Short-termism - Ooops

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pwa
Posts: 13625
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Short-termism - Ooops

Postby pwa » 14 Jan 2021, 6:01am

Just to restore an old word to our vocabulary, the opposite of "short-termism" is SUSTAINABILITY. Aspects of the way we live that are "sustainable" are those which, if everyone else on the planet did likewise, would not make life on the planet worse in the long term. Broadly speaking, sustainable aspects of our lives tend to be those which involve treading lightly and staying close to home, sourcing things from local producers and so forth. We muck it up when we travel a long way or buy things from distant places, especially where air travel has to be used. Peruvian blueberries are in the shops at the moment!

One of my hopes is that we may see significant government funding for home improvements that would reduce energy requirements. It seems like such an obvious and uncontroversial thing to support that I can't understand why it hasn't featured larger in recent years. My elderly mother had a chap survey her loft insulation to see if she qualified for Welsh Government funding for improved insulation. He deemed her existing loft insulation adequate. I dug out my own wallet, rolled up my sleeves and doubled it. Okay, that saved public money, but there must be many homes where lack of government support leaves the occupants living in cold conditions and burning more gas than they need to.

francovendee
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Joined: 5 May 2009, 6:32am

Re: Short-termism - Ooops

Postby francovendee » 14 Jan 2021, 8:06am

A very thought provoking thread and whilst there are a million ways we can and should be focusing on, looking at the bigger picture it's very hard. What gets into the news is the here and now.
Before I get told climate change is happening now I do realise this but for many people unless disaster strikes them it remains something for others to sort out.
I confess to being one and will continue to drive a petrol car as I'm still not convinced EV are for me, not yet.

I have always felt there are just too many of us. How do we change this? Better education, improving life for the worlds poorest countries? I don't know the answer and suspect there are many that would say the planet could sustain X billion more anyway.

Modern medicine has helped our lives and we now live much longer, this may also be part of the problem.

Having thoroughly depressed myself I'm off to change a hot water heater as no spares are available to fix it. Grrrrrrr!

kwackers
Posts: 15215
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Short-termism - Ooops

Postby kwackers » 14 Jan 2021, 10:08am

francovendee wrote:I confess to being one and will continue to drive a petrol car as I'm still not convinced EV are for me, not yet.

I don't want to turn this into another EV thread but IME of "people" they'll go to extraordinary lengths to convince themselves and others that there's a good reason they won't do something.

EV's are an good example of this. I know folk who've driven EV's for many years back in the days when the battery would only get you to the shops and back and they simply changed how they used their cars to make them work.
Changes require us to change, the expectation that an EV won't replace an IC car until it can do 700 miles on a charge and then charge in 2 mins is nonsense and only an excuse plus it isn't even remotely close to how the majority use their existing cars.

For most of us if we wanted to change we could quite easily but we prefer to spend more energy on working out why we won't.
As I said I don't want to make this an EV thread but frequently the arguments I see against them apply to almost anything that requires us to change our behaviour.

And changing our behaviour is the hard bit, that's where the politics come in because we're crap at doing it without being pushed.

reohn2
Posts: 40620
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Short-termism - Ooops

Postby reohn2 » 14 Jan 2021, 10:42am

Ben@Forest wrote:
reohn2 wrote:I take your point on wood pulp for paper an error on my part.
I'm not blaming anyone,just trying to show that the reforestation of the UK is low quality monoculture fast growing Spruce that's part of the short termism,which is the title of the thread.
BTW most timber for framing and roof trusses comes from Scandinavia which,due to colder higher latitude and shorter growing season is far better quality than UK stock I spent nearly 30 years working with it after I left mining management


Scandanavia produces slower growing and superior softwood, it's a fact. Our telegraph and wooden electrical poles are sourced from there (as do other European countries) because of their longevity.

But we do grow timber which meets all the grades for construction. In 2016 l commissioned a barn, the framing and roof trusses were Sitka spruce grown in England. Its quality was sufficient to have built a house. The cladding was Welsh grown Western red cedar. The UK can, and does, grow good timber. We simply don't grow anything like enough.We don't import from Finland because it is better, we import because we don't have a choice.

England has a good spread of broadleaved woodland with much less conifer. Scotland is the opposite, a much more commercial focus with fewer woodlands that can be described as anything like native. But overall if we want to be anything like our continental neighbours we need 30% woodland cover, and just reaching 20% will be a struggle.

We seem to be in agreement of sorts,we simply can't produce enough quality timber to meet our needs,especially Pine which is the mainstay of finishing timber and cladding
Wesrern Red Ceder from Wales is minute in it's availablity not even considering the cost which will be very high and only availablemto those that can afford it who'll be few in number,unlike in the US where it's more plentiful and far cheaper.
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Ben@Forest
Posts: 2702
Joined: 28 Jan 2013, 5:58pm

Re: Short-termism - Ooops

Postby Ben@Forest » 14 Jan 2021, 11:52am

reohn2 wrote:We seem to be in agreement of sorts,we simply can't produce enough quality timber to meet our needs,especially Pine which is the mainstay of finishing timber and cladding
Wesrern Red Ceder from Wales is minute in it's availablity not even considering the cost which will be very high and only availablemto those that can afford it who'll be few in number,unlike in the US where it's more plentiful and far cheaper.


The Sitka and WRC was used because it was cheaper than oak (I priced both for the client). If he had gone for oak chances are it would have come from the USA or France.

reohn2
Posts: 40620
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Short-termism - Ooops

Postby reohn2 » 14 Jan 2021, 12:26pm

Ben@Forest wrote:
reohn2 wrote:We seem to be in agreement of sorts,we simply can't produce enough quality timber to meet our needs,especially Pine which is the mainstay of finishing timber and cladding
Wesrern Red Ceder from Wales is minute in it's availablity not even considering the cost which will be very high and only availablemto those that can afford it who'll be few in number,unlike in the US where it's more plentiful and far cheaper.


The Sitka and WRC was used because it was cheaper than oak (I priced both for the client). If he had gone for oak chances are it would have come from the USA or France.

Quite!
And a lot harder to work too :?
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Stevek76
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Joined: 28 Jul 2015, 11:23am

Re: Short-termism - Ooops

Postby Stevek76 » 14 Jan 2021, 1:06pm

re fptp vs pr. My point was not really that PR is going to give a instantly magically sustainable country regarding climate change, merely that it reduces short-termism and flip-flopping that prevents progress should there actually be some general consensus to do that. If there's something to contradict that it needs to be not a PR country doing badly (and to be fair on germany they've made some decent efforts on renewables starting from a very fossil fuel dependent economy, they just shot themselves in the foot unnecessarily freaking out about nuclear) but a fptp country doing well. On average fptp countries skew somewhat further towards economic liberalism & deregulation than more proportionally represented ones and so will be doing worse at it this given it requires regulations to address.

I'm not sure there are any countries that are doing enough mind.

Ben@Forest
Posts: 2702
Joined: 28 Jan 2013, 5:58pm

Re: Short-termism - Ooops

Postby Ben@Forest » 15 Jan 2021, 1:13pm

Stevek76 wrote:re fptp vs pr. My point was not really that PR is going to give a instantly magically sustainable country regarding climate change, merely that it reduces short-termism and flip-flopping that prevents progress should there actually be some general consensus to do that. If there's something to contradict that it needs to be not a PR country doing badly (and to be fair on germany they've made some decent efforts on renewables starting from a very fossil fuel dependent economy, they just shot themselves in the foot unnecessarily freaking out about nuclear) but a fptp country doing well. On average fptp countries skew somewhat further towards economic liberalism & deregulation than more proportionally represented ones and so will be doing worse at it this given it requires regulations to address.


I'm not even sure if there's any proof of this - I'd genuinely like to see it argued with reasons. The building blocks for landscape, biological and geological protection in this country were established through National Parks, AONBs (NSAs in Scotland) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) which were all part of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. They are all still in place after 70 years and the Act was passed under a Labour government but with cross-party support. Not very short-term or flip-floppy. The Clean Air Act of 1956 was, after originally being introduced by a private member, taken up by a Conservative government and had cross-party support. Again, though pollution hasn't 'gone away' the various Acts since show it has neither been short-term or flip-flopped.

Much of the environmental legislation we have had in the last 40 years is EU-derived (and the EU parliament is PR) but we simply don't know whether having been outside it would have made our legislation better, worse or 'the same'. The efficacy of EU designations such as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds are difficult to quantify, SPAs were all SSSIs beforehand anyway. And though SPAs have the added qualification of a European designation if any EU member government wants to build anything that is important to its national economic development then human interest wins out over the natural world - look at Felixstowe Docks, which impacted upon a SPA and was still built.

And the EU, despite implementing environmental legislation, has enacted agricultural policies which have been wasteful, created overproduction, overgrazing, over-use of pesticides and inorganic fertilisers, and have been damaging to RoW agricultural economies, especially developing countries. I think there would be an interesting balance sheet of good and bad!