UK alone. 

Every interaction with you smart gadget, or PC or Macintosh, uses energy. At present a percentage of that energy comes from fossil fuel. 

Every time you select you cookie preferences, this triggers a series of operations to be run on a server somewhere in the "cloud", using energy as it does so. 

Estimating Climate Change Impact of GDPR

GDPR is a piece of legislation that was passed to protect users data. However, in practice this means 99% of website just ask our permission (the cookie preferences clicking thing) and then take our data anyway. 

If you go to advanced options and select preferences individual it would more than double the amount of  time to took to search things on the internet. 

Text Messages Example

Now to send a text message, which is a fairly basic text based interaction over a network, the carbon equivalent footprint is 0.014gCO2e. Not a huge amount but on an annual global  basis this means the the carbon footprint of text messages is 32,000 tonnes/CO2e.

32,000 tonnes/CO2e would cover all emissions for 2600 UK citizens, that foods, travel, heating, purchases etc. so no small amount. 

How Many Clicks 

There are 3.5 billion search queries every day in UK. If each of these simple text based interactions have the same carbon footprint as a text message (which is quite likely). Then we are release 49 tons of carbon dioxide a day, that is approx 18,000 tons of CO2e a year released to atmosphere.

If we consider that most of the time these interacct allow website owners to then go on and use our data how they see fit, rather then actually protecting us, I would suggest this is a colossal waste of carbon, which we badly need to stop emitting. 

Ideas

Thanks to GDPR we now have to opt in by default, so that big data can hoover up our tasty information. This means we have to click to opt in on nearly every website we visit. Perhaps we should opt out instead. 

Some website it is useful to have cookies "recognise you" oin your return. Internet banking for example, on these sites there could be a button (on the page not on a pop up) saying "click here to enable cookies". That way 90% of these pointless interactions would be immediately erased. Saving 10's of thousands of tonnes of CO2 in the UK alone. 

Friday, 26 March 2021

A Talk on Single Use Plastics

Question: 

I have to do a talk on single use plastics in two ten minute sessions, I was wondering if you could email me some info on the harm they do to the environment, what can be done to limit or stamp out their use?


Answer: 


We have recently published this website: https://www.ocean-plastic-gifts.uk/home



It is all about plastics in the environment. The sheer volume of plastic created to feed human’s demand for single use plastic is very problematic.



I am sure you have seen pictures of bottles and face masks washed up on beaches in tropical places, or polar regions, plastic gets everywhere. . . .



BUT my main concern is that as plastics break down in to tiny tiny bits, they get mixed in with water and soils, and will be almost impossible to remove.



It is bad enough that sea food, and vegetables now contain plastic, but the plastics theme selves also have nasty chemicals in them, that poison plants and animals.



If you are familiar with PCBs or DDT, then you will know that persistent chemicals (such as phthalates in plastic) in the environment, “bio-accumulate” up the food chain and cause all sorts of horrible problems.



The problem with stamping out single use plastic, is that quite often removal of their use has a knock on effect elsewhere.



Example 1 : If we swapped from plastic carrier bags, to paper ones, where would the wood pulp come from? Even if just 2% of wood pulp came from unsustainable sources, then owing to the amount of bags needed (millions per day) a lot of trees would need to be chopped down. Trees that are currently sucking up CO2, and help out with climate change.



Example 2: A cucumber goes rotten very quickly. To make them last longer they shrink wrap them. To grow a cucumber might take 100g CO2, and to wrap it a further 10g CO2. If you don’t wrap them and more than 10% goes rotten, then your avoidance of plastic is causing a climate change.



I think the demand for single use plastic is driven my human’s “I want everything right now” attitude. Perhaps not eat cucumbers in the winter. Perhaps wait until you get home to have a drink of water (not buy a bottle).



Single use plastic is also linked strongly to human’s desire for safety and hygiene. Why do we not drink from water fountains anymore? Why do we buy a bottle of water instead. Why do hospitals use single use surgical plastics, and not wash and reuse equipment like the olden days?


In the extreme: Perhaps let a few more people die from disease instead of making 100’s billions of single use plastic masks . . . . tough choices, that go against the very grain of ethics and consumer choice.

Friday, 16 October 2020

What are Urons?

I was reading a tech manual today, and came across the chemical group called "Urons".

What are Urons?

Urons is an abbreviations of Phenylurea herbicides: 

"Substituted phenylurea herbicides are a group of pesticides used for general weed control in agricultural and nonagricultural practices – for example, along railroads, utilities' rights-of-way, and in industrial areas."

Boom.