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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Eels on the Line

“The cocaine-exposed eels appeared “hyperactive” and their skeletal muscle showed evidence of serious injury, including muscle breakdown and swelling. … A polluted river will not have only cocaine, but also, for example, THC, morphine, MDMA, pesticides, heavy metals, phenols and antibiotics.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/21/cocaine-in-rivers-harming-endangered-eels-study-finds

Economists fear the bottom will soon fall out of the illegal drugs trade as users discover the circular economy – a good draught of river water will fulfil all their medication needs.

Coffeetive Dissonance

“Environment Secretary Michael Gove said in December that Britain had to “stop offshoring our dirt” and deal with its plastic waste at home.” https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/06/14/china-plastics-ban-malaysia-vietnam-poland/

“However, the reusable version appeared to have been abandoned in favour of a plastic-lined, single-use cup as he gave evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on the work of Defra – including topics such as farming, air quality and post-Brexit plans.” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/michael-gove-disposable-coffee-cup-environment-meeting-plastic-pollution-latte-levy-a8396761.html

UK government is committed to personally creating fulfilling jobs for those who deal with its plastic waste.

Peelyethylene

“Prepacked orange segments … last about four days whereas a whole orange can last months. Compare the environmental lifetime of orange peel (months) and polyethylene (effectively eternity) – all for the convenience of not peeling an orange.” http://theconversation.com/plastic-packaging-is-often-pollution-for-profit-95015

But with the ‘prepared’ orange, you get the bonus chance of discovering some overworked, underpaid, abused, injured, migrant worker’s blue plaster.

Aqua Vitae

“If trends persist, the amount of pharmaceutical effluence leaching into waterways could increase by two-thirds before 2050 … A large number of drugs – analgesics, antibiotics, anti-platelet agents, hormones, psychiatric drugs, antihistamines – have been found at levels dangerous for wildlife.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/11/drug-waste-clogs-rivers-around-the-world-scientists-say

If we can just pump enough medication into our drinking water, the human population will become completely healthy.

British Psycholeum

“BP’s claim that “in most instances, the increased activity associated with cleanup operations will be a welcome boost to local economies”.
BP also claimed it had not identified any social impacts arising from the event of a diesel spill and “since there are no unresolved stakeholder concerns … BP interprets this event to be socially acceptable”.” https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bp-claims-an-oil-spill-off-australia-s-coast-would-be-a-welcome-boost-to-local-economies-20180406-p4z867.html

The moral justification for polluting: keeping someone in a job.

Insect Asides

“The European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) assessment [of neonicotinoid pesticides] includes bumblebees and solitary bees for the first time.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/28/total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides-likely-after-major-new-eu-analysis

Solitary bees were previously reluctant to take part.

“A spokesman for Syngenta, a neonicotinoid manufacturer, said: “Efsa sadly continues to rely on a [bee risk guidance] document that is overly conservative, extremely impractical and would lead to a ban of most if not all insecticides, including organic products.””

If organic produce is now classified as an insecticide, then chemical pesticides are no more effective than hurling rotten fruit at insects.