Freedumb in the UK 2

August 6th, 2021

Climate Change is official…..!!!

It is so crazy, when so many of us have known for so long and when more is now happening around the world in response to it, but I actually thought ‘AT LAST’ when there was a news headline to that effect this week….

Then I listened more closely – the recommendation that airline and agricultural industries are forced to take action is not about changing their polluting and damaging behaviour, but about ‘offsetting’ it…. A way to continue with ‘business as usual’ while easing consciences….

So, not such great news, unfortunately, but people can see things are getting very serious, can’t they?

Some supermarkets in the UK are adding to the problems – Marks and Spencer, with their dubious salmon farming practices; Morrisons, with their brazen support of cruel chicken factory farms; and Tesco, with their refusal to ditch meat companies associated with deforestation.

Please shop elsewhere! And add to the unwanted bad publicity on these companies’ Facebook pages etc – customers/we need to know the ugly truth.

‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is often the way we all carry on. But it is also the way that immoral stuff perpetuates…..No more ‘turning a blind eye’….!

The second part of Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy has been published. Professor Susan Jebb, chair of the Food Standards Agency, said: “Its compelling narrative focuses attention on the urgent challenges facing the food system and how we must work together, across government and the food industry, to create a system which is good for the health of people and the planet.”

Henry Dimbleby says: “The way we produce food is doing terrible damage to the environment and to our bodies, and putting an intolerable strain on the NHS. Covid-19 has been a painful reality check.

“Our high obesity rate is a major factor in the UK’s high death rate. We must seize the moment to build a better food system for our children and grandchildren.”

The report sets out how our diets will need to change – diets of food high in saturated fat, salt and sugar need to fall by a quarter, and meat consumption by 30 per cent.

Dale Vince, activist, chairman of Forest Green Rovers (the vegan football team!) and Ecotricity founder, goes further and spells out the inconvenient truth for us. He points out that processed food and the factory farming of animals are the twin problems. On his Facebook page (follow him, he’s good!), he said: “We have massive food disparity in Britain – half the country is obese while millions of people struggle to feed their families. And incredibly, we throw away about half of all the food produced.”

He added: “Meat is not murder – it’s murder/suicide and ecocide all in one. And one man’s meat is every man’s poison – it’s not like free speech, it’s not a basic human right.”

I agree, with the added ‘wo’ or ‘hu’ to man….!!

More on food – another company to avoid, along with Colgate-Palmolive, is Ferrero.

Nutella is their big flagship – the world’s second largest chocolate and sweets producer makes so much of the chocolate spread that you could line the Great Wall of China eight times with the number of jars sold in a year. Such a scary thought….

Palm oil makes up almost 20% of a jar of nutella – so another horrible thought is to imagine how much forest destruction there might be in these hundreds of millions of jars. And there are many more products made by Ferrero that contain palm oil – like Kinder Joy, Bueno, and Ferrero Rocher of course….

As one of the biggest buyers of cheap palm oil, they are contributing to the aggressive expansion of the industry in Southeast Asia. If a ‘big player’ like this Italian chocolate giant cut ties with problematic palm oil producers, it would send a positive signal to its peers. Visit the Rainforest Action Network if you’d like to take more action.

And if you want to ‘spread the happy’ (the Nutella advert), try other ‘ethical’ spreads – they might even taste better…!

Of course price is an issue, for so many things – the more of us who make ethical/green consumption more ‘normal’, however, the more likely it will be that prices will come down ….. Consumers have the power, as I’ve said so many times….

A recent expense we’ve taken on is toilet paper made from recycled paper – supplied by NovaTissue (made in the UK) and associated with Tree Aid, the international development charity that restores and protects land in the Sahel region in Africa.

Now for three pieces of ‘Nature news’.

I had no idea that it is very unlikely to see an albatross in the UK (I only really know about the one in The Ancient Mariner poem), but it is, and one has been recently spotted.

The black-browed albatross found itself at the RSPB’s Bempton Cliffs nature reserve. (When we lived in Yorkshire, I absolutely loved visiting that amazing place, especially for the puffins!) This albatross should not really be so far north, away from its home in the southern hemisphere. Please read about the Albatross Task Force, protecting these birds from threats such as fisheries bycatch, climate change and pollution, on the RSPB website.

Red squirrels are one of my favourite animals, along with red pandas! And twenty forest strongholds in Scotland could save the red squirrel from extinction. Really sad of course that they are now so rare, driven north by grey squirrels which carry the squirrelpox virus, but Nature Conservation has published research which is optimistic about their survival.

And finally, the fertile land of Norfolk (where my mother lives) is home to a host of ancient ‘ghost ponds’ where rewilding projects have revealed rare plant species, preserved in these buried ancient wetlands.

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