Guernsey 'is going to look like a dirty place'

GUERNSEY’S greenhouse gas emissions have been rising, according to latest figures.

Tobin Cook

GUERNSEY’S greenhouse gas emissions have been rising, according to latest figures.

And Guernsey Climate Action Network chairman Nick Day has warned that not enough is being done to control the island’s increasing carbon footprint.

The Guernsey Annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin revealed that 392.2 kilotons of carbon dioxide was released in 2011 – a 0.5% rise. Power generation was the third largest producer, making up 17% of the emissions.

The report recognised that power station emissions had fallen by 75% since the French cable link came online in 2001, but that on-island generation was still a problem.

Deputy chief environmental health officer Tobin Cook, pictured, said categories and methodology was used to work out the figures, rather than air quality testing and that meeting the Kyoto targets was an ongoing process.

Comments for: "Guernsey 'is going to look like a dirty place'"

islander

Yes and with the high tariffs we are paying this is a bonus.SEB clean up your internal environment.

bob

yawn - who cares!

Watch this space for increased taxation to remedy this situation. Especially the electricity costs.

Guernseys carbon footprint cannot have a massively direct affect on the GLOBAL environment. Wy even bother with reporting on this when places like China / Beijing regularly have life threatening levels of airborne particulates?! What they produce in a single day would be the similar levels as Guernsey would produce in 10 years!

Oh yeah, and the Kyoto agreement only works if the whole world is signed up to it. Funnily enough the worlds largest polluters arent part of that agreement.....now i cant possibly think wy?!

rosie

bob. I find it a bit rich comparing our 60,000 population with the whole of China where there population is 1,344,130,000. It would be more comparable if you compared our emissions to the emissions of any other 60,000 people, be they chinese or any other race..... that would not make our contribution look quite so insignificant.

Backchat

Rosie

Do you really think our population is as low as 60,000?

rosie

bob. Looks like China might be making some changes soon....

http://www.newstatesman.com/economics/2013/02/china-proposes-introducing-carbon-tax

Beanjar

bob is right, there is no point getting our knickers in a twist over Guernsey's contribution to the World's pollution problem. Sure, we can do our bit but let's not break out in boils over it! There is so much smarm and hypocrisy over the 'green issue'. Many a time I have slavishly obeyed a hotel's request to re-use my towel only to get frozen half to death by mental overuse of air-conditioning in their public spaces. Often in the USA they are not content to just freeze people in hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and casinos - they leave doors wide open onto the sidewalk too! Mostly the 'eco' ploy is just a cynical excuse to make more money, whether it be companies, lobbyists or politicians jetting off for a jolly 5 star rainforest conference. And that bloney 'Sting' and his Amaozonian indian chums, they all get on my wick too!!

Island Wide Voting

Rosie.Please count to ten before you jump in here

Rosie

IWV. I’m trying. I’m trying! Taking lots of deep breaths and trying to r-e-l-a-x…….. but it’s no use. It’s not working.

Oh Dear

Just for the info Rosy, our population is currently (according to 2012 statistics) 65,345.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gk.html

rosie

Thanks for the info Oh Dear. 60,000 was only meant to be an approximate figure to illustrate the point. I have to admit tho' I thought it was nearer 63,000 so it is creeping up isn't it.

The figure I gave for China was from 2011 so that would be a bigger number too despite having prevented millions of births with their one-child policy.

Oh Dear

I remember it being around this figure seven years ago when I was taking Geography exams. I don't think our population is too bad at all. If you think about it, this figure will be pushed up by foreign workers as well.

Oh Dear

I've just realised that I spelt your name wrong in that first post.

My apologies Rosie.

rosie

That's ok Oh Dear. I've had a lot worse! ;-)

rosie

Beanjar. I do think that Guernsey has to do what it can to address our contribution to what is widely acknowledged to be a serious problem. We might seem small in the overall scheme of things but every human being on the planet could say the same thing. We are the same as 60,000 people anywhere else and I think measured up against any other similarly sized community, we probably would not come off too well. I can't think of a reason why we should think ourselves 'special' and in any less need to do what we can for the greater good of everyone.

However I have to totally agree with you re the 'greenwash' that is commonly used by so many businesses to try to convince us that they 'care', when in reality it is often more about them making a saving on their costs or just trying to project an image for marketing purposes.

Watcher

If we were really serious about global warming or our carbon footprint would we be selling fuel to all the airlines and private aircraft that come here ? How about all the super yachts that visit our harbour and take on several tanker loads of fuel at a time? I seem to recall one such vessel being reported by the GEP as taking on 400,000 litres, that is about as much as 1,000 small cars use in a year! All those litres add to OUR carbon footprint and that is why the little effort we make as individuals will have little or no effect on the overall picture. Sorry Rosie, not with you on this one ( or many others come to think of it...) we are but a small speck of rock in the English Channel and to think we have any influence on the world at large is pretty laughable.

;-)

rosie

Watcher. You make a valid comment re all the fuel that we sell to visiting super yachts etc. It was why I was horrified at the suggestion that we should build a berth in the harbour big enough to encourage super yachts to come here for cheap fuel. Turning ourselves into a glorified petrol station for the super rich- doesn't seem like much of an aspiration to me.

Influence on the the wider world does not have to be our raison d'être. Reducing our emissions is more about increasing our energy efficiency and reducing our dependency on imported fossil fuels. A low carbon future with renewable energy technologies will be a more secure future, less vulnerable to outside influences, and I think full of exciting opportunities. That can only be good thing in my book.

Island Wide Voting

rosie

What do you believe will happen re the fuel hungry super yachts?

Will the owners be saying to themselves " Oh dear,we can't get low duty fuel from Guernsey so we'll have to scrap our super yacht and therefore do our bit to save the planet from destruction in one hundred million years time"

OR ? "Oh dear,we can't get low duty fuel from Guernsey so we'll have to get it from somewhere else"

It's all very well being horrified at X or Y but it's not exactly very business like

The tax on those lost fuel sales could have helped to fund the loss making bus service,or support the anti smoking,anti fizzy drinks,anti obesity,anti car use,anti greenhouse gas,anti Sunday Trading,anti runway re-alignment (it is not an extension),anti over packaging,and any other of the prodnose individuals or small groups which seem to proliferate on this tiny rock

rosie

IWV. Super yacht owners can do what they want but personally, I would not want to see Guernsey go down the road of actively developing a reputation / trade as a pit-stop for super yachts. Being a glorified petrol station is not an image I think would do us any good at all and I think our image has a value of its own that shouldn’t be ignored.

No doubt you would like to see that kind of business developed here so that the tax revenue could be spent on pro cigarette, pro fizzy drink, pro obesity and poor health, pro greenhouse gas, pro 24 hour trading, pro development into the remaining green spaces, and any other couldn't-care-less policy that might proliferate on this tiny rock. ;-)

Island Wide Voting

Rosie

I would certainly not be against the island becoming a pit stop for super yachts and I'm not particularly pro the rest of your list

What I do find irritating is the constant nag nag nag of those whose apparent sole aim in life is to impose their own lifestyle choices (good or bad) onto the rest of the population

Probably worse than the regular individuals who engage in this practice are those who form themselves into groups of a dozen or less,meet a couple of times each year and then spout forth in the mistaken belief that they are speaking for the whole island

rosie

IWV

It was your list and it works both ways. I can just as easily claim that the strong opinions you frequently spout forth are an attempt to impose your lifestyle choices onto others.

I see the differences between us as being generally this:

I am pro policies that are less about the individual and more about the whole community and island environment. Policies that encourage individuals, businesses etc to consider the wider impact of their actions on the island and community and so in the long term work for the betterment of all in the belief that that is what makes robust and cohesive communities.

You seem to be pro policies that are less about the community as a whole and more about the individual and businesses’ rights to do as he (they) wants irrespective of the probable consequences or externalised costs that will result.

As far as I am concerned, it has nothing to do with wanting to impose a lifestyle choice onto others, but more about wanting to raise issues that are otherwise ignored and in so doing broaden the thinking behind policies in order that the wider picture is taken account of. You see it as ‘nagging’ because you see it as a threat on your personal ‘right’ to do as you bl**dy well want.

Island Wide voting

rosie

Crudete a la platte!!!

Stop bl**dy well nagging

rosie

IWV

well you stop being a "naughty, naughty boy!"

Dave

Agree with Rosie. Watcher you say 'we are but a small speck' if you broke down the population of China like Rosie was saying then all of China would be many small speck's of land mass and my guess is our total carbon footprint would be far worse when looked at like that!

Why should we think its someone else's problem? Why cant we be know as 'the green islands' or something to that effect.

Jim

It's very easy to fudge the facts Mr Cook but it's plain to see that Guernsey is dragging its feet! It's nearly two years since the last election and where's the States transport policy..? Have they started on it yet.

Robert

Jim

Nearly two years since the last election is it?

rosie

It's more like one year and I think that they have had to start pretty much from scratch on the transport policy.... but I hope that this time it actually does come to something when it is brought to the States later this year.

Spartacus

"a developed country isn't a place where the poor have cars it's where the rich use public transportation."

Mayor of Bogota

rosie

Spartacus. Great quote.

Martino

It is a great quote. I'll have to give her that!

rosie

Spartacus. Martino.

The quote prompted me to look up more about Mayor Penalosa and I came across this interview he gave to an interviewer from Detroit. Worth a read because although he is talking primarily about cities, there are several points he makes that I see as being equally relevant for us.

http://www.modeldmedia.com/features/penalosa112.aspx

"I realized that the earlier we make the right choices about land use, the better off we are in the long run, and the happier people would be, potentially for hundreds of years".

"The first article in every constitution should read "all citizens are equal before the law." What those words ensure is that the public good can prevail over private interest. In cities, this can be expressed in how we get around. For example, one bus full of people has fifty times more right to the road as one car".

"For some reason, transportation is linked to social status".

"I decided that it was one of the most important things to do to improve equality because bikeways protected and raised the social status of the cyclist".

"Bicycles give people a freedom of movement, a sense of equality.". 

"I know of no place where parking is a constitutional right". (he obviously never heard about Guernsey!)

"It’s funny, most problems get solved as a society gets richer. But transportation issues often get worse".

Martino

You are preaching to the converted here Rosie. I have a vision of thousands of bikes going along the front during the morning rush hour instead of thousands of boxes jammed up behind one another and crawling along with their occupants trapped inside.

IWV will shudder at the thought but as I cycle by on my way to town I am simply bemused as to why others don't join us in their droves to discover the joys of self powered two wheel transport. As the good mayor says the sense of freedom on a bike has to be experienced to be believed.

Island Wide voting

It's worth Googling 'Transmilenio' to see how 7 million population Bogota's world acclaimed bus service is set up to carry up to 42,000 passengers per hour into and out of the city.It was established as a cheaper alternative to a light railway or underground system at a mere $20m per kilometre ...

"The system’s infrastructure includes 84 km exclusive busways on central lanes of major arterial roads, roads for feeder buses, 7 terminals, 7 intermediate integration points, and 100 enclosed stations with pre-payment and level boarding to the buses. Trunk lines are served by 1,071 articulated buses, while integrated feeder lines are served by 412 conventional buses (www.transmilenio.gov.co). To maximize capacity, trunk lines accommodate express services stopping at selected stations only, as well as local services stopping at all stations. The high end features of the system and the combination of local and express buses allow the system to carry up to 45,000 passengers per hour per direction at a commercial speed of 29 km/hour."

Scaling that system down for Guernsey's needs I reckon bus stations would have to be set up at ...

L'Eree ( with Les Adams,Les Paysans,Forest Road,Grande Rue,Fort Road closed to all traffic except buses)

Cobo ( with Route de Cobo,Rohais,Grange and St Julian's Avenue closed to all traffic except buses)

L'Ancresse ( with Route Militaire and Les Banques being closed to all traffic except buses)

Commuters from L'Islet/The Bridge/St Andrews etc would probably either reach the main stations by feeder minibuses or walk or cycle to and from these bus stations

In Bogota those who still insist on using their private cars and those whose job it is to deliver goods to shops and building sites,as well as taxis and emergency vehicles have to make do with the two spare traffic lanes next to the two dedicated bus lanes.Not quite sure where they would fit in the island

So thank you Spartacus for finding such a great quote.If it was intended to stimulate debate it has worked

I look forward very much to the States debate when such a proposal is brought forward by Environment

rosie

Martino.

I like your vision and would love to see the same, and not just along the front but all over the island. A fitter, healthier and more egalitarian community.....it would make Guernsey so cool... I think. Sadly, the car habit is so entrenched with the majority of people in Guernsey that they can’t see how fab it could be or how they could possibly use a bike even for just a percentage of their journeys.

To go with your vision I have always thought that it would be great if there was a place in town that was like a big cycling hub. I thought that the old Woolies would have been perfect. The space would be divided up between bike storage / repair / servicing + bike merchandise and then areas for socialising... an informal comfortable cafe with tables and chairs but also with old shabby sofas where you could read the daily newspapers, have some food or just meet up with friends to have a drink. Maybe you would need space for lockers and changing rooms so people could leave suits etc there. A real community buzz to it.

http://www.mud-dock.co.uk

rosie

IWV

Your ability to take the extreme view in order to ignore the point being made is legendary. Well done!

Island Wide Voting

Rosie at 10.13am

Sorry Rosie but somebody has to try to bring the airy fairy day dreamers back to earth

TIG is available to be read worldwide and I'm becoming very concerned that the island could eventually be perceived as a centre for the delusional

However in order to demonstrate that I am not an entirely mean person I hereby promise that if I ever win a multi week UK National Lottery rollover I will do my darndest to purchase the old Woolworth building and turn it into a place where cyclists can sit around on old sofas and read the Daily Mail

Martino

We'll hold you to that Ray, I quite like Rosie's idea of a cyclists' hang out in Town.

But more seriously, I don't see it is as a vision that's away with the fairies. The popularity of cycling in increasing all the time, albeit slightly and incrementally. And if the cost of petrol keeps on going up maybe we'll reach some sort of tipping point that will get maybe not 1000s but 100s of people switching to their pushers, especially for that little flat journey from the north to town.

Really IWV, cycling has never been 'cooler' and where it was once seen as the transport choice of people who couldn't afford a car it is now being seen by more and more of us as the way to go. If you win that lottery any chance of paying for the Mayor of Bogota to come over to give us all another little push towards fairyland?

Island Wide Voting

Martino

Whenever I see a cyclist over the age of thirty I think to myself ... 'poor sod,off the road for speeding or DIC but serves you right'

Martino

You've got it wrong IWV. The convicted speedsters and drunk in chargers are the younger and middle aged ones on electric bikes. You can always spot 'em. Those of us who CHOOSE to cycle don't need any powered assistance. I use my scooter when I need to get somewhere quick.

Island Wide Voting

Hmmm

I'm very rarely wrong Martino

I remember one occasion last March or April when I thought I was wrong but it turned out I was mistaken :)

Yvonne Burford

It is 10 months actually.

The transport strategy is underway,local stakeholder consultations have taken place, baseline data has been gathered, department consultations have been sought, I have been on the radio 3 times to speak about it and a public travel habits survey has been done. There will shortly be a wide public consultation and the report should be brought to the States in the autumn.

Johno

Sorry but all this proposed regulation will do, is keep more highly paid civil servants in pointless jobs (most of them on licence)

Castiel

Global warming is a Myth. The Met office recently admitted that there has been no warming of global temperatures for the last 16 years. Wake up people and realise that this Myth is just a Tax raising tool for the worlds governments. The Worlds climate is and has always changed Man has nothing to do with it.

Ed

It would be naive to assert that man has no impact on the climate whatsoever, Castiel, especially by using the weather conditions of a small period to corroborate one's belief. Carbon dioxide emissions in recent history reached 380 parts per million, which is unprecedented in the last 800,000 years, and a continued warning trend was experienced after the middle-later part of the 20th Century, which coincides with the flourishing of 'Tiger economies' in Asia and increased affluence in the USA and subsequently the rest of the Western World.

The world would have warmed up following the Little Ice Age from 1450-1850, but, given that the later part of this period was characterised by rapid industrialisation, it seems likely that increased carbon dioxide emissions and higher average temperatures prematurely ended this cold period.

Also, the reason why their may have been no high temperatures during that period you are referring to is because, paradoxically, global warming can trigger cooling by activating a negative feedback mechanism that negates the original temperature change. Increased CO2 emissions retain greater infrared radiation being re-radiated from the Earth's surface and so lead to some increase in temperature, but this heat causes melting, namely of the Arctic,Greenland and parts of the Antarctic ice sheets. The thawing of Greenland ice has led,and will continue to lead to,fresh water making contact with the Gulf Stream, thereby causing the density of the sinking water to decrease due to its dilution by fresh water and so reducing the rate if the cold return current at the bottom of the Atlantic. This means that the rate at which warm water is cycled back up to the North Atlantic is reduced, which creates relatively cold conditions.

Surely

Oh right Castiel, so thousands of independent scientists are wrong? Were hurricane Sandy, the recent bushfires in Australia and floods in Pakistan all just freak storms and why are the oceans getting warmer causing coral to die. It's not about raising tax gor governments, it's the opposite problem, vested corporate interests working to keep the oil flowing any which way they can..

Ed

Surely

Perhaps Castiel has a vested interest in denying human-generated climate change...

Devil's Advocate

If global warming is not happening then why are 'warm water' fish like bass and bream being caught further and further north? In the past 3-4 years fishermen and anglers here have been catching Mediterranean species that have NEVER been recorded in the past, and conversely species that used to be at the southern extent of their range such as Plaice are becoming rarer. You cannot blame overfishing as the increase/decline is in non-commercial species.

Secret squirrel

Good job we didn't build the incinerator then.

Dirty Jersey. tut tut.....

Beanjar

I don't agree that the climate change which we are undoubtedly experiencing has nothing to do with pollution. Even if there was no connection, there is no downside to creating less greenhouse gasses. However, thinking that Guernsey can make a difference in practical terms is deluded. We might give ourselves a pat on the back, but really who cares?

Ecowarriors like rosie would do better spending their time persuading the billions of Chinese, Brazilians and Indians not to breed, trade in their pushbikes for cars or spend their new found wealth on consumer goods. Most of the World doesn't give a stuff about how much pollution it creates or where the filth ends up. Why should Guernsey be the little boy with his finger in the dyke whilst the sea is pouring in over the top? Unfortunately, whatever we do or say is pointless.

rosie

Beanjar. I agree that there is no downside to working towards a low carbon future which is why I posted this earlier:

“Influence on the the wider world does not have to be our raison d’être. Reducing our emissions is more about increasing our energy efficiency and reducing our dependency on imported fossil fuels. A low carbon future with renewable energy technologies will be a more secure future, less vulnerable to outside influences, and I think full of exciting opportunities. That can only be good thing in my book.”

I would have thought that you would have agreed with that.

You think I should travel to China and tell them not to breed? Have you not noticed that they have had a one child policy for the last 20 years in order to tackle their population growth? Can you imagine us here adopting such a policy? (And it's a policy that has left them with a worrying demographic time bomb on their hands.) Your suggestion has a whiff colonialism about it..... telling those countries wanting our standard of life that they shouldn’t have it while we should!

Guernsey is far far away from ever being the little boy with his finger in the dyke and I don't know of anyone who is suggesting it ever could be. But I see no reason why we shouldn't be doing our fair share, and as I said above, the benefits would be largely ours anyway.

Jon Smith

Why do these type of stories always have a picture of cooling towers and steam in them, and infer that this is clouds of billowing pollution?

Martino

I'm with Rosie on this one but forgetting our carbon footprint and the pollution aspect of burning fossil fuels like there's no tomorrow there are also very strong economic reasons for all of us cutting down on the fossil fuel derived energy we consume.

The price of petrol is going up and up because of the weakness of the £ against the dollar and electricity prices are going up all the time too, which is why we need to go full tilt for Kev's plan for a windfarm out to sea on the west coast. We have no security of energy supply as things stand and, if we find the right partner, this could be the opportunity we need to become an energy exporter 10 years from now rather than an energy importer.

Island Wide Voting

We'll need a partner with very deep pockets

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/8028328/Britains-offshore-windpower-costs-twice-as-much-as-coal-and-gas-generated-electricity.html

Martino

Yes, we will need a partner with deep pockets but these people are out there and when you read all the way through this fairly well balanced DM piece you find there is room for 'cautious optimism'.

Johno

Beanjar

I'm with you on this one. I think these Eco Warriors are scared of their own shadows.

Never thought I would agree with the Daily Mail but they too are sceptics on this global warming. Its been going in cycles for years they are looking at movements over a miniscule period of time.

Yvonne Burford

Castiel,

Here is what the Met Office actually said, rather than what the Daily Mail spun from it: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/15/the-met-office-responds-to-global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago/

Backchat

Whatever we do about our carbon footprint it will not make us appear clean while still pumping raw sewage into the sea.

Oh Dear

I would love a car free Guernsey.

Not just for enviromnental reasons (if we are the primary cause of climate change). We could do away with the hideous tarmacked roads, signs and traffic lights. We'd have far fewer road related deaths and overall a population that is far healthier. We could get Tuk-Tuks for those who are incapable of riding a bike. Horse and carriage could also be an alternative.

Do away with the airport, with its noise and ugliness. We could bring in all tourists (of which there would be more than ever) via boats.

The only problem with this is people could never imagine life as they know it changing to that extent. People fear change but change is good.

islander

Oh Dear

all our yesterdays gone where we could walk hand in hand along the cobbled street of st peter port just stepping over the horse manure with its sweet aroma against your talcum powder smell in the foreground.Them were the days when horses worked for their living,not like today when posh people like to ride them to exercise their bum posture.

The smell of fresh bread coming from almost every house along our beautiful walk hand in hand.Breathing in that good fresh air filling our lungs and storing for our night together.

Damm traffic today is like an army of beast.all wanting something bigger then their neighbours.No respect when hand in hand trying to cross the road.

Oh Dear lets just dream about the past.All our yesterdays have gone but not forgotten.

I close my photo album and put it away for history will not repeat again in our life time.At least life after death will be peaceful again.

blow out the candle before you get into bed

Island Wide Voting

Oh Dear

Why don't you just ffffff... flipping live in Sark?

Oh Dear

Don't worry guys I know it won't happen. One can dream though.

IWV I'd love to, slight lack of jobs for what I specialise in and expensive property prices put me off.

:-)

Backchat

Oh Dear

The consumers among us will think your crazy,

I think of it not as change but a return to how it used to be, once finance pulls out and those who are terrified of loosing it follow too, the Island will be a much better place.

Oh Dear

That's exactly right Backchat.

I know PB Falla is a bit of a troll. But finance has definitely done more damage than good to our heritage. Yes it has put a lot of money into the island but it's also pulled other issues with it.

I think over all the people of this island would be far happier and less stressed if things returned to how they used to be. Let alone the environmental advantages. The amount of stress cars carry isn't good. The amount of money people spend on them also isn't good. We'd be a lot better off for all sorts of reasons if we didn't have cars.

Just think when a bike breaks, rather than calling the AA and paying a fortune we could call the bicycle repair man (Monty Python).

Unfortunately this won't happen due to the convenience of having cars.