Showing posts with label deforestation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deforestation. Show all posts

Thursday 29 February 2024

British power plant burns old growth Canadian forest destroying wildlife habitat

The Drax power plant near Selby, North Yorkshire, UK has been receiving a couple of sets of government subsidies worth £6bn because it is claimed that the electricity produced by this powerplant comes from burning plant biomass - trees from ecologically unimportant areas in Canada. 


In this instance, biomass is renewable organic material from trees. It should also be carbon neutral with the carbon produced from burning wood being cancelled out by the carbon absorbed by trees growing.

But the problem with this process is that Drax is receiving subsidies in order to burn wood from old-growth forests which provide a unique habitat for ecosystems in Canada. It's probable, that these forests provide a habitat for the Canada lynx which is my connection to the cat in this article.

In the UK, in 2017, in a sustainability report, Drax promised not to take timber from no-go areas which means protected forests, primary forests, old-growth forests and forests classified as having a high biodiversity value.

Government support for Drax can only be justified because the wood that they use for their power stations has been sourced sustainably and I presume in compliance with good carbon neutral policies. And in compliance with wildlife conservation. That's not mentioned in The Times article: Power plant burns rare forest wood.

The wood comes from primary forests as mentioned and therefore Drax should not receive government subsidies which have amounted to £6 billion as I understand it in the past.

In a letter to The Times British Members of Parliament have said the following: 
"Continued wood burning biomass harms forests, communities and contributes huge amounts of carbon emissions to the atmosphere."
In response, Drax did not deny clearing old-growth forests for its power stations. However Drax said that its 2017 report was "not a policy and is now obsolete." It's been superseded by 2019 document they say. A spokesperson for Drax said: "We are confident our biomass is sustainable and legally harvest and meet the requirement of our 2019 sourcing policy."

Comment: the company is wriggling out of their responsibilities. Sorry by entirely typical of big business.

Secondly, it seems extraordinary to me that Drax and the UK government can even contemplate chopping down forests and burning them in power stations in the UK. How can that be a good policy? 

That would seem to go totally against the fundamental principles of being carbon neutral. In preserving nature. In preserving habitat for wildlife. In doing the right thing. In protecting the planet. How does this Drax policy in partnership with the UK possibly enhance sustainability, nature, and protect the planet?

The UK government should be as ashamed as Drax. Typical of double talking big business in league with unethical British politicians. I hate them all.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Thursday 9 November 2023

Retired lawyer and professor shoots dead two environmental campaigners on a highway in Panama in front of video cameras

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is an extraordinary story of a man who appears to have completely lost rational thought because he will surely live the rest of his days in prison. In front of cameras operated by the news media, he shot dead a couple of environmental protesters who were campaigning about the destruction of rainforest in Panama to make way for mining for the next 20-40 years. 

The contract had been organised by the government and clearly some citizens of Panama strongly objected to it for environmental reasons and in terms of climate change.

The exact moment when Darlington shot dead one of the protesters. You can see the smoke coming out of the barrel of the gun. He looks calm and in control of himself. His life as he knows it has ended because he will surely be convicted of the murder of two men. He shot them because they had barricaded the highway and he wanted to get through. The photograph comes from the Daily Mail newspaper
The exact moment when Darlington shot dead one of the protesters. You can see the smoke coming out of the barrel of the gun. He looks calm and in control of himself. His life as he knows it has ended because he will surely be convicted of the murder of two men. He shot them because they had barricaded the highway and he wanted to get through. The photograph comes from the Daily Mail newspaper

This man, Kenneth Darlington, 77, was blocked on the Pan-American highway in the Chame district about 50 miles from Panama City, by the protesters. He went to clear away the barriers, and approached two protesters one of whom challenged him to shoot as by this time Darlington had raised his handgun and pointed it at them.

Clearly, the campaigners thought that Darlington was simply trying to intimidate them and would not shoot as that would be the end of his life as he knew it. Remarkably, Darlington did shoot both of the men dead. Clearly planet Earth is becoming a very stressful place on which to live.

The first man, a teacher, dropped to the ground and died at the scene. His name is Abdiel Diaz. The other man, Ivan Rodriguez, died in hospital a little while later having been shot in the shoulder apparently.

The Times reports that last week another demonstrator had been run over and killed in a separate incident.

The protests have changed the Panamanian government's opinion about granting licences to mining companies causing the destruction of forests. They have suspended these contracts indefinitely.

The existing contract is said to be worth $375 million annually to Panama. Panama is the 14th largest copper-producing country in the world and copper is required in EVs - electric vehicles. 

As you can imagine, there is a big demand for precious metals and metal such as copper to make electric vehicles. There is a shortage of some of these precious metals and therefore the prices are going up rapidly. 

That apparently is the case with copper as well. It's obvious a very profitable mining operation but then again mass deforestation is today, a highly sensitive topic because of global warming which is becoming more and more pressing as governments refuse to curb carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

For example, in the UK, Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, has decided to issue licences to extract oil and gas from the North Sea where once these areas had remained dormant because it was too expensive to extract. Now apparently it isn't and he's doing it against public opinion which is arguably in favour of vigorously dealing with climate change rather than going into reverse and ignoring what appears to be a catastrophic future for the youngsters of this world.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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