US bees are taking remedial action to protect themselves against pesticides. Researchers have found that bees will seal up hive cells full of pollen that has high toxic content to protect themselves according to the US Department of Agriculture, sensing that the pesticides and other chemicals would be harmful. Clever bees. stupid humans.
The UK Government has rather quietly announced that it is to sell of some of the UK’s publicly owned woodlands after all. The much bungled initial announcement became some sort of ‘consultation’ but in true ‘New Labour’ style, this just meant that it could all be hidden away until the public and press furore died down, all opposition noted and ignored, and then the Government and civil servants could carry on regardless. Whilst there are now some moves to protect ancient woodlands and public access, its not exactly a progressive step forward to protect the environment. If you are intersted in protecting ancient woodland and endangered wildlife, one of the best organisations who are active in this area is the Woodland Trust – who recently pointed out that 21 ancient woodlands would be destroyed under current plans to build a new North-South High Speed 2 rail link. You can join the Woodland Trust here www.woodlandtrustshop.com/join .
Tokyo Electric, operators opf the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, have admitted that they plan to pump 11,500 tonnes of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. They need to remove the water, 100 times the legal limited, to allow workers to contain more severe leaks. Workers have been battling to control radiation leaks since the magnitude 9 earghquake and resulting tsunami crippled the plants cooling system on the 11th March, leading to a partial meltdown of one reactor and severe damage. Officials have admitted that whilst solutions are being looked at, they may take many months to implement.
Last week I was fairly pleased to read that hot water pipework is being laid to connect the energy centre on the Olympic Park to Stratford High Street and beyond which means that in the future developers can tap into the low carbon heat source rather than build their own combined heat and power plants in a scheme funded with £480,000 by the London Development Agency and London Thames Gateway Development Corporation. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson even said: “It is vitally important that the Olympic and Paralympic Games helps to raise standards of sustainability and this is a shining example of the green legacy of the 2012 Games. Now for some pathetic news from organisers of the 2012 Olympics – but sadly this blogger isn’t very surprised. For all the talk about ‘sustainability’ I was always a tad suspicious it was a lot of bureaucratic hot air – and now its clear that the London 2012 Olympics WON’T be the ‘greenest Games ever’ – or at least not as green as they were promised to be. The Olympics Delivery Authority have admitted that their much admired plans to generate 20% of power needed for the Olympic Park has been downgraded to just 9% after scrapping plans for a wind turbine – apparently due to the cost of new European safety rules and – errrm – a lack of wind. London Assembly Envionmrnt Committee chief Darren Johnson said that the news “made a mockery of of the idea of a green Olympics” and “that they are set to achieve only nice per cent renewable energy post-games rather than the original target of twenty percent is miserable”. The ODA will be installing solar panels on the roof of the Olympic media centre and will concentrate on reduction measures such as better insulation, low energy lighting and standby switches. But what we really need with these government funded schemes is a lot more REAL action – and a lot less talk about ‘standards’ and ‘compliance’ and ‘benchmarks’ and ‘systems’ – its positive action we need, not waffle and meaningless “green” badges and greenwash schemes.