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So the ‘dream team’ was not elected – now, more of the same

At least, one writes, there will not be the heartache of watching such a team fail – as did the widely hailed Blair and Obama – beset by vested interest and failing to fulfil expectations. Instead on past record there will be:

  • more austerity for the ‘have-nots’, continuing as senior bankers flourish – despite causing the economic crash;
  • declining public services;
  • sub-standard education and training for the young from poorer families;
  • ‘aspirational’ housing built on green spaces as council housing lists grow;
  • the revolving door between big business and government continuing to spin, ensuring that decisions are made in favour of the rich;
  • courting of foreign investment
  • more poorly monitored, polluting incinerators;
  • permission given for fracking in the politically opposed north;
  • exploitation of smaller food producers, favouring food for export;
  • lavish expenditure on HS2 and Trident;
  • private companies entering the NHS and putting profit first;
  • increasing export of armaments, causing mayhem in other countries;
  • assistance for America’s military aggression.

And perhaps more:

broken britain 3 mps bankers


“Jihadis belong to an elite that feels as secure in its status as Eton”

jenni russellSo wrote journalist Jenni Russell, a former BBC World Tonight editor.

Her website notes a Spectator view that she has been a key figure in the New Establishment, due to her friendship with Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s former director of strategy, and Ed Miliband. She believes that:

If pupils in the Muslim community, neglected black council-estate children, white working class in sink comprehensives, and Roma in Sheffield or Glasgow aren’t to be held back by the barriers of discomfort, distaste and prejudice: they must be taught the principles, beliefs and manners of the employing classes”.

Competing for power over the underprivileged young: her strategy, British values . . .

But are the values, principles, beliefs and manners of most of the ‘employing classesso admirable?

They permit collusion with the profitable spread of tawdry ‘aspirational’ housing but neglect of heritage buildings, the establishment of incinerators, fracking plants, GM technology, HS2 and nuclear power stations polluting the countryside, the sale of British-made weapons to oppressive regimes and terrorists – and the execution of civilians by drone strike.

 

Incinerators 1: Corporate pressure is backed up by ‘neutral’ BBC statement

The Chief Executive of Sita UK, David Palmer-Jones, writing in the Financial Times, says there is ‘cause for alarm’, not at the potential loss of profits to SITA, but at the failure  to ‘tackle’ the energy supply gap, following the closure of old coal-fired and nuclear power stations.

 DPJ suffolk incinerator opens

David Palmer-Jones, second from left, celebrates the opening of the Suffolk incinerator

 

He points to the ‘energy resource at our doorstep’ – the 29m tonnes of waste sent to landfill each year that could be converted into power to supply around 6%t of UK electricity.

Asserting that the necessary political leadership is lacking, Mr Palmer-Jones urges government  to move ahead with sanctioning the required infrastructure – 90 incinerators – to build ‘local’ energy-from-waste power stations.

He points out that new nuclear will take15 years before they generate any electricity, whereas incinerators can be built and feeding into the grid within three years.

The BBC website reinforces this call: “Waste is big business”

It points out that by 2020 the UK must significantly reduce its landfill habit.

A recent government report has warned that we would run out of landfill space by 2018.

A European Directive means we must reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill from 48% to 35% or face big fines. Next year landfill tax will hit £80 per tonne.

It ends, “Unsurprisingly there has been a huge rise in planning applications for incinerators. 90 are proposed to add to the 30 currently in operation. Waste is big business”.

Next:

2. An independent report produced by a team of waste consultants says the need for an incinerator at Javelin Park, Glos, is not proven and the proposal potentially breaches EU law.

3. Concern over air quality supported by tone of HPA conclusions and a description of the flawed emissions monitoring process.

 

Incinerators 3: Weasel words from the Health Protection Agency & Norfolk exposure of flawed monitoring

 


weasel words cartoon

 Health Protection Agency: significant points highlighted:

The Health Protection Agency has reviewed research undertaken to examine the suggested links between emissions from municipal waste incinerators and effects on health. While it is not possible to rule out adverse health effects from modern, well regulated municipal waste incinerators with complete certainty, any potential damage to the health of those living close-by is likely to be very small, if detectable. This view is based on detailed assessments of the effects of air pollutants on health and on the fact that modern and well managed municipal waste incinerators make only a very small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants. The Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment has reviewed recent data and has concluded that there is no need to change its previous advice, namely that any potential risk of cancer due to residency near to municipal waste incinerators is exceedingly low and probably not measurable by the most modern techniques. Since any possible health effects are likely to be very small, if detectable, studies of public health around modern, well managed municipal waste incinerators are not recommended.

Source: http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1251473372218

But if, as alleged, monitoring is seriously flawed, the HPA figures are worthless

Accurate base line monitoring is essential for establishing a reference point to measure future increases in air pollution. If particulate PM2.5 is found to be increased in the Urban Air this would be in breach of EU Directive 2008/50/EC and could lead to legal action forcing the (very expensive) closure of the incinerator. Directive 2008/50/EC  . . .

Base line monitoring equipment in West Norfolk is placed where it can be guaranteed not to detect an increase in future air pollution

To provide meaningful base line data the prevailing wind needs to be taken into account and air monitoring equipment located at varying distances downwind of the proposed incinerator, especially in the town of King’s Lynn, so compliance with Directive can be checked.

If monitoring equipment is not located with due care, it will fail to register increases in air pollution and could make it difficult to determine if air quality has deteriorated from pre-incinerator levels.

A freedom of information request has revealed on 11th March 2010 a representative of SKM Enviros held discussions with Council staff regarding base line monitoring.

incinerator monitoringThey currently have base line monitoring equipment in operation at the only place in West Norfolk where it can be guaranteed not to detect an increase in future air pollution.

Figure 1 is a recent photograph showing monitoring equipment operating at the intended location of the incinerator.

Figure 2 is a photograph of an operational incinerator to help illustrate why this location is inappropriate for recording base line air pollution.

incinerator monitoring 2The purpose of the tall incinerator chimney stack is to disperse the pollution away from the immediate site area. If an incinerator is constructed with an 8o meter tall stack the purpose of the stack is to disperse the pollution away from the immediate site area. Particulate Matter/emissions do not fall to earth like a stone as they leave the stack thus; it is evident whichever way the wind is blowing air quality at the base of the incinerator will always be free from any significant incinerator emissions whatever concentrations are emitted from the stack.

This point is illustrated by the X in a box at the bottom of figure 2 if this was the position of the County Councils’ emissions monitoring equipment it would be completely ineffective. If this location is used to monitor air quality before and after the incinerator is built any figures published will implying the incinerator is not contributing to air pollution. It will reinforce what the HPA believe to be true. Even if data collected at this location is only used as a contribution to a wider survey, it will bring the average reading down making the emissions appear cleaner than they really are.

East Anglian monitoring will not provide any meaningful data relating to the proposed incinerator.

incinerator monitoring  3

Figure 3 shows the 10 sites in East Anglia where fine particles PM2.5 are currently being monitored, they are not within the critical 16 mile of the proposed incinerator where the main deposition of fallout can be expected, they also will not provide any meaningful data relating to the incinerator.

Source: www.farmerscampaign.org/monitoring.html

 

 

Why aren’t our legislators concerned about the possible public health risks of incinerators? The United States acted in 1997

That question was asked this month by a Private Eye journalist who reports that 103 incinerator sites were licensed in 2010 and in 2011 DEFRA had 20 more applications from large power companies. Part of the answer was that there are vested interests seeking the proliferation of incinerators. Apart from the companies involved, a large number of government advisers are involved in the expensive and remunerative incinerator PFI deals.

Stoke incinerator

The Eye’s journalist pointed out that the United States passed laws in 1997 to measure the emissions of smaller particulates which can be absorbed into the blood. They were passed after articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and studies from Harvard Air Effects Institute reported findings that coal-fired power stations and incinerators had a strong association with overall mortality, cardiovascular deaths and lung cancer. 

A report by the Commons Environmental Audit Committee in 2009-2010 asked why the media and medical circles paid no attention to this health risk, pointing out that the costs and health impact of PM 2.5 is estimated to cost up to £20.2bn. 

One application has been made in Herefordshire and Worcestershire 

The Birmingham Post reports that Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has delayed a decision on Mercia Waste Management’s planning application for an incinerator following a public enquiry in November, to consider the implication of the recently published National Planning Policy Framework.  

Worcestershire Residents Against Incineration and Landfill (WAIL) chairman Ray Kirby said, “Mercia will need to involve other councils to fill the incinerator, which will bring waste in from outside the area which does not help its carbon footprint. We would like an anaerobic digestion plant, not incineration. Recycling is on the increase.” 

Private Eye points out that DEFRA’s monitoring procedures are lax 

None of DEFRA’s 62 monitoring stations are anywhere near an incinerator. A whistleblowing emissions tester contacted the Eye with information that PM 2.5 is not continuously measured and private emissions testing firms have no duty to report test failures to the Environment Agency. Repeat testing is done by arrangement with the incinerator companies who can change the type of waste burnt on the test day. It concludes that existing stations should implement the stricter monitoring regime of the United States.

 

PCU fervently hopes that  Herefordshire and Worcestershire will get an anaerobic digestion plant.