Ministers will apparently give the go-ahead for the controversial third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport later today according to the BBC.
Despite open opposition from around 50 of the Government’s own MPs, opposition MPs, environmental groups, concerned citizens and residents of the houses in the path of the runway, the announcement will be made today under the provision that the expansion is within strict environmental parameters.
The promise of quieter and more fuel-efficient planes seems to be the key to a near-doubling of the amount of air traffic expected at Heathrow. With almost twice as many aircraft and an alleged 55% increase in fuel efficiency, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that pollution would be at similar levels to today. This totally contradicts the government’s targets to reduce emissions by 80%.
Either the government is simply nodding its head to the pro-expansion camp who only have to promise to meet strict environmental criteria in order to get its way, or the government knows that this cannot be achieved and is arrogantly forging ahead anyway or the airline industry gets concessions where other sectors, industrial or public, would have to cut their carbon emissions by even greater levels to meet the targets. The former seems more probable as this government has an increasing propensity to trample over public opinion, after all, and let’s not forget the fact that this country’s leader was never democratically elected.
The government has caved in to the lobbying of big business and industrialists with money and influence. They get their own way and the people are treated with utter contempt. The “jobs and prosperity” that are supposed to be handed out to the immediate area is a travesty because 2000 locals will see their homes demolished and be forced to move elsewhere.
As for meeting the stringent criteria, the pro-expansionists would say that wouldn’t they? Who will be held accountable when we all realise that we’ve been lied to in order that a select few will squeeze a profit out of this “obvious” money spinner? Does nobody have the brains to realise that there’s a huge green industry that’s just waiting to be tapped? Does nobody have the balls to get involved in green initiatives? In America Barack Obama is promising to create “nearly half a million jobs by investing in clean energy”… where’s the British equivalent? Focusing job creation and transport in Heathrow is asking for trouble. At least a green initiative would be “all over the country”.
Once again, if the third runway and sixth terminal are completed, that will be ten years away. The short-term job promises will mean those labourers are laid off after completing their unpopular work. Who knows what will happen in the next decade but I don’t expect oil prices to go down and air travel, already on a knife edge, is hardly in a position to boom. This whole expansion is timely to “create jobs” in a recession but is ultimately based on a lie.
We don’t like the energy company E.ON
Previously they’ve attempted greenwash to promote their image by getting football fans to car share in their carbon footyprint campaign.
Then somebody kindly pointed out that E.ON’s new Kingsnorth power station is to be coal-fired, belching out as much CO2 in one year as E.ON are asking football fans to save over a period of 200 years!
Asking us to do our bit whilst they continue to pollute is ludicrous.
And now, according to the BBC, Mark Owen-Lloyd of E.ON showed yesterday exactly what the power company thinks of high energy bills.
When asked at a presentation in a seminar run by the energy regulator Ofgem what a cold winter would do for energy prices, the E.ON executive said it would mean “more money for us”
With a profit of Â£877 million last year and energy bills up 30% recently, that sort of remark shows the sort of contempt that the energy companies have for Joe public.
Despite making a statement that this was a personal remark and did not reflect the views of the company, it makes you wonder just how many more people like this are working at E.ON… all of them? In business you don’t tell the customer you’re there to make money from them, you simply think it and keep your mouth shut. E.ON’s Mr Owen-Lloyd was obviously too excited about the bonuses he’s going to
rob earn from the poor and the elderly to exercise any “restraint”.
This isn’t just energy generation, this is cold-hearted business, the sort of business where greed wins over service.
What are you going to do if you don’t like it, go somewhere else and get your energy? Because all the other big energy companies in this “free market” have put their prices up too. So basically we’re all being bent over a barrel by the big energy companies whilst they extract a fat profit from your shallow pockets in order to line theirs.
Gotta have a bit of bubbly at the shareholders meeting? Sounds about right.
Remember we said last night that British Gas jacked their prices up by 35%?
Remember their MD saying British Gas was doing “all that they could” to help people out including sending them a couple of energy-efficient lightbulbs?
Well today Centrica, the owners of British Gas, have reportedly made profits of Â£5million a day.
British Gas claimed that the 35% price rise was to “restore reasonable profitability”.
Look, you greedy bastards, take a hit like the rest of us. Stop robbing people in order to keep the shareholders sweet and deal with a lower profit margin! The sheer greed of these people is utterly contemptible.
Are we mad? No. But Phil Bentley, the MD of British Gas is!
Today British Gas announced a staggering 35% rise in gas prices. It also announced a 9% increase in electricity prices too.
The ITV Evening News interviewed a number of people, who are already struggling to make ends meet, about how they might cope with the huge price rises and then asked Phil Bentley, the MD of British Gas, whether he thought it was right to raise gas prices by 35% when this could put thousands of homes at risk of being subject to “fuel poverty”.
His reaction was that British Gas are doing “everything they can” to help people out including sending out energy efficient lightbulbs. WTF!?
So your average annual gas bill rises by over Â£210 a year and British Gas think that giving you a couple of energy efficient bulbs will help? What planet do they live on?
Sure, BG are using your extra money to invest in further electricity generation for next year and beyond (I still have a problem with gas companies not specialising in gas) but that’s cold comfort for the people who will freeze to death this winter.
It’s funny how the world goes these days… we had this rapid race for globalisation where barriers were broken down primarily for
greed economic reasons; western companies quickly saw that they could reduce costs by employing far-flung foreign workers to do jobs for a fraction of the cost of a westerner. Why pay a Brit/US/Euro web designer/developer a top wage for the skills he or she was told were in huge demand and they’d spent years studying and qualifying for when someone in India would do the same job for a quarter of the cost?
The same goes for call centre staff: Why pay Steve in Basingstoke to work out why your broadband connection isn’t working when you can get “Steve” in Bangalore to read a script over a premium rate line?
Manufacturing doesn’t escape the orbit of globalisation either: British engineering used to be a fine skill touted from the workshop of the world but when market forces and economic factors exerted their influence that workshop relocated to China.
Despite being disrespectful, contemptuous and greedy these thought processes have been rife in the west, aided and abetted by all and sundry. It’s not just the bosses of the companies that have perpetrated these crimes it’s the consumers too. Consumers. Thirsty word that. Because they want everything cheap they’ve helped their own local economies go down the pan. You want a 54 foot widescreen LCD plasma reactor HD TV? Don’t worry that the electronics factory down the road just shut and all your friends lost their jobs – you can impress them inviting them ’round to watch Richard & Judy and all the other daytime pap on your shiny new egovision set.
And that’s why we’re here discussing globalisation; it’s not always good, we’ve always said that and there’s the smoking analogy. If you smoke you’ll damage your health; the least you’ll do is develop some sort of respiratory disease or you may end up with cancer. Whatever the route there are people that have been saying “don’t do it” for years and do people listen? Of course not; they get angry, blow smoke in your face and carry on regardless. Then one day they say “I wish I’d listened to you, you were right.”
Like all addictions, be it oil, cigarettes or cheap gadgets, we love them. We don’t want to stop. We care little for the consequences just as long as we had a good time getting there.
And once we’re there was it worth it? We can’t afford the petrol to go out to get the expensive food so we sit at home and watch the doomy news of the demise we accelerated towards in high definition with stunning dolby 7.1 cinema surround sound. Wow!
It doesn’t take a genius to tell us that globalisation is over; it’s been a discourse amongst us for a while now. Chris Baskind reckons it’s time to stop gloating over the fuel price issue too. True. There are better things to do like roll up our sleeves, got on with boosting local economies, drink the local ale, help out our neighbours, lag the loft, grow our own veg, cycle to work, buy a small second-hand car, switch those lights off, stop polluting, stop consuming.
It might be a good time to stop smoking too.
It’s so annoying to get junk mail don’t you think? It’s usually for all the stuff that you don’t want; another credit card, mortgage, car insurance… Actually that’s as far as I can remember about what sort junk mail we used to get because it’s been quite a long time since we saw that deluge of wasted paper on our doormat – We joined the MPS the Mailing Preference Service. We prefer not to receive mail from random companies hawking their wares and we certainly don’t want junk for the previous residents of this property who have not been here for over 2 years!
MPS online is the place to sign up. They don’t guarantee to stop ALL your junk mail but they reckon it’s good for cutting unwanted mail by as much as 95%. We can certainly vouch for that and we were only prompted to write this because we received a stray piece of junk mail yesterday. And if you’re visiting from stateside, as a number of our visitors are, try the DMA’s MPS in the U.S.
Once you’ve signed up for the Mail Preference Service it can take up to 4 months to see the reduction in evil junk mail but it’s worth it. That’s less junk mail, less paper used, less trees cut down, less crap for the postal service to carry around, less stress for you.
Now that just leaves the matter of all those pizza companies and local Asian restaurants that send their underpaid flunkies into our neighbourhood to try to get us to buy their greasy food…
Tips for avoiding junk mail:
- Sign up to the Mail Preference Service (UKor US)
- Sign up to paper free billing from your utility companies or your bank
- Be careful when you sign up for some services that you check the small print and tick boxes: make sure you do not wish to be sent more crap from “carefully selected partners”
- If they still persist then fill up their pre-paid envelopes with all your other junk mail and post it back to them
Britain’s unelected leader (at least, unelected by the people in a democratic general election), Prime Minister Gordon Brown, is apparently the only head of government at an oil summit in Jeddha at the moment, discussing with the Saudi King Abdullah the future of oil.
His primary topic of discussion, according to the BBC, is the price of oil. For a government that imposes the highest fuel taxes in Europe and possibly the world, you’d think Brown wouldn’t be so concerned about the price of oil. Afterall, back in February this year accountants Grant Thornton reported that the current high oil prices could net the treasury an additional Â£300 million every month, enough to cut the price of fuel by 7p a litre.
So why, when the government could be trousering such great rewards from high oil prices, would they want the cost of oil to come down? Apparently Brown is discussing methods to stabilise oil prices. Again we’re wondering why. OK, British motorists get screwed enough as it is and the prices going up at the pump are causing outrage in some quarters. It’s OK if you live just 3 miles from work and you can take the bike, but for many that’s not always an option; what about the truck drivers who transport our food?
Fluctuations and increases in oil prices are certainly a cause for concern but in the grand scheme of things it’s not as bad, proportionately, as it is in the US where we noted they are more susceptible to oil price rises. In America gas prices have doubled in 2 years whereas they have doubled in the UK over 10 years.
But anyway, Gordon Brown supposedly has 4 points to discuss with King Abdullah;
- 1. Stabilise the market to avoid volatility in oil prices
- 2. Exploit the world’s current oil reserves to their full extent
- 3. Accelerate the switch to alternative energy
- 4. Get oil states to invest in alternative energy
So point 1: How on earth can this be done when there are traders speculating on the price of oil and it’s a finite resource? Oil will run out some time soon so the price will go up. Upping oil production adds supply and helps prices come down, but when Saudi Arabia promises to increase oil flow by 200,000 barrels a day in July you have to remember that when the US consumes over 20 million barrels a day, that’s just 1% of their great thirst. Plus increased oil extraction simply accelerates us toward the day when the oil runs out…
Point 2: I’m sure oil companies are trying to milk their wells as much as they can but the cost of tapping the most inaccessible reserves comes at a cost that eats into the oil companies’ profits. Like spoiled spouses the oil companies wish to maintain the lifestyles to which they have become accustomed, so nothing less than being filthy rich will do.
Point 3: Yes. Please. Switch to green energy a bit quicker please. Not nuclear though, thank you, nuclear energy is nasty scary stuff and nuclear waste is nastier and scarier. Why not go further with the wind power we could exploit in this country or solar in the sunny countries?
Point 4: Now that’s a big concern. Yes, further investment in green energy would be great but ultimately we’d be relying on foreign investment. Why can’t we invest in renewables ourselves? Where did all the profit from taxing British petrol go? Is it subsidising some other project like useless politicians or pointless wars in other countries?
It’s not just us here at Everything’s Gone Green who wonder what on earth Gordon Brown is doing having a cosy chat about oil. Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrat party accused the man with the personality bypass of “living in cloud cuckoo land”!
Our comedy Chancellor, Alistair Darling, did actually support the fact that we do need to reduce our dependency on oil in the long term but endorsed the extremely short-sighted idea of producing more oil to reduce prices.
Britain needs to clamp down on energy waste and invest all the savings in making us a self-sufficient nation without nuclear fission. We also need to drive less, drive better, drive more fuel-efficiently, save energy… damn, why aren’t us greens in power and not the idiots who are there now?
The BBC’s speculatively-titled story “Chancellor looks to green budget” is pretty thread-bare, starting with the opening line:
Green taxes and measures to help people struggling to pay energy bills are likely to be among changes in the chancellor’s first Budget on Wednesday.
It goes on to speculate that the chancellor, Alistair Darling, might put a levy on larger vehicles like people carriers, putting their price up by Â£2000.
And that’s it!
Well, if that’s all the chancellor can do for green issues in the UK Budget on Wednesday then that’s pretty poor for helping people go green. Isn’t a people carrier a more efficient way of carrying 6 or 7 people than having to drive 2 vehicles? If there’s any truth in that rumour then it would be a right poke in the eye for people who car-share.
We understand putting taxes on the least fuel efficient vehicles, but isn’t that why some people pay more road tax than others and why inefficient vehicles cost more to run purely from the fact that their MPG is so poor?
Come on Darling, where’s the incentives to go green. Saying “you can’t do this” or “can’t do that” is simply negative. Why don’t you give us:
- Increased grants for home solar projects
- Increased grants for home insulation
- More green spaces for community allotments
- Increase tax on the most polluting vehicles
- Greater taxes on polluting businesses
- A stop on the expansion of any more UK airports
- Serious public debate over nuclear energy
That would be a good start. He’s already effectively nationalised the Northern Rock bank, why can’t he part-nationalise some of our public transport to stop the greedy private companies from milking the public?
Let’s wait until Wednesday, aye?
*cough* I beg your pardon?
I beg your pardon?
Did you just say “You can drive a big truck and still be responsible”?
Those are the words of Jim Press, Vice Chairman of Chrysler, to the BBC as he sings the praises of the new 2008 Dodge Ram – a truck that has 5.7 litre 345 horse power V8 engine and is apparently 5% more fuel-efficient than its predecessor. With that in mind he adds that “it’s kind to the environment”.
I’m sorry, Jim, but over here in England, our reaction to that would be “Bollocks!” Forgive my crude words, but that’s probably the biggest load of old crap I’ve heard this year. How can driving a 5.7litre 345 HP V8 truck be both responsible and “kind to the environment”?
I had a quick scout of the ‘net for MPG figures for the 2007 Dodge Ram and there’s evidence that the 2007 Dodge Ram does, on average, 14-16 MPG.
So, Jim Press, let’s give you the benefit of the doubt… let’s say your new 2008 Dodge Ram does 16MPG and we’ll add 5% to that figure… Oooh, that truck does 16.8 MPG! That’s a whole 0.8 miles, an extra 1.28 kilometres, an additional 1408 yards for every gallon. Whoopee, Dodge are so environmentally friendly and oh so green.
You can drive my old station wagon and get 26MPG with 5 people and all their luggage in it and be 60% more efficient if you DON’T buy a New Dodge Ram.
Read this forum to see reactions of “WOW, fantastic” to some old Rams getting as much as 10.9 MPG…
Is this greenwash, utter bullshit or just sheer self-delusion?