Governments could do more to help protect The Only Planet… but governments need profitable economies.
For example Governments could outright ban plastic packaging… but this would negatively affect the economy, and may be unpopular.
Where major legislation has been implemented it has been successful.
We could believe that legislation changes which drive individuals to change their behaviour are much more effective than the efforts of individuals alone to change their own behaviour.
To be honest I totally agree with this suggestion.
Thinking of the problems I wrote about ocean pollution…
there are some laws relating to protection of the UK coastal waters
but with no funding for the policing of these laws, they are weak.
In Europe and the developed world we may think that the environmental problems are not really there, but where there are affluent post industrial societies reaping the economic benefit of their industrial past, we will have exported the environmental problem to Asia, Africa and some parts of America, and Africa, where mining and heavy industry are prevalent.
Photo Courtesy of Newcastle Libraries Flickr
Here in the UK the economy is only expanding in two areas, as far as I can see looking around the local area, I see MoneyLenders, such as Pay Day loans, Gambling, and Property.
I read that the weak pound since the Brexit vote is fuelling a demand for exports. However I cannot see what we could be exporting, as manufacturing in the UK is not a strong nowadays, other than our key products, biscuits aka cookies, carrots, potato products, and offshore industry products such as cabling, wind turbines etc, and cars (mainly Nissan).
Everywhere I look I see buildings being demolished and new ones constructed. The construction industry does provide employment, but at a huge environmental cost. Raw materials for construction have to come from somewhere, that somewhere being Mining and Quarrying, and although there is some recycling going on, mainly demolished buildings are at best used for aggregate for yet another construction project… new roads! Construction is one of the most environmentally damaging of industries, yet who would dare to suggest we slow down the construction industry?
I have given up taking photos of new buildings or buildings being demolished because the novelty wore off. Its ubiquitous. Its everywhere. Everywhere a Crane, a Building site, a hard hat.
The massive environmental cost of the construction industry. The massive cost of the car industry. The massive cost of shipping. Shipping is massively polluting… cruise ships being the notorious worst offenders, yet in the UK we are reliant on imported foods, except for oats, dairy potatoes and carrots. Except for in late summer, when did you last eat any food that wasn’t made from imported ingredients?
I found this post in my draft folder. I wrote it a while ago and maybe for some reason didn’t want to publish it at the time. So apologies if it seems a bit out of date.
The has been some news recently about the harmful effects of plastic fleece. The kind that clothing is made from. Fleece jackets and so on. Also microfibre cloth. I remember when fleece clothing was thought of as being an environmental “good” because it was a way of recycling used plastic bottles. But apparently when plastic fleece, and microfibre clothes are washed, fibres get washed away and end up polluting the ocean. I also remember having a few viscose jumpers which basically rotted away after being washed a few times, I did not think that the fibres would have ended up polluting the ocean.
Over the last few years companies in Europe have been improving the way products are packaged, and there is less packaging than at the packaging peak, however there is still a long way to go.