The parlous state of the UK's rivers?

NeverFromConcentrate

Well-Known Member
Location
Herefordshire
So, I'm bit of a an environmentally concerned kinda citizen, and note that thanks to the likes of Hugh Frankly-Eatsitall wild swimming and cold water bathing are very much de rigeur (mods: this means in fashion) at the moment.

Since last Summer the press has been publishing the occasional piece about algal blooms and polluted rivers, and then today I noticed a piece in the Grauniad detailing a new group: RiverActionUK....

Advisor: George Monbiot, so far, so predictable.
But the rest of the group are all deep Tory establishment types.
A former Environment Minister, Richard Benyon,
Ben Goldsmith
, DEFRA advisor and Zac's (MP) brother,
James Macpherson, former Deputy Chief Investment Officer of BlackRock’s Active Equity business managing assets of $280bn (employer until very recently of the most exalted evil one, George Osborne)
Isabella Gornall, former Policy Adviser to Zac Goldsmith MP, led the development of policy proposals to Government and managed his international environmental campaigns.



I could go on (there are more) but you can see for yourself at https://riveractionuk.com/about

Perhaps I am just a jaded old hippy, but these seem the strangest of bedfellows! That said, the blue cabal in the group all seem to know each other's former advisors etc etc so perhaps it's just a clever way to extract public funds to do some Tory greenwashing.

What does this fantastic community of low carbon transport minded two wheelers think?
 

Oldhippy

Über Member
Like you I endeavour to be as environmental as practically possible and I imagine there is a lot in it for them first and more lip service for the environmental bit.
 

HMS_Dave

Über Member
Location
Midlands
"River Action’s founder and chairman, Charles Watson, said: “It is in this absence of effective regulation that we have launched River Action."

I wonder actually, if it is an absence of effective punitive action... Regulation is useless if you have no means to actively enforce it.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
So, I'm bit of a an environmentally concerned kinda citizen, and note that thanks to the likes of Hugh Frankly-Eatsitall wild swimming and cold water bathing are very much de rigeur (mods: this means in fashion) at the moment.

Since last Summer the press has been publishing the occasional piece about algal blooms and polluted rivers, and then today I noticed a piece in the Grauniad detailing a new group: RiverActionUK....

Advisor: George Monbiot, so far, so predictable.
But the rest of the group are all deep Tory establishment types.
A former Environment Minister, Richard Benyon,
Ben Goldsmith
, DEFRA advisor and Zac's (MP) brother,
James Macpherson, former Deputy Chief Investment Officer of BlackRock’s Active Equity business managing assets of $280bn (employer until very recently of the most exalted evil one, George Osborne)
Isabella Gornall, former Policy Adviser to Zac Goldsmith MP, led the development of policy proposals to Government and managed his international environmental campaigns.



I could go on (there are more) but you can see for yourself at https://riveractionuk.com/about

Perhaps I am just a jaded old hippy, but these seem the strangest of bedfellows! That said, the blue cabal in the group all seem to know each other's former advisors etc etc so perhaps it's just a clever way to extract public funds to do some Tory greenwashing.

What does this fantastic community of low carbon transport minded two wheelers think?
Nimby's.
 
Good morning,

I don't understand the dislike, that often appears close to hatred, that many on this forum have for people who get involved in politics big and little P and it seems to apply especially those who tend to be more to the right. the blue cabal in the group or all deep Tory establishment types.

Your post seems to suggest that those who have experience in the subject matter and you have listed their experience must have an objective that is a long way from the stated one. so perhaps it's just a clever way to extract public funds to do some Tory greenwashing.

That these people don't hold your political views is fine, but to suggest that their behaviour is dishonest without any evidence is very disappointing.

Even the idea that people who have had successful careers in finance or more social areas such as politics could have no interests in "nature" seems bizarre to me.

Yet if we take an environmental issue such as global warming as an example, there are a lot of groups sniping on the subject of how we are doomed as they continue to indulge in the very behaviour that they want to ban for others. It is the establishment that has moved, possibly slowly and badly, to the point where in 2019 wind power accounted for around 22% of the UK's energy consumption and increasing.

Bye

Ian
 
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Oldhippy

Über Member
Bit like everything else they do then.
 
OP
N

NeverFromConcentrate

Well-Known Member
Location
Herefordshire
Hi Ian
Thanks for your thoughful input. As a veteran of the wind industry I think you would be surprisingly hard pressed to find someone who thinks the Gov't has done all it can to promote wind energy. The great steps forward in wind and photovoltaics came through well planned decades of scientific and industrial research, starting in the 1970s, mostly promoted in the latter years by that most hated of institutions, the EU and its framework programmes.
Those much discredited experts realised that they could build machines big enough to make the exploitation of the excellent offshore resource in NW Europe so cheap that the costs would be less than conventional electricity generation. Because wind power is so cheap now, the old invisible hand of the market ensures it gets built ahead of, say, nuclear, which is still relying on eye-watering subsidies to make it seem anywhere near viable (contract for diff pricing guaranteed at >90GBP/MWh, huge taxpayer subsidies on uninsurable assets, the waste liabilities, etc etc. The facts are well documented if you use a search engine.
Those same experts are now exploring energy storage as the way to get over the perceived intermittency and capacity problems that renewables bring. Once again this is not because of any great leaps forward in Tory policy, but because the scientific and industrial community can see that costs (for batteries) are falling as a power law (ie log price per kWh stored vs log cumulative installation capacity is a straight line with a negative gradient) and other technologies are following. Therefore it will take nuclear's trump card (constantly on baseload day and night) and tear it up in due course, making the UK gov't obsession with new nuclear a stranded asset (it may have military reasons for wanting a domestic plutonium production capability, but hey, who ever said war was bad for the economy). As a recent example a new energy storage start up, RheEnergise was trying to raise 100k on crowdcube recently. Such was the demand for equity in their business they had to close the round early once they had received a 850% overinvestment.

But back to your perceived dislike, that often appears close to hatred, of those who perhaps share different political views.

I expressed well founded scepticism of a clearly close knit group of Tory party MPs, members, advisors etc get into bed with George Monbiot (Eh?! he espouses views that are polar opposites of the current Tory party leadership). Boris johnson himself said on LBC radio, seven years ago (during the coalition gov't) "Labour put in a load of wind farms that failed to pull the skin off a rice pudding. We now have the opportunity to get shale gas - let's look at it." and his recent clearing out of all MPs who didn't toe the nationalist, populist, "get brexit done" politics line shows me at least that for the time being the Tory party can be no home for my vote. There are plenty of other political parties for these friends of the river to join if they really do care for then natural environment, Green Party, Lib Dems to name a couple, but no, they continue to put their own policitcal careers first, and presumably have to hold their nose everytime one of their party comrades says somethign asinine, or else they don't have the principals that one might ascribe them as river defenders. Didn't Zac Goldsmith resign from the Tories over Heathrow, lose his seat to the LibDems and then, er, rejoin them with a Heathrow expansion manifesto pledge nonetheless?

There are plenty of places to find out more about the real colour of Tory environment policy. For example Powys County Council (Tory controlled) has waved through over 150 intensive poultry units in the last five years in Powys, without even considering the impact of phosphate pollution in the manure management plans (generally identikit cut and paste jobs from applicaiotn to application, I know, I've read them). To add insult to injury,comments made on these planning applications (ie myriad public objections) have been redacted from the Powys planning portal on GDPR grounds (no other council in Britain refuses to publish public comments on planning applications as far as I know) and recently changed their consitution so that even the largest farms (>40000 birds per "crop") applications are not decided at a planning committee but by a group of unelected planning officers. Funnily enough, inspite of many campaigners calling this out for many years, only 5 of the 150+ applications in the last five years have been refused. The irony being of course that a lot of the pollution runs down the rivers and into Worcestershire, Ian, so you are even affected!

Here's another
Another
more

So please forgive my scepticism of the Tory damascene conversion to giving a shoot about anyone/anything but themselves. I look forward to the many examples of where this is the case and will gladly be persuaded.

Bye! NfC
 
OP
N

NeverFromConcentrate

Well-Known Member
Location
Herefordshire
If the Tories are greenwashers, they are not very good at it!

View attachment 574653
Do you know if your source includes the imported emissions from all the goods that we import from China and other nations, or is it just domestic emissions change between 2010-2017 that is shown? Bearing in mind our service economy we do have quite low per capita emissions domestically, but that changes if you start including the embedded carbon in imports.
1613744574893.png
 

snorri

Legendary Member
No mention is made of existing government agencies who deal with water quality of rivers etc. Also their seems to be a lack of academics with experience of such matters.
Their list of 'Campaigns' (plural) only contains a story about one river, the Wye.
Definitely some hidden agenda here.
 

JBGooner

Senior Member
Hi Ian
Thanks for your thoughful input. As a veteran of the wind industry I think you would be surprisingly hard pressed to find someone who thinks the Gov't has done all it can to promote wind energy. The great steps forward in wind and photovoltaics came through well planned decades of scientific and industrial research, starting in the 1970s, mostly promoted in the latter years by that most hated of institutions, the EU and its framework programmes.
Those much discredited experts realised that they could build machines big enough to make the exploitation of the excellent offshore resource in NW Europe so cheap that the costs would be less than conventional electricity generation. Because wind power is so cheap now, the old invisible hand of the market ensures it gets built ahead of, say, nuclear, which is still relying on eye-watering subsidies to make it seem anywhere near viable (contract for diff pricing guaranteed at >90GBP/MWh, huge taxpayer subsidies on uninsurable assets, the waste liabilities, etc etc. The facts are well documented if you use a search engine.
The governments 'Contracts for Difference' scheme has been a big driver in the downward prices for wind energy and is much admired elsewhere. Whilst I think Hinkley C is a gigantic white elephant, worth pointing out that just ten years ago the strike price for offshore wind was actually greater >100GBP MWh

Do you know if your source includes the imported emissions from all the goods that we import from China and other nations, or is it just domestic emissions change between 2010-2017 that is shown? Bearing in mind our service economy we do have quite low per capita emissions domestically, but that changes if you start including the embedded carbon in imports.
According to this https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/...e&time=2010..latest&country=~GBR&region=World consumption based CO2 emissions have still declined by more than 20% since 2010
 

Arrowfoot

Veteran
Perhaps I am just a jaded old hippy, but these seem the strangest of bedfellows! That said, the blue cabal in the group all seem to know each other's former advisors etc etc so perhaps it's just a clever way to extract public funds to do some Tory greenwashing.
I too used to be skeptical of big business and the establishment running social and community change agendas but have since had a change of heart once I saw what goes on.

It obvious that the need to include a social cause or agenda in the profit driven corporate objectives is a trend after decades of pressure and lobbying. Some are genuinely motivated and others do not want to considered as a outcast and you also have those that are pressured by their their kids who are more aware of the social causes.

Among the non-believers, in particular I recall absolute dipshite and bigoted Department Heads went all out once social causes was added to their annual objectives and tied to bonuses. Suddenly we saw fair minority representation in the offices, comms saw a sea change etc. Ambition has no bounds. In a way the Goldsmiths of the World do have clout.

Naturally the believers went all out as well.

I say do whatever works
 
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