Coal – It once kept food on the tables of my mining community

A biomass train at Liverpool’s Seaforth Dock headed for Drax Power Station when full of wood pellets.

The BBC has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52973089

As an environmental campaigner this story on the BBC website obviously interests me, not least because I was born and lived my early years (late 1950’s/early 1960’s) in a community dependent on the coal mines surrounding it. Of course it has to be good news that we have gone for 2 months without needing to use coal to generate power and at some point in the not too distant future power from coal in the UK will be all but a distant memory.

However, within the BBC article there’s mention of Drax Power Station running on biomass wood pellets and the photo at the head of this posting shows a biomass train at Liverpool’s Seaforth Dock. That train takes the imported pellets to Drax which have been delivered to the UK by ship. My point here is what are the carbon implications of producing the pellets bringing them by a diesel powered ship to the UK and then taking them across the north of England by a diesel powered train?

It may well be the case that the power station is all but carbon neutral and far more environmentally friendly than it was when it burned traditional fossil fuels but is biomass really as green as we are being led to believe when you take into account deforestation and the energy used to produce and deliver the wood pellets to Drax? It would be interesting to see any background work done by environmental scientists on this.

This article from the i newspaper (linked below) tackles some of the issues I have concerns about:-

inews.co.uk/news/environment/uk-drax-power-plant-burning-us-trees-wood-pellets-deforestation-303461

And for the context of my family involvement in coal mining here’s a blog posting about that from 2019:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/06/02/nottinghamshire-the-miners-strike/

Moderation! – Bugger that for a lark I’m too angry about what’s happening to the UK

Do you feel angry about the state of the UK at present because I do. We seem to be being run by pygmies when we need giants. Just look at the House of Commons; it’s not at all an inspiring place full of MP’s we can have confidence in.

Our NHS, Police, social care and economy are on the slide big time yet we are one of the richest counties in the world.

The human race is systematically trying to destroy the very planet we depend on via pollution, global warming and poor environmental husbandry generally. This is frankly well beyond the fringe issue which it generally is treated as, except when when an environmental/human disaster takes place of course.

I’ve had enough of it myself and here’s my radical list of things that need to be done starting yesterday:-

* No more privatisation of public services – only genuine, not for profit, Co-Ops and mutuals being possible alternatives to publicly run services.

* Get rid of of UK’s nuclear deterrent and spend the money on decent public services.

* Back the Right to Die; stop making excuses on this human rights issue.

* Campaign hard for Proportional Representation so everyone’s vote matters.

* Reject Brexit and everything it stands for to save jobs and our economy.

* Make sure the UK has the best/highest green/environmental credentials/policies.

* Campaign against killer air pollution before it kills us all.

* Fund the NHS and social care properly via general taxation.

* Promote a citizens universal wage/income.

* Wage a real war on poverty and the excesses of the super rich. Our economy needs to be seriously re-balanced before our society breaks down completely.

Oh I could go on but I do feel better for getting that off my chest….

West Lancs – Green Infrastructure & Cycling strategy

Wow this sounds very worthy but potentially boring, but hey give it a chance its actually quite interesting.

Here’s a link to it:-

www.westlancs.gov.uk/gicstrategy

Yes I know, this is the kind of document so beloved by planning officers. But such documents do serve a wider purpose and this one is about the green infrastructure of West Lancashire which surrounds my Lydiate hometown on 3 sides. I have often thought it is odd that Lydiate’s only land connection with Sefton Borough (to which it was allocated – some would say misappropriated – in 1974’s local government reorganisation) is via a short boundary with Maghull. All the rest of Lydiate has boundaries with Aughton, Downholland and Great Altcar Civil Parishes which are of course all in West Lancs.

Here’s a map from the West Lancs document which illustrates what I am on about – or maybe it does not?:-

Map of the Borough of West Lancashire.

Map of the Borough of West Lancashire.

Now hang on a minute – firstly please enlarge the map by clicking on it – there’s something not quite right here is there not? Crosby has seemingly moved inland and is where Great Altcar was last time I checked. And Bootle has also moved inland and north eastwards to replace Lydiate! Me thinks something has gone wrong with the map’s community labels.

But ignoring this labeling error the map really does show that Lydiate is out on a limb, akin to a thumb sticking up into West Lancs. On that basis what goes on in West Lancs is of importance to Lydiate. So have a read if you have the time it’s all about the countryside that you probably use for leisure.

UN: Climate plans must go further to prevent dangerous warming

www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34668957

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above.

Sadly, this UN warning is very much in the category of tell us something we did not know. Although our Tory Government seems to think that their present targets are OK, will be met and so that’s all right then!

We are killing our world and severely limiting the options of our children to be able to survive global warming. That’s nothing to be proud about or to bury our heads in the sand about either unless you support the Government’s view that is.