Government ‘gases’ the countryside

We have been gassed – by the approval of a biogas plant. The following list states several reasons why Biogas is harmful to the environment – would you want a factory producing this gas within a couple of miles of your house?? The Government are encouraging the development of this fuel in many rural areas across the country – yet another example of the Government throwing caution to the wind when it comes to protecting the countryside we have left in this country.

Extracts taken from contributors to imechanica.org

Although this seems to be a popular fuel particularly amongst the farming community, and because it is produced from waste products; I am nervous about the lack of regulation particularly when this fuel can produce high levels of Hydrogen Sulphide (sour gas) which is highly toxic. There are farmers that produce biofuels without really exploring the safety issues of the product and indeed the bi-products that they produce. I wonder if they know that most bio fuels in liquid form are methanol rich, and have a tendancy to damage nitrile seals. Also Sour Gas emissions into the atmosphere produce acid rain ( H2S +H2O = H2SO4 after balancing  the equation of course). There is an official site but I’m affraid to say it paints a “rosey” picture. Its populartiy is attributable to the use of waste materials however I have less positive views until I see regulations more approprite to the refining of bio fuels. Check out the website it is endorsed by DECC.

The final composition of biogas depends on the source of origin, for example household wastes give 50-60% vol of CH4 while agricultural waste and wastewater treatment plants sludge give CH4 60-75% vol. They also give unwanted compounds like CO2 in a significant amount which ranges from 19 to 38 % and a small quantity of H2O about 6% vol. Agricultural waste give the highest H2S amount that varies from 3000 to 10000 mg/m3, while wastewater treatment sludge gives 1000 to 4000 mg/m3 and household gives the lowest among them, 100 to 900 mg/m3. Household wastes give also a 0 to 5% of N2, aromatic 0 to 200 mg/m3 and organofluorinated or organochlorinated 100-800 mg/m3. Agricultural waste also gives 50 to 100 mg/m3 NH3.

Analyzing further as for the safety concerns, we may check each compound of the final biogas product individually for their potential danger. CH4 is not a toxic gas but it is higly flammable and any leak could cause an explosion, while it is also an asphyxiant gas and inhaling it in great amounts can cause even death. CO2 is also an asphyxiant gas and it can cause from intoxication and poisoning till death according to the amount inhaled, while oxygen presence does not play a role in treatment. Converting the above H2S quantities into ppm we can see that agricultural waste as source gives from 1999 to 6664 ppm, wastewater treatment sludge gives 666.4 to 2666 ppm and household gives 66.6 to 600 ppm. The permissible exposure limit of US Occupational Safety and Health Administration per 8 hours is 10ppm, while in 500ppm and over it causes neural stimulation and rapid breathing till death. It has the characteristic odor of the rotten egg so it can be traced by humans easily, except if its concentration is higher than 100ppm when it sets out of order the olfactory tissue. H2S and H2O are the number one factors of corrosion, a serious issue that cause major problems in the industry. NH3 is toxic for the fishes, while for the humans 66.7 to 133 ppm may cause eyes or lungs irritation. N2 has no significant effects or critical hazards on humans. Toxicity of aromatics varies according to the aromatic compound from not toxic to highly toxic the same as with organofluorinated and organochlorinated compounds.

This blog is for Unicef. For every missed blog post I put £1 in the pot. I missed a blog last night so ‘clink’ goes another £1.

Thanks for reading.

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Politically driven voter apathy

The problem with local politics is that there is no-one under the age of 68 who is willing to be a councillor. I quote this from a district councillor. As a result some crazy decisions and utterances are heard, which often exclude the potential wishes of the younger generation and may lead to planning decisions that allow a higher than average number of John Lewis Stores to pop up in a small area. He believes the solution is for councillors to be paid to do their job then younger people may be interested. I am interested in local politics but I am paid a very small amount to fill a time of my life that will require more substantial compensation for my time once my son is old enough to go to School.

However, if you look around you (and you are under the age of 68) think what could have been achieved if people in power were more representative of the age group of the current and next generations? When you start to think about it, it is actually quite frightening.

The party politics system is flawed too. Those who have worked in local Government will ask you, come polling day, to vote for the person you believe has the right approach to tackling problems and creating new initiatives in your local area rather than the person who represents your favourite party – because chances are your favourite party may be represented locally by a complete muppet.

So when the politicians start moaning about voter apathy – is it any wonder?

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

UK for Syria

Following my email via the Oxfam and Amnesty campaign regarding supporting refugees in Syria, I was pleased to reveive the following response from my local MP:

Thank you for your e-mail about refugees from the Syria crisis.   I share your concerns about their plight and I believe that we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to help alleviate the immense suffering in this country.

The UK is leading the world in responding to the humanitarian disaster.  We have provided £700 million for the Syrian relief effort so far, the most of any country other than the USA.  This is helping to provide food, water and shelter to hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians every day.

The Vulnerable Persons Relocations scheme announced in January is up and running, and has already welcomed many Syrians to the UK.  This scheme will make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable Syrians by giving them protection and support in the UK.  The Government will continue to bring groups to the UK on a regular basis and envisages that several hundred people will be helped through this scheme over the next three years.

This is in addition to the asylum claims which the Government has been considering – and will continue to consider – under its normal rules.  Since the crisis began we have taken in around 3,800 Syrian asylum seekers and we are a leading contributor to the EU’s Regional Protection Programme, which provides refugees with education, training, water and sanitation, and promotes improved access to basic rights and legal assistance.

I have provided for your interest, a link to the factsheet issued by the Department for International Development which details how the UK is supporting the Syrian people.  You may access this at: http://tinyurl.com/o95u5el

This blog is for Unicef, thanks for reading.

Two minutes

That’s all it takes to email your MP via charity websites to help save lives before the end of the year.

If you have two minutes to spare online visit:

Amnesty – to ask your MP to do more for the 3.5 million Syrian refugees who have nowhere to go

And

Oxfam – to ensure your MP is present to vote on a bill on Friday that will provide 0.7 per cent of the UK’s GDP to international aid.

Lets get them thinking about more important issues than fighting UKIP’s bullshit.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Go Green Girl

Four men representing four political parties. Three of those parties have already contributed to regretful events in the country’s history. The other party will achieve change in two main ways: quadruple the numbers of people emigrating from England, significantly increase the circulation figures of The Daily Mail amongst the remaining population. All men will attempt to convince 50 per cent of the population why they should, once again, listen to a man.

This is the news that Nigel Farage will be joining Ed, David and Nick on mainstream political parties. Caroline Lucas, from The Green Party, whose party has had an MP for four years longer than UKIP has not been invited to join them.

So, mainstream channels are ignoring two of the most important issues affecting the world today – the environment and equality – in favour of a fascist bigot.

This is ‘Votes For Women’ 2015 -lets club together and kick political ass.

Go Caroline Lucas – vote to get her on the political televised debate here.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Vicar of Dibley needs new blood

I have just become involved in our local parish council and it is like Vicar of Dibley but without the fun of Dawn French.

The worst part is everyone else bringing their thoughts to the table without consulting very much at all with the rest of us. For example, a major housing development of 50 dwellings in a small village raises a couple of the councillors’ eyebrows but only in as far as asking ‘why arent there more bungalows’…the idea being that all the future widows of the village will have somewhere to live. Aside from the fact that most housing need dictated by the council is for young people and families, once I am older and if I become widowed the last place I would ‘end up’ is in a bungalow in a country which seems to get wetter and wetter year on year. You wont see me for dust in seeking the sun……and maybe a hunky local guy called Mario.

At this meeting no members of the public turned up to hear about the development, I suspect, because they did not read the agenda on the village noticeboard……the council havent quite caught on to the web and social media yet…

But Parish councils play an important part in communities yet they do mot represent the majority of the local community’s demographic. Why arent more people below 60 wanting to play a part in making important decisions about their local environment….why are they happy to leave it to people who, arguably, have quite out-dated views? Time availability is a poor excuse as councils only meet once a month and are supported by clerks employed by the council to carry out councillor decisions.

So get motivated to have a say in your community and find out about being a parish councillor for your area.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

For the love of….

I love Oxfam’s ‘For the love of’ campaign to raise awareness of the need to take action now against climate change.

The flooding in India and Pakistan is the most recent example of the freak weather climate change can produce and the people that are most affected. Not only have the countries experienced significant loss of life, they have no land to farm, which is crucial to their livelihood and survival.

Unicef and Oxfam both state the biggest change we can make to those living in poverty is to preserve the environment. Bad or extreme weather directly hits families struggling to live off the land so if political leaders can wake up to this reality that we need to make significant changes now – then just imagine the effect world-wide on child mortality, health, food and getting people out of poverty?

So in this campaign, Oxfam is hoping to convince world-leaders when they meet later this month to make serious commitments to climate change through changes in policy.

To lend your support, Visit Oxfam and vote for what you love and why it is so important.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.