How to ruin the planet in three easy steps

In the space of a week I came across three items that made me despair even more than I normally do for the healthy future of our planet.  Coincidentally I was reading Neal Stephenson’s novel Seveneves, which is also about the environmental destruction of the Earth as we know it, albeit by an external disaster and not by our own efforts.  In his novel, the World’s leaders come together to save some of humanity and the planet’s genetic resources, and not destroy it as we seem hellbent on doing.

Item 1

Browsing in a local supermarket I came across what was to me, a new phenomenon, so-called Smartwater!


This is an example of how the fetish/obsession for bottled water has gone way over the top

Step 1 – find a natural spring
Step 2 – extract the water
Step 3 – distil the water to remove the natural ‘impurities’ (sodium, calcium carbonates etc. which are electrolytes) by steam distillation (requires energy, probably from non-renewable sources)
Step 4 – put back the minerals (electrolytes) that were removed by the distillation process
Step 5 – bottle in plastic (not glass) bottles
Step 6 – sell at inflated prices to mugs

What is wrong with tap water folks? 😦  If as some feel, that the tap water has a strong taste of chlorine, leave it overnight before using it.

Item 2

The belief by some commentators and members of the UK  electorate, that the European Union has environmental policies designed to thwart  business rather than protecting the environment.



Item 3

The long-running debate about where to site another runway in the UK to expand runway capacity by 2030.


Not a beautiful morning, rather a sign writ large upon the sky, of how much environmental harm we are doing to the planet.

Rather than expanding runways and airports to encourage growth in air-traffic and the use of fossil fuels, we should be thinking of ways to cut it and reduce our carbon footprint.  Cat Stevens was thinking about this very issue in 1971 in his fantastic song “Where do the Children Play?”

Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass.
For your lorry loads pumping petrol gas.
And you make them long, and you make them tough.
But they just go on and on, and it seems that you can’t get off.

Oh, I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?”


On the plus side some nations seem to be taking a more responsible approach to the exploitation of finite resources.  I am happy to say France, the location of our future retirement home, is leading the way in reducing the use of plastics.  They are also way ahead of us in encouraging the use of solar energy by homeowners.


It was also cheering to see that others share my views about the evils of air travel, as shown by the following two letters from the Guardian newspaper.  Perhaps all is not lost.




Filed under Bugbears, The Bloggy Blog, Uncategorized

8 responses to “How to ruin the planet in three easy steps

  1. I hope the plastic ban will come in 2020 and be adhered to. France passes a lot of laws but many are not adhered to. The problem about passing laws is that there has to be some control to check that they are adhered to. Amelia

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Couldn’t agree more. I am reminded of Joni Mitchell’s words: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot ……”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember the days when that volcano erupted and there was no air travel, the skies looked so much nicer 😦

    Agree with all your points, just one thing to point out though, not all tap water is created equally, I love drinking tap water in Kent, in Milton Keynes it’s horrible! Filters help though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks – taste of water does vary according to geology, (and of course you get used to your own district) but all our tap water is (usually) safe to drink unless contaminated by some industrial accident that bypasses the sewage treatment. Appropriately, my great-grandfather Samuel Henry Adams was an early water engineer and his factory also manufactured sanitary ware as they called it – Adamsez was the trade name (company in York called Adams Hydraulics) – toilets and baths no longer owned by the family but still manufactured albeit in Northern Ireland


  5. Jit

    I like Neal Stephenson, but haven’t read that one (the Baroque Cycle the best I’ve read so far).
    I’m with you on the smart water, which seems to me a pretty dumb idea. Regarding the runway, well, it’s an either or situation. The powers that be either think that flying should be curbed, therefore no new runway, or they think that flying is good, therefore yes to new runway. Trouble is, they say “flying is bad” and build runways.
    On the fracking, I’m not so sure. (The beeb yesterday had a piece about a plastics factory importing fracked gas from the US. The reporter asked, “shouldn’t you be going low carbon?” To be fair to the guy from Ineos, he didn’t ask exactly how he was meant to take the carbon out of his plastic.)

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Pingback: Small and frequently overlooked, but without them we could not exist | Don't Forget the Roundabouts

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