Recycling is not the answer

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

While the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Note: I wrote this originally in 2022) has been attacked from all sides for his comments on plastic recycling – and let me mention that I am no friend of his – he is, to a great extent, correct in what he said. Recycling is not the answer but it does not just go for plastic recycling but recycling in general as most so-called recycling is actually downcycling. 

When it comes to plastic recycling he has been more than correct because plastic cannot, unlike some metals and glass, be recycled infinitely and in many cases virgin polymer has to be added each and every time for strength. 

Therefore we need to get away from single use plastics such as plastic bottles (PET), carrier bags, and the like. Plastics that have a much longer lifespan and are a different type should not, automatically, placed in the evil department, as long as they are not single use, such as take out cutlery, for instance. That stuff does belong in the evil department as no one reuses those. 

On the other hand there are all too many things that are made from plastic that could be made from renewable sources and resources, such as wood. Bottles should, when it comes to bottles for sauces, drinks, and such like,  once again, be made from glass and they should be returned to be cleaned and reused and it should not just apply, as it used to be, drinks bottles. Also sauce bottles, glass jars, etc., should go back to be reused. 

Recycling of glass should only happen when the glass is actually beyond use, such as chipped or broken. Before that any glass containers, bottles and jars and what have you, should either be reused by the consumer in whose possession they are or they should go back to the place whence they came and be cleaned and refilled with new product. Adding a little deposit those jars would soon be returned the only problem is that we no longer have the infrastructure for such operations. 

When it comes to other things we must ensure that they are kept alive for as long as possible though that is, nowadays, a lot easier said than done as far too many products, even the likes of the more expensive “consumer” goods, TVs, radios, etc., and white goods, have been designed to be more or less non-repairable. Then again, even if they still would be we are lacking the menders to fix them. 

Clothes and footwear also are made in such a way that repair, unless one can do it oneself, is more expensive, and that is also the case with the goods mentioned in the previous paragraph, bar, maybe, white goods, to get them repaired than to buy new. Hence we have this waste problem. 

If something works, and can be kept working, regardless how old it is, it is better, environmentally, to keep it than to replace it with newer even if the newer is claimed to be better for the environment. 

© 2024

The recycle economy and others

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

There are three forms of economies, the linear one, the recycling one and then the circular one. Currently we predominately have the first two only and more often than not it is the first one, namely that we take then make then consume and then “throw away” even though there is no such place as “away”. 

Then we have the so-called recycling economy where we take, make, consume, and then theoretically recycle to make new products, with some waste still remaining. I specifically like to stress the word theoretically because while the consumer may diligently separate his or her recyclables which are then collected those, however, quite frequently end up in the same place where the waste ends up, namely the landfill or the incinerator because not enough money can, at times, be made from the recyclables. 

The circular economy everyone is talking about but unless industry seriously changes the way it operates this will remain but a pipe dream. 

Also, recycling and circular economy, the later which is more likely never to come about, are but ways and means for us to keep consuming in the same way that so-called green products are. We must reduce our consumption and we must return, in some respects, back to the future in that we need to do things again like they were done in the past, such as glass containers which are then reused, bottles and jars with refundable deposits (not new, we had that once already), tin cans, and simple cardboard packaging. 

Glass and metal can be infinitely be recycled into new products, though the former should only ever be recycled if it is beyond reuse and cardboard will simply compost, even in a domestic compost heap or composting bin. 

While glass and metal containers are heavier than plastic and thus weight as regards to transportation is an issue the benefits outweigh all the downsides as far fewer resources will be required and far less energy in manufacture. But we can guarantee that the plastic (packaging) lobby will find all manner of excuses of how bad it would be if we would do away with plastic packaging. 

If we have to have plastic packaging than the material really should be recycled in the home country rather than the recyclables shipped abroad where they are turned into pellets to be returned to turn into products or where we re-import new products made from them. Alternatively those products (packaging) should have a second use designed into it that would be automatically recognizable by the consumer. Think of Avon the way it used to have bottles that would become toys for kids afterwards. 

French and German mustard manufacturers to this day frequently fill their product, the mustard, into jars that are actual drinking glasses for reuse by the consumer and there was a time that some people would specifically buy particular brands of mustard just because they wanted those drinking glasses for reuse (and obviously they liked the mustard too). 

Or the flour mills in the USA during the Depression era who, because the realized that mothers sewed clothes for their kids and others of their family and themselves, as well as textile items for the home such as bedding, from the white cotton bags printed them with patterns so they were even nicer for reuse, upcycling. 

We have been there before and it is not rocket science but where would the economy be if we would do that, eh? It would no longer grow the way it does now and even less so if we actually made products last and made the repairable again. 

Proper design and a return to some of the ways of the past, including packaging designed with an obvious reuse would bring us a great deal further than any playing about with the way we do at the present time.

That is not to say that there was no waste in times past. There was, as we can see when we do some digging in certain places but we could advance by putting the old together with a new ideas and we would have, more or less, no waste of any kind left. 

When it comes to food waste there should be very little if people actually would learn to cook from scratch again and learn how to use and reuse leftover food. 

But food waste reduction does not start with the consumer but well at the beginning of the chain and it is also not the farmer who is to blame but the buyers who reject some produce outright because it is not the right size or shape and then, also, such as when the farmer is contracted to a certain supermarket chain or other such entity, the farmer is not at liberty to pass on the rejected produce elsewhere but is forced to destroy the rejects. This must stop. 

And any food waste that does occur, as some is unavoidable, must be returned to the soil by means of being composted, be that at home or in composting facilities. 

Returning to ways of the past in the way products are produced, that is to say made once again to last and to be repairable, and then having the skilled workers again who can repair the things expertly when they are broken, at a price that is not several times higher than replacing, learning also once again to reuse and repurpose, together with ways of reclaiming all materials from anything that has come to the end of its life will really bring us a kind of  circular economy, more of less. Whether, however, it will be entirely zero waste even then is rather questionable, but one can but aim for it. 

© 2024

The real reason they want independent farmers gone

The reason they want to get rid of the small farmer is because the small farmer is the last free person on this planet. 

Because everyone else has to depend on something else to make a living but a small farmer with a piece of land, some seed in their hands, their intelligence, the sun shining, a bit of water, can produce with no external dependence.

That is why the independence of the small farmer is seen as such a threat by those who would like to control the last living system. 

This, at least, is the way it is being approached by the western global elite and that is also why Russia, for instance, is such a thorn in their side. 

There, in a reversal of the system of the Soviet Union, and associated states, of the collective farm has been reversed and smallholdings are being encouraged. This to such an extent even that some years ago the President signed a decree into law which gives every Russian citizens, and even some “just” residents, the right to between one and six hectare of land – depending on the region – to be held by them and their kin (or anyone else the owner might with to pass it on to) in perpetuity (though the land cannot be sold). In addition to that there are then grants (gifts) to the new landowner for the building of a home and also grants for farming tools and machines (small scale). The only obligation for the owners is to live on the land, and produce food for themselves and their families, with any surplus to be sold on the local market. 

According to sources about 80% of all fruit and vegetables on the Russian markets come from such small dachas, as does 40% of all meat and 20% of all grain. 

We have to remember that the products on the markets are the surplus produced by those small farms. That is to say produce that does not stay on the farm to feed the family or families living there, or as seed for the next year, neither does it account for produce and products that may have been bartered between such smallholdings or with people in the surrounding villages. 

The small independent farmer can also supply people outside the big supply chain and that is just the reason why the global elite want the small independent farmer gone and want everything done by the large conglomerate industrial scale farms. It is all about controlling the food supply.

Environmentally though, it is those large farms that are actually bad for the environment as they are mono-cultures in general and, in contrast, the small independent farmers, especially the smallholdings, are actually beneficial as the methods are, generally, of a different approach than those of the large farms in that rarely mono-cultures are employed but they are mixed arable and livestock combined. 

While the powers that be always harp on about the environment and such instead of supporting small farmers and smallholdings they do the opposite.

When it comes to protection of the environment then it is more small independent (family) farms and smallholdings that we need and far fewer, if any, large corporate conglomerate industrial farms. Not just the results in Russia, but in many other countries, have shown that small (family) farms can better provide food security than the large ones, while, at the same time being able to benefit the environment. But that is just what the globalists do not seem to want. The food produced by independent farmers they are unable to control and control is what they are about. 

The more or less ban on saving seeds and selling, bartering or giving away saved seeds, as well as the patents on seeds and plants must be seen in this context of control over the food system. 

2024 © Michael Smith 

People are still not getting reuse & recycling

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

People are still not getting reuse & recycling despite the fact that either or even both are indicated clearly enough on the packaging, for instance.

A case in point I have come across the other day with an empty bottle of Nero Water (comes in an aluminium bottle) thrown into the trashcan. The bottle is clearly marked with “Refill me” and also with the recycling information. 

There would have been a time, and I am of that generation for sure, where reuse (that was before recycling was called recycling and that easy as today) would have been so very obvious with so many packaging products. 

Today's generation seems to have need to be told that reuse is possible, or recycling, and how. Many packaging products, such a biscuit tins, and such, including this bottle in question, have instructions, more or less, how to reuse them. 

I really had to laugh when on biscuit tins it stated: “Can be reused for biscuits or cakes.” Erm, what precisely was in that tin? Biscuits. So why does someone have to be told that they could use it to put biscuits in it? 

I sometimes really wonder what has happened to people in the last 40 years and especially to their minds. Somewhere along the line something went seriously wrong, for sure. 

For us of the slightly older generations this came just naturally because, I would guess, we saw our parents and grandparents do it. Often packaging came also with an immediate reuse apparent, such as the glasses in which mustard and, for some time even, Nutella and similar products came in. They were obvious drinking glasses and were reused as such. 

As for reuse of biscuit tins; they were reused for biscuits and almost everything else. Many a child wishing to steal a biscuit at grandma's from a tin that so obviously must have biscuits in it going by the picture on the lid was disappointed to find just buttons in there or other sewing gear. 

For some reuse one does need some imagination but when the container, or whatever, already has a reuse, or recycling ability, indicated why then does that end up in a littler bin rather than being reused or recycled? Laziness, no doubt, is a main reason for this. 

Then again we can even see this at environmental rallies when the recyclables are all in the general litter bins then content of which is not sorted but ends up in landfill. So much for protesting for the environment.

Today's generation is not so much the last generation but very much a lost generation and one that has lost the plot.  

© 2023

Frugal Living is back

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

For some of us, to be honest, it has never gone away regardless as to whether we may have the money to splurge somewhat or not. It is an ingrained way of life; to me at least. I grew up poor.

Some very frugal people happen to be those of the old money in the UK, as I have encountered. Those of what we call the new money are a different breed and they seem to have no inclination often to conserve resources and to live a frugal lifestyle. 

Sometimes it is understandable for some of them have come into money through often hard work now owning their own small to medium size business as builders and such and who frequently have come for a poorer background and now they are trying to live on a higher plane. 

But, often like most, they are only a paycheck, so to speak, away from falling down again but they refuse to see it and live the life of Riley, as they say in this country. 

Among the “old money” folks, even some of the aristocracy, if one knows those people on a personal level, there is a kind of frugality that was common with everyone not so long ago. It is, probably, for that reason that many of them still have money. 

Those that once were poor and have come into money, either by work opportunity and success, by inheritance or, like a couple, by winning the lottery, literally, seem to immediately go on spending sprees as if there is no tomorrow and in the early days of the lottery we used to hear some of the tales of someone having won tens of millions and then a number of years later finding themselves more or less penniless again.  

They, more than, despite of being poor were never taught proper frugality and thus as soon as they have money they run away spending, spending and spending, on things that have no long lasting value. 

But, alas, I digressed, as usual.

Frugality now is back, I should guess, with the so-called “cost of living crisis”, a crisis that is totally of the governments own making but affects the people and those of the least income worst of all. 

Some, however, do not know, and have never really know, what it is and means to live frugally. One can see that especially by what they waste, the things that they toss out because, as far as they are concerned it is obsolete, the food they waste because they have no idea how to cook from and with leftovers, and so forth. And many of those who are doing that are just the people who do not actually have the money to waste. 

While frugal living to some of us is very much an ingrained way of life and living some will have to learn it and learn what it means to be and live frugally. 

Making do is one part of that for sure and that means, as far as I am concerned, how things can be reused and upcycled, whatever this may be. The only problem that I have encountered with that mindset is that there are way too many things one comes across where the mind says “this may come in handy (some day)” and then one starts accumulating all those things and requires a barn to store them, and then finding the time to actually use those items, unless they are what could be classed as “spare parts” for something. 

Having grown up relatively poor but from a family where reuse and all that was a mindset I still today try to make things rather than having to buy them. If I can make something that I want or need, or reuse and refurbish something someone else has tossed out, then I will do so rather than spending money on buying it new.

The same goes for food, in a way, though different, obviously. I do not tend to order in or go out to eat – anyway to some degree an anathema among my People proper – but cook from scratch. That way I do know what is in the dish and also I know how to make use of leftovers, if there are any. The latter is something that, alas, many people, even and especially of the poorer in society, no longer seem to know how. 

The new frugality is nowadays more found among those who do have some money to spare, in a similar way as it is and was always the case with those of the “old” money. Those that really should have that mindset do not, as yet, have acquired it and then wonder why they cannot make ends meet.

Having said that, however, does not mean that it would help with paying many of the bills, especially with regards to energy, etc., as the “cost of living crisis”, as it is being called, is not their fault but, as said already, that of the respective governments. It is also not the fault of a country in the far east of Europe. Capitalism is the reason and nothing else. 

© 2023

London is in the midst of a cycling boom

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

According to a report by Transport for London (TfL) legions of Londoners have embraced cycling during the pandemic.

It found that bike journeys are up by a quarter compared to pre-pandemic levels, with an 82 per cent rise observed at the weekends. Almost 800,000 journeys a day are now made by bike; TfL wants that figure to be 1.3m by 2024.

The news follows the publication of another TfL report a week before, which found the number of cycling fatalities in London hit a record low in 2021.

While I have to admit that I have yet to full read the report to actually bring about a real uptake of cycling for the majority a proper and safe cycling infrastructure has to be created and not just in London.

It is more important even and especially in the suburbs and the areas servicing, so to speak, London, but then again not only there but this is applicable to all cities and towns in this country.

Also the countryside needs such a cycling infrastructure in order for cycling to become and be an alternative to the use of the motorcar and, when it comes to the countryside, the villages and small towns, other infrastructure too needs to be invested in, recreated and created, so that shops and other facilities are within cycling range, including schools.

It is a sad state of affairs that, even in London, cycle lanes are, in the main, a farce, as they are either part of the road itself without any physical separation between cyclist and general traffic, like most of them are on the European mainland in countries such as Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, etc., and that even those lanes that there are are (1) not protected from cars parking on them and (2) that they are often only very short before becoming a normal road again.

The talk is there about getting more and more people to use the bicycle instead of the car, especially for shorter journeys, but the political will does not seem to be present to actually create the right infrastructure for people, including and especially children and the not so confident, to safely take up the bike and use it regularly.

On the other hand there is also a problem with the attitude of many cyclists in the UK, and I am saying that being a cyclist myself (I do not own or use a car), in that many ride as if they are competing in the Tour de France or such an event and behave abysmal, ignoring traffic lights and zebra crossings, for instance.

Would it not be for such people with such attitudes one could safely, as is done in many countries, allow the dual use of the sidewalks for pedestrians and cyclists.

I cannot fathom why cyclists, much like drivers, in the UK have an aggressive style of riding unlike people in countries where there is a real cycling culture, be it the Netherlands, France or Germany, per example. In a number of places in those countries I have encountered the amicable sharing of sidewalks, albeit somewhat wider than most of them we encounter in the UK, between pedestrians and cyclists, with cyclists giving pedestrians priority.

© 2023

The message of reuse is still not getting through

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

I have written about this problem of how people do not seem to understand the principle of reuse many times already and that even if the message is printed large on the wrapper of the box. 

Only the other day in my work (I am a groundsman in a municipal park in my general life) a plastic box from muffins that is intended to be reused as a storage box, sandwich box, box for storage of leftovers in the fridge, or whatever tickles your fancy, thrown into the bin. Nothing wrong with it and the label on it actually states “reusable”. Needless to say that I rescued said box and it will be reused/used.

The origin of the box, despite having removed the wrapper without thinking, has been located with a little research on the Internet and is from Island (no, not the country but the store) and from Choc Chip Muffins of their Brompton House range, and the message of reuse is relatively big printed on it. 

However, it really would appear that some people, even when the reuse message, and even suggestions for reuse, are printed on the wrapper or the box itself, as is the case with some, unfortunately still do not get the message. 

When I was growing up, for some reason, the great majority of the people had a mindset that was looking for a reuse potential in most packaging, whether glass jars, tin cans, boxes of various kinds, and so on. Now the majority seem to have but one mindset, namely that of “toss out”. 

But, as I have written before, this is by far the first, and I am sure also will not be the last, of such cases. There have been incidences where entire new picnic sets, with real cutlery, bought on the day from IKEA have been thrown, in the IKEA bag with the receipt even in the bag, into the bin. Well, they were dirty and what is one to do with dirty dishes but to thrown them. 

It totally beggars belief that, if not for the environment then for their own pocketbooks, such things should not be tossed out. As my dear old Grandpa always said, “we'll reuse the things because we have paid for them when we bought the things in them”. 

We did not have to be told that a container, in those days mostly metal, that had biscuits (cookies) in them could be reused as a cookie tin. It was obvious. And they were reused not just for cookies. Grandma had her sewing stuff in one, something else in another and yet something different in yet another. 

Smaller glass jars of all kinds were reused for drinking vessels, especially for us clumsy kids, because glasses were expensive, as far as our parents and grandparents were concerned, for us to drop and break them. If we broke a “drinking” jar there always was another one. Larger glass jars, especially with screw tops, because storage jars. And so on and so forth. Today, it would appear, people need YouTube videos with instructions to, maybe, get the idea of how to reuse glass jars and other things. 

For some reason, even without a message printed on the packaging, such as boxes, glass jars, etc., we knew, when I was a child, how to make use of those things that came with most of things that we bought in such a way, and that even included tin cans.

When it came to tin can our family used to make things from them for resale on the markets even and people indeed would buy them. And our family was not the only one and we can still find this in many other countries.

The mindset of those days and years seems to have disappeared, in Britain at least, somewhere in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the disposable economy, for lack of a better word, came into force. 

Even though the message is repeated time and again the how to knowledge seems to be lacking today as it has disappeared, it would appear, through lack of use. Time to go back to the future. 

© 2022

Continued disruption of seasonal weather is causing spring activities in autumn

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Woodland Trust warns that continued disruption of seasonal weather may be causing confusion for wildlife.

After a year which saw a ‘split spring’, heatwaves, droughts and a false autumn, the UK’s wildlife may be starting to confuse its seasonal activities as spring sightings are reported in October. 

There have been reports of second flowering for horse chestnut trees, new leaves on species like ash, and plenty of active amphibians and butterflies, and the two former I can verify myself as a professional groundsman aside from a writer. Also at the Park for which I am responsible a bird cherry tree (more like a shrub as it keeps being coppiced) is again in flower and is sprouting new leaves.

We would normally expect butterflies and newts to be going into hibernation around now, and we would also not expect trees to regrow their leaves and flower or flower and then get new leaves, as in the case of prunus species, of which birch cherry is one. 

Warmer weather in autumn can extend the growing periods for plants and allows more foraging time for animals, which in the short term gives them a chance to recover from the summer heatwaves and drought. And while we can expect, after heat and drought as we have been experiencing especially in the southern parts of the UK this summer with trees shedding their leaves as a protection mechanism, some new leaves forming prior to them being shed in autumn in some cases the trees are so confused that they seem to believe spring having arrived already. 

Squirrels too, seeing that many females appear to be suckling, seem to have decided that either it is nowhere near autumn yet or that spring has arrived already, appear to have another litter. Not that there weren't enough of those gray menaces around already who, this year, have taken their toll on the trees in that this year they have done a lot more bark stripping that usual and even on species that they not normally strip. 

However, if extreme weather like we have had this summer becomes increasingly common, disruption to natural cycles may throw species out of sync. Butterflies, for example, rely on a period of dormancy during winter to save energy while food is scarce, and many plants require a spell of cold weather in winter to drive germination in spring.

It’s not just animals that struggle with rising autumn temperatures longer-term as tree’s rely on cold spells to help kill off and stall the spread of pests and diseases.  

Alisha Anstee, Lead Policy Advocate for Tree Health and Invasive Species at Woodland Trust said, “Climate change is likely to lead to a multitude of challenges for our trees and woodlands. One area that is not exempt is the threats posed to trees by pests and diseases. 

As our climate changes over time our trees are likely to be more stressed which means they will be more susceptible to the impacts of pests and diseases. Warmer temperatures will likely lead to more pests and diseases being able to thrive in the UK. These species may previously have been unable to survive in the cooler UK but an increase of up to 2 degrees could reverse this.”

Dr Lewthwaite continues, “A changing climate means changing seasons. We already know that spring is arriving an average of 8.4 days earlier each year, but not so much is known about autumn.”

Whether we can lay all the blame at the door of climate change is a question but the truth is that the UK, at least the southern parts, have not been experiencing a proper set of seasons, as there used to be for some decades by now. 

This year's events could be due, to some extent to the, and that already for some tens of years, wobbling, for lack of a better word, of the jet stream. One could almost assume it to be rather drunk. And in addition to that we seem to be having a serious La NiƱa pattern this summer. 

However, who, at least in the southern parts of the UK, can remember having even remotely have had a proper autumn and winter in the last couple of years. I doubt that anyone can. Snow has become – and, as far as I am concerned good that is too, as I do not like snow – restricted to a couple of days, maybe and the same is true for any real frost. I am old enough to remember real winters in this part of the country lasting for weeks and months. No wonder, therefore, that the natural world is confused because, unlike us humans, it takes them all much longer to adapt. 

As far as tree pests and diseases are concerned we have seen the arrival of Horse Chestnut bleeding canker about a little over 20+ years ago and then the Horse Chestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella), the latter being a pest that likes it a little on the mild side. For its larvae to be killed off it requires a good frost that reaches well into the leaf litter. One can but wonder whether the reason we have so many new tree diseases arriving on our shores, aside from bad biosecurity, is the fact that those pathogen actually thrive now in our much milder “seasons.”

© 2022 

Autumn still to arrive say Forestry England experts

Today, marks the first day of autumn according to the meteorological calendar. And although we have already seen various signs that could be mistaken as autumn, such as leaf drop, Forestry England experts say autumn is still yet to arrive.

The very high temperatures experienced this summer, coupled with lots of sunshine and lack of rain means that some tree species such as leatherwood, hazel, witch alder and bladdernut are showing signs of stress, also known as ‘summer leaf drop’. However, Forestry England experts are reassuring visitors that we can still expect impressive displays of vibrant autumn hues this year

Andrew Smith, Director at Forestry England’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Gloucestershire, explains:

“Many factors contribute to when leaves will change colour and drop. Shallow soils and drought can cause stress to some tree species, triggering some leaves to change colour and drop early.

“This is known as ‘summer leaf drop’ where trees are reacting to their environment and adapting their growth accordingly. When it’s hot and dry, a tree realises it is losing too much water so drops some of its leaves.This can be mistaken as a ‘false autumn’ but typically only 20% of a tree’s leaves are lost which means there are still plenty left to put on a spectacular autumn show.

“If we continue to experience warm days in early autumn, along with spells of rain and cooler nights then we could still see a spectacular show of seasonal colour in our nation’s woodlands.”

It can be misleading, noticing leaves turning yellow and dropping everywhere, however Forestry England say it’s important not to confuse signs of stress in individual trees with the full arrival of autumn.

Andrew continued:

“Here at Westonbirt, we are noticing signs of autumn earlier each year. We have recorded leaf colour change at the arboretum since 2010 and we are already seeing earlier colouration of leaves and later dates of full leaf fall. I like to think of autumn as a firework display that rolls on with different colours appearing over several weeks. Climate change means that display is now lasting longer.

“If we have some spells of rain in the coming weeks and continue to experience above average temperatures, the climate will be ideal for maintaining sugar levels. This means that the leaves will stay attached to trees for longer and will have time to develop their autumnal shades.

“The length of display relies heavily on the weather throughout autumn. If it continues to be mild the leaves will have time for the build-up of chlorophyll to entirely fade and their dormant pigments to fully take over.”

To ensure that autumn is kept colourful for future generations and to increase the resilience of our nation’s forests in the fight against climate, Forestry England is working hard to plant lots of different species of trees in many woodlands which will fare well in the climate conditions predicted over the next decades. Sycamore, wild cherry, hornbeam, small-leaved lime, and oak to name a few should bring a riot of colour to our countryside for visitors to enjoy well into the future.

Source: Forestry England

The climate lockdown cometh

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The British Chief Scientist overnight morphed from a virologist to a climatologist (maybe even a Scientologist, who knows – apologies, I do have a sarcastic streak).

In his speech on Monday, November 8, 2021 at COP 26 in Glasgow he said, among others (paraphrased): “Climate change is more dangerous than the pandemic could ever be and therefore it is important that governments have to force people to change their behavior and make changes in their lives and that governments introduce restrictions (to people's freedoms).” 

What a while ago has been seen as figments of the minds of so-called conspiracy theorists appears to be now becoming reality. Whether it is being called a lockdown or not is not the issue. 

I must say that I, and I am not alone in this, have seen this coming and, and hopefully I am wrong, the restriction of private motoring (as long as it is not by electric vehicle) as well as the restriction to private long distance journeys, especially by aircraft, and it could go as far, in my opinion, of government telling us, more or less what we can eat and what not, such as meat, could all be part of this. Currently they are doing this by persuasion, and other means of manipulations, but if that is not going to have the desired effect we can be certain that heavier guns are sure going to be brought to bear.

None of this has been said, so far, but the very idea of forcing – the man's very words – people to make changes to their behavior and lives and the idea of restrictions mentioned is an indication that such things could be in the offing. 

Presently it is all done more or less by what could be called nudging and making people feel guilty, for instance about eating meat, and this agenda is currently very heavily peddled in the media, from print and online “newspapers” and magazines, to radio and television. 

It has, however, already been rumored in certain quarters that some kind of “lockdowns” could be put in place where private (motor) vehicles may only be used by certain people at certain days. Anyone remember the restrictions during the so-called “oil crisis” when no one was permitted to drive on Sundays? 

Now we have ideas of that nature coming from the Greens in Germany, especially directly from the Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), and we are talking here about measures that a while ago were claimed to be fantasies of so-called conspiracy theorists. 

What some of the so-called conspiracy theorists have been envisaging is not half as bad as what the governments are really planning, it would appear, and which has been ordered, more or less by bodies such as the UN and the WEF. The world government has arrived by the back door thanks to a certain virus claim. 

The Ultra Low Emission Zone of London instigated by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, which is now being extended to all of even Greater London, is just another one of those things. This impacts greatly on people who cannot afford new low emission vehicles or EVs and some will not even be able to get to their own homes without each and every time crossing into the ULE even if they have not gone into London directly. 

What it boils down to, really, is that certain powers are trying there very best to make private motoring impossible for all but those that have enough money to buy an EV. This is something that I, together with others, have been foreseen years ago already. 

The talk of climate change is an agenda. Yes, the climate is changing and it has done so since the Earth has been existing and that about ever 500 years or so, and man has very little influence on that. Our problem, as far as the environment is concerned is pollution but the tackling of this the powers-that-be have tried to avoid for ever and an day. Pollution we can sort, climate change we have adapt to. 

Climate change has become a means by the governments, especially the world government by the UN and the WEF, of people control and is being pushed through for that very purpose, together with supposed pandemics. 

Is Climate Change real? Yes, it is. The climate is changing but we may be heading for peak heat and could be returning very soon to another mini ice age. That is the way the earth has been working ever since. In fact, we are due for another mini ice age and we may have, actually, averted it due to our activities. 

On the other hand CO2 is the food for plants and without it, and without sunlight plants, and especially crops, will die. They will too in droughts, as we have experienced recently, but are droughts really anything new? No, they are not and neither are the drying up of rivers such as the Rhine. In the early 1900s the Elbe river dried up to such an extent that people could cross over on foot in the river bed at Magdeburg. The Rhine was been almost non-navigable due to low water levels many times in history but this must not be mentioned as it does not fit the agenda. 

Bees, and other pollinators, for instance, are not dying because of climate change but because of the way we farm nowadays and have been for a while, throwing dangerous chemicals about. 

We need adapt rather than trying to change the climate, or the weather, or both, especially not by means of so-called geoengineering. Being able to make it rain, for instance, is one thing and we can do that but we have no idea how to turn it off again. Trying to spray some aerosols in the sky to reduce sunlight also is not a great idea for sunlight is needed for plants to grow while, and we know that too, too much of it is not good also. Playing gods, on the other hand, is a bad idea altogether. 

While reducing the use of combustion engines will reduce air pollution the wholesale use of electric vehicles will not make things better either. There we have the often hidden costs, whether in pollution or human misery and that very much so with regards to the mining and production of the materials needed for the batteries. Furthermore the electric supply change will not be able to handle all those vehicles being charged all the time. Thus, the ordinary punter will no longer be able to have and use his or her own car and thus be no longer able to get from A to B by his own means. I am not a driver and I do not own a car but I will defend anyone's right to own and use one, period.

Our most urgent thing or things to do, aside from adapting to a changing climate, is to reduce pollution on all levels and get away from the throw-away society of today. And also, and especially, from products made cheaply in developing and Third World countries which are cheap only because workers are exploited and environmental, as well as health and safety rules either do not exist or are being broken. 

Most important, probably, is that, aside from the products being again, more or less, all made “at home”, in our respective countries, bringing some industries back home, products be made, once again, in such a way that they can be (easily) repaired. Not only will it be better for the consumer but also and especially, for the world around us because fewer things will go into holes in the ground. 

It will make products more expensive in purchasing, that is true, but it will all pay for itself in the long run, and that on many levels. 

But, and here comes the big but, industry, corporations, are not interested in such a sustainable model because it reduces their profits because things that do not easily break and can be easily and even cheaply be repaired mean that they, the corporations, cannot sell us the same product over and over again simply because it is broken and cannot be repaired. In the realm of politics there is also no willpower to force industry to make such changes. 

There is an answer to it but that would require a complete change of our political system and landscape and would mean that most companies would be in public ownership or be co-operatives, as well as all utilities and such like. The system, or its predecessor, has been tried before and only failed because of pressure from the capitalist countries around them and especially from one particular quarter, one particular country, which thinks that it has to bring “democracy” and “free”-market capitalism to every country of the globe, if necessary by force of arms. 

Politicians like to blame the ordinary people for the change in climate and believe that they, the politicians, have to force everyone to do the “right thing”, if necessary by means of sanctions.

© 2022