Thursday, August 09, 2007

Green Myths??

some pedestrian shoppers“It’s not easy being Green” said Kermit the frog. He was correct. There are no easy answers as illutrated in this report in The Times.

Walking to the shops ‘damages planet more than going by car’ it declares as its headline. Well yes, if you assume that there are no other factors that can be changed. It is only this way because Food production has become so energy intensive and is, for the most part, carried out far removed from where it is consumed. It is the transport costs of the food that is the real problem.

Have a read, see what you think. Here are what it calls the Great Green Myths with my [very quick] comments.

1. Traditional nappies are as bad as disposables, a study by the Environment Agency found. While throwaway nappies make up 0.1 per cent of landfill waste, the cloth variety are a waste of energy, clean water and detergent

Disposables are a waste of the energy used to make them and transport them to the user and then to the landfill.

2. Paper bags cause more global warming than plastic. They need much more space to store so require extra energy to transport them from manufacturers to shops

Not if the customer already has their own bag.

3. Diesel trains in rural Britain are more polluting than 4x4 vehicles. Douglas Alexander, when Transport Secretary, said: “If ten or fewer people travel in a Sprinter [train], it would be less environmentally damaging to give them each a Land Rover Freelander and tell them to drive”

So lower the fares, and encourage people to use the trains. Make em more user friendly.

4. Burning wood for fuel is better for the environment than recycling it, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs discovered

Eh? Tell that to a carpenter, I mean a real one with a shed and a set of tools.

5. Organic dairy cows are worse for the climate. They produce less milk so their methane emissions per litre are higher

So drink beer.

6. Someone who installs a “green” lightbulb undoes a year’s worth of energy-saving by buying two bags of imported veg, as so much carbon is wasted flying the food to Britain

But if you don’t have green light bulbs it’s twice as bad. And buy local produce.

7. Trees, regarded as shields against global warming because they absorb carbon, were found by German scientists to be major producers of methane, a much more harmful greenhouse gas

Probably not as much as we would produce if we all drank beer.


  1. "So drink beer"

    LOL! Reminds me of Homer

  2. Agree on the necessity of thinking things through carefully.

    However, I read this a day or so ago, and can't help thinking that the Times reporter has misrepresented Mr Goodall somewhat (as they often do). How to confuse and muddy the waters - the numerous comments show the effect.

    I'm sure Mr Goodall's quite sensible really;

  3. Yes, but you can't put beer on your Weetabix, can you?

    No you can't, no please, tell me you don't, oh god, I feel sick ......

  4. Dorothea,
    Yes The Times are in the business of selling newspapers.

  5. No I don't Judith. I'm not at the beer for breakfast stage yet. I couldn't think of a quick counter punch to that one so I resorted to being flippant. There are all sorts of things that we use milk for in cooking, and of course tea and coffee as well as a drink in its own right.

  6. Can remember visiting the land of my fathers in 1960 (literally, Czechoslovakia), and being amazed to see blokes drinking beer at breakfast time. Then remembered it was quite common in past times for men to drink a tankard of ale with breakfast in England - so you would be in good company, B21!

  7. So Douglas Alexander complains about trains with 10 or fewer people on them - that's because he comes from Scotland. Down here we just want a seat...

    And I drink skimmed milk, which is probably worse for the environment, because of the energy used skimming it.

  8. Actually Judith, the Missus has read somewhere that Pomegranate juice is good for us old bloke's prostates so I've now got a fridge full of that [in tetra paks, post coming up]along with all the other healthy stuff I am forced to eat. Actually it's a fair dinkum drink - recommended.

  9. Quite so, Roger.
    Livestock are treated better than commuters down here.
    I've often wondered about the Health and Safety issues. If buses, taxis or any other road vehicle is overladen it can be stopped and the driver prosecuted. This doesn't appear to apply to the railways or the Tube.

  10. Uh! Sorry dorothea that first comment has only just come through but still shows up first.
    Yes Jolly good song - noted.

  11. You mention light bulbs - strangely enough so does Barkingside DIY - Danny says that they are still awaiting collection.
    Thats it, now the whole wide World knows.

  12. Oh! He did say he would email me when they arrived. And I will have you know that said light fittings currently have no bulb at all fitted - which is even better.

  13. Nothing to do with being tight then?

  14. That's the Treasurer's job - and he's good at it!