Posts Tagged ‘pollution’
Why is diesel now bad news?
The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo wants to ban diesel cars and the pollution they bring from the streets of the French capital. But not long ago, diesel engines were thought to be environmentally friendly. What could have gone wrong?
Opinion on diesel cars has swung widely over the years.
Diesel is a more efficient fuel than petrol, but in the past diesel engines were often noisy and dirty.
Then, with growing concerns over climate change, car manufacturers were urged to produce cleaner, quieter diesel cars to capitalise on their extra fuel efficiency.
The cars were fitted with a trap to catch the particles of smoke associated with the fuel. Several governments rewarded the manufacturing improvements by incentivising the purchase and use of diesel cars.
But the policy has backfired.
Going into reverse
First, there have been problems with the particle traps – some drivers have removed them because they sometimes don’t work properly unless the car is driven hot.
Second, the diesels are still producing nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which irritates the lungs of people with breathing problems. Diesels make several times more NO2 than petrol cars.
Now, in order to meet European air pollution laws, politicians are being forced into an embarrassing U-turn, telling drivers that they’ve decided they don’t much like diesels after all.
MPs in the UK have mooted a scrappage scheme for diesel cars, while the mayor of Paris has called for a ban.
Several European nations are currently in breach of EU clean air laws.
The EU’s NO2 limit was exceeded at 301 sites in 2012, including seven in London. The concentration on Marylebone Road was more than double the limit.
Districts in Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Paris, and Rome are also exceeded the ceiling.
Not just carbon: Key pollutants for human health
- Particulate matter (PM): Can cause or aggravate cardiovascular and lung diseases, heart attacks and arrhythmias. Can cause cancer. May lead to atherosclerosis, adverse birth outcomes and childhood respiratory disease. The outcome can be premature death.
- Ozone (O3): Can decrease lung function and aggravate asthma and other lung diseases. Can also lead to premature death.
- Nitrogen oxides (NO2): Exposure to NO2 is associated with increased deaths from heart and lung disease, and respiratory illness.
- Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), in particular benzo a-pyrene (BaP): Carcinogenic.
Politicians are now scurrying to persuade the courts that they are obeying an EU demand to clean up the air as soon as possible.
Source: BBCNews Read more
All over the planet there are people who care about our little dirt ball.
Individuals, whole families and some responsible business are involved in reducing pollution and lessening their carbon footprint; doing every little thing to try and make a difference.
Even some governments are involved making laws for this and that to help.
But there is something very, very wrong!
There is an element that is not even trying:
It makes the efforts of the little people akin to pushing crap uphill with a fork.
Yup, the military machine. Not just the USA I would wager, but every military service in the world.
I don’t have an answer.
Just thought I would bring this to your attention.
Next time you’re at the ballot box, think about the military objectives of your governments, and do something about them.
Vote them out!
Your vote is the greatest green maker there is!
The fruits of my labour…
On Saturday we gained a new little sacolão (fruit and vege store) in the neighborhood. It’s only small, but handy; and only 30 metres (32 yards) from home.
And the good thing is they don’t get their produce from CEASA, the state supplier. With CEASA you can’t guarantee the source. But they get their produce from a smallholder in Teresópolis in the north of the state. They have a choice of organic and pesticide-free veges.
And they’re not expensive.
They already know that I don’t like plastic bags and put the produce in my carry bag.
This morning when I took the photos, there was a big plastic bag of cauliflower trimmings, I asked and was able to take it to add to my compost heap. The bag… well, that will be used to put my recyclable water bottles in for the Tuesday recycle collection.
On with this weeks CTWW.
This week it’s a biggie…
Choose one (or more) of the following activities:
- Say NO to plastic, especially plastic bottles and bags. The world’s largest “landfill” is floating in the North Pacific Ocean and consists of plastic.
- Contact your state officials and encourage them to vote against off-shore drilling.
- Walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation this week. If you must drive, drive less.
- Maintain your car and fix any leaks (oil on the pavement gets washed into storms drains and ultimately finds its way to the ocean). Never toss used oil down the drain.
- Avoid fish and seafood this week. If you must eat it, make sustainable and healthy choices (look for the Marine Stewardship Council label to ensure that it is sustainable and environmentally friendly).
- Take part in a beach clean-up.
- Eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in your home.
- Avoid the use of herbicides and pesticides.
- Scoop pet waste. Letting it sit on the lawn means that it will enter our waterways.
- Stay off the water. If you must boat, do so responsibly (don’t toss things into the water and use a human-powered boat rather than a gas-powered version).
- Dispose of all trash properly and pick up litter if you see it.
Leaves me breathless just reading it.
The plight of our oceans is disheartening. I have eluded to this in the past. Just because we can’t ‘see’ under the ocean, we seem to forget that is is just as susceptible to pollution and predation as the land.
The ocean is threatened by plastic. Obvious plastic that we can see the plastic strewn beaches, the Pacific gyre are a public disgrace; and the less obvious the micro-pellets from our washing machines that enter the water chain. The ocean also is affected by the run off of pesticides and agro-chemicals from our farmlands. Then there are stupid politicians who make assinine decisions like the Australians to dump millions of tons of waste on coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef. The oceans are subject to warming which is changing habitats, the you have massive problems with radiation from the likes of Fukushima in Japan; already 100% of tuna caught off the American coast have levels above the acceptable limits for consumption.
The oceans aren’t safe for anyone, let alone the fish. The governments have stopped testing (American and Canadian) because the results are just too embarrassing. The latest IPCC report classifies Fukushima radiation as an ‘extinction event’. Oh, don’t get that wrong, it’s not just the fish that are affected, ALL LIFE on the planet will be affected. Cancer/radiation related deaths in babies, new borns and foetuses are already increasing on the west coast of the USA.
Now that’s just a tad more than serious.
Why isn’t this in the news? The governments don’t want you to know.
Furthermore, there are problems with over-fishing serious straining the life-cycles of marine life.
This week there was good news. Japan has been banned from it’s ‘research whaling’ (read commercial whaling in disguise) in Antarctic waters. Japan has said it will bide by the ruling, but are already looking at loopholes like reduced quotas.
Not only the visible portions, but the invisible as well.
Man’s irresponsibility is drawing us closer and closer to our own extinction.
It’s time we woke up!
It’s time we let the governments know!
It’s time we got rid of the incumbent arseholes and their pandering to the corporations.
We need to take the dog by the tail and wake the bloody thing up, because until we do, we’re f**ked!
This CTWW by Small is probably one of the most radical we face; certainly it is the most global.
We really need to educate the masses, because most of the populace is just sitting on its sanctimonious backside saying “oh, it’ll never happen!” They are lulled into complacency by the lack of news, the government’s ‘do nothing’ approach. And, worst of all the blatant bullshit of the deniers!
Well, I’ve got news for them: It is happening, here, it is happening now!
- While I am not perfect, there is plastic in my life, but I go out of my way to reduce it to a minimum.
- I am bound by public transport, no car; no car, less planetary resources used and wasted.
- I will not avoid fish, I consider that fish is an important dietary aspect. I do however, spurn fish like panga produced in the Asian sewer known as the Mekong River in Vietnam.
- I don’t go to the beach, but I am active and vocal in keeping our neighbourhood clean.
- I use products that are non or less toxic where possible.
- I am now shopping at the new sacolão who are supporting fruit and vege with no pesiticides and organic produce (this is a new aspect in my life).
- My pet waste is composted. The worms do a good job.
There you have it, my CTWW.
The Pacific Gyre
If you get closer, it looks like this…
Some of those plastic bottles may be yours…
Makes you proud, doesn’t it?
There has been much said over this fracking issue, oil companies telling us that it’s safe, despite triggering earthquakes (which bought experts say is nothing related to the fracking), flammable gases cropping up in kitchens in such quantities that the kitchen tap can be ignited (once again, bought experts say this is not a result of fracking). The governments are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of endless oil, then lying through their teeth telling us that it is safe and we need it.
But a report yesterday tells the horrible truth.
California has run out of water. In Texas many areas are also out of water. Areas of these states have become desserts, farmers can’t irrigate crops.
Because they have wasted 97 billion gallons of water fracking.
The aquifers that keep the water running have dropped 300 metres, that is nothing short of disastrous.
When a river or a lake is depleted, it is replenished after the next good rain. Not so with aquifers, they take years to replenish, some even centuries.
The aquifers are the delicate balance of nature between drought and plenty; you destroy them and you’ve got nothing left.
The truth about fracking is that it is to see how many ways you can f**k over Mother Nature.
Further, fracking involves injecting chemicals along with the vast quantities of water, Where does that contaminated water go? What chemicals are involved? How do these chemicals affect life?
Countries across the globe are getting into this bullshit, Cameron is fighting tooth and nail to get fracking going in Britain. The man is an IDIOT! As are all politicians who support fracking. New Zealand is doing it, New Zealand? It’s on a major tectonic plate line, are they going to trigger more earthquakes?
Who gives a shit, drill baby drill!