Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Amazon Burgers?

It has been claimed that some of the beef supplied to McDonald's and Burger King by a Brazilian company came from land where illegal deforestation had occurred (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/17/leading-burger-supplier-sourced-from-amazon-farmer-guilty-of-deforestation). Although it is now claimed that the practice has stopped and the farmer fined and blacklisted, the event does illustrate the nature of one driver that is leading to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Food Glorious Food

The UK imports more than 40% of its fresh food and a report by MPs suggests that its provisioning is threatened by a number of factors, including climate change and Brexit (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/17/uk-fresh-food-imports-areas-at-risk-climate-crisis-mps-warn). About 20% of food comes from areas currently viewed as being clearly at risk of environmental challenges (that area might actually be considerably larger than envisioned). One could argue that that might reduce the import of exotic items with their high carbon footprints but that wouldn't be much consolation to the producers. It seems likely that the British diet (as well as water usage) will have to be reconsidered.

Suborning Science

It is frightening to read of the apparently routine and systematic suppression of 'inconvenient' science on climate change and other environmental issues in the USA (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/17/whistleblowers-scientists-climate-crisis-trump-administration). If issues can be suppressed by political and commercial interests in 'the most scientifically advanced country on the planet', we are in a very dark place.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Subsidised Destruction

A report from the Food and Land Use Coalition (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/16/1m-a-minute-the-farming-subsidies-destroying-the-world) has noted that 99% of the £560bn annual subsidies to farming are for environmentally destructive purposes. Most are used to promote cattle production (with their high methane output- this effluent being a powerful greenhouse gas); forest destruction (removing major opportunities to store carbon and reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) and fertiliser use (with its tendency to pollute water systems). Unremarkably, they suggest that considerably more than the current 1% of subsidies should be used to encourage activities that are beneficial to our finite environment. Profits seem to be the be all and end all!

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Seeing the Changes 1358


In Loughor, Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) was flowering. Two shrews lay dead about 20cm apart.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Seeing the Changes 1357

At Llangennith on the Gower, masses of large jellyfish were washed up. This caused a feeding frenzy by the sandhoppers.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Anthropocene: The Beginning or the End?

It has been reported that plastics (mainly from clothing) are now being found in the sedimentary rock record (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/04/plastic-pollution-fossil-record) where fossils are found. The rise of human-generated plastics is also said to be evident in plankton samples taken over the decades and now reanalysed for micro-fibres (in earlier years, people would not have thought them worthy of comment). So this really does seem to be the start of the Anthropocene (human dominated) geological era. Whether it will continue or not largely depends on the health of the planet.

Amazon Burgers?

It has been claimed that some of the beef supplied to McDonald's and Burger King by a Brazilian company came from land where illegal ...