Category Archives: Pollution

Political monkey-business?

The first story seems to suggest a London politician wants to lead the way for divestment from fossil fuels … especially ‘dirty coal’. Bravo! Or not?

The second story however, written a year earlier, shows Britain’s reliance on coal is very low. The coal mines themselves virtually, if not actually, gone by now. Power stations took recent advantage of cheap, and dirty, coal exported by USA to Europe; USA switched to even dirtier fracking products. UKCoal said only 4% of power in UK was generated by their coal in 2013.

So, effectively, Ed Davey is shouting loudly about climate change (good), but secretly Britain will be largely unaffected, whereas many other developing countries will once again bear the brunt of these policies. Unfairness and deceit are still the order of the day 🙁

The Philippines is not the only place where the trash of others ends up

Trashing Paradise: The Case of the Philippines

by Guest Blogger

A guest blog by Andrew Wynne

An island archipelago nation laying in the western Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is commonly known for its idyllic beaches, rugged volcanic interior, routine natural disasters, and amicable people. But perhaps less known is the battle against solid waste that is currently enveloping the country. I spent two and a half years on the front lines of this battle as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer and can attest to what a study published just last week in the respected journal Science found; the Philippines, along with a small number of other developing countries, is a major vector for plastics and other debris flowing into the global ocean.

With the vast majority of the population and economy tied to the coastline, managing solid waste is exasperating already stressed resources and forcing individuals into economically inefficient ways of making a living that strain the coastal environment. In addition, the Philippines? location in the western Pacific Ocean likely leads to the transportation of waste around the globe, thereby affecting everyone from local barangays to American coastal cities.

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More data on oceanic plastic pollution

Speaks for itself. I will add that the global ocean comprises 99% of the Volume of the Biosphere. Also that the best way to reduce this impact is simply produce less plastic ::: I imagine we are only seeing the very tip of this problem, and perhaps there is a considerable time lag too. For instance: how long does it take for a piece of plastic entering the ocean to sink to the bottom, perhaps go into the sediment, then to re-emerge and eventually wash onshore, or converge with one of the ‘garbage patches’? To my mind landfills are not a good solution either: dis-assembling the molecules might be better? Mike

Vehicle air pollution

Interesting & informative, especially reading between the lines. The motor industry obviously has to be profit-first, hence skewing the results to show how friendly their cars are. Yet we all know what it’s like sitting in stalled traffic, with pedestrians moving faster than us. Our car exhausts adding to the general disgusting atmosphere that is a daily feature of city life. London is one of the worst polluted places, but China & India are too. When I lived in Bath, the air was unbreathable at times: the main part of the city was in a hollow with large hills all around ~ the traffic fumes stayed down rather than being able to dissipate 🙁

An interesting twist: Austria to sue EU over English nuclear subsidy to a French firm?

There are many twists to this long continuance with unwanted nuclear power in Britain. Few people want it at all. most want Britain to be entirely nuclear-free including destroying the WMD. The extremely corrupt Conservative London government handed out a huge subsidy to EDF to build a new reactor, but then said if things went wrong the taxpayers would pay: including for radioactive pollution.

River pollution in Albania

River-water sampling Shqiperia 2010

Dr White collected water samples from five rivers in Albania during 2010. They were analysed by Prof Margarita Hysko, Microbiologist at Tirana Unversity. These were the first samples ever to consider biological pollutants, including faecal coliforms. There had been one other riverine study looking at chemical pollutants,including heavy metals. Albania is a very poor country, lacking most infrastructure.