Friday, 3 July 2009

Key people irresponsible enough to cause global warming

Martin Lewis:
Mr Lewis has responded to his listing here and he's made some good points so I've decided to edit both the title of this article because the wording was too harsh and changed the bit on Mr Lewis below.
In his weekly newsletter, money saving expert Martin Lewis regularly advises his eager public on money saving deals. Among these is at the top of his list: dirt cheap flights. By recommending the UK's 2 most environmentally damaging business models of Ryanair and Easyjet as well as cheap long haul flights to destinations as far fetched as Australia, Mr Lewis is inadvertently encouraging millions of people to get on-board flights that collectively will generate tens of thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases resulting in global warming killing millions of citizens from the developing world. I don't understand how an intelligent man can do that, live with it and manage to justify it. I think he really should reconsider whether saving money on flying or even helping people get on board cheap flights is in line with his ethical beliefs about helping consumers and yes, I think that if possible all of us should avoid flying in all circumstances but family emergencies. He may be helping his readers in the short-term but in the long-term, their flying will result in further global warming with dire consequences for everyone including their kids.
Following on the points he made which were interesting, I have posted a response looking at why the carbon footprint of flying is a problem and why I think that Mr Lewis is inadvertently creating huge carbon emissions through his weekly newsletter. Unfortunately, he's sticked to his position on the matter, choosing to ignore the environmental impact of his newsletter. When one intelligent man is in control of as large a carbon footprint as he is and refuses to do anything about it, the scale of the environmental problem we all have to face is spelled out in capital letters: BIG, VERY BIG.

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair boss:
“We will take [passengers] off British Airways and the other old carriers who are flying gas-guzzling, ancient aircraft and pack them into fuel-efficient planes. So Ryanair will be saving the environment – not that we care much. [...] I listen to all this drivel about turning down the central heating, going back to candles, returning to the Dark Ages. You do that if you want to. But none of it will make any difference. It just panders to your middle-class, middle-aged angst and guilt.” Michael O'Leary

The problem with freedom of enterprise is when guys like Michael pop up on the scene and think it's okay to trash the biosphere, create global warming, indirectly kill people in the developing world over a period of decades and centuries and get away with it whilst all the while lying to the cameras and the press missleading the general public who don't know any better into thinking that everything's okay and that what Ryanair's doing is perfectly alright. The problem of the legal system as it is is that it does not punish white collar crime. Hitler killed 6 million jews. But he didn't do it directly, he got other people to do it for him. Yet it is internationally recognized that he was responsible for it. What of crimes that indirectly kill hundreds of millions and billions of people, more so than have ever been killed by any dictator in history. If I sell you a shower gel and it corrodes your skin and gives you a fatal cancer, you've got a right to sue me for manslaughter haven't you? What if someone can't eat because of a drought that is not natural but caused by global warming, what if there are millions of others like him? Who can you blame then but the people who caused unnecessary and intentional pollution for profit?
It is a disgusting world we live in where a man like O'Leary is not prosecuted for crime against humanity and gets praise in the media for his successful business. It is not the people flying his planes I blame, it is him for trying to book a profit at all costs, for opening new lines all the time, for denying the existence of global warming to suit his needs, for advertising to create the need for people to get on board his flights, for pricing them so cheaply that no one even considers less polluting alternative. There is a whole system that is rotten that enables this man to get away with what he does. We have a government incapable of understanding that the propaganda of freedom of enterprise is killing our world and killing our people.
For the record, I have flown Ryanair but that was before I knew the environmental impact of flying. They can price their flights as dirt cheap as they like, I'd rather be shot dead than board one of their planes. We hope you get prosecuted O'Leary and spend your last days in jail.

Jeremy Clarkson
This well loved petrol head is part of the cultural propaganda that is threatening mankind and he should be stopped. He's a dinosaur from an older generation when there weren't 7 billion people on the Planet and there was no global warming living in a world where all of that is a reality but he's somehow not capable of appreciating that for those who can afford the big cylinders he loves so much, he is encouraging consumerism. I don't dislike the guy but he's a gauge of our ill advised addiction to fossil fuel. We love to dream ourselves in big cylinders, we love the freedom and sensation but we're not capable of realizing this love is going to screw the very ones we love and care for the most: our kids.

Ray Krock, founder of McDonalds
It would not hurt McDonalds' business in the slightest to switch all its burgers to vegetarian alternatives using organic vegetables. McDonald's isn't in the hamburger business, it's in the real estate business. If they can produce cheap beef, there's nothing stopping them from producing cheap vegetables. Their service comes at the cost of things like foot and mouth and potentially a destructive virus the likes of which we have never seen. I can't see how animal who develop antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria won't eventually be responsible for a virus that we can't treat with existing vaccinations. Beef, accounting for 30% of the food we eat is responsible for 78% of the emissions from the cattle sector. McDonalds is in the beef business, they need to find a way out of it.

George Bush
Everyone knows how that idiot made it to this list.

Ruppert Murdoch
Now apparently, Mr Murdoch was convinced by his son to make an effort to green up his media empire. Despite his efforts, I still can't stand him. He is a conservative who's had a lifelong flawed philosophy about what the French call "capitalism sauvage" which maybe translated literally as wildcat capitalism. His view is that business are perfectly able to look after themselves and that government should not intervene. Credit crunch is all I'll say.

I don't really mind him or his business (although if Fox were consciously trying to turn their public into cavemen they'd put on the exact same programming as they are now) but I especially don't like the concept of the Sun. Using paper to print pictures and not text at a time when deforestation accounts for 25% of mankind's emissions is outrageous. They can argue the paper is recycled but that's besides the point. Paper pulp can only be recycled 5-6 times, after that it has to rot in landfill. And if they claim it's sourced from sustainable forests, that's not acceptable either. Like Mcdonough said, you can't call something better just because it's less bad. What is called sustainable is in fact a monocrop Eucalyptus forest where there cannot be any biodiversity because the leaves are toxic to any other wildlife, the crops can be sprayed with pesticides to grow faster and they pump up a huge amount of underground fossil water most often in countries where water is already scarce. I contacted the FSC to ask if they considered Eucalyptus forests to be sustainable and their reply was neither yes or no, more along the lines of: if the rainforest isn't being chopped down, the world's a better place. Yeah right...
I also note Murdoch was opposed to the election of Barrack Obama because he thought his socialist policies would damage business so he's evidently one of these free market libertarians who think the State shouldn't regulate. Businesses are accountable for trashing the Planet to a huge degree and if not regulated they will trash it eagerly and faster. A business will do anything to maintain a linear profitibility even if it involves ultimately the demise of the business. Businesses in our culture are short term entities and they need to be regulated for their own good so that they can last long-term. What are they going to do when we run out of all our natural resources in one hundred years?
Further, I note that it's not just the Sun printing nonsense, it's the entire country's press industry. It's no good printing words if they are a total waste of time and most of the stuff printed in the press is just that. I have in mind in particular a distastful article about female orgies in London printed in the Independent over the week-end and I'm sure that if I were to collect a sample of papers on any given day, more than 50% of the content could enter the useless, irrelevant or paper wasting category.
In my view the worst are the Guardian. They have a very activist section on the environment yet one week-end copy is roughly the same weight as an encyclopedia Britannica. Who needs that much information? Why is it that every paper is now selling a sports section, culture, holiday etc... If the public wants to read about sports, let them buy a paper on sports. If they want to read about holidays, let them buy a magazine on that. Stop being a one stop shop for everything you're trashing our trees you imbeciles.
And if you want to continue with your business models, that's fine so long as you're not using paper. Start using infinitely recyclable synthetic paper. Go to the business ideas section of ecochange.co.uk for some info on a company supplying that.

Vincent de Rivaz, EDF’s chief executive officer, the entire board, their PR and marketing people

The law needs to change to make excessive CO2 emissions a crime against humanity. The first person who should be prosecuted for that is Vincent de Rivaz. Some companies are hypocrits, opportunists and liars and in my view EDF as a group is worst than Ryanair's boss O'Leary. At least Ryanair doesn't try to pretend they're green. EDF are right up there with the countries biggest polluters and yet they have the nerve to advertise themselves as green. We are so furious with their latest advertising campaign that we've dedicated an entire post to their lies. If you are a client of EDF, you are assisting climate criminals. Switch to Ecotricity now to save your soul!


I do realize that some people are going to be disappointed not to find more names of corporations and people who are turning our world into an oven but I can assure them that we will be adding to this list as time goes on and if you have any suggestions as to who else should make it to the list, feel free to comment and we will be delighted to investigate your suggestions.

10 comments:

  1. "Ray Krock, founder of McDonalds
    It would not hurt McDonalds' business in the slightest to switch all its burgers to vegetarian alternatives using organic vegetables."
    A few points about that one:
    1 - it would hurt them, because people would stop eating their burgers!
    2 - I don't see what vegetarianism has to do with preventing global warming, unless you are concerned with the emissions from a cow's backside... in which case killing them is best surely?
    3 - I don't see what organic has to do with global warming either.

    "Like Mcdonough said, you can't call something better just because it's less bad."
    Well, sorry to inform you, but using computers actually involves carbon emissions. So it's not better, it's just less bad. Maybe you should be on your own list for this reason. Perhaps pretty much the whole world should be too.

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  2. This list is ridiculous and I'm surprised that Martin Lewis gave you undeserved publicity by responding, especially considering the company you have him keeping on the list! Very harsh to include him anyway, unless you're also going to add the likes of Google (owners of blogspot I believe) for also linking to (and making advertising money from) sellers of cheap flights.

    Other thing I'd note is that Ray Krock died in 1984 (at the age of 81) so having him on your list is bizarre!

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  4. In response to Dave and Alex. Thanks for commenting.
    Alex, the carbon footprint of meat is larger than that of all the planes, cars and lorries on the planet. For more info, look at:
    http://www.ecochanges.co.uk/individual_footprint/food/your_food.html
    http://www.ecochanges.co.uk/individual_footprint/food/food_facts.html
    I don't think switching to vegetarian beef or chicken would hurt McDonald's business, in fact there is already a fast food vegan business in New York which is offering such a menu and doing very well which you can find out more about in the book 75 green businesses by Glen Croston

    Dave, the list is not to be taken overly seriously! I'm glad Martin Lewis saw that it was called prick list for effect and I am going to change the title because I think it's too offensive. Well done on spotting Ray Krock, I must say I didn't even know he was dead! But his McDonalds legacy lives on!
    I didn't really want any publicity for the list and I wanted to take off Mr Lewis from it which is why I emailed him. Of all the people on that list, he's the only one I bothered contacting because I think he's the only one that can make a significant change by not advertising cheap flights.
    I must say I find it very surprising that Mr Lewis is potentially generating a huge amount of carbon emissions from his website. Advising people on cheap flights and incentivising them to take advantage of the offers has a huge environmental impact and he is aware of it. I'm glad he thought about it and took it seriously enough to respond but I'm still going to try to convince him to stop advising people to get on board cheap flights and I'm preparing a blog that I will publish within the next week on the issues with the airline industry and passenger growth on this site.

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  5. Although Martin Lewis lets people know about cheap flights, you've got to look at the bigger picture- people aren't just going to stop flying and going away. Although many of us do consider our carbon footprints there are far more people who just don't care. I do think it's worthwhile trying to educate people, however, Martin Lewis has done so much more than recommend cheap flights- he's helped so many people, and I think you've got to weigh it up.

    Actually back in December 2006 Martin Lewis talks about flights and carbon offsetting in his blog.

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  6. What about Google. They have a massive carbon footprint. They are also the owners of blogspot. So what you're moaning to everyone else about is exactly what you are funding. Yet again another vegetarian hippy buying into all the media hype. Try doing some actual research before posting your next blog.

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  7. I am disgusted at your obvious disregard for the much liked and well renound money savy Martin Lewis.
    If you actually stepped back and read his page you would understand that in a way he IS helping the environment.
    He's encouraging us to eat more savy, throwing less food in the landfills and lowering the methane output.
    To shop locally, encouraging people from driving to big out of town supermarkets (saving carbon footprint on cars)and buying local products means many of the products would not have been flown half way around the world i.e. New Zealand Lamb.
    Better deals for Utilities and tips on saving energy, again saving the planet's carbon footprint.
    Tips on alternative cleaning products i.e. bicarbonate of soda instead of bleach down the plug, is that not better for the environment?

    Finally Martin help's over 6 million people every month with his tips. As the above examples show,if just 1 million followed his savy tips then I'm more than sure it would go an awful long way towards lowering our carbon footprint.
    I certainly think you can make more use of your time. The time you WASTED e-mailing him you could of switched off your computer and lowering YOUR own carbon footprint.
    Many fans of Martin would certianly agree.

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  8. IC Weiner,
    I know about all the above, you forgot to mention Martin has an excellent eco driving tips article. The point is that all the points you've made above have a low impact in cutting down our carbon footprint which is massive. Read my response to understand the real impact of the newsletter here: http://environmentalthinker.blogspot.com/2009/07/is-money-saving-expert-martin-lewis.html I also encourage you to find out more about where our carbon emissions come from on my website: www.ecochanges.co.uk. For a very good understanding of where your carbon footprint comes from, I recommend you read how to live a low carbon life by Chris Goodall and you'll understand why the points you make above have a minor impact. Thanks for your comments, I am a money saving expert fan as well believe it or not! And my computer runs on 100% renewable energy!

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  9. "Sticked" is not a word.

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  10. nice blog.....

    http://envrionment.blogspot.com

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