Wednesday, 30 January 2019

DCC declares “climate emergency”

This month, both Cornwall County Council and Devon County Council's cabinet have declared a "climate emergency". Cornwall called on Westminster "to provide the powers and resources necessary to achieve the target for Cornwall to become carbon neutral by 2030"; Devon promised to forge "a county-wide partnership to ensure that Devon is carbon neutral by 2050". DCC's Cllr Roger Croad said:
There is a climate emergency and climate change will affect the environment, people, businesses and our prosperity.
That’s why we will be working with strategic partners to develop a plan to ensure that Devon is on the right trajectory to meet the IPCC’s carbon reduction recommendations.


All this comes as climate activism across the world appears to have moved up a gear: Children's climate rallies gain momentum in Europe; David Attenborough and Prince William take world leaders to task on environment, warning that humans have power to exterminate whole ecosystems ‘without even noticing’; Extinction Rebellion activists occupy Scottish parliament.

We are at a time in history where everyone with any insight of the climate crisis that threatens our civilisation – and the entire biosphere – must speak out in clear language, no matter how uncomfortable and unprofitable that may be.
We must change almost everything in our current societies. The bigger your carbon footprint, the bigger your moral duty. The bigger your platform, the bigger your responsibility.
Adults keep saying: "We owe it to the young people to give them hope." But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.
I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.


And indeed, our house is on fire. Our ecosystems are being destroyed. Look at the recent headlines:





Meanwhile, in the northern hemisphere, Greenland's ice is melting four times faster than in 2003:
Greenland’s enormous ice sheet is melting at such an accelerated rate that it may have reached a "tipping point," and could become a major factor in sea-level rise around the world within two decades, scientists said in a study
This comes at a time when the Met Office predicts a 'worrying' rise in global CO2 forecast for 2019:
"Looking at the monthly figures, it’s as if you can see the planet ‘breathing’ as the levels of CO2 fall and rise with the seasonal cycle of plant growth and decay in the northern hemisphere," said Prof Richard Betts, at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre. "The graph is a thing of beauty, but also a stark reminder of human impact on climate. Each year’s CO2 is higher than the last, and this will keep happening until humans stop adding CO2 to the atmosphere.
"This news is worrying and compelling," said Prof Nick Ostle, at Lancaster University. "It represents a call to innovate with rapid and radical responses to offset these growing emissions."


Do such warnings make any difference to the world's polluters? Barclays has been accused of being on the wrong side of history with climate policy. What side of history will Aggregate Industries be on?

LafargeHolcim – parent of Aggregate Industries – has been accused of being the second worst company for increasing CO2 emissions, despite greenwash like this:


Of course, the company that claims "reducing carbon emissions needs to be at the heart of everything we do", is the same company that continues to plot a 2.5 MILLION MILE climate-busting haulage scheme across Devon.

Natural England “at crisis point”

The agency tasked with protecting the English environment is struggling to protect important sites after suffering budget cuts:
The agency’s budget has been cut by more than half in the past decade, from £242m in 2009-10 to £100m for 2017-18. Staff numbers have been slashed from 2,500 to an estimated 1,500.
Natural England has wide-ranging responsibilities protecting and monitoring sensitive sites, including sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) and nature reserves, and advising on the environmental impact of new homes and other developments in the planning stages. Its work includes overseeing national parks, paying farmers to protect biodiversity, and areas of huge public concern such as air quality and marine plastic waste.
The Prospect union warns that Natural England is "at crisis point":
"Cuts have left Natural England at the point where its workers are saying they don’t have enough people or resources to do the things they need to do," said Garry Graham, the deputy general secretary of Prospect.
Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP who has asked a series of parliamentary questions on Natural England’s plight, said: "Behind the veil of Michael Gove’s fluffy rhetoric about caring for the environment, ministers have systematically gutted the agency that looks after irreplaceable habitats and beautiful landscapes. The result is plummeting morale as staff simply don’t have the resources to monitor thousands of protected sites across England, ultimately putting spaces for wildlife at risk of irreversible destruction."

Another mining disaster

The mining industry leaves a trail of destruction across the world.

Last Friday, a mining tailings dam collapsed in Brazil. Arrests have been made in what is likely to become the country's worst ever environmental catastrophe. At the time of writing, the death toll has hit 84 and hundreds remain missing.


The mine in Brumadinho is operated by Vale – the fourth largest mining company in the world.

As the BBC reports:
There have been a number of high-profile disasters involving tailings dams in recent years - and there have been calls, including from the UN, to institute better safety and building regulations around them.
Little more than three years ago, a tailings dam also owned by Vale, along with Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton, burst in Mariana killing 19 people in what was then considered Brazil's worst environmental disaster – 375 families lost their homes; more than two years later they had yet to be rehoused:
... federal prosecutors claim the company... failed to take actions that they say could have prevented the disaster. The prosecutors instead claim the company focused on cutting costs and increasing production.
... more than two years later, nobody has accepted responsibility.
There are more than 400 mining dams like the one that broke in Brumadinho in the state of Minas Gerais, the hub of Brazil’s mining industry.
Some of the dams have been deemed "unstable" but have continued operating for years, said Bruno Milanez, a professor of industrial engineering at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora. What is frightening, he said, is that the dams that broke — in Mariana and Brumadinho — were certified as "stable."
As mining production has increased across the world, so has the number of disasters. As The Brazilian Report tells us:



Greenpeace Brazil’s campaigns director, Nilo D’Avila, said in a statement:
Cases like these are not accidents but environmental crimes that should be investigated, punished and repaired.
But it's not just mining companies in Brazil. Yesterday, it was the turn of British mining firm Gemfields to be in the news, settling a human rights case:
A British mining firm, Gemfields, says it has agreed to pay $7.5m to people in Mozambique who went to court in London over alleged human rights abuses at a ruby mine.
Close to 300 people living near the Montepuez mine complained that private security guards as well as Mozambican security forces had shot, beaten, sexually abused and unlawfully detained them.
Gemfields denies any responsibility for abuses but admits instances of violence have occurred at the mine.

“Sand and the Sandbank: is sand extraction a sustainable business?”



Recent lurid headlines have suggested that across the planet we are running out of sand. This echoes similar contemporary concerns regarding the physical exhaustion of other natural resources which have in the past been assumed to be essentially infinite. Sand has been an essential raw material from the beginning of urbanisation – a mineral that has formed the foundations of civilisation through construction of our buildings and infrastructure.
Within the last decade or two, in some parts of the world supply of sand has become constrained. In a very few places, sand has arguably become a conflict mineral. As a result, some commentators now suggest we are threatened by the unmanaged and rapid depletion in global stocks of this essential mineral...
The presumption of sand supply continuity requires re-evaluation. With contributions from key experts, this meeting will consider sand as a commodity, assessing the benefits and disbenefits of its extraction and use against the backdrop of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Monday, 21 January 2019

So, Straitgate’s not ‘needed’ until 2021 – says AI – which proves it’s not needed at all

Aggregate Industries is no longer in any rush to quarry Straitgate Farm – judging by documents lodged last year in support of the company's ROMP application DCC/3655/2014 for Hillhead, an application submitted in 2014 but still not determined. AI’s document says:
Should Straitgate Farm obtain planning permission in 2018, extraction would likely commence in 2021. 2.13
That’s quite a change – a 5-year change in fact – from what AI originally intended, if we ignore the 1967 planning application.

AI’s recent application to quarry Straitgate Farm has been beset by delays. Straitgate was originally lined up as the replacement for Venn Ottery Quarry in 2016. As AI’s Request for Scoping Opinion in January 2015 made clear: 

It is... necessary to plan for additional reserves being available from mid-2016. The sand and gravel reserves at Straitgate Farm are considered to be a direct replacement for reserves at Venn Ottery. 3.1
Subject to planning consent, it is therefore proposed that mineral processing from Straitgate Farm would take place initially at Blackhill Quarry for a period of approximately 4-5 years until the end of 2021. 3.2
Nothing much had changed by the time AI made its planning application later in that year:
In 2016, when the proposed development is anticipated to commence, the estimated tonnage of extracted materials from the site will be 295,000 tonnes. By 2017, when the site is fully operational, the estimated extraction tonnage will be 410,000 tonnes per year. This will continue throughout the life of the site. 3.27
As longstanding readers will know, that application was pulled, only to be replaced by another in 2017. By that time the plan had changed, and AI proposed to haul each load of as-dug material 23 miles from Straitgate to Hillhead near Uffculme to be processed with mobile plant. Later, fixed plant from Blackhill was relocated to Hillhead, but even then AI expected that:
the plant will be installed and operational by mid-late 2018... when, subject to planning, mineral would begin to be imported from Straitgate Farm into Hillhead Quarry. 8.4
So, first 2016, then 2018, and now 2021. How on earth, you might wonder, can AI produce a full range of products in this region for so long – for 5 years – without having access to the "gravel-rich" deposits of Straitgate Farm?

On multiple occasions, AI has argued that the Straitgate reserves are crucial to its future operations in this region, that without Straitgate it wouldn’t be able to supply the area with its full range of products, including high polished stone value material for road surfacing:
The gravel content [at Straitgate] is important as it is capable of producing a 57 PSV aggregate suitable for road surfacing. 5.4.5
We were told that AI could not rely exclusively on its 4 million tonnes of sand and gravel at Houndaller – next door to the company’s newly-erected processing plant at Hillhead. We were told that AI was not ready to exploit the 8 million tonnes at Penslade – also next door to the company’s newly-erected processing plant at Hillhead. We were told in 2017:
The gravel rich Straitgate mineral would complement the material currently being extracted at Houndaller (Hillhead) Quarry since the Houndaller deposit is sand-rich (75% sand to 25% gravel) of which there is little or no crushable gravel to produce a 57 PSV aggregate. 3.9.2
Others were told word-for-word the same thing last year in AI's document to support its ROMP application for Hillhead – even by different consultants:
The gravel rich Straitgate Farm mineral would complement the material currently being extracted at Houndaller (Hillhead) Quarry since the Houndaller deposit is sand-rich (75% sand to 25% gravel) of which there is little or no crushable gravel to produce a 57 PSV aggregate. 2.14
Importantly, DCC relied on such information from AI to justify Straitgate’s inclusion in the Devon Minerals Plan, claiming that Devon couldn’t just rely on the 12 million tonnes with and without permission at the northern end of the Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds, that the 1 million tonnes at Straitgate at the southern end was needed too:
Information provided by the operator since 2011 indicates that the proportion of crushable gravel… within the BSPB decreases from south to north. While the proportion of crushable gravel in the Ottery St Mary area is not significantly lower than at the existing Blackhill and Venn Ottery quarries, the resource around Uffculme is much less gravel-rich. This further supports the need to consider future sand and gravel supply from both the northern and southern options. 4.15
And indeed, in the Devon Minerals Plan you will even find DCC bizarrely claiming that this would in some way minimise transportation distances:
... resources within this southern area have a higher crushable gravel content than those further north, indicating the importance of securing supply from that southern area. Maintaining the production of sand and gravel from the southern and northern parts of the Pebble Beds is also important in minimising transportation distances to the main markets in Devon and adjoining areas in accordance with Objective 1 and Policy M1. 5.4.8
With AI’s newly erected processing plant at Hillhead, 23 miles away from Straitgate Farm, minimising transportation distances is of course the last thing that the working of Straitgate would do. Transporting all of Straitgate’s 'as-dug' material – including the 20% waste – to Hillhead for processing would entail an unsustainable 2.5 million HGV miles. As AI again outlined in the ROMP document for Hillhead, this would be over a number of years on a campaign basis...
… depending on availability of transport. 2.15
But, in actual fact, it now turns out that AI is able to function quite happily, thank-you-very-much – for 5 years, thank-you-very-much – without the "gravel-rich" material from Straitgate Farm.

What about the "57 PSV aggregate" for road surfacing?

Only comparatively small amounts of high PSV material are needed each year, and as we posted in AI’s resurrected plant at Hillhead has enough material nearby to take it beyond 2050:
If you believe AI – and why would you after such a catalogue of fiction – and if you ignore the ever-increasing stockpiles of unprocessed quartzite pebbles at Houndaller – the problem with the company's argument is that it ignores the effective mileage that would be embodied in each tonne of high PSV material from Straitgate. We have posted about this before, how each 28.5 tonne load of high PSV material from Straitgate would necessitate a staggeringly unsustainable 417 miles of transportation for production, BEFORE any onward delivery. In other words, high PSV material from Straitgate would have to travel over 3x the return-trip distance of material from Greystone, an AI quarry in Cornwall also with high PSV material.

Operations at Houndaller recommenced more two years ago. DCC’s most recent monitoring report reminds us that, as of this month, planning consent has expired:
Houndaller contains an estimated reserve of 4.2 million tonnes of sand and gravel and extraction resumed on this part of the site on 16 September 2016. It is noted the planning consent expires on 31 December 2018 for the Houndaller area of the site. 4.9
The periodic review application seeks, amongst other amendments, to extend the consent for extraction in Houndaller (Schedule B conditions) beyond 2018 to 2037.4.13
In the ROMP document for Hillhead, AI says:
As of July 2018, approximately 270,000 tonnes of material have been extracted since recommencement in January 2017. A reserve of approximately 4 million tonnes (saleable) remains in phases 5-8. 2.12
Since that time, there have of course been no howls of anguish from AI over shortages of "57 PSV aggregate". And if material from Straitgate Farm is now not 'needed' until 2021, if AI can do without Straitgate’s "gravel-rich" material for all that time, if AI is managing fine with the 4 million tonne sand and gravel deposit at Houndaller with processing plant newly erected next door, with another 8 million tonnes in reserves close by, then the relatively small amount of material from Straitgate – with its inherently high carbon footprint – is clearly not needed at all.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

LafargeHolcim named second worst company for increasing CO2 emissions

The parent company of Aggregate Industries has been named by Sasja Beslik, the head of sustainable finance at Nordea, as the second worst company for increasing CO2 emissions in the five years between 2011 and 2016.


It’s something to bear in mind when AI – a company that now emits some 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 each year, a fivefold increase in 20 years – tweets greenwash photos of wind farms in the setting sun:


Of course, it's not just pretty photos that AI uses to greenwash its activities. Take AI’s sustainability reports; take the one from 2016, where the company claims:
We are committed to tackling climate change.
At Aggregate Industries we’ll continue our mission to cut our net CO2 emissions of all products.
We reduce our impact on climate change through the development, manufacture or promotion of innovative and sustainable products and solutions.
Unfortunately, however, AI's record is not one of cutting net CO2 emissions, nor of a reducing impact on climate change.

The chart below – which from 2016 includes emissions from two cement operations – shows AI’s commitment to tackling climate change. As we posted in The CO2 emissions that AI ‘forgot’ in 2016:
AI has talked about reducing its CO2 emissions for more than 15 years, and has achieved exactly the reverse. It is plainly in denial: denial about having to do anything to change the way it operates, denial about having to do anything to reduce its contribution to an impending climate catastrophe.
But is anyone surprised? Profits will obviously speak louder to AI – and its LafargeHolcim bean counters – than our "existential threat" to humanity.

German research organisation creates new process for recycling construction waste

Whilst there’s no shortage of sand and gravel in Devon and the UK, it’s not the same in other countries. We posted about the future for sand and gravel production last year:
If flatlining sales figures, planning difficulties and rising energy costs are anything to go by, the business outlook for UK sand and gravel production is not spectacular.
Elsewhere in the world there are other problems, with looming shortages of sand – Germany being the latest country to declare problems:
Germany desperately needs more sand for industry. But a lack of planning foresight, the politics around mining sites and the needs of coastal communities are making the search ever grittier.
We also wrote:
In recognition of these difficulties, and the need to move towards a circular economy, more and more construction waste is thankfully being recycled. Only last week, the UK's largest recycling plant for construction and demolition waste opened in West Lothian, which promises to turn 400,000 tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation waste per year into sand and gravel.
This week, in an effort to stop millions of tonnes of fine-grained building rubble ending up in landfills, results from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute – a novel approach to recycling construction waste – will be showcased at a Munich trade fair:
The construction industry is one of the most resource-intensive sectors of the German economy. The nation’s buildings constitute a vast store of raw materials, harbouring some 100 billion metric tons of materials that could be recovered and returned to the material cycle at the end of their service life. Four Fraunhofer Institutes have joined forces in the BauCycle project to kick-start recycling of sand and gravel fine particle fractions that cannot be reclaimed today for reuse in further construction projects. The research team will present the results of their work at the 2019 BAU trade fair in Munich from January 14 to 19.
“Building sand is not superabundant; in Europe, for example, sand is in short supply in Sweden and France. The conventional method of treating rubble is to crush it. Components of less than two millimetres are sieved out and end up in landfill. If this fine-grained building rubble – which consists mainly of sand-lime bricks, bricks, concrete and small amounts of gypsum – were to be recycled, this could redress the sand shortage over the long term,” says Fraunhofer IBP scientist Dr. Volker Thome, the project’s manager.
In the best-case scenario, four clean aggregates may be recycled and reused to produce aerated concrete, a light building material with good thermal insulation properties. It is suitable for building two-story houses and as indoor insulation. Tests have shown that aggregates of concrete and sand-lime bricks are also recyclable and can serve as a secondary raw material for making competitive grades of aerated concrete. The scientists achieved the best results with a mix of 80 percent sand-lime bricks and 20 percent reclaimed concrete. Another project finding was that a combination of bricks and recovered concrete can be used to make geopolymers, a cement-free building material that is strong and acid-resistant, much like concrete. Geopolymers have the added advantage of a very low carbon footprint.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Preparing for climate change – a local example in Ottery St Mary

The Met Office published UK climate projections in November last year, showing winter precipitation in the future could increase by up to 35%. The government says the threat of flooding could result in people being moved to new areas.

Indeed, we can find a local example – in plans to relocate a primary school to a site downhill from Straitgate Farm. Tipton St John Primary School is set to move to a new site in Ottery St Mary after repeated flooding. The school has about 90 pupils, and has been in the nearby village of Tipton for more than 200 years. As DevonLive reports "Farm site to be sold off so primary school on 'risk to life' floodplain can relocate":

The school is set to more than double in size – to 210 pupils – and would accommodate children from Tipton St John but also meet the need for additional school places for children from the new developments in Ottery St Mary which cannot be met at the existing schools which are at capacity.
The proposed new site, west of The King’s School, is allocated for community and educational use in the East Devon Local Plan. In December, DCC's Farms Estate Committee said:
6.5 The current primary school at Tipton St John is in a high flood risk zone and has been identified by the Environment Agency as a potential ‘risk to life’. The County Council has undertaken a feasibility study to relocate the Tipton St John primary school and part Thorne Farm has been identified as the only viable site.

6.6 There is currently a substantial funding gap between the capital available for the replacement school build and the forecast cost of actually building the school. To enable the new school to be built the County Council will need to raise a significant additional capital receipt. The County Council is thus in early discussions with East Devon District Council over a potential outline planning application for the new school and a housing development on Thorne Farm.
Another school and further housing development would put even more traffic on the B3174, past any future quarry entrance at Straitgate Farm. The new primary school would also be within range of PM10 and PM2.5 dust emissions from any sand and gravel extraction at Straitgate.

Geofencing at Westleigh Quarry

Readers of the Climate section of Aggregate Industries' latest Sustainability Report will rightly wonder what on earth "Geofencing at Westleigh Quarry" – (an effort to enforce a 20mph limit for AI’s HGVs past Burlescombe School in Mid Devon) – has to do with global warming. Readers might conclude that AI hasn’t got much to say about tackling climate change and CO2 emissions, but needed to fill the page with something more than re-establishing baselines; readers might also conclude that AI’s HGV drivers can’t be trusted to stick to speed limits – even when passing a primary school – without a "geofence" in place:


At our Westleigh quarry and asphalt plant in North Devon [sic], the route to the nearby M5 motorway takes vehicles through the nearby village of Burlescombe. For many years we have had a voluntary agreement not to allow any vehicles through the village during school opening and closing (8:40-9:05 and 15:20-15:40) this has worked very well as vehicles were held on site. 
The site also has an agreement to restrict vehicle speed through the village at all times to 20mph, but this was more difficult to police. Now, by using the navigation system we have fitted to our hauliers we have set up a "geofence" that automatically alerts the Transport Department if vehicles exceed the 20mph limit. In the rare instances where a haulier does exceed the 20mph limit we now have the evidence to prove it, making the conversation with the haulier more productive.
We posted about Burlescombe School in November. In contrast with AI’s gold-plated version above, the residents do not think that the voluntary agreement "has worked very well" – in fact, quite the reverse. According to the response by Burlescombe Parish Council to a recent application by AI to extend Westleigh Quarry:
3) We would also like to point out the negative effects the Quarry HGV’s are having on Burlescombe Primary School: a. They have effectively stunted the growth of the school due to parents concerns over the safety of their children wholly generated by lorry movements past the school at all times of the day. b. There had been a verbal agreement with the previous head teacher concerning lorry movement restrictions (an agreement to stop and wait) within school drop-off and pick-up times (not always upheld). We would request that this agreement is formalised.
c) SS: 7.8 to 7.19 — Whilst accepting that the current proposal remains within the current permissions, a majority of residents who have voiced their opinions in Open Forum’s or online to the Council feel strongly that the rules are continuously broken — lorries travelling through Burlescombe in convoy, within restricted times around school drop-off and pick-up times, in excess of the speed limits, and un-sheeted. 
So, seemingly another tale from AI’s South West spin-centre in Frome – this time endorsed by Corporate HQ – that doesn’t square with reality. Goodness, can you believe anything from this company?

Is AI dragging its feet over Silverstone?

Last year, the British MotoGP at Silverstone was cancelled when its new track failed to cope with a rainy weekend in August; suffering readers will know that we have posted on this issue previously. Fingers were pointed at Aggregate Industries, whose "racing circuit experts" were responsible for resurfacing the track just months before.


AI became rather sensitive about the whole issue after a backlash on social media – even threatening a respected motorsport journalist with legal action – but said it would provide some answers:
We are working in close partnership with Silverstone and will be conducting a full review of the track resurfacing over the next few days to better understand the issues caused by the extremely wet conditions on Sunday. We will continue to make resources available to assist our client during this difficult period.
Journalists were told this "review" would be published 6 weeks after the event, as Motor Sport Magazine made clear when it recently posted about the Top 12 MotoGP moments of 2018:
What a mess. What an embarrassment. On Saturday Tito Rabat had to abandon ship at around 170mph due to aquaplaning and ended up with his right femur broken into four pieces. On Sunday tens of thousands of fans waited for hours in the rain and didn’t a see a wheel turn in anger. We were told that the results of a joint investigation into the debacle by Silverstone and Aggregate Industries (who resurfaced the track for 2018) would be published six weeks after the event. It is now four months after the event. Astonishing.
Of course, if it had been discovered that AI’s new tarmac was in some way blameless, the company would surely have shouted about it at the earliest opportunity. The fact that it hasn’t would infer the reverse. So, here's something for AI: 10 tips for delivering bad news. One of the tips? "Don't delay... Bad news delayed is bad news compounded."


EDIT 10.1.19: If any further confirmation were needed that Aggregate Industries’ resurfacing of Silverstone last year was not fit for purpose, RaceFans.net reports "Silverstone plans another resurfacing before British GP":
RaceFans understands the track owners are determined to resurface the track ahead of Moto GP’s return this year. Silverstone’s managing director Stuart Pringle told RaceFans he "hopes" the job will be completed before the F1 weekend begins on July 12th.
The question of who will pay for laying another new surface rests on the ongoing investigation into the cancellation of the Moto GP race.
"We are still awaiting the final outcome of the investigation," said Pringle. "We are closer to the end than the beginning."

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Our future, and our children’s future, in numbers

If we need any sobering up after all our Christmas and New Year celebrations, take a look at The World Counts. It contains many poignant figures; here’s a screenshot of two of those at the end of 2018:


Here are the corresponding 'live' counters, showing relentless and depressing increases so far in 2019:


The charity's report identified ten events that cost more than $1bn each, with four costing more than $7bn each.
"Climate change is something still often talked about as a future problem, not least because we know the consequences of the warming climate are so devastating and don't want to face up to what is already happening," said Dr Kat Kramer from Christian Aid.
"This report shows that for many people, climate change is having devastating impacts on their lives and livelihoods right now. The great injustice of climate breakdown is that the people that suffer first and worst, are the world's poor that have done the least to contribute to the crisis."
Scientists warn that "Decisions made from now to 2020 will determine to what extent Earth remains habitable". Even the financial community is urging us to wake up, with warnings of dire consequences if we don't:

But whilst we're talking about sobering numbers, here are two more from The World Counts for 2019:


In the UK, our consumption is even more unsustainable; we effectively need 3 Earths to provide what we consume – or, put another way, we consume resources 3 times faster than the Earth can renew. The World Counts puts that into frightening context:
If Earth’s history is compared to a calendar year, modern human life has existed for 23 minutes and we have used one third of Earth’s natural resources in the last 0.2 seconds.