Trashopoly – it’s no longer a game

This is a blog I did in June 2020 and we are in real terms still trashing the planet and its habitability for us dumb monkeys at an ever increasing rate.

June 2020

Humanity got lucky. Sapiens for most of their existence have been hunter gatherers. Depending on which hypothesis you follow we first evolved in Africa and then spread out across the planet’s surface. We became one of the most widespread species that have existed and possibly the only one of our size. For a lot of our existence we have had to deal with a series of ice ages and then for some reason during this last interglacial period we decided to settle down and started to plant crops and keep herds of animals. Our “success” if you want to call it that has happened in the last 12,000 to 14,000 years. Following our settling down we have been busy inventing things with little thought to their loading on planetary systems and instead on how useful they are to our individual lives. Nor have we considered our human numbers and what the combination of numbers and resource use has on the planet’s configuration. Few politicians, entrepreneurs, business leaders look at whether our progress is undermining the planet’s ability to support life. It becomes increasingly clear that humanity is playing the game of Trashopoly because it is trashing the planet with little understanding or care to what the future will be like.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton T-shirts and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Our Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

Changing diets – it’s not easy to feed the world

Another blog entry from May 2020. Since then the rate of increase in human primate population numbers is still around 80,000,000 every 365 days so in rough terms you could say that the human race has increased with an extra 120,000,000 mouths to feed. However, with drought, floods, fire and higher temperatures in some cases we are beginning to see crop yields fall so we clearly have a problem with the size of our species.

May 2020

Growing up in England when I did the food choices were very limited compared to what they are today or they were I suspect for many in my type of household. There were few supermarkets in those days and those that did exist were much smaller than the monsters that we see today. The high street was alive with bakers, butchers, fishmongers and of course fruit and veg shops and of course very little plastic packaging would be seen anywhere but that’s a different story. The fruit and veg shops sold a much smaller range of products and many were seasonal so growing up was very much meat and several “local” veg in general. The potato was a large part of my diet, mashed, boiled or roasted and I used to love potatoes.

Now however things have changed and in many ways for the better for me and for many others. I rarely eat potatoes and these have been replaced by rice, pasta and lentils and even occasionally some couscous. However at what environmental cost and what cost to the world’s farmers? The previous few decades have seen CO2 emissions rise at an alarming rate and some of that is due to the shipping of food all over the planet. My diet is now wonderful in its diversity but the cost in environmental terms has added to locking us in almost certainly to 1.5 degrees and possibly 2 degrees centigrade or more in the very near future. It’s important to see the whole and larger picture and be objective about food. It is great to be vegan or vegetarian but somebody eating locally produced meat is possibly doing less damage to the environment than those causing food miles to be part of their diet. I cannot imagine going back to a diet based around potatoes and carrots almost every day and neither can I imagine would many vegans or vegetarians want to either. We need some serious planning on how we are going to feed the growing population sustainably and there are no easy answers.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton T-shirts and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Our Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

Remember to look up and not just around

A revisit to something I posted in May of 2020 and especially relevant as Christmas 2021 is only a week away. Our major news media tell us to shop till we drop because it’s good for our first world economies but fail to make the link to exploited labourers in third world countries with degraded environments due to first world consumption. We must make changes at so many levels to reduce the worst effects of climate change and also meet the sustainable development goals.

The randomness of how our lives work out has meant that I have an elderly relative living outside of the UK and therefore I have done more than my fair share of flying over the last five years. In that time Gatwick has redeveloped its Duty Free so that it now is longer and curves away from check in to the waiting hall. It’s very glitzy offering a variety of goods at discount prices to those people already privileged enough to be able to fly. Some people even think it is their right to fly and it never occurs to them that billions of people will never be able to get on an aircraft ever in their lives. They’ll be lucky if they see clean drinkable water before they die. Not only are the prices supposedly cheap but there is little or no information on where these fabulous items for sale will have come from, what environmental damage was caused in their production and were any humans exploited to bring them to this emporium of fantasy land living and consumption. Every so often we hear of a favourite brand being part of those involved in paying Ethiopian workers $7 A WEEK for making branded clothes. Not something that bothers that consumer drug addicted individual. So success, cheap goods bought, credit card debt increased so what’s not to like? On to the departure gates with their very high ceilings where I suspect few look up because if they did it might occur to them that something was wrong with the air that they were breathing. That’s right flying is a very dirty business. All the passengers, the staff and probably the people around the airport are breathing this in. Children living in their featureless boxes that make up the modern estates where everyone has to have a car to get absolutely anywhere are breathing this in. These boxes that their parents are struggling to pay for by working at the airport are all part of the cycle of what we call progress. Then of course there are the far reaching effects of cheap flights and the pretence of making flying environmentally friendly. Biofuels and the sham of CO2 offsetting. There was an old advert for having a tiger in your tank, well now we have the blood of dead orangutans as the forests we desperately need to soak up CO2 are destroyed to produce palm oil so that corporations can greenwash the public with their grand statements on how they are doing their bit. Most people seem to believe all this but maybe if they looked at the ceiling of their departure gate they would see the reality of modern life.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton T-shirts and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Our Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

Bottled water and what’s wrong with western economics

Another post from the middle of 2020 but we are still carting lots of bottled water around and polluting the planet in so many ways by doing so.

There is a lot wrong with western first world economics but apart from individuals aware of the environmental issues that unfettered growth causes and a few rather left wing economists, the majority of humanity gives what is wrong little thought. After all there are few if any immediate consequences. So ask yourself what do you see wrong with this partly drunk bottle of water?

To start with it is bottled water hauled all over the planet using vasts amounts of fossil fuels and thereby causing additional CO2 emissions that would not be released if everyone drank tap. Now people might say that they don’t trust tap but how do you know the bottled water is any better than what comes out of the tap or worse? Maybe it’s all down to believing a brand and a dubious corporation over your local tap water utility company. So maybe a branding makeover might change some people’s minds.

Here however we see this expensive, in terms of financial but more importantly environmental cost water, about to be tipped down the drain because the customer has enough money and no thought about its real costs and so hasn’t finished it. The customer almost certainly didn’t think about the 800,000,000 people who cannot drink clean water each and every day. The customer probably didn’t even think about the nearby homeless people that are stepped over each day and how they get enough clean water to drink, let alone that huge number of people in far away lands.

Then of course there is the glass bottle, the raw materials, probably not locally sourced but imported, that have been turned into a container to take this very expensive water all the way from A to B. Much energy went into producing the bottle but it will be smashed and if lucky enough, using a lot more energy turned into another glass container. That energy use and the processes to make the glass almost certainly cause pollution of one sort or another so why wasn’t the bottle returned and reused instead of being broken?

It’s this misuse of raw materials and energy that recently saw a CO2 reading of 418ppm at the Mauna Loa research station. This is the highest level of CO2 since before this last series of ice ages start some 2.58 million years ago and the atmosphere is gaining CO2 at a rate not seen for 50 to 60 million years. If you are a climate change denier then you clearly live in some fantasy land.

Our Teemill shop site for our organic cotton T-shirts and bags, https://junagarh-media.teemill.com/.

My author page where you can discover more about my books, https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07D3ZTQ1L.

This is our website for all our photography and my books, https://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk/.

We are also on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/21104365@N06/.

Also on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/junagarh_media/.

Our Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JunagarhMedia.

The Christmas tree chain saw massacre and it’s not just in Texas

I wrote and published this blog below almost a year ago now and in a month’s time it will be Christmas again. Since then we’ve had COP26 take place in Glasgow warning us that devastating climate change could arrive much more quickly than first envisaged. If we want to tackle climate change then one way to do so would be for communities to come together to plant Christmas trees in their villages, town and cites. That way they can be decorated each year reducing CO2 emissions, plastic pollution, energy use and excessive consumption on a finite planet.

Many of us have enjoyed them in the past. It seems a perfectly natural thing to do but buying one of the trees in this photo means bringing a dying thing into our houses. We rarely think about the fact that where these trees are grown was perhaps a natural woodland or forest before but that it has now become a mono culture for a human tradition. The original land cleared and nature disrupted with many living creatures killed or chased away before this one species planted. By removing what was there before CO2 was released adding to our greenhouse gas emissions. Then the growing of these trees starts and they take a number of years to grow before they can be harvested for the single Christmas season. In that time in the majority of cases large amounts of pesticides will be used to ensure that the Christmas trees we buy are bug free and look good. When they are harvested and in the US alone that’s between 25 and 30 million each Christmas, https://www.beyondpesticides.org/programs/center-for-community-pesticide-and-alternatives-information/pesticide-free-holidays/christmas#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Center%20for,carbaryl%2C%20chlorpyrifos%2C%20and%20dimethoate., the fossil fuel chain saw massacre begins. At that time all the birds, animals and insects that have survived the chemical onslaught either die or are chased away. Harvesting Christmas trees makes a lot of creatures homeless. Then there’s all the fossil fuel used getting them from where they grew to our houses and after Christmas all the CO2 released when they decompose or worse still are burnt. That’s not to forget that if they were still growing they would still be soaking up CO2 and as a generalisation older trees soak up more CO2. So overall buying a dying tree is not very environmentally friendly so why not celebrate this Christmas by decorating or just giving a hug to a local tree. They are all working damn hard to fix the damage that us humans are doing to the planet.

The Christmas tree chain saw massacre and it’s not just in Texas

Many of us have enjoyed them in the past. It seems a perfectly natural thing to do but buying one of the trees in this photo means bringing a dying thing into our houses. We rarely think about the fact that where these trees are grown was perhaps a natural woodland or forest before but that it has now become a mono culture for a human tradition. The original land cleared and nature disrupted with many living creatures killed or chased away before this one species planted. By removing what was there before CO2 was released adding to our greenhouse gas emissions. Then the growing of these trees starts and they take a number of years to grow before they can be harvested for the single Christmas season. In that time in the majority of cases large amounts of pesticides will be used to ensure that the Christmas trees we buy are bug free and look good. When they are harvested and in the US alone that’s between 25 and 30 million each Christmas, https://www.beyondpesticides.org/programs/center-for-community-pesticide-and-alternatives-information/pesticide-free-holidays/christmas#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Center%20for,carbaryl%2C%20chlorpyrifos%2C%20and%20dimethoate., the fossil fuel chain saw massacre begins. At that time all the birds, animals and insects that have survived the chemical onslaught either die or are chased away. Harvesting Christmas trees makes a lot of creatures homeless. Then there’s all the fossil fuel used getting them from where they grew to our houses and after Christmas all the CO2 released when they decompose or worse still are burnt. That’s not to forget that if they were still growing they would still be soaking up CO2 and as a generalisation older trees soak up more CO2. So overall buying a dying tree is not very environmentally friendly so why not celebrate this Christmas by decorating or just giving a hug to a local tree. They are all working damn hard to fix the damage that us humans are doing to the planet.

Trashopoly – it’s no longer a game

Mauna Loa CO2 level May 2020

Humanity got lucky. Sapiens for most of their existence have been hunter gatherers. Depending on which hypothesis you follow we first evolved in Africa and then spread out across the planet’s surface. We became one of the most widespread species that have existed and possibly the only one of our size. For a lot of our existence we have had to deal with a series of ice ages and then for some reason during this last interglacial period we decided to settle down and started to plant crops and keep herds of animals. Our “success” if you want to call it that has happened in the last 12,000 to 14,000 years. Following our settling down we have been busy inventing things with little thought to their loading on planetary systems and instead on how useful they are to our individual lives. Nor have we considered our human numbers and what the combination of numbers and resource use has on the planet’s configuration. Few politicians, entrepreneurs, business leaders look at whether our progress is undermining the planet’s ability to support life. It becomes increasingly clear that humanity is playing the game of Trashopoly because it is trashing the planet with little understanding or care to what the future will be like.

Changing diets – it’s not easy to feed the world

How many food miles?

Growing up in England when I did the food choices were very limited compared to what they are today or they were I suspect for many in my type of household. There were few supermarkets in those days and those that did exist were much smaller than the monsters that we see today. The high street was alive with bakers, butchers, fishmongers and of course fruit and veg shops and of course very little plastic packaging would be seen anywhere but that’s a different story. The fruit and veg shops sold a much smaller range of products and many were seasonal so growing up was very much meat and several “local” veg in general. The potato was a large part of my diet, mashed, boiled or roasted and I used to love potatoes.

Now however things have changed and in many ways for the better for me and for many others. I rarely eat potatoes and these have been replaced by rice, pasta and lentils and even occasionally some couscous. However at what environmental cost and what cost to the world’s farmers? The previous few decades have seen CO2 emissions rise at an alarming rate and some of that is due to the shipping of food all over the planet. My diet is now wonderful in its diversity but the cost in environmental terms has added to locking us in almost certainly to 1.5 degrees and possibly 2 degrees centigrade or more in the very near future. It’s important to see the whole and larger picture and be objective about food. It is great to be vegan or vegetarian but somebody eating locally produced meat is possibly doing less damage to the environment than those causing food miles to be part of their diet. I cannot imagine going back to a diet based around potatoes and carrots almost every day and neither can I imagine would many vegans or vegetarians want to either. We need some serious planning on how we are going to feed the growing population sustainably and there are no easy answers.

Remember to look up and not just around

Gatwick airport ceiling

The randomness of how our lives work out has meant that I have an elderly relative living outside of the UK and therefore I have done more than my fair share of flying over the last five years. In that time Gatwick has redeveloped its Duty Free so that it now is longer and curves away from check in to the waiting hall. It’s very glitzy offering a variety of goods at discount prices to those people already privileged enough to be able to fly. Some people even think it is their right to fly and it never occurs to them that billions of people will never be able to get on an aircraft ever in their lives. They’ll be lucky if they see clean drinkable water before they die. Not only are the prices supposedly cheap but there is little or no information on where these fabulous items for sale will have come from, what environmental damage was caused in their production and were any humans exploited to bring them to this emporium of fantasy land living and consumption. Every so often we hear of a favourite brand being part of those involved in paying Ethiopian workers $7 A WEEK for making branded clothes. Not something that bothers that consumer drug addicted individual. So success, cheap goods bought, credit card debt increased so what’s not to like? On to the departure gates with their very high ceilings where I suspect few look up because if they did it might occur to them that something was wrong with the air that they were breathing. That’s right flying is a very dirty business. All the passengers, the staff and probably the people around the airport are breathing this in. Children living in their featureless boxes that make up the modern estates where everyone has to have a car to get absolutely anywhere are breathing this in. These boxes that their parents are struggling to pay for by working at the airport are all part of the cycle of what we call progress. Then of course there are the far reaching effects of cheap flights and the pretence of making flying environmentally friendly. Biofuels and the sham of CO2 offsetting. There was an old advert for having a tiger in your tank, well now we have the blood of dead orangutans as the forests we desperately need to soak up CO2 are destroyed to produce palm oil so that corporations can greenwash the public with their grand statements on how they are doing their bit. Most people seem to believe all this but maybe if they looked at the ceiling of their departure gate they would see the reality of modern life.

Bottled water and what’s wrong with western economics

There is a lot wrong with western first world economics but apart from individuals aware of the environmental issues that unfettered growth causes and a few rather left wing economists, the majority of humanity gives what is wrong little thought. After all there are few if any immediate consequences. So ask yourself what do you see wrong with this partly drunk bottle of water?

To start with it is bottled water hauled all over the planet using vasts amounts of fossil fuels and thereby causing additional CO2 emissions that would not be released if everyone drank tap. Now people might say that they don’t trust tap but how do you know the bottled water is any better than what comes out of the tap or worse? Maybe it’s all down to believing a brand and a dubious corporation over your local tap water utility company. So maybe a branding makeover might change some people’s minds.

Here however we see this expensive, in terms of financial but more importantly environmental cost water, about to be tipped down the drain because the customer has enough money and no thought about its real costs and so hasn’t finished it. The customer almost certainly didn’t think about the 800,000,000 people who cannot drink clean water each and every day. The customer probably didn’t even think about the nearby homeless people that are stepped over each day and how they get enough clean water to drink, let alone that huge number of people in far away lands.

Then of course there is the glass bottle, the raw materials, probably not locally sourced but imported, that have been turned into a container to take this very expensive water all the way from A to B. Much energy went into producing the bottle but it will be smashed and if lucky enough, using a lot more energy turned into another glass container. That energy use and the processes to make the glass almost certainly cause pollution of one sort or another so why wasn’t the bottle returned and reused instead of being broken?

It’s this misuse of raw materials and energy that recently saw a CO2 reading of 418ppm at the Mauna Loa research station. This is the highest level of CO2 since before this last series of ice ages start some 2.58 million years ago and the atmosphere is gaining CO2 at a rate not seen for 50 to 60 million years. If you are a climate change denier then you clearly live in some fantasy land.

Mansi_S_Official.

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