Saturday, 28 April 2007

Small electric cars are killing the Planet?

One thing I’ve noticed working on the fringes of Soho is that there are a lot more electric cars on the streets, those pokey little ones pictured above. These cars should be banned.

Now before anyone pops a vein I’ll explain. Global warming is a fact, it is getting worse. It will have terrible consequences, some of which we don’t yet know about. Man’s use of energy is making it worse. By reducing energy use we will help solve the problem and also save fossil fuels which are finite. To do this in the UK we will have to make between a 20-40% cut in car use, this will mean some people have to give up cars; most will have to use them less. We will have to have a radical change in how we live basically planning our towns, so we can walk to work, to school or make short journeys on public transport. When we travel abroad we will stay longer and go less often, no one will fly to Shanghai for long weekends. I think I should number these bits so I don’t have to repeat them (this is “green exposition no 1”).

"BUT" the people who drive these little electric cars will be saying “...we’ve already swapped to sustainable transport” and the answer to that is hooey!
Little electric cars are not sustainable because you can’t do anything in them that you can’t do on foot, on a bike or on public transport. They are crap for shopping as they are so tiny. The school run for most families would impossible as they are 2 seaters. They have limited range (100 mile tops). And yet to not do the above very well they use up loads of energy to in their production.
They are about a quarter of the size of a black cab but over there lifetimes 4 of them will not be as useful a one seemingly gas guzzling cab in fact I think 10 of them would just about match a cab for usefulness if not more.
The only reason they are useful is as an example of bad environmental behaviour. Like carbon offsetting, they are a way of rich people appearing to be greener without changing their behaviour one iota. In fact because they occasionally go to Waitrose in their electric bubble car the media types who drive these cars can justify to their selves spending half term flying to Patagonia.

You can tell how much use electric and other urban cars are by the fact that at least 60% are parked at any time. So the test from now on should be, would you be better of walking and the answer will be most of the time yes.

One other thing, when anyone is challenged on their car use (my close friends and family included), they always justify it by recourse to other people, as in without it I couldn’t take the kids to school, I have to visit my aged mum etc. What the don’t say is I like driving and will do almost anything including flooding the country I live in order to not get on a bus or walk to the off licence. Sadly all the justification in the world won’t stop global warming, having sensible tax systems that encourage informed environmental choices (ie. axing low road tax, free parking and no congestion charge for tiny electric cars) and that don’t placate deluded self serving media types will.

Ps don’t ya think the picture of the bike covered in baskets shows how resourceful us humans are when we put our minds to a problem.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Do you hate the observer womens monthly magazine?

a whole site devouted to pouring bile on the most depressing colour supplement yet. enjoy!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Pork (well turkey ham) Barrel Politics

Bernard Matthews is to be compensated for having to destroy healthy birds on a farm his own company infected with bird flu. As we’ve seen with everything from BSE to the hunting ban, the farming lobby refuse to pay for their own mistakes.
Lets take an example from another field, my friend’s a freelance ad man, now so far he’s doing well, but say the government bans booze ads (one his main sources of work) he won’t get far trying to claim some “compo” from us all. He’ll have even less chance if he messes up his own business and the work stops coming in. But your average farmer (or in this case super rich one) can feed sheep’s brains to sheep, spread foot and mouth around the country and yet can still come cap in hand to the rest of us for a hand out. Oh and don’t get me started on the fishing lobby….
Update Sat 21st
There's been a general outcry about all this, although one suspects "Tubby" Bernard will still get his cash. One thing I read was that farmers should get subsidized private insurance (as in Spain). Which seems just another expensive way of us paying up, how about they pay their own insurance like every other business.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Stuff and Nonsense

The nonsense spouted in the copy advertising cosmetics and so called “health” products is everywhere. I usually don’t read it as it’s just annoying. But stuck on the tube, I read the following from a Perfectil skin and hair formula made by Vitabiotics.

“a powerful combination of bio-active ingredients including high-grade marine collagen complex, pine bark extract, black currant seed oil,”

Regardless of if any of this junk works what struck me was that this “high class” product is basically made from waste.

High-grade marine collagen complex: collagen is a protein found in our bodies, in joints, skin etc. Marine collagen is extracted from fish skin and shark bones, basically fillet some rock salmon eat the flesh stick the rest in your veins.
I know why they specify “marine” because normal collagen or “boiled up cow’s knee caps” was “tainted” (literally and figuratively) by BSE a while back. But in these days of falling fish stocks (I originally typed “falling fish sticks”) especially shark numbers maybe this isn’t the best source of collagen.

Pine bark extracts: They don’t say which of the 100-125 species of Pine it comes from but I’m sure pine bark is a by-product of making chip board; you can get it delivered by the trailer load to mulch your garden.

Black currant extract: the thing that struck me about this was how did they know? I mean blackcurrant seeds are tiny so who thought of extracting anything from them. Well probably when you are stuck with at least 13 billion of them. Yes, by the time Smith kline Beecham have made millions of gallons of “tooth kind” they are stuck with a lot of pips. Luckily along came those nice people at Vitabiotics and took them of their hands.
Now I am not against recycling it’s just the cosmetics industry sells it self via a sheen of exclusivity, stark pure laboratory’s or cosy clean nature. It’s obviously that Perfectil is made from the scrapings from Europe’s industrial complex’s dust bins not quite the glossy image they wanted to portray.

Lastly on the subject Ribena our heroines of the week must Anna Devathasan and Jenny Suo two 6th form age chemistry students from New Zealand. Who in the words of Mr BLTP Senior (my dad) “did their Sums”. Basically they wanted to test theory that high priced/quality fruit drinks contained more Vit. C and were therefore worth the extra cost. They did the appropriate Vit. C tests and found that “ready to drink” cartons of ‘Bena had negliable levels of Vit C. Cue lots of bluster and spin from SKB, So well done Jenny and Anna.