The Big Canopy Campout

I’m going to be sleeping up the nearest of these lovely holm oaks tomorrow night.

Right here.

It’s part of the Big Canopy Campout in aid of critically threatened rainforest through the World Land Trust. You can donate here! Please!

The tree is an absolute cracker, with a nice spreading canopy and right on the waterfront of the River Exe where the canal meets and the wildfowl nest.

Huge thanks to Clive, the landlord of the Turf Hotel, in whose garden the tree lives.

Carlsberg glues beer cans together becoming first brewery to abandon plastic rings

The technology has the support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which has hailed it as a “big step” in efforts to tackle the worsening global scourge of plastic pollution.

Head of sustainability at Carlsberg, Simon Boas Hoffmeyer, said once the Snap Packs are rolled out worldwide the company will reduce its plastic use by 1,200 tonnes a year - the equivalent of 60 million plastic bags. “It’s a little bit of magic,” he said of the design. “It’s glued together so you can’t actually see the packaging. It’s almost not there, and that is what is extremely exciting from a sustainability perspective.”

Carlsberg’s vice president of product development, Myriam Shingleton, said she wanted the glue to become the new packaging norm.
— Telegraph 07/09/18

The Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things

I'm cautious about being my own echo-chamber, but it's hard to resist when an article perfectly encapsulates your own point of view.

This article by George Monbiot in today's Guardian is perfect, and important; and opens the door to further thought (though not much further) about the power to change things. Anything. Read it, please, but the main thrust of the argument is that individual change (so far as one can, in the wider context) is trivial within that context:

Last month, a request to Starbucks and Costa to replace their plastic coffee cups with cups made from corn starch was retweeted 60,000 times, before it was deleted. Those who supported this call failed to ask themselves where the corn starch would come from, how much land would be needed to grow it, or how much food production it would displace. They overlooked the damage this cultivation would inflict: growing corn (maize) is notorious for causing soil erosion, and often requires heavy doses of pesticides and fertilisers.
— Guardian 06/09/18

As he says, "The problem is not just plastic: it is mass disposability." Any change exists within its own ecosystem and generates effects throughout that system. The change that is required is not that supermarkets be granted the additional income stream of mandatory charging for plastic bags - bags that require tens to hundreds of uses to offset the impact of single-use plastic - but that the economic ecosystem that demands growth at the expense of all else be changed. How does that happen?

The automatic response to that question is government, policy and law. But single countries exist within their own political ecosystems. A tax change in one country causes the corporations to relocate to a more favourable setting. A global treaty in this respect is fanciful at best and risible at worst. Individual companies exist within the ecosystem of their industry marketplace, and one company obtaining its raw materials from anywhere other than the cheapest source will be beaten and eaten by its less ethically-conscious so more profitable and powerful competitors. Likewise sole traders.

This is a species-level issue, and while individual people or semi-mobilised groups clicking online petitions might chip away comfortingly at their own personal impacts, it will have no effect on the trajectory of the top-level zero-sum ecosystem of our planet.

Read Monbiot though. He's more positive than me.

The right question is, “How should we live?” But systemic thinking is an endangered species.