Thursday, July 10, 2008
To the RIAT director:
Some other web sites you may want to comment on:-
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Copy of email sent to the organisers of the world biggest tattoo:
In case the director of the RIAT does not get the note I left for him today, he can see it on my blog, see http://kevsclimatecolumn.blogspot.com/. Please make sure that this important message is passed to him
Also, I see that you have removed the poster that we marked up with CO2 warning signs yesterday. Don't worry, we have done others in the area as well so people get the message. We will leave it as a challenge for you to find them.
We note the signs are not recycleable.
P.S. I am delighted to say that the organisers have spotted out protest, see http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/688607
Monday, July 07, 2008
For the attention of the Airshow Director:
- Within the past month , James Hanson (NASA's chief climate change scientist) has warned that "unless we can cut our CO2 emissions in the atmosphere to 350 ppm within the next couple of years we are toast." To put it in context, we are currently at 450 ppm CO2 equivalent.
- Within the last month it has been reported there is a 50% chance of being able to sail to the North Pole this summer. If this happens we will hit one of our key climatic tipping points.
- Within the past month an amendment has been tabled to increase the CO2 cut from 60% to 80% in the climate change bill. If passed, it will result in an unprecedented change to our society.
- The United Nations Human Development report has said ignoring climate change is a crime against humanity, and on a par with the atrocities of the Second World War.
- The CIA has said climate change is our biggest threat.
So, our reaction to this is to stamp the largest possible carbon foot print on the ground by having an airshow which will fly planes in from all over the world to make the business of dropping bombs appear more family friendly than the business of climate change.
We offer a challenge. We will paint out as many of your signs as we can before the weekend to raise awareness of the environmental damage you will be causing. You try and stop us.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Thank you for organising tonights debate. Click here for the presentation.
Without these kinds of open discussion full public understanding and engagement in the implications of the climate change bill will not happen and it will be dead in the water. What you have done is testimony to your commitment to tackle climate change.
Already some people who were there and not in your constituency have already said that they are going to contact their MPs to start the same processes going.
This email will appear on my blog!!
Thursday, July 03, 2008
In your last email, to me you said that if I had any scientific evidence, I should send it to you. Though not scientific in the true sense of the word, I had an interesting and upsetting experience in my local supermarket (not Tesco) shortly after I sent my last email. I thought you would like you to know about it and that you may wish to investigate for it happening in your own stores.
As I went to the shelf to buy some cooking oil, the gentleman in front of me was filling his shopping trolley with virtually the entire complement of the shops stock of cooking oil. His full shopping trolley had nothing else other than cooking oil, I estimated that he had about 40 bottles. I asked him what he was doing. He told me he was using the cooking oil to make diesel and was somewhat proud of the fact. I told him in no uncertain terms that this was for cooking. He argued back saying that he had left some on the shelf. In fact he had left three bottles on the shelf. One of which I bought. As it was still early evening, it was clearly going to be tough luck for anyone else coming into the store.
The supermarket in question clearly had no policy on preventing single customers bulk buying and the cashier took his money without question.
I do not believe that I have witnessed the only incident of this kind in the country, and suspect that it is frequently happening elsewhere in the country.
Given your organisation's inability to define a remit for a sustainablity study, I would be interested in your position on customers buying large quantities of cooking oil for subsequent home conversion into biofuel and depriving the other customers (like me) of essential ingredients and wonder if this could be incorporated into any study that you ultimately commission.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Thank you for replying on behalf of Sir Terry and attempting to clarify Tesco's position. However, I am still not clear on your position, and request further clarification.
Firstly, I am clearly pleased that Gary Anderson's position reflects Tesco's biofuels policy. To be clear Gary Anderson stated that "To help us and others understand the true impact of biofuels we have asked the independent Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI) based at Manchester University to investigate." After Gary's email, I asked for a copy of the remit that the SCI would be working to and the timescale of deliverables. He provided neither and advised that he considered the matter closed.
I have since contacted the SCI directly (email 2nd July). They have confirmed that they have not started work as a remit cannot be agreed with your organisation and they have absolutely no timetable of deliverables. See my blog for a copy of the correspondence. As per my previous request to Gary, please confirm when the remit will be completed and provide a copy of this. As the SCI report is to be made publically available, I am sure that you will have no problem releasing a copy of the remit.
Your statement "It is suppliers of biofuels rather than retailers that will be required to produce a sustainability report under the terms of the RSPO," implies that your organisation is washing its hands of its moral responsibility to ensure sustainability of its products. Again, I would request that you provide copies of the suitability reports that your main suppliers are obliged to produce under the RTFO legislation. I find it hard to believe that your organisation would be so negligent as to not request copies of these documents during contract negotiations. As you are probably aware from reviewing correspondence, Gary had previously confirmed that progress against sustainability commitments could be monitored and audited at any time. As you are probably aware, I have not received any. To finally settle this matter, can you confirm if any audit reports are actually available.
Furthermore, Tesco is a 25% stake holder in Greenergy. It defies belief that you did not do an environmental audit of their products at the time of the acquisition.
If you still have no sustainability documents, could you provide me contact details within your supplier organisations, so that I can contact them on your behalf. I will of course keep you copied in on any communications.
You say that when you made the commitment to biofuels, "many NGOs, and experts believed that biofuels could make a positive contribution to tackling climate change." You should also have been aware, that many NGOs and experts were also saying that biofuels would not provide an answer. They argued that it would displace food production and reduce the planets capacity to absorb CO2. It is therefore important that you engage the correct NGOs during your review to ensure that you do not repeat the mistakes of the past. Can you confirm if you are going to contact organisations such as Biofuels Watch that has specific and detailed expertise on the impact of biofuels and Oxfam that has been highlighting the human rights violations as a consequence of biofuels.
In response to your request for me to send further information on the impacts of biofuels that would help you decide, I would be delighted to oblige. However, you should first try any of the main institutions of the world, such as the United Nations, the World Food Programme, etc. You can also do a Google search on the subject. If this still fails, my colleges and I, who are planning to visit your headquarters, would be delighted to meet with yourselves to press our case and present the compelling scientific evidence that you request. Unlike the £25m SCI study, we will do this at no charge to yourselves, thereby guaranteeing independence.
Thank you for getting in touch with the SCI. I'm sorry I did not get back to you sooner but I needed to check on the status of the research first and the academic investigator leading on biofuels is out of the country.
I have now heard back and I am informed that the research has not yet started and the remit for the project is still under discussion. I hope this helps for the moment. Do check back in the future if you wish.
Richard Seeley SCI
Tesco's biofuel and sustainablity project
Tescos claim on their web site (http://www.tescocorporate.com/page.aspx?pointerid=A3EE32094AE5421F996145DAF961BDDD) that they have engaged yourselves to look at the true impact of biofuels and that all your research will be made public.
I have previously asked Tesco for a copy of the remit under which this work has been commissioned and timescales for the study, but they provided neither of these. I would be grateful if you could advise me where the study has got to, and the timetable for the release of public material.
Your report would be particulary helpful for me (and others) to understand biofuel impacts, as Tesco has said that sustainablity of the biofuel that they sell is an issue for their suppliers and not for them, and consequently they do not have sustainablity reports that I can review.