Environment Magazine

108. Environment

By Martinfullard @MartyFullardUAE
108. Environment

Fullard is his name eh? Eliminate him. But be sure to dispose of the body in an environmentally friendly fashion…

The planet is a moody thing.  No matter what we seem to do we are always being accused of polluting lakes, killing Arctic wildlife and leaving massive carbon footprints behind once we die.  Really, the planet is pathetically weak and if it can’t deal with a teeny tiny amount of carbon dioxide then we may as well move to a planet that can, like Mars.

Seriously, Earth is so temperamental.  I am getting increasingly cross with being made to feel like the bad guy every time I turn on a light or put an empty yoghurt pot in the bin.  Who do you think I am, Ming the Merciless?  Those of a left-wing persuasion love nothing more than a good moan about the environment, none more so than the prominent and highly regarded George Monbiot.  But every time I read his column I can’t help but feel like I’m being bullied or spat on, its mean, and in essence, hypocritical too.

I hate being told that just because I like cars I am the spawn of Satan and that because I also enjoy having lights on at night-time I should be hung, drawn and quartered without trial.  In the 1990’s the term “Global warming” was retracted and replaced with the term “Climate change” instead.  This was in response to the light-of-day fact that the planet wasn’t getting any hotter at all, it was simply fluctuating.  The science that alleges that mankind is to blame is highly flawed in my opinion, for one simple fact:  the planet is billions of years old and records only began in 1850.

Over the course of time the planet has undergone massive changes, it is only inevitable then that there will be cold years and hot years.  In fact, it is believed (not proved of course, because it can’t be) that the planet has enjoyed the most stable climate it has ever known over the last 14,000 years or so.  This in turn has made it far easier for the human race to develop into the supreme super-species that it is today.  I’m sure that over those 14,000 years there were 100 year long spells where it was a bit damp and other long periods where it was t-shirt weather for Johnny Caveman.

Since 1850 the technology for monitoring the weather and climate has improved drastically.  In those days a man would simply stand outside and look up, these days there are 1000’s of satellites orbiting the Earth letting us all know what’s going on not just at home, but in North Korea too.

Anyway, the Western powers have been barking on about this for some time, thanks Al, and as a result everyone in Europe has 5 different bins in their kitchens: one for food scraps, one for paper, one for glass, one for baby mess and one for goldfish.  What a disaster and perish the thought of accidentally dropping a tea bag in the goldfish bin by mistake.  And what do you do with half eaten food in plastic packages?  Scrape it all out and then realize you can’t throw the plastic tub away because you can’t remember which bin to use?  It’s a veritable nightmare.

The crusade of extremist environmentalism has finally hit the Middle East, with the UAE being noted as the big pushers.  I don’t mind recycling, in fact I feel quite smug when I use the paper bin, but I don’t like to brag about it, I just get on with it quietly without causing a fuss.  But the whole recycling issue in the UAE is biblically flawed, chiefly because it is as convenient as not having a head.

The way to get people recycling is to make it as easy and as convenient as possible.  I promise that only a tiny minority of people will make the effort to drive out to the outskirts of town to visit the massive recycling centre, and then only those that have cars will do so.  80% of the UAE population don’t or can’t drive so what do you think they are going to do with all the aluminum cans and stool ridden nappies?

No, this won’t do at all.  You can’t have a big place in the middle of nowhere and expect people to make the effort to take their bin fodder there in person.  There are two options as far as I can see to really get people recycling here and to do our bit to make Al Gore and George Monbiot wealthy and smug: either people are employed to go picking through the waste sifting all the recyclables or we just give up and hope for the best.

I know that sounds dreadfully crass but a plan aimed to achieve recycling has to be realistic and enforceable.  How in gods name can an offender who put a nappy in the paper bin be traced from the dump site?  We all live in blocks over here so how can the rubbish men determine who threw out what?  And would they even care?  It can’t be done.

But that’s recycling, what about energy conservation?  Air conditioning units are alleged to be “exceptionally harmful to the environment” and as such have been put in the same category as the atom bomb.  Ok, I’m sure we can save a little bit of localised air pollution by turning the air conditioner off, but then we would all be too hot and thirsty, so we would need to buy more water and then we’d be stuck with the plastic bottles and no way of getting rid of them.  Yes we could turn the lights off but then we would stub out toes on the table in the dark and require the use of plasters and that won’t help because there isn’t a bin dedicated to medical waste.

I yearn for simpler times I really do.  But the whole environmentalism issue needs urgent review and reform.  The mad West has already gone too far down an insane path with its EU legislation and taxation, but the UAE has an opportunity to do it right.  What that is I don’t know, and but it must be convenient, free and enforceable.  I have no interest in spending my own money on it, nor do I want to make any effort.  It should be as simple as throwing something in the bin.

Now, I have 63 empty wine bottles on the living room floor, does anyone know what I can do with them?

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