Our politicians are hopeless

By health and population

We need our politicians to plan our country’s future. We know that society is aging and that this will create huge problems for our health and social services. Surely the least we could ask of our politicians is to have a plan to deal with this challenge?

Two reports published recently (see Health and Population Articles page) underline the extent of the task ahead.

They show:

  • The number of people over 85 that require 24-hour care will double in the next 2 decades.
  • British women are amongst the least healthy in Europe; they are more likely to suffer diabetes, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s at an early age.
  • Whilst life expectancy is increasing for women, healthy life expectancy remains constant. Women are spending longer living with chronic health conditions

These are just a few of the issues. The NHS and Social Services stumble from crisis to crisis. There is no plan.  Our politicians have no clue what to do and there is no initiative to tackle the problem. We are all going to suffer in the years to come from our leaders’ lack of political foresight.

If you want to save the world veganism isn’t the answer

By environmental transformation

Environmental activists are encouraging us all to become vegans because methane emissions by ruminants are a major cause of climate change. There’s no question that we should be eating less meat but Isabella Tree in her book Wilding: The Return of nature to the British Farm argues that veganism also has environmental downsides. She says:

 [Veganism] drives up demand for crops that require high inputs of fertiliser, fungicides, pesticides and herbicides, while demonising sustainable forms of livestock farming that can restore soils and biodiversity, and sequester carbon… Counter-intuitive as it may seem, adding the occasional organic pasture-fed steak to your diet, could be the right way to square the circle.

Sustainable living

By sustainable living

How do we develop the habits and systems that preserve nature and reduce pollution? Most people would agree with the aim of living a sustainable life on Earth.  However, they do little in practice; compared with other pressures on their lives, creating an eco-friendly society seems much less important and far too difficult.

In Compete or Cooperate, Roger Heppleston argues that creating an eco-friendly society will only happen if the moral culture of society as a whole changes.  The wave of hot weather that has swept the world this summer has finally convinced most people that climate change is real. As the environment deteriorates further and the effects of climate change bite harder, people will gradually come to realise the importance of preserving the planet for our children.  When this happens, we will develop a practical set of moral imperatives that each of us can follow to preserve the environment.

The aim of the Eco-humanity website is to accelerate this process by drawing up a practical set of moral behaviours that support a life-fulfilling, eco-friendly society.  These should be capable of being adopted by people of all cultural backgrounds. A first suggestion is shown on the Sustainable Lifestyle web page. Please let us know your views.

Let’s stop buying black plastic containers

By sustainable living

Every week we dutifully wash out used plastic containers and put them in the recyclable waste bin for collection by the council. It now transpires this is largely wasted effort.

The Local Government Association says that two thirds of plastic is unrecyclable and being sent to landfill. This is a scandal. Even industry sources say that most packaging could be made to be recyclable. But yet again the government and industry leaders are letting us down. No one is looking at the big picture and ensuring that we do the right thing. Simple  inexpensive solutions that would drastically reduce plastic waste are not being applied.

What can we do as consumers? Well, for a start, we can stop buying anything in black plastic containers. The only reason black plastic is being used is that it makes the food look good.  However black is the only colour that can’t be easily scanned by recycling machines; as a result, all black plastics are being sent to landfill.

Stopping buying black plastic is just a first step, but we need to make a stand and take action to show we care about our environment.

Articles web-page

By Uncategorized

The Articles web-page is launched today.

It will aim to a library of articles and books that show the development of human evolutionary change.  It will show how global warming, the destruction of the natural world, the headlong pursuit of technological development and economic growth combined with the misuse of political power is creating a divided world that is destroying the planet

If you think it’s hot now – just you wait to see what’s coming

By Climate Change

With extreme temperatures being reported across the world, this could be the year when the public at large finally believe that climate change is happening. Belief is one thing, doing something about it is another. The first reaction seems to be to cope rather than to address the fundamental problem. In the UK we are talking of installing air conditioning into our homes and workplaces. This will only make matters worse.

This is just the beginning; as we continue to pump green house gases into the atmosphere, temperatures will rise further. We need preventative action now if we are to mitigate the worst effects of climate change

Defeatism in the face of climate change

By Climate Change

The world is sweltering in a massive heat wave causing wildfires, drought and distress. The scientists told us this would happen if we didn’t cut back on the emission of greenhouse gases. Climate change is happening before our eyes and, so far, little has been done to prevent the continuing deterioration of the biosphere.

But where is the anger and alarm? There is a Dad’s army mentality around of muddling through. It seems the human instinct is to accept what is happening and make the best of it. We seem to be prepared to accept the direction that evolution is taking us. This is defeatism. We can only preserve the planet if we insist on sustainability as a critical moral principle and develop actions accordingly.

Only when the public response to heat waves is outrage rather than passive acceptance will we begin to mitigate this impending disaster.

The benefits of not eating lamb and beef

By sustainable living

The benefits of not eating lamb and beef extend beyond  the reduction in greenhouse gases to  preserving the environment.

According to the Rainforest Partnership https://rainforestpartnership.org/the-beef-industry-and-deforestation/  the production of beef is without question the biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon. With millions of acres of land devoted to the cultivation of soya beans for animal feed as well as the animal pastures created by clearing the forest, Brazil has become the biggest exporter of beef in the world.

 

 

Hence cutting down your consumption of hamburgers can help save the rain forests.

 

As to sheep, according to George Monbiot

Sheep have reduced most of our uplands to bowling greens with contours. Only the merest remnants of life persist. Spend two hours sitting in a bushy suburban garden and you are likely to see more birds and of a greater range of species than in walking five miles across almost any part of the British uplands. The land has been sheepwrecked.

 

By cutting back on your lamb kebabs you can contribute to the spread of biodiversity and the return of the natural world

Dish the meat

By sustainable living

Our love of eating meat has long cultural traditions. The initial evolutionary success of the human species was based on our ability to catch and eat large mammals. We have since learnt to domesticate cattle, sheep, pigs, chicken and many other species purely so we can eat their flesh.  But the chickens are coming home to roost. Livestock farming now accounts for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions and according to the latest UN report, this number is set to increase 75% by 2050. This problem can’t be solved by just switching to green energy sources. Cattle and the other ruminants emit methane, a much more potent source of greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide; over a 5-year period methane traps up to 100 times more heat in the atmosphere.

It is possible for humans to change their eating habits. For thousands of years Hindus have avoided eating beef. Brahmins are vegetarian.  Jews and Muslims have been taught to avoid pork. If we are to avoid the worst excesses of climate change we need a new moral initiative to dish the meat and become vegetarian.

The young will pick up the bill for climate change

By sustainable living

The BBC reports today how the UK is falling behind on meeting its carbon dioxide emission targets and how the young will pick up the bill for climate change ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44634122).

To reverse the trend many government sponsored initiatives have to be speeded up, but what can we do individually to make a change? In a telling comment at the end of the article it states that:

People committed to personally tackling climate change can avoid flying and eating meat – two of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases.

Becoming a vegetarian or a vegan is a very difficult decision for most of us. However, dietary based taboos are common amongst religious groups, many of which are based on ancient and obscure religious texts. It can’t be morally right for us to continue to pollute the environment and cause suffering to future generations. Wouldn’t it be good if religious groups modified their food related ideas of fasting and meat avoidance to make them more relevant to the modern world? The combination of religious impetus and climate change science might just be the spur needed to change our eating habits for the good of us all.