A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

This mad, mad world - a brief foray.....

Here's a roundup of some of the more bizarre aspects of our modern environmental sensibilities:-

(a) Sunday 'Supplement' PC froth ("You couldn't make it up - could you?") -

'Natural Notes'

A reader (Ms Sky Lovelace, 27, Little Birdlip-on-Wye) writes: "I'm weally worried about all the chlorine and chemicals and things that are in the tap water we put into our bird baths. Surely it does all sorts of horrible things to our feathered friends?"

Our Green Guru (Minty Petaldown) replies: "Deep thinking, Sky. You are right-on. Horrid, nasty tap water should never be used in bird baths. I always choose a pH-balanced natural spring water bottled on location in the south of France, with just the right amount of minerals. Of course, this costs a smidgen more, but that is caring for our wildlife - and you know they're worth it. Also, remember never to buy fizzy water because of those dreadful 'greenhouse gases', like carbon dioxide. If you can't find natural spring water, then filtered water will have to do. But always think - 'Pure Water, Pure Wildlife'";

(b) Panda porn -

'Sex films help panda get pregnant' (BBC Online Asia-Pacific News, June 17): "A Chinese project to screen videos of pandas mating to captive animals seems to be bearing fruit, with news that a four-year-old panda is pregnant. Hua Mei, who was born in the US but moved to China in February, was shown the videos as preparation for a series of 'blind date'....."

Filmed in black-and-white, of course, 'Pand(a)monium' bamboozles its audiences into a pandemic of 'Pandects of Sex'. But watch out for the panda cars..... "Mr. Ailuropoda melanoleuca of 6, The Bamboo Thicket, China, you have been found guilty of the possession of ....."

[See also for more panda frolics: 'China's pandas have sex education lessons' (BBC Online Asia-Pacific News, June 27, 2002)].

More seriously, who is this all for? Humans, or the pandas? Is this really treating animals with dignity?

(c) A great waste of effort..... -

Our waste mountain is getting on top of us, as the 'Greens' love recycling but won't allow waste disposal: 'UK citizens "face waste mountain"' (BBC Online UK News, June 15):

"Britain is facing a 'looming disaster' because of a lack of facilities to deal with growing mountains of rubbish, according to a new report.

The Institution of Civil Engineers says ill-informed public protests and poor government leadership are blocking the building of waste treatment plants.

The report says more than 2,000 new plants - including recycling centres - will be needed in the next 20 years."

So let's all sing together.....

'Culpable Cullet' (On exports to South America)

"Ten green bottles
No one wants to use;
Ten green bottles
Recycled, but for what?
If ten green bottles
Are driven to the skip,
Then it's ten green bottles
Sent on a worldwide trip!"

Just think of the traffic and the emissions! Smashing idea! Fizzy water all round?

Philip, losing the will to live! Natural spring water? Caffeine mate!

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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