Rubbish is big business and bigger news this week. Whilst the UK Climate Change bill makes its way through the commons, Britons are also being threatened with "pilot" trials (according to DEFRA), paying for the amount of rubbish we have taken away - obviously not including recycled rubbish.
A laudable scheme, since perhaps payment is the only way to jog our memories to reduce the amount of plastic, packaging and other non-recyclable rubbish that comes through our homes each day. The interesting thing is the governments political nervousness at introducing such a scheme - prompting Charles Clover in The Daily Telegraph to comment, "few in the environment department are in any doubt something will have to be done about the amount of rubbish Britons throw away if the nation is to get a grip on climate change. Not grasping that has made Brown's No 10 look, well, rather brown.".
A good place to start in the war against rubbish is food packaging. About 1/5th of what we throw away, or 2/3's of our packaging waste, comes from the Food we buy. Moving to reusable shopping bags, buying locally sourced and less packaged food rather than fro a supermarket could therefore make a huge difference. For more info check out our new book Food. What are we really eating?
Pocket Issue - the blog
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
It's been an interesting week for Al Gore. He started it being 'convicted' by a UK judge for having 'nine errors' in his film, An Inconvenient Truth, although the judge ruled that the film could be shown in schools on the proviso that children were given both sides of the argument for each of the nine facts under dispute. Then later in the week he was the proud receiver of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change, awarded jointly with the IPCC.
What is clear, despite some looseness with the facts, is that Al Gore has done a great deal to raise awareness of climate change. Having said that, we suggest, for a better, more accurate, grounding in the facts, a read of Pocket Issue, Global Warming...and then watch the film.
Monday, 8 October 2007
The UN claimed on Friday that the record number of floods and humanitarian disasters happening around the world is due to climate change. According to Sir John Holmes, Under Secretary for Ocha, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - "We are seeing the effects of climate change. Any year can be a freak but the pattern looks pretty clear to be honest. That's why we're trying ... to say, of course you've got to deal with mitigation of emissions, but this is here and now, this is with us already."
His statement comes after 12 of the 13 "flash' or emergency appeals triggered by disasters in 2007 have been caused by climate change, in particular the current serious flooding occurring in Africa South Asia and North Korea, and severe droughts in Southern Africa. His frustration comes not only from Donor fatigue, raising half the UN's target amount, but through how little urgent action the West is taking on climate change.
Interestingly Uganda, the recipient of recent Donor sponsorship via the British Council, is receiving 1000 copies of Pocket Issue, Global Warming, one for each politician in Uganda. Uganda is currently coping with severe floods in the north of the country - we wish them well.