Environment, Energy, Pollution, Climate Change, Planning and related Health Issues

Environment, Energy, Pollution, Climate Change, Planning and related Health Issues

the world's largest wave power station - made in Scotland - but used first in Portugal.jpg

The world's largest wave power station ; invented in Scotland , but used first in Portugal

 

Reduce water pollution and high levels of pesticides in food

Increase fines for agricultural and industrial pollution.Tests of food in supermarkets show levels of pesticides in non-organic fruit and vegetables remain far above safe levels. These pesticides are carcinogens (i.e cause cancer) and also run off into streams amd rivers, poisoning fish and wildlife. Farmers should be offered grants and subsidies to go organic and fines for pesticide pollution should be increased. Most chemical pesticides should be banned. In order to stop crops being destroyed by pests we should return to using predators such as ladybirds and birds, along with a move from mono-culture back to multi-culture. Pesticides kill the natural predators that keep insects from destroying crops.

Increase tax on aviation fuel

As suggested by the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee in 2003.Flying is far more polluting than train travel, but much cheaper train journeys should be cheaper than flying

Reduce import and road taxes on hybrid vehicles and on cars with the lowest petrol consumption

Also increase them on cars with poor fuel efficiency. This is the only way to reduce air pollution and climate change.

Invest in Green Energy Technologies

To create jobs and reduce global warming and other forms of pollution.

The first wave power system was designed by a Scottish company – and Scotland is well placed to benefit from wave power itself, but because of a lack of interest from the British government it’s Portugal, not Scotland, that was the first country to generate electricity from waves at sea on a large scale. While there has been some government and big company investment in wind power turbines, which have begun to rapidly increase in efficiency and output as a result – and created some jobs – we need to capitalise on the benefits of our geography and weather by investing more in various green energy sources – wind, wave, tidal and (to a lesser extent) solar. If government helped Scottish companies to get into these businesses then we could get jobs both in constructing them (using the skills of ship-builders and welders for instance) and in erecting and maintaining them.

Green energy sources do not include new nuclear power stations as existing stations have failed to safely deal with existing nuclear waste and leukaemia in children is found in higher rates around every nuclear power station. When the costs of dealing with waste and decommissioning are factored in they don't provide cheaper energy either.

It can't include coal either, as clean burning coal technology simply does not exist yet. If it's developed, then coal might be a viable fuel again. Until then we must rely on gas (not green, but relatively clean burning for a fossil fuel) and green energy sources such as wind, wave and tidal power.

End open-cast mining in Lanarkshire

It provides few jobs and many experts say it causes asthma and lung cancer due to diesel fumes and coal dust. Clean burning coal technology to stop coal power stations' emmissions causing lung cancers, acid rain and climate change does not exist yet.

Give local residents an equal say in planning decisions

The assumption should not always be that the developer is always right. People dismissed as 'NIMBYs' have been shown to improve the results of planning decisions for everyone where they have input into those decisions

Potential environmental pollution, long-term health risks to local people and risk to rare wildlife must be taken into account in all planning decisions.

Protect greenbelt. There are plenty of brownfield sites which could be built on - the only difference being the greater cost to the developer of cleaning them up first.

Reduce Energy Consumption

In order to reduce pollution and further climate change and avoid energy shortages and black-outs we need to reduce energy consumption. Every policy decision should consider where the energy will come from to do the work required (e.g. infrastructure development, farming, health care).

To do this we need to bring in gradually increased minimum energy efficiency or maximum energy useage for electronic devices, hybrid and electric powered cars and anything else that uses large amounts of energy.

Reducing energy consumption was suggested as a policy by Mandy Meikle. You can read more about her and environmental and energy policy at her website www.mandymeikle.net/

Have more recycling bins or bin lorries with five compartments to allow easy and fast recycling

South Lanarkshire Council currently provides only one recycling bin for cardboard, plastics and paper. Bins or compartments for glass and organic waste would make recycling faster and more efficient, as it has been in Canada for some time.

Recycling bins for glass and organic waste was suggested as a policy by Ronnie Currie