Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Guardian / Unilever: "Food waste around the world"


Link to web site

"Jeong Ho-jin dons a pair of plastic gloves to show off his most proud achievement as a district official in Seoul, South Korea, and then uses his keys to unlock a large, rectangular contraption that looks like some kind of futuristic top-loading washing machine. Loaded with bins half-filled with decomposing ginseng, lettuce and other meal remnants, this, it turns out, is South Korea's high-tech solution to food waste.

"Jeong works in one of two districts in Seoul where the high-tech food waste management program is being piloted. The program works by giving each household a card that has a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip embedded in it, containing the user's name and address. They scan their card on a small card-reader on the front of the high-tech bin to get the lid to open, then dump the food waste into the bin and onto the scale at the bottom, which gives a numerical reading of the waste's weight and disposal cost.

...

"... In Malmö, Sweden, we stick our food waste into frustratingly flimsy paper bags, and drop them into a plastic bin downstairs, from where they go to make the gas that powers the city's buses. Malmö uses anaerobic digestion carried out by bacteria and other methane producing organisms to produce methane gas. Each batch spends three weeks in the digester to complete the process. The resulting gas is then purified so it can be used for a fuel. Each paper bag apparently produces enough to drive a car 2.5km."

Surrey Comet: "Lawyers brand Sutton Council's incinerator decision 'unlawful'"


Link to web site

"Lawyers have branded the council's decision to give the go-ahead to a controversial in incinerator 'unlawful'.

"Lawyers representing Croydon man Shasha Khan have served a letter on Sutton Council saying they believe the council broke the law in giving planning permission for an energy recovery facility (ERF) in Beddington Lane.

"The ERF will burn rubbish from Sutton, Croydon, Merton and Kingston and convert it into energy and heat for nearby homes. Planning permission was granted last year and a legal agreement was reached earlier this month meaning - pending a judicial review - the project can now go ahead."

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Ham & High: "BBC chief backs education centre plan for Alexandra Palace’s TV studios"


Link to web site

"The BBC’s director general has thrown his support behind the plans to transform Alexandra Palace’s television studios into an interactive education centre.

"Tony Hall, who took over as head of the corporation last year, welcomed the plans for the proposed centre, which will use digital imagery and historic artefacts important to the tale of broadcasting at the Palace and beyond.

"The BBC studios at Ally Pally were the venue for the world’s first high definition public television broadcast in 1936."



Click below for BBC web site...

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Edie.net: "Call to launch landfill bans to create 47,500 jobs in the UK"


Link to web site

"The UK could create 47,500 skilled jobs if it kept five key waste materials out of landfill, according to new research by think tank Green Alliance.

"New analysis by Green Alliance urges the Government to ban wood, textiles, electronics, food and plastics. It states that banning wood could create 3,200 jobs; banning textiles could create 6,600 jobs, banning electronics 9,500 jobs, food 12,100 jobs and plastics 16,100 jobs.

"According to the report, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling creates new and valuable products. Selling these generates profit which supports skilled jobs."

Thursday, 20 February 2014

BG&DRA: "Urgent response required to Pinkham Way consultation"



"You may have seen via the PWA that a new consultation process has started on what’s called a 'Site Allocations – Development Plan Document'. Basically there are 54 sites discussed in the document across the borough and one of them is Pinkham Way. The outcome of this consultation could make it much easier for NLWA to develop the site in an industrial manner that all residents will be unhappy about.

"Therefore your help is needed to provide a response and the quickest and easiest way to do that is to add your name to the PWA response. It only takes 2 minutes!

"You are equally allowed to provide your own response, and the PWA site gives guidance on how to do that.

"The deadline for responding is Thursday 6 March, so why not do it now while it’s fresh in your mind?"

Friday, 7 February 2014

Wed 12 Feb: "Hammersmith ‘flyunder’ options to be revealed"



"The draft findings of the council’s investigation into options to bury Hammersmith Flyover are set to be discussed at a public meeting next week.

"The ‘flyunder’ transport select committee takes place at Hammersmith Town Hall on Wednesday 12 February at 6.30pm (for a 7pm start).
 
"Transport and engineering experts have been exploring various options for a tunnel replacement for Hammersmith’s ageing and divisive flyover. The probe has been exploring various tunnel lengths and possible starting and end points, and is measuring options against social, economic and environmental benefits.

"The study will include feedback from local residents and is set to be finalised by March 2014 - when the study will be given to Transport for London (TfL) which owns and manages the A4. 89% of respondents to a council poll back some form of tunnel replacement.

"The study aims to answer two main questions which are: could a tunnel be built and should a tunnel be built?

"Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, said
“Residents’ views are vital on the question of whether we should build a tunnel and how bold we want to be. We have a range of options - from simply replacing the flyover to something far more ambitious, like a tunnel that potentially stretches from Chiswick to Earl’s Court, involving various north/south connector tunnels. All options are being explored.”
"Multinational engineering firm CH2M Hill Halcrow - one of the UK's largest infrastructure experts and builder of the Channel Tunnel - is exploring the ground conditions in the area to help answer the question of ‘could a tunnel be built’.

"Meanwhile TfL is continuing its works to repair the flyover, with some overnight and partial closures of the flyover needed along as well as local road closures and diversions.

"Come along to the council’s Transport Select Committee at Hammersmith Town Hall on Wednesday February 12, 2014 at 7pm."

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Guardian: "The Enfield Experiment: London's fortunes distilled into a single borough"


"The Guardian's senior economics commentator kicks off a new series looking at the challenges facing the London suburb where he grew up – and the ideas that might offer a radical fix"

"Link to the web site, me old cock-sparrow"

"How do you fix a broken economy? No bigger question faces post-crash Britain. Yet after six years of pledges of virtue – of borrowing less, exporting more, greater investment, factories not banks – the Westminster classes have led us back to their favourite diversion: blowing hard into a balloon marked 'house prices'.

"Meanwhile, the existential problems of how Britain pays its way in the world, and how its people earn a decent living, without depending on credit or welfare, go ignored. Indeed, the most intriguing answer I've seen lies not in the beartraps George Osborne and Ed Balls set for each other – but 10 miles north of parliament, in Enfield.

"... Eastern Enfield is also handicapped by some of the worst public transport links anywhere in north London, with no tube and only two trains from some stations into the city every hour. Graduate Antony Blacker can tell you what that's cost him: he was rejected from a post in the borough next door, Barnet, because it wasn't practical for him to commute by bus." [Light-rail, anyone?]




Tuesday, 28 January 2014

First Capital Connect: The Hertford Loop




First Capital Connect (Hertford Loop)

[Dr William McCrea in the Chair]
2.30 pm

Nick de Bois (Enfield North) (Con):
It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship for what I believe is the first time, Dr McCrea. I am delighted to see so many colleagues here. I think that we have all linked up on the First Capital Connect line, which shows how integrated we are, and how integrated we would like our transport to be.

Many of us in this place often focus, understandably, on the important political policy shifts that often divide us, despite the fact that sometimes we have common goals and desired outcomes. Those political policy shifts understandably dominate the political agenda, and of course have a significant impact on our constituents, but although they may capture our imaginations and dominate most of our time, this debate is, I suggest, on one of the most pressing issues facing hard-working constituents who commute to work.

It is perhaps worth bearing in mind that a typical commuter from Gordon Hill in my constituency to Moorgate will spend approximately 230 hours a year on a First Capital Connect train, if all runs well.

Mr Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con):
If the trains are not running well, as is often the case, they will spend another 230 hours waiting for the train to arrive.

Nick de Bois:
My hon. Friend anticipates me neatly ... [And so on. Click for more.]

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

WIRED: "Mozilla Calls on World to Protect Firefox Browser From the NSA"


Link to web site

"Brendan Eich is the chief technology officer of the Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit behind the Firefox web browser. Among many other things, he oversees the Firefox security team — the software engineers who work to steel the browser against online attacks from hackers, phishers, and other miscreants — and that team is about to get bigger. Much, much bigger.

"In a recent blog post, Eich calls for security researchers across the globe to regularly audit the Firefox source code and create automated systems that can ensure the same code is used to update 18 million machines that run the browser. That’s not an option for other browsers, but it is for Firefox. The code behind the browser is completely open source, meaning anyone can look at it, at any time.

"The move is one more way that the giants of the web are responding to revelations that the National Security Agency is snooping on web traffic via popular services and software."

Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Independent: "Secret report shows how organised crime infiltrated judicial system as well as police, with prison service and HM Revenue & Customs also compromised"


Link to web site

"The entire criminal justice system was infiltrated by organised crime gangs, according to a secret Scotland Yard report leaked to The Independent.

"In 2003 Operation Tiberius found that men suspected of being Britain’s most notorious criminals had compromised multiple agencies, including HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the City of London Police and the Prison Service, as well as pillars of the criminal justice system including juries and the legal profession.

"The strategic intelligence scoping exercise – 'ratified by the most senior management' at the Met – uncovered jurors being bought off or threatened to return not-guilty verdicts; corrupt individuals working for HMRC, both in the UK and overseas; and 'get out of jail free cards' being bought for £50,000."

Thursday, 9 January 2014

"The UK remains on course to retain its throwaway culture"


"As a new government report on waste fails to make a splash, the UK's unsustainable economy looks likely to continue to generate excessive waste, writes Tim Cooper"

Link to The Guardian

"Issuing a waste prevention programme at the peak of the Christmas shopping period might have been a master stroke by the coalition government. What better time to highlight and address the excesses of consumerism? Presents that are cheap and cheerful, designed for the moment rather than a long life, and little more expensive than the glossy, excessive packaging that supposedly communicates the giver's generous feelings towards the recipient?

"Yet the timing has proven less successful. Far from hitting the headlines, the coalition government's new report, Prevention is Better than Cure, has evidently been wholly disregarded by national broadcast and print media alike."

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

"David Cameron 'very much suspects' climate change is behind recent storms"


Link to The Guardian

"David Cameron yesterday angered some in his party when he said the storms and flooding causing havoc across Britain could have been caused by climate change. 

"During his weekly questions in the Commons, the prime minister said he suspected global warming could be responsible for an increase in extreme weather events, including the recent storms that have left seven people dead and hundreds of homes under water.

"... The prime minister said:

"Colleagues across the house can argue about whether that is linked to climate change or not. I very much suspect that it is. The point is that whatever one's view, it makes sense to invest in flood defences … it makes sense to get information out better, and we should do all of those things."

New Scientist: "Electricity use drops as UK passes 'peak light bulb'"


Link to web site

"We have passed peak light bulb. The average amount of electricity needed annually to light a UK home fell from 720 kilowatt-hours in 1997 to 508 kWh in 2012, a drop of 29 per cent.

"Brenda Boardman of the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute says this is largely down to the phasing out of inefficient incandescent light bulbs. 'Because of the amount we are switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs and LEDs, there is a huge drop in demand,' she says.

"From 2007 to 2012, the UK's peak electricity demand fell from 61.5 to 57.5 gigawatts. The benefits of efficient light bulbs are good news for the UK, which will have to work hard to maintain its electricity supply."

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Guardian: "Planet likely to warm by 4C by 2100, scientists warn"


Link to web site

"Temperature rises resulting from unchecked climate change will be at the severe end of those projected, according to a new scientific study.

"The scientist leading the research said that unless emissions of greenhouse gases were cut, the planet would heat up by a minimum of 4C by 2100, twice the level the world's governments deem dangerous.

"The research indicates that fewer clouds form as the planet warms, meaning less sunlight is reflected back into space, driving temperatures up further still. The way clouds affect global warming has been the biggest mystery surrounding future climate change."

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Independent: "The gathering storm: A look back on middle-class Europe's last carefree Christmas before the onset of World War One "


Link to web site

"The Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, said just after Christmas 1913:
"Our relations with Germany are infinitely more friendly now than they have been for years. Sanity has now been more or less restored on both sides of the North Sea."
The Economist, self-assured then as now, told its readers to go home and party:
"There is no reason why the inhabitants of this prosperous little kingdom should not enjoy a merry Christmas."
The Daily Graphic, ancestor of the Daily Mirror, was more prescient.:
"Wherever we look we see the grim apparatus of war … clogging the wheels of industry and squandering the fruits of peace."
This was a lone voice. Some feared a European war. Few imagined that 'progress' – not just modern weapons but railways, aeroplanes, canned food, industrial production, powerful economies – were about to mutate into the cancer of the most destructive war the world had ever known."

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

"The US and China must show leadership on climate change"


"As the European Union dithers, the world's two biggest carbon emitters must work together to help countries reach a climate deal"

Link to The Guardian

"The world is approaching a watershed moment in its battle to limit the risks posed by global climate change, and international leadership from the United States is needed now more than ever before.

"A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in September warned that emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are already raising temperatures, melting glaciers and the polar ice caps, elevating sea levels and changing the strength and frequency of many extreme weather events.

"Without sharp reductions in emissions, global average temperature could be much more than 2C degrees above its pre-industrial level by the end of the century, beyond anything the Earth has seen for millions of years, and way outside the experience of modern Homo sapiens."

Monday, 2 December 2013

"Welcome, lookers-in everywhere! This will eventually be BBC1"


Link to web site and iPlayer

"Sixty years ago today the BBC unveiled its first 'television symbol' - a moving logo to identify a TV channel - nowadays known as an 'ident'.

The new medium of television, the BBC decided, needed a new way to identify itself to viewers.


As television grew more polished, it needed something more exciting than a random selection of testcards in between the programmes.

The device known popularly as 'the bat's wings' (or, in some hostile newspapers, simply as 'the thing') was the solution it came up with.


Friday, 29 November 2013

Crossrail 2, to Alexandra Palace station: Transport for London speaks at last



"We are now able to update you on the consultation results and let you know that the consultation results report is now available online at www.crossrail2.co.uk

"We are now working through the suggestions and comments made during the consultation. We hope to be able to publish our response to issues raised in the early spring 2014.

"There were a total of 13,933 replies to the recent consultation:

  • 13,767 were from the public, and
  • 166 from stakeholders."

Public responses to the consultation

"Of the 13,767 replies received, 96% of the public respondents strongly support or support the principle of Crossrail 2. Only 2% oppose or strongly oppose the principle. 


"Support is high for both route options, but it is the Regional option which has the greatest overall level of support, with 84% total support, against 73% total support for the Metro option. Many of the responses received, requested specific destination to be served.
Stakeholder Responses to the consultation

"Of the 166 stakeholder replies received, 86% strongly support or support the principle of Crossrail 2. Only 3% oppose or strongly oppose the principle.

"The Regional option has strong support from stakeholders, with 75% strongly supporting or supporting this option, as opposed to just 36% who strongly supported/supported the Metro option. Only 6% of stakeholders opposed or strongly opposed the Regional option. 16% of stakeholders strongly opposed or opposed the Metro option.

"As with public responses, a number of specific destinations were requested to be served.

"We are now working through the suggestions and comments made during the consultation. We hope to be able to publish our response to issues raised by spring 2014.

"If you have any questions regarding the project or the consultation, please email crossrail2@tfl.gov.uk

"We look forward to updating you on the progress of the project in spring next year 2014."


Monday, 18 November 2013

Video: Voting YES to a new London waste incinerator



"Councillor Fenwick's compelling argument on why pollution is good for us. Whilst the audio is taken from the Planning Committee meeting where the South London Incinerator was agreed, please note this is an artistic interpretation of Cllr Fenwick, and not actual footage of the evening."

Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Independent: "Stand by for a world energy crisis"


Link to web site

"Jeremy Leggett couldn’t have chosen a better time to warn that we are heading for a world energy crisis so ghastly that the Great Financial Crash will look like a storm in a teacup.

"The 'Big Six' energy companies are in the dock squabbling over rising charges, the politicians are electioneering with dodgy promises to reduce prices, while a horrifying number of people say they will choose between heating and eating this winter.

"If Mr Leggett is right, it’s not only candles and jumpers we will need, but our own generators as well."

Sunday, 10 November 2013

BBC: "Ozone chemicals ban linked to global warming 'pause'"


Link to web site

"A new study suggests that the ban on ozone depleting chemicals may have also impacted the rise in global temperatures.

"CFC gases were responsible for a massive hole in the ozone layer, but they also had a powerful greenhouse effect.

"The authors link a ban on their use to a 'pause' or slowdown in temperature increases since the mid 1990s."

Saturday, 9 November 2013

FastCoexist: "By 2100, We'll Be Living In A World Of Garbage"


Link to web site

"People are moving to cities, and people are getting richer. Rich people in cities are incredibly wasteful. In 100 years, the world may be generating four times as much garbage as it does now - unless we act to put a price on thoughtless disposal.

"We have a garbage problem. Not just here in the United States, where the average person throws away their body weight every month - but increasingly around the world as well. Growing prosperity and urbanization are leading to a big surge in the waste mountain. And, a new analysis suggests the problem is likely to keep growing this century, unless there's serious change.

Global waste has bulged 10-fold in the last century. And by 2025, it's set to double from where it is today, according to a study in the journal Nature. The chief reason: newly rich cities of the developing world. Dumps like Laogang in Shanghai and Jardim Gramacho in Rio de Janeiro are already overflowing. China's solid waste is set to grow from about 573,000 tons a day in 2005 to 1.5 million tons in 2025."

BBC: "Don't Panic - The Truth About Population"


Stick it up 'im, to link to web site

"Using state-of-the-art 3D graphics and the timing of a stand-up comedian, world-famous statistician Professor Hans Rosling presents a spectacular portrait of our rapidly changing world. 

"With seven billion people already on our planet, we often look to the future with dread, but Rosling's message is surprisingly upbeat. Almost unnoticed, we have actually begun to conquer the problems of rapid population growth and extreme poverty.

"Across the world, even in countries like Bangladesh, families of just two children are now the norm - meaning that within a few generations, the population explosion will be over. A smaller proportion of people now live in extreme poverty than ever before in human history and the United Nations has set a target of eradicating it altogether within a few decades.

"In this as-live studio event, Rosling presents a statistical tour-de-force, including his 'ignorance survey', which demonstrates how British university graduates would be outperformed by chimpanzees in a test of knowledge about developing countries."


Friday, 8 November 2013

"This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time"


"I will remember friends and comrades in private next year, as the solemnity of remembrance has been twisted into a justification for conflict"

Link to The Guardian

"Over the last 10 years the sepia tone of November has become blood-soaked with paper poppies festooning the lapels of our politicians, newsreaders and business leaders. The most fortunate in our society have turned the solemnity of remembrance for fallen soldiers in ancient wars into a justification for our most recent armed conflicts.

"... I am afraid it will be the last time that I will bear witness to those soldiers, airmen and sailors who are no more, at my local cenotaph. From now on, I will lament their passing in private because my despair is for those who live in this present world.

"I will no longer allow my obligation as a veteran to remember those who died in the great wars to be co-opted by current or former politicians to justify our folly in Iraq, our morally dubious war on terror and our elimination of one's right to privacy."

Rail News: "New East Coast route could be HS2 alternative" (Tunnel from Alexandra Palace?)


Chuff-chuff to the web site

"NETWORK RAIL has warned that upgrading the London end of the East Coast Main Line as part of an alternative to HS2 could cause as much disruption as building the High Speed line itself.

"Even then, a programme of work to improve network capacity could take 14 years, need 2,770 weekend possessions and disrupt main line services north from London Euston, St Pancras International and King’s Cross. The cost is also estimated at £20 billion – more than the base cost of Phase 1 of HS2."

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Sky: "Food Waste: Six Meals A Week Thrown Away"



"The average UK household throws away the equivalent of six meals every week, costing almost £60 a month, a study has found.

"The waste costs £12.5bn a year despite a significant drive to reduce the problem, a report by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) said.

"The equivalent of 24 million slices of bread, 5.8 million potatoes and 5.9 million glasses of milk are thrown away every day, while 86 million whole chickens are discarded every year."

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

"Conservative MP Angie Bray supports Brent's concern over Harlesden/Acton waste incinerator" (and a copy of a planned incinerator in Barnet, at Brent Cross)


Source: 'Wembley Matters'

Angie Bray, Conservative MP for Ealing Central and Acton, has spoken out against the proposed 'Harlesden/Acton Waste Incinerator' LINK

Following the deferral of the item which was due to be discussed in about an hour at Ealing Planning Committee she publishes the speech she had prepared to deliver:
"I have been keeping a concerned eye on some of the pollution issues affecting the different parts of Acton for some time. These include the pollution generated by the Horn Lane site, the problems emanating from the Powerday site and the natural concerns that local residents have around the fact that five sites have been identified for waste disposal around Park Royal.  Clean Power's application comes on top of all of this.

"My first concern was immediately created at the meeting I had with Clean Power in Parliament, when they came to brief me on their proposals. I asked whether their application was to run one of the five waste sites whose location had been identified by the Council around Park Royal, as part of the Mayor's London Waste Plan. Imagine my surprise when they clearly had no idea what I was talking about. Later it transpired that they were actually proposing to establish potentially a sixth waste site in this corner of my constituency. Obviously, no one expects that the five sites identified by the Council will all be used, but this addition to those that may be would still add substantially to the problems that would be faced by the community - not least: pollution, odours, transport congestion and noise.

"My next concern, following on from what I've just said, is that the residents' community in North Acton, who are living alongside Powerday, would, were this application to succeed, find themselves literally wedged between two major waste disposal sites. I don't think any of us would disagree that Powerday is the source of continual problems for local residents, however much the management say otherwise and indeed work to ameliorate the odours and general pollution. There have been times in particularly hot weather where residents are unable to open their windows - such is the stink caused by the site. And then of course there are rats and do I need I go on...

"So is it reasonable to expect residents to have to live with yet another waste disposal site - anaerobic digestive or otherwise - just to the other side of them?

"Obviously too there will be the nature of the waste traffic. Residents have had to get used to the traffic generated by Powerday's and the Freightliner site's existing operations, but is the Council really going to expect them now to tolerate even more waste lorry traffic that will inevitably arrive as a result of the operations by Clean Power? How much more heavy traffic is this part of North Acton able to sustain without an intolerable impact on the lives of the local residents?

"What has been striking to many of us, which I list as my third concern, is the lack of evidence that Clean Power is able to produce to demonstrate how well their operations work on other sites. Clearly, if we had been able to see happy residents close by to a Clean Power site, then that might have helped to allay fears.  But when I go on their website, all I see is a list of would-be sites, which they hope to develop in the future.  Surely the Council will require better evidence than that?

"My fifth and final question is about the choice of the site itself. As I understand it, this site is currently safeguarded for HS2.  Now I recognise that there has been much debate about HS2 - and there may have been some who thought that the cross-party support for the project was breaking down - however, last week in Parliament all parties lined up with very few dissenting members, to support the HS2 project going forward. It strikes me that this site will remain HS2's as the project is unrolled. 

"So why is Ealing Council even taking time to consider this proposal when we all know that the safeguarding by HS2 remains firmly in place, as does the project itself? As things stand, there is no site for Clean Power to develop, so can we just recognise reality and put a stop to any further blight of this kind on local residents? I notice Brent is focusing very hard on the pollution aspects of this proposal, and both Brent and Ealing pollution experts are calling for rejection of the plan.  I would like to add my voice to theirs.”

Sunday, 3 November 2013

[Updated] The Twin of the Brent Cross Incinerator: To be decided on Wed 6 Nov



UPDATE FROM EALING COUNCIL:

Dear Councillors, Colleagues and Residents,

As a result of the recent changes to the HS2 proposals which included the reissuing of the Safeguarding Direction on 24 October to take into account the decision to proceed with the Northolt tunnel option the council considered it appropriate to check whether the GLAs position as set out in its Stage 1 report still stands. The council is unlikely to receive any formal confirmation of GLAs position today in time for it to be considered at tonight planning meeting. Therefore, the item has been withdrawn from the agenda and will be considered at a future meeting.

I would be grateful if you would relay this information to any interested parties.

Regards
Gordon Williams, Democratic Services
Tel: 0208 825 6058 williamsg@ealing.gov.uk


(You may need to reduce the volume at times, when information is relayed rather loudly!)

From Wembley Matters:
"On Saturday, between 250 and 300 residents and their supporters from the Labour and Green parties massed on the narrow Channel Gate Road, which is flanked by streets of terraced railway cottages near Willesden Junction, to greet councillors on the Ealing Council planning committee. [There are usually Conservative Party protesters as well, and may have been this time.]

"As we stood there, heavy trucks trundled by at regular intervals, sometimes two or three, nose to tail, making the crowd wonder just what kind of hell they will face in the future if the new plant is built, in addition to the Powerday waste facility which already causes them much suffering.

"Their message was clear - we want clean air to breathe and safe and pollution free streets for our children. The protesters were able to put their case to the councillors, and will be attending the Planning Committee at Ealing Town Hall on Wednesday 6 November, assembling outside from 6.30pm. The application will be first on the agenda at 7pm."


Thursday, 31 October 2013

BBC: "Homer Simpson's scary maths problems"


Poke him in the eye for web site

"For a character living in two dimensions, grasping the idea of life in 3D can be tough - especially if the character in question is Homer Simpson. But one Halloween episode of 'The Simpsons' forces him to confront the concept, and gives viewers a mathematical workout too.

"... Meanwhile, in Springfield, Professor Frink is giving Chief Wiggum and others an impromptu introduction to the mathematics of higher dimensions, in order to explain what happened to Homer when he disappeared through a portal. Of course, the notion of a third dimension is baffling from Chief Wiggum's two-dimensional perspective, so Frink draws a diagram:

Professor Frink:
"Here is an ordinary square."
Chief Wiggum:
"Whoa, whoa! Slow down, egghead!"

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Evening Standard: "Boris bikes to go electric next year as part of major expansion of London cycle scheme"


Link to web site

"Several hundred battery-powered bicycles will be on London’s streets next year in a pilot scheme that breaks new ground in the UK. The bikes will be introduced in some of the capital’s hilliest parts, where steep climbs put many off taking their bike or even walking.

"Earmarked corridors will run through Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Alexandra Palace, with a base station at Finsbury Park Tube. Boris bike-style docking stations in these areas will double as electric charging points for the bicycles.

"Haringey council leader Claire Kober said:
"We’re really excited to be Britain’s first e-bikes borough.

"This project with the Mayor underpins our commitment to being one of London’s greenest boroughs, and to promoting and rewarding greener travel through improved cycling facilities and sustainable transport across Haringey."

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Independent on Sunday: "Let's play God: The scientific experiments that might save the world (or destroy it...)"


"Fake volcanoes, giant space mirrors, oceans of iron filings… One of these ideas might save our planet from the worst effects of global warming – or destroy it. Memphis Barker reports on the rise of geoengineering – and the rift it has opened in the scientific community"

Link to web site

"Roughly every six years the IPCC lays out the latest climate science in layman's terms, so policy-makers around the world can understand – and base policies on – accurate information about mankind's effect on rising temperatures.

"The 2013 report consolidated the belief that we are the dominant cause of warming to 95 per cent certainty. It acknowledged that the rate of surface-temperature rise had slowed in the past 15 years – but suggested that heating continues unabated in the oceans, and made it clear that short-term variations do not reflect long-term trends.

"Sea levels are rising faster than previously projected. Ice is melting faster, too. It is 'very likely' that extreme weather events will soon strike more regularly. And what we are doing now, the IPCC stated, is 'irreversible on a multi-century to millennial timescale'.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Barnet Times: "Pinkham Way Alliance wants more oversight over the North London Waste Authority"


Link to web site

"Campaigners have called for more scrutiny of a waste authority after it scrapped controversial plans to build a huge waste plant.

"The Pinkham Way Alliance wants more oversight over the North London Waste Authority (NWLA) which handles waste from seven local authorities, including Barnet, Enfield and Haringey.

"It had proposed to build a multi-million pound waste disposal facility in Pinkham Way, Bounds Green, as part of a £3billion, 30-year strategy."

Thursday, 17 October 2013

"Your next Piccadilly Line train in 2 minutes is this thing." (Possibly.)


Link to Railway Gazette

"Siemens has unveiled a full-sized mock-up of the train which it intends to offer when Transport for London calls tenders for new fleets for London Underground's small-profile tube lines.

"Part of Siemens' Inspiro family, the articulated design for London would feature wide through gangways, air-conditioning and an option for fully-automated operation.

"The trains would use the same traction package as the Inspiro rolling stock being delivered to the Warszawa metro, but would feature a smaller-profile body suitable for London. This would include a distinctively styled cab with a front end not dissimilar to the LU roundel logo. Industrial design for the trains has been undertaken by Atlantic Design, while the mock-up was produced by Curvature Group."

The West Australian: "Outdoor air pollution a leading cause of cancer: World Health Organisation"


Link to web site

" 'The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances,' said Kurt Straif of the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). 'We now know that outdoor air pollution is not only a major risk to health in general, but also a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths.'

"The IARC said a panel of top experts had found 'sufficient evidence' that exposure to outdoor air pollution caused lung cancer and raised the risk of bladder cancer.

"... The predominant sources of outdoor air pollution were transport, power generation, emissions from factories and farms, and residential heating and cooking, the agency said."

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Haringey Journal: "Waste plan battle is ‘not over’ say Muswell Hill campaigners after wider scheme is shelved"


Link to web site

"A campaign group which fought to prevent a massive waste plant being built on the outskirts of Muswell Hill has warned the battle is not over, despite plans for the wider scheme being shelved.

"The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) announced last Friday it was ending its procurement process – which would have seen it grant a £3-4billion 30-year contract to manage north London’s municipal waste – to look for a 'less expensive solution' based on the continued use of its existing Edmonton facility.

"It is news which has been welcomed by politicians and residents alike."

New Scientist: "The oceans are heating, acidifying and choking"


Link to web site

"We know the oceans are warming. We know they are acidifying. And now, to cap it all, it turns out they are suffocating, too. A new health check on the state of the oceans warns that they will have lost as much as 7 per cent of their oxygen by the end of the century.

"The cascade of chemical and biological changes now under way could see coral reefs irreversibly destroyed in 50 to 100 years, with marine ecosystems increasingly taken over by jellyfish and toxic algal blooms.

"The review is a repeat of a study two years ago by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), a coalition of scientists. It concludes that things have become worse since the first study."

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Jean Lambert, Green MEP: "I welcome decision to scrap rubbish plan"



"LONDON Euro-MP Jean Lambert has welcomed the decision to scrap plans to privatize waste services in north London, in the face of opposition from community, environmental and human rights groups.

"The planned £4.7bn outsourcing of the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) operations has been put on hold in the face of dwindling local authority budgets - and keeping the services in the public sector is expected to save as much as £900m.

Ms Lambert, the capital's Green Party MEP, said:
"I am delighted that the North London Waste Authority has decided to ditch the proposals to outsource their entire operations. This is a massive victory for local campaigners.

"Now the North London Waste Authority should think about using existing sites more effectively, working to reduce household waste levels, and building smaller sites, closer to where the waste is being produced, where these prove absolutely necessary rather than developing systems that rely on ongoing waste production."

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Barnet Times: "The North London Waste Authority rebuffs victory claims by Pinkham Way Alliance"


Link to web site

"A waste authority has denied claims that campaigners had anything to do with a decision to ditch controversial plans to build a huge waste plant.

"The North London Waste Authority had planned to build a multi-million pound waste disposal facility in Pinkham Way, Bounds Green.

"The plant was part of a £3billion, 30-year strategy for handling waste from seven local authorities, including Barnet, Enfield and Haringey."

ITN News: Pinkham Way


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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Evening Standard: "X-Factor star and mums' army help defeat giant waste plant in north London"


Link to web site

"Plans to build Europe’s biggest waste plant in north London have been shelved following strong opposition from residents including a 'mums’ army' led by an X Factor finalist.

"North London Waste Authority (NLWA) wanted to build a 24-hour waste plant at Pinkham Way, bordering Barnet, Haringey and Enfield.

"The facility would have processed up to 300,000 tons of rubbish a year from seven boroughs, but opponents say the site is within half a mile of seven schools and 100,000 homes."

Monday, 30 September 2013

Bowes & Bounds Connected: "Myddleton Road Market N22"



Lynne Featherstone MP: "Pinkham Way – one step closer to victory!"




"I have just sent the below comment to the press regarding the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) decision to end their procurement process for long-term waste management services.

"In short – they have decided to keep using the waste facility in Edmonton, and keep waste management under control of the local authority (rather than contract them out to a private bidder).

"There are now no current plans to use the Pinkham Way site for waste management. I’d like to echo the words of the Pinkham Way Alliance: 'This is very good news!’

My press comment:
"The decision to end the procurement for long-term waste management in North London marks a great victory for the Pinkham Way Alliance, the local Liberal Democrats and local residents, who have campaigned hard against the NLWA’s plans.

From day one, the whole process has been a farce and the strategy deeply flawed. The plan to use Pinkham Way for a waste plant, for instance, was simply inappropriate. They should have been looking at ways to reduce wastage – not thinking of building huge incinerators in unsuitable places.

It’s all very well the NLWA saying they’re saving us money now by keeping waste management services ‘in house’ – but what about the public money wasted to date on their flawed plans?

I am of course glad that the NLWA has finally seen sense – but it shouldn’t have taken this long to realise their existing Edmonton site would be suitable.

We must remain vigilant, though. Although there are now no immediate plans to use the Pinkham Way site, it is still an asset of the NLWA, and different plans to use the site may surface in the future.

The local Lib Dems and I will be sure to keep residents updated as and when we receive information."