Thursday 29 June 2023

Pam Laurance steps up to try to answer all those questions about doing your bit on climate change but were afraid to ask - Chalkhill Radio, Saturday 10am-11am.



No, it's not about legalising drugs but a chat with Brent Friends of the Earth's Pam Laurance who will be tackling some of those thorny questions people find themselves  asking (or being asked) when it comes to taking action on climate change. 

What do we think about cutting down on flying when many people in Brent want to keep in touch with family back in their home countries and attend important weddings and funerals? Should you ration holidays by air or stop completely - particularly when it can be such a hassle? Stop short-haul?

Many people are changing their eating habits to cut down on meat and significant numbers of people, especially in the north of the borough area, are already vegetarian, what are the pros and cons of a vegetarian or vegan diet?  How should you start to change your diet and how does it work with changing the diet of a young family keen on fast food?

I am sure that driving (including the school run and shopping), low traffic neighbourhoods, reducing air pollution, cycling and much else will be raised by listeners.

Pam will be asked to choose a record to be played on the show. Speculation is rife about which song she will choose but I don't think it will be this one.


Anonymous said...

I would like to ask Pam Laurance why climate change activists seem to disproportionately target the daily lives of poor and working-class people, who contribute the least towards climate emissions, while seemingly ignoring the actions of the wealthy. Why is there a focus on urging individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to make significant sacrifices such as cutting down on flying, changing their eating habits, or modifying their transportation choices, when these lifestyle changes alone cannot address the systemic issues causing climate change? Meanwhile, the wealthy, who often have a disproportionately higher carbon footprint due to their extravagant consumption and investment in industries contributing to climate change, seem to be exempt from such scrutiny. Doesn't this approach perpetuate the existing social and economic inequalities, where the burden of responsibility is placed on those who have the least power and resources, while the wealthy escape accountability?

Shouldn't the focus be on challenging the structures and institutions that perpetuate environmental exploitation and inequality, rather than solely targeting individual behaviours?

Martin Francis said...

Pam replies: I dont know what it is that we do, or fail to do, that makes you think that way about us. I agree with just about all you say about rich people generally being more responsible for climate change. However, if we failed to also direct our campaigning towards poor people we would be leaving out a very large proportion of the population. And some recommended changes actually cost less such as cutting down on meat consumption. Do you have any specific suggestions for what you think we should do? With Good Wishes, Pam.

Anonymous said...

Surely the focus should be on what little things can we all do rich or poor to make the world a better place for everyone.

Recycling properly, careful use of water, not wasting food, not wasting energy, not driving short journeys when we could walk, campaigning for better and cheaper public transport, not following fast fashion but buying better quality clothes that last longer, passing clothes we don't want onto others or donating them to charity shops rather than sending them to landfill, etc, etc, etc.

Certainly celebs like David Beckham and his clan could set an example by cutting down on their flights here there and everywhere and their huge Chelsea tractor cars.

Anonymous said...

Easy if you are wealthy to not believe in “fast fashion”. Think you demonstrate anonymous 1’s point as it looks like snobbery.

Anonymous said...

Meat is healthy, nutritious, good value and accessible from local ecosystems. How much does your avocado or quinoa finacially and in carbon footprint to ship across the world, alongside associated costs in terms of deforestation? This is before we tackle the financial cost of these products in a financial crisis which means that children who are forced to be vegan by parents, risk rickets, particularly if the family is poor.,and%20adapted%20supplementation%20after%20weaning.

Martin Francis said...

Pam replies: Completely agree.

Where do you think we disagree?

Anonymous said...

What's wealth got to do with anything??? The fast fashion industry is hugely polluting the world - no matter if you are rich or poor you can make changes to how you shop to be more sustainable.

Anonymous said...

Visit your local butcher and ask where they souce their meat.

You know nothing.

Anonymous said...

Your local butcher will tell you anything to sell their produce - you go visit one of these intensive farms or an abattoir and then decide whether to eat meat!

And do you think most local families go to a local butcher? No they go to the local supermarkets!

I've seen 'fresh' chicken in Tesco labelled produce of Thailand - what animal welfare regulations do you think there are in Thailand? 😞

Anonymous said...

So local butchers are liars? They source not british beef but cows from american sheds. Really?

Trevor Ellis said...

When we appreciate something good that's been given to us, we generally show it in terms of action.
If we apply that to the earth and humans, it's painfully obvious that some of the things people do shows a lack of appreciation and concern for the planet we all depend on, as well as the estate in which we reside.
The Chalk hill environment at this point in time, leaves me feeling grieved and frustrated by the clear lack of concern and positive action.
That also signifies a level of stupidity and even willful ignorance right across the board.
We should use the time left to become wise and if possible, prevent our estate, and the earth becoming unproductive for future generations.
Indeed, we have a responsibility to do that.

Anonymous said...

What proof do you have of where they get their meat from? What fo you know about how the animals have lived or been slaughtered?

And as I said before most families buy in supermarkets!

Trevor Ellis said...

I think that it is better to look for positives, and empathize the nutritional benefits of a plant diet, rather than using time arguing about where people purchase their meat.
For example, Plant-based foods are full of fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals, free of cholesterol, and low in calories and saturated fat. Eating a variety of these foods provides all the protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients your body needs.

Trevor Ellis said...

In response to the rather forceful comment(s) from Anonymous about where animals were kept before being slaughtered, and his assertion that ''most families buy in supermarkets!.''
In a supermarket, you will more than likely receive a cheaper cut of meat from the supermarket for a bargain price, or a cut that is not grass-fed that is slightly lower in quality.
Whereas, buying from the butcher is based generally upon higher priced quality assured meat.
Ultimately, whether you choose to shop at a butchers or a supermarket depends entirely on your personal tastes, budget, and location.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous can switch from butchers to supermarkets if they like. Walk in, look at the meat, then tell us what part of the red tractor scheme is based in American sheds.

Anonymous said...

don’t assume the Red Tractor scheme has the highest animal welfare standards…

“ What Red Tractor allows
When consumers read that animals are well cared for, it is unlikely they are imagining piglets having their tails cut off or teeth cut down without pain relief, or mother pigs being confined in tiny metal crates for weeks on end with too little space to even turn around or nuzzle their newborn piglets, but these practices are permitted under the Red Tractor scheme.

Although Red Tractor claims that its standards are “world-leading”, they actually offer little above the legal minimum standards required by the Government.

One example is the stocking density allowed for chickens reared for their flesh, which is essentially how much space each chicken is given.

Under UK law, the maximum stocking density for chickens reared for their flesh is 39kg per square-metre, which means each chicken has around the size of an A4 piece of paper to live in. Red Tractor standards allow chickens to be stocked at a maximum of 38kg per square-metre – just one kilogram less – which is like adding roughly the space of a post-it note to the A4 piece of paper each chicken has. Hardly world-leading!

Under Red Tractor standards, millions of chickens die on farms before they even reach the slaughterhouse; sick piglets can be killed by being smashed against a concrete surface (referred to as ‘blunt trauma’) or by being shot in the head; and chickens are selectively bred to grow to an unnaturally large weight within just five or six weeks, which leads them to suffer from a host of debilitating issues including heart attacks, leg deformities and severe breathing difficulties.”

Anonymous said...

Says here:

“Britain's largest food label, the Red Tractor, lays down the lowest animal welfare standards of any quality mark, and shoppers should look for kinder schemes, according to new research.

A 60-page report into assurance schemes in the UK found that Red Tractor, officially known as "Assured Food Standards", did little more than meet legal requirements – and allowed practices such as the docking of pigs' tails without anaesthetic. Instead, the two charities behind the report, Compassion in World Farming and OneKind, advised consumers to buy meat carrying the RSPCA or Soil Association logos.”

Best is to visit the farms and slaughter houses yourself to see what animal welfare standards they have so that you know how your food is being produced - animals are not a commodity they are living beings.

Anonymous said...

You have never met a farmer.

Anonymous said...

Initially, you highlighted the issue of animals confined in sheds in America, emphasising. In response, I suggested seeking information from the butcher regarding the source of the meat. This shift in focus led us to explore the role of the supermarket and its potential connection to more sustainable practices, such as the red tractor scheme, which you also disagree.

However, our discussion has now taken a different turn, straying away from the topic of animals in sheds. Despite the changing direction, I challenge your view that animals are treated as mere commodities, rather than part of our ecological system.

It is essential to recognise that living organisms are interdependent, particularly when it comes to their dietary needs. This interdependence is a natural and ecological aspect of our world. In fact, without certain living things consuming others, ecological balance would be disrupted, potentially resulting in an overwhelming overpopulation.

The unfortunate necessity for farmers to cull badgers stems from the fact that humans have eliminated their natural predators. This disruption in the natural predator-prey dynamic has caused an imbalance, prompting the intervention of humans to control the badger population. Historically, one of the prominent predators of badgers in the UK was the Eurasian wolf (Canis lupus lupus). However, due to extensive hunting and habitat loss, the Eurasian wolf became extinct in the British Isles centuries ago.

As a result of the absence of their natural predator, badger populations have been able to increase unchecked. While badgers play an important role in the ecosystem, their growing numbers can have adverse effects on other species and agricultural activities. Therefore, in the absence of a natural predator to regulate their population, humans have taken on the responsibility of managing badger populations to prevent overpopulation and associated ecological imbalances.

Are you for or against a balanced ecosystem? Do you think it is okay to kill them? What about eat them?

It is crucial for you to recognize that the removal of top predators can have far-reaching consequences within an ecosystem. The absence of the Eurasian wolf in the UK not only affected the dynamics of the badger population but also had cascading effects on other species and the overall balance of the ecosystem.

The example of badgers and their predators in the UK provides an important lesson when considering the role of humans in the ecosystem. Just as badgers are dependent on their natural predators to keep their population in check, humans, as a part of the ecosystem, also play a role in maintaining balance.

In the context of human consumption of meat, it is essential to recognise that our dietary choices can have ecological implications. By consuming meat, humans indirectly influence the populations of various species, including the animals raised for food.

For instance, if humans were to completely stop consuming meat, it would lead to a significant reduction in the demand for livestock farming. This reduction could potentially result in a surplus population of livestock animals, disrupting the ecological balance within agricultural systems. It could lead to overcrowding, resource depletion, and increased vulnerability to diseases among livestock populations.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the rewilding of predators, where appropriate, can be a beneficial strategy for ecosystem restoration. Just as badgers rely on their natural predators to regulate their population, the reintroduction or protection of predators in certain regions can help restore ecological balance by controlling the populations of their prey species.

Veganism meanwhile is bad for the environment from a carbon footprint perspective, as well as deforestation and the risks to an unbalanced ecosystem.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how you got onto badgers but why not cull and eat them? As long as they have lived a natural life and been killed humanely there's surely no issue?

Trouble is people make assumptions that all is well in the animal food chain rather than visiting farms and slaughter houses themselves to see what actually happens.