Sustainability

But is it sustainable?

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A pet annoyance of mine is the overuse of the word ‘sustainable’.  Most times it is essentially meaningless, but as a current environmental buzzword it must be bandied around willy-nilly to make one appear to feel caring.

It obviously grates a little with Dr. Tilak K Doshi as well, as he writes: Quote.

Sustainable development is mom’s apple pie and the central organizing principle of all things environmental. Governments and companies are all for it. Sustainability occupies pride of place in public policy and social discourse across multilateral agencies, governments and societies. However the concept lacks definition and its ambiguity allows its proponents to make extravagant claims that cannot be tested.

In the private sector, most companies extol their commitment to sustainability in advertisements, annual reports, CEO speeches and PR communications. These serve to promote a favourable corporate image, burnish credentials in corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) and, not least, to appease their NGO and social activist critics.[…]

It was defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This definition appeals quite naturally to the broad intuition of people who are concerned about ensuring a better life for future generations. Yet it is difficult to pin down when practical questions of policy or private sector behaviour are posed. end quote.

The big problem is that we have no idea what future generations will want.  What if past generations had hoarded all their candle wax or whale oil (the other whale oil) for us so we would be able to light our rooms when we arrived as a future generation? Quote. Read more »

Simon Bridges wants more people driving gay cars

http://youtu.be/qP-tyvBGla4

It is bad enough that Craig Foss has gotten himself a new gay ute, but now Simon Bridges wants us to drive cars gayer than Fossy’s gay ute.

I mean seriously? Expensive, over priced, non-Green, electric cars?

The only good news is he doesn’t support subsidies.

Transport and Energy Minister Simon Bridges has officials investigating ways to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles.

But he doesn’t favour incentives or subsidies in what he says is “the most EV-ready country in the world” because of New Zealand’s very high proportion of electricity generated from renewable resources.   Read more »

Bad news for the hippies, organic food isn’t more nutritious

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Hippies love paying more for their “organic” food.

Apparently because it is more nutritious.

Well that myth can now be busted, it isn’t, leaving the hippies in a cloud of smug with just the extra cost and none of the benefits. Awww.

Of all the food-related countercultural buzzwords that have gone mainstream in recent years, organic ranks among the most confusing. Like its cousins (cf. local, free-range, or worst of all, natural), the term’s promotion by grocery stores everywhere has caused it to escape the strict definitions laid out by the USDA . But from Stanford University comes new research suggesting what we should have known all along: organic food isn’t actually more nutritious than traditionally-farmed goods.  Read more »

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than petrol for global warming

Uh oh…more bad news for those proponents of biofuels…the so-called green fuels are actually worse for the environment.

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration’s conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.

A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won’t meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue.

Read more »

The seppos are looking at fart taxes now

We managed to defeat Helen Clark’s plans to impose fart taxes on the nations cattle.

The battle is only beginning in the US where a wider ranging fart tax is being proposed.

Last month, the President released a climate action plan designed to cut methane emissions.

If you are a cow, be afraid. Be very afraid.

The same goes for humans.

The plan outlines voluntary measures, such as a “Biogas Roadmap,” to reduce dairy sector greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. There’s concern though that these measures merely represent the tip of the iceberg.

Agriculture accounts for only about 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Within that 8 percent, the second largest source of agriculture emissions is enteric fermentation—the digestive process that leads to cow methane emissions, which are emittedin ways that are not appreciated at dinner parties. Methane emissions from enteric fermentation, while covering numerous livestock animals, are overwhelmingly from cows. Read more »

The unintended of consequences of ill-conceived policy

Labour and the Greens announced that they were prepared to implement a North Korean style central power regulator and buying mechanism on the premise it would lower prices.

Report after report and real life examples have proven otherwise. Another unintended consequence is that renewable energy projects would be unlikely to proceed and instead thermal solutions sought.

The head of New Zealand’s largest electricity generator says the Opposition owes it to New Zealand to give more details of its power plans.

And he warned the plan could undermine investment in renewable energy.

Labour and the Greens have jointly proposed scrapping the wholesale energy market in favour of a single state-operated buyer of electricity, called NZ Power, claiming the move would save hundreds of millions of dollars on consumer power bills.

Today Mark Binns, chief executive of Meridian Energy, told the commerce select committee that while a lack of detail meant it was hard to properly analyse the plan, Meridian believed it would favour thermal generation over renewable plants such as wind farms.

“Our view is it would potentially impact on renewables because it would make thermals, particularly gas plants – which are easier to consent and easier to put in place quickly – more viable in that environment,” Binns told MPs. Read more »

Wind power destroys your house values

If you needed another reason to hate wind power, the preferred choice of the green taliban and useful idiots like David Farrar, then this should be the final kicker for you.

We al;ready know they kill thousands of birds, use squillions of rare earth metals, don’t work as often as they are needed, are uneconomic unless heavily subsidised are visual and noise pollution.

Wind turbines destroy house values.

The presence of wind turbines  near homes has wiped tens of thousands of pounds off their value, according to the first major study into the impact the eyesore structures have on house prices.

The study by the London School  of Economics (LSE) – which looked at more than a million sales of properties close to wind farm sites over a 12-year period – found that values of homes within 1.2  miles of large wind farms were being slashed by about 11 per cent.  Read more »

The human cost of green taliban policies

The hippies of the Green Taliban love biofuels. The politicians who cave in to hippy eco-terrorists also love biofuels.

But biofuels are inefficient, cause hunger and air pollution, and cost taxpayers billions.

Last week, the EU missed an opportunity to end the most wasteful green programme of our time – one which costs billions of pounds annually and causes at least 30 million people to go hungry every year. By failing to agree a cap on the use of biofuels, the Council of Ministers has given tacit support for a technology that is bad for both taxpayer and environment. Legislation will now be delayed until 2015.

The biofuel story is a perfect example of good intentions leading to terrible outcomes. Moreover, it is a lesson on how powerful, pseudo-green vested interests can sustain a bad policy. Hopefully, it will also be a story of how reason can prevail in the divisive climate debate.   Read more »

Obama gives bird blenders 30 year licence to kill eagles

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I hate wind power…it junks up the view, makes an unholy racket and slaughters birds, in particular raptors.

But Obama has now given the companies running bird blenders a 30 year licence to kill eagles.

The Obama administration has just given wind turbine operators the license to kill birds and eagles for 30 years, a move welcomed by the wind industry but derided by environmentalists and Republicans.

The Interior Department changed a rule that now enables the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend the amount of time renewable energy companies can kill migratory birds and eagles in a bid to boost green energy development. Wind operators can now get a permit to kill birds for 30 years, up from five years.  Read more »

Electric Car farce in UK, councils blow millions

Green projects worldwide are failing and taxpayers and ratepayers are picking up the bills, especially for idiot projects associated with electric cars.

Councils across the UK have spent more than £7.2m on charging points for electric cars over the last three years but many are not being used.

One in six councils admitted to having at least one point which has not been used at all over the past year.

While less than a third of authorities have a charging point used on average more than once a week, more than half of which are used only by council vehicles.

BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours found that council spending amounts to £1,750 per electric car.  Read more »