Air on the Water

“In May the PLA [Port of London Authority] released its own air quality strategy for the Thames, including targets to cut NOx and particulates by half over the next 25 years.
Such measures are already being implemented in the Thames Clippers, but critics have pointed out that even with these changes pollution levels would still far exceed those of road vehicles.
“To me it’s weak – it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors to say they are doing something.”” https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/air-pollution-river-thames-boats-transport-shipping-ferries-nitrogen-dioxide-sadiq-khan-a8411561.html

The mirrors are making the smoke seem twice as bad as it actually is.

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Dead Dolphilia

“By far, the world’s largest kill of dolphins and small whales is in Peru, where up to 15,000 dolphins are killed annually to be used as bait in shark fisheries. … The reasons differ from country to country; human consumption, use as bait, traditional medicines/amulets, currency, waterproofing, sexual gratification or the elimination of a perceived competitor for declining resources.” https://uk.whales.org/blog/2018/08/new-report-reveals-100000-dolphins-and-small-whales-hunted-every-year

The many cruel and unusual ways humanity revels in the slaughter of others.

Hare Today

“From 1954 to 1999 the mountain hare population on moorland sites decreased by nearly 5% every year, which ecologists attributed to the planting of conifer forests on former grouse moors. But from 1999 to 2017 the scale of the moorland declines increased dramatically to over 30% every year, leading to counts in 2017 of less than 1% of original levels in 1954.

David Noble, chairman of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust in Scotland, said data gathered by the GWCT over the same period as the study does not suggest such a decline in hare numbers on grouse moors.
“…we look forward to reviewing it, especially how the counts were made, because assessing hare numbers accurately is challenging.”” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/14/scotlands-mountain-hare-population-severe-decline

Especially when you’re lucky to see even one.

“Whilst hares can benefit from the intensive management intended for grouse (hare declines were lowest on grouse moors up to 1999) this is only when they are not being culled.” http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/scotland/archive/2018/08/14/catastrophic-declines-of-mountain-hares-what-rspb-scotland-believes-should-happen-next.aspx

Biddable Binners

Rooks “will be encouraged to spruce up the park through the use of a small box that delivers a nugget of bird food each time the rook deposits a cigarette end or small piece of rubbish.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/rook-at-this-mess-french-park-trains-crows-to-pick-up-litter

We could simplify the process by rationing litterers’ food, and only issue them with pellets in return for tidying.

More from the Moor

“Saddleworth Moor is made up of peat, which is a particular health threat when it burns because of the large amounts of carbon it stores and the way it burns for long periods of time, emitting large amounts of smoke and tiny particulate matter. …
The bogs are a store to 200 years worth of industrial pollution, once produced by the mill towns of nearby Manchester and Sheffield. …
Research in Canada has shown harmful levels of mercury have been released during peat fires.
“Peat smoke contains many carcinogenic gases such as hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and benzene that could result in a longer-term increase in ill health and mortality in the smoke-affected population.”” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/manchester-wildfires-will-leave-toxic-legacy-scientists-warn/

Another good reason to leave grouse shooting estates to manage moorland by draining it and regularly setting fire to it.

Intruder a Llama

“One farmer has spent 18 months surrounding his 4,500 acres with ditches and barriers to deter criminals from hare coursing and fly-tipping.
Others are using animals including geese, llamas and dogs as a low-tech alarm system, much as landowners did hundreds of years ago. …
Thefts of large numbers of lamb have raised concerns that stock is being stolen for slaughter and processing outside regulated abattoirs before illegally entering the food chain.” https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/aug/06/farmers-using-medieval-methods-to-combat-rural

Barmier llama farmers, though calmer with balmier weather, still raise a lamb at farm harmers…

The Fun in Funding

“As well as taking a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) approach to financing the Thames Tideway, the government offered a “contingent financial support” package which guarantees public money when certain parts of the project go wrong. It’s this transfer of liability first to the consumer, and then also the taxpayer, which helps lower risk and attract investors. A similar package may be offered to nuclear developers. …
Ian Byatt, a former head of the Ofwat, said: “If a company has a big capital project it should put money aside to fund it. Thames [Water] hasn’t done that — it’s paid out every penny in excessive dividends and left Londoners to pick up the bill for the new sewage tunnel.”” https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/08/06/new-nuclear-plants-funding-regulated-asset-base/

Shares in new nuclear for all!