Thursday, 8 December 2016

‘We all need to talk about climate change’

Not everyone has the luxury of ignoring climate change. People are already feeling it as droughts, wildfires and floods become more common. As temperatures creep ever higher, it’ll hit more and more of us, more and more obviously. Knock-on effects mean that, along with battling fire, water and mud, food will become more scarce. If you don’t spot climate change in the rising tides, you may well feel it in your stomach. This is already happening. Arguably, the way climate change affected crops was a contributing factor in the Arab spring.
We can choose to see climate change, and we can choose to do this before it’s too late. So how can we escape the quagmire of denial? As it turns out, the first step isn’t that hard: just talk about it. To your friends, family, colleagues – even to yourself. By talking about climate change, you’ll make it feel less scary. By talking about it, we’ll unlock solutions. And, crucially, it’s by talking about climate change that we’ll break the silence that allows it to go unnoticed and ignored.
So let's talk about it, Aggregate Industries. Let's talk about how your 2.5 million mile haulage plan for Devon is going to help fight climate change. Let's talk about why your CO2 emissions are not coming down. Because not everyone has the luxury of ignoring climate change. 

AI's haulage plans for Straitgate would generate around 4,000 tonnes of CO2 alone; before extraction, before processing, before the additional mileage incurred to transport materials to their end market - as its previous application stated:

Let's see what one tonne of CO2 looks like:

It has about the same volume as five double decker buses. So if 4,000 tonnes of CO2 doesn't sound that much, think of it as about 20,000 double decker buses; about 140 miles lined up bumper-to-bumper.

Could AI make its haulage plans CO2 neutral? It could if it had the land to plant 103,665 trees.

But what about all AI's sustainability claims:

Claims such as this for 2015:

As with many of AI's claims, this can't be taken at face value either. Because the majority of those 400,000 lorry movements are accounted for by Glensanda - one of Europe's largest quarries.

And the thing with this quarry is that "There is no land access to Glensanda. Workforce, equipment and stores come and go by sea".

So don't think that AI has suddenly gone all green and removed 400,000 trucks from our roads. It hasn't. It had no choice.

AI's haulage plan for Straitgate, on the other hand, equates to 52,632 loads or 105,264 truck movements. To put that into context again, CEMEX recently announced that it had hit the 2 millionth tonne of material transported by rail, "equivalent to 65,000 truck movements taken off our congested road network".