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Showing posts from March, 2020


The Terrapause – Could every day be a Sunday?

Never mind the colourful language, just do it! It was Thursday when I started writing this, but because we are in lockdown to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, it felt like a Sunday.   The streets were quiet, the noisy renovators had shut down, the sky was clear and you could hear the birds sing. It was certainly a lot more pleasant and got me thinking, economics aside, what good things could we glean from this experience. Certainly our emissions will be down, without having to resort to accounting tricks. Another big bonus is the extra couple of hours people will gain by not having to commute every day. Oldest son has been pondering whether future geologists will find a clean layer in ice cores from the Coronavirus Period like the carbon layer from the K-T Cretaceous Extinction Event.   It also shows how quickly society can adapt when it is a matter of life and death. In the meantime, people are discovering both the joys and the limitations of working fro

I Love FOGO - an advance in domestic green waste recycling

Bit sick of Coronavirus news, so today I am going to talk about rubbish, household food waste to be precise. Not that people aren't being wonderfully creative about being locked down or in social isolation - daughter and her neighbours meet on their respective decks in the evening and 'share' a convivial glass of wine while maintaining a safe distance. Oldest son and partner are doing date night at home all dressed up with food from their favourite restaurant and with their friends around via Facetime, but while other issues  may have taken a backseat, they have not gone away, so here goes. Three years ago, when everyone was starting to become concerned about the amount of food waste being produced by domestic households which is responsible for around 30% of landfill and 34% of the emissions produced by consumers, our council started working hard to reduce it in accordance with the National Waste Policy of 2018 and the UN Guidelines for Sustainable Developm

International Forest Day March 21 – What did forests ever do for us?

Did you notice that yesterday was International Forest Day? Unfortunately that message got a bit lost in all the concern about Coronavirus, so I’ll just talk a bit about it here.   The two events are not unconnected. For example, John Vidal, writing in the Guardian, notes that it is precisely activities such as the clearing of rainforest which exposes humans to hitherto unknown pathogens, Ebola being a case in point and Zika another. What forests do for us There is no doubt that forests are repositories of boundless diversity with up to 80% of the world’s plants, insects and animals being found there, but they also do many things for us, apart from supplying timber, firewood, food, paper, packaging, medicine and even fibre. They all sequester carbon and the Amazon alone – what’s left of it, supplies around 20% of the world’s oxygen. They trap pollutants and clean the air and influence weather and rainfall. They also trap and filter water, slow run –off, bind soil a