On the first Saturday of September an ‘Eco Fest’ takes place in the Pump Room Gardens in Leamington Spa town centre. I mentioned this on a previous post in relation to last year’s event. Three weeks prior to that is Art in the Park, across the road at Jephson Gardens, whilst a week after the Eco Fest is the omnivorous Leamington Food Festival, usually over both days of the weekend, but this year only on the Sunday. All of these events are free for anyone wandering around visiting as many stalls as they want and it was good to see that, in a welcome return to normality, there was not a single person, amongst the stallholders or visitors, wearing a face mask. Of the three, the Eco Fest is the least busy having less of a feeling of being an event, as such. It feels more like various campaigners who already know each other just meeting up in a public place.
I attended Art in the Park on the Saturday morning on what was to develop into a very warm day. One of the caterers present was the locally-based Fresh Rootz veggie and vegan street foods, who do festivals throughout the Midlands. They were at the time just setting up for the day, so if I’d visited a couple of hours later I’d have bought something to eat. As it was, it was a bit early to feel hungry anyway. Talking to one of them, he had said that they had booked to do Eco Fest, but on the day, they weren’t there, which is a shame. Absent from the Eco Fest, but present at the Food Festival, was a stall from the Bearley Vineyard, Warwickshire wines, some of which are vegan. This success of this business is a testament to how climate change can be beneficial.
Another stall that surprisingly wasn’t there, was the campaign against HS2, although that campaign has been running for several years and the stall was there last year. I must emphasise that I am not opposed to high-speed rail in principle, but as I put on my long blog post last year, HS2 simply doesn’t have a viable business case and the reason for the campaign against it, which isn’t merely a local one, is due to the huge ecological damage that it has caused. As its London terminus is planned for Euston, it won’t even fulfil the role of providing a connection, let alone a through service, with HS1 (Eurostar) at St Pancras. So its effect on reducing the level of air travel to and from continental Europe will be negligible if at all.
So now that I have emphasised stalls that I expected to be there, but weren’t, I should mention which stalls were there, one being for Foundry Wood, a local nature reserve. This is a small, approximately triangular, piece of land on former railway sidings to the west of Leamington Spa rail station, where the lines to Coventry and Solihull diverge. To the south of the Solihull line was the site of the former Ford Foundry, hence the name given to the wood, which I have wandered round a couple of times. It is free to access, though tends to be aimed at schools and other groups.
Adjacent to this was a stall for Achieving Results in Communities, an organisation to support mental health by spending time in nature, so Foundry Wood would be one of the nature reserves on its itinerary. And next to that was Canalside Community Food, located a few miles east of the town just off the main road to Southam. It is a local agriculture scheme to provide organic produce, but having enquired about it last year, I understand that there is long waiting list to join, which suggests the demand for an additional project perhaps located to the west of Warwick. The need exists in particular for people living in shared rented accommodation and/or who do not have a garden at home that can be used, or an allotment.
In the photo above is the stall for Cycleways, a local cycling group for Warwick, Leamington Spa and Kenilworth, whose main project at present is in campaigning for a safe cycle route between the latter two towns. It was at this stall that I spent the most time, although living in Warwick that particular project is of less interest to me than other issues that I discussed with the bloke running it. In particular I discussed with him, the lack of a designated safe cycle route to Stratford and he agreed with me that from a tourism perspective it could be a good selling point; and how HS2 will impact cycle routes between Kenilworth and Coventry as the route, for which works are ongoing, slices straight through the small rural gap between the two, close to the University of Warwick’s main campus.
As you can see from the photos, the grass was parched by the dry July and August weather, as per what has become normal over the past couple of decades (though not fifteen years ago when there was serious flooding during the summer). In general and it is only that, throughout much of central and southern England, winters have become milder and wetter whilst summers have become warmer and drier. The milder winters mean lower consumption of fossil fuels are required for heating; and that among elderly people trying to manage on the state pension, there are fewer deaths from hypothermia, yet this supposedly represents a ‘crisis’. Those who believe in the ‘hockey stick’ hypothesis of runaway, ever increasing temperatures, peddle the notion that it is a catastrophic ’emergency’. This view has permeated the state sector including those local councils such as Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon Districts, which are run by the Tories. As such these people want to impose draconian restrictions on travel, maybe even embracing the totalitarian notion of ‘Smart Cities’ as part of a ‘green’ agenda.
As Warwick District Council has granted planning permission for thousands of new houses on what was until recently arable farmland or meadowland, then its ‘climate emergency’ propaganda should be treated with extreme scepticism; one such large housing estate being on Chase Meadow, a flood plain on the west side of Warwick near to the racecourse. Even prior to the Lockdowns of 2020 & 2021, there were empty surpluses of both retail and office space in the district, the sites for which should have been first been considered for housing. As it is now, you can take a short stroll from Pump Room Gardens and see numerous empty shops, in many of which the doorway is occupied by someone who is homeless. The housing needs of these people just get ignored. Warwick District Council has also granted planning permission, without public consultation, for numerous 5G installations, conveniently overlooking the electrical power that they consume (as well as the potential health risks from the high frequency electromagnetic radiation).
At last year’s Eco Fest, I spoke to the bloke from Warwick District Council who was there to answer queries about recycling, so I asked why the recycling bins had been removed from Victoria Park. He said that he wasn’t aware of this but that it must have been due to the council’s contractor idverde complaining that the wrong type of litter had been disposed in them. Bear in mind that with the council being Tory-run, it has been outsourced (just like domestic refuse collections have been). It was and remains only in that park that the recycling bins have been removed, which by coincidence is closest to the council’s recycling facility at Princes Drive, accessible only to motorists, although the re-use shop is available to pedestrians. He agreed with me that a car should not be needed to access those recycling facilities, though there has been no change to that.
This year one of the busiest stalls was for Warwick District Council explaining its new convoluted 1-2-3 household refuse disposal system, for which the garden waste collection has to be paid for by a separate subscription, but of course without any commensurate reduction in Council Tax, that still increased. It could lead to an increased level of garden waste being fly-tipped, the cost of removal being borne by all householders by feeding into next year’s Council Tax increase. Although from a ‘green’ perspective it is better to compost your own garden waste and the council will sell to you a container to do so, what grates about this separate charge for garden waste removal is that it may well be the first of many separate charges for different services without the basic Council Tax level being reduced accordingly. It is a sign of how privileged and out-of-touch council officials are that they can consider doing this and against a backdrop of falling disposal household incomes due to an inflationary recession. Incidentally, the new refuse disposal system meant that every household received a new plastic wheelie bin (to add to two existing ones), plus a plastic caddy for disposal of food waste; and best of all a non-recyclable plastic leaflet explaining how the new system would ‘protect the environment and help tackle climate change’.
An alternative view of the climate and one that I hold is that it is part of a natural long-term cycle, temperatures having been just as warm in medieval times. Climate change does require better water management, meaning that the privatised water companies need to do what they have failed to do over the past few decades, which is to invest in new reservoirs (in disused gravel pits for example) and drastically reduce the rate of leakage in the pipes, replacing these as needed as part of a regular capital investment programme. It is ironic that some people on the political left seek to blame ‘climate change’ for what they know is lack of investment as a symptom of a privatisation that should never have happened in the first place. Climate change could also mean crop diversification, including in southern England the cultivation of fruits such as apricots, avocados, dates and figs, oranges and satsumas which are currently imported from Mediterranean countries. I view this, from a vegan dietary perspective, as an opportunity, not a ‘catastrophe’. Palm trees along the southern English coast would also mean a primate-friendly source of palm oil.
It is not just from the photo immediately below but from other stalls such as that for the ‘Just Stop Oil’ group, that to me being well into middle age, I realised that most of the campaigners were of similar age or older. You might say that this is just a normal reflection of political activism. ‘Climate’ activists are also drawn predominantly from among the office-based, or for the past two and a half years working from home, professional middle class, the socio-economic group who most strongly supported ‘Covid’ lockdowns, for reasons of self-interest. It would therefore be unsurprising if demands for ‘climate’ lockdowns come from some of the same people, whom in my observation developed a gated community mentality during the Spring of 2020, relying on home deliveries from amongst the ‘lower orders’, whose opinions they consider to be of lesser value.
I find it disturbing that people of my generation or older want, in the name of a so-called ‘climate emergency’, to restrict the lives of younger people in terms of travel and lifestyle. These campaigners could well be, like myself, people who have had the opportunity to travel around Europe and the wider world, yet selfishly they want to stop younger people doing the same. Ironically these campaigners, if they align with the Green Party view, will have voted Remain in the 2016 campaign on the European Union. If they did so to ensure ‘freedom of movement’ then they are hypocrites. How do the Millennial generation, for whom a Remain vote was overwhelmingly about freedom of movement around Europe, feel about this? These Millennials have become accustomed to travelling to and from continental Europe by budget airline (as my generation used a Young Person’s Railcard to get around Britain), so climate change cannot be one their major concerns.
Also, the pro-Remain Green Party know full well that at least a million Britons reside in the European Union, mostly – and a higher proportion of them retirees – in warmer climes than Blighty. The pro-Remain Green Party are also well aware that many of these people have relied on budget air travel for their journeys to and from Britain; and that Polish and other Eastern European migrant workers have done the same, Thomsonfly for example used to have scheduled services between Coventry’s small airport that lies just to the south of the city (hence easily accessible for Leamington’s Polish community) and Katowice. Thomsonfly also used to operate scheduled budget services between Coventry and Pisa, Nice and Valencia, therefore enabling people who have neither the money nor the time to make the more expensive overland journey to visit these places. Whilst from a sustainable perspective the overland journey would be preferable, I get the impression from many ‘Greens’ that for reasons of class snobbery, disguised as ‘climate activism’ they would prefer that the lumpen proletariat should not be permitted to travel abroad.
It was during that rather soggy English summer of 2007, that I spent a holiday in British Columbia, which of course involved getting flights between Heathrow and Vancouver. Just north of Vancouver I visited the Wildlife Refuge at Grouse Mountain, where amongst other creatures, two orphaned grizzly bears are cared for, though they do have a very large area in which they can roam. I also went whale watching in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, off the coast of Vancouver Island, near the maritime boundary with Washington State. The boats keep sufficiently far away from the whales so as not to distress them. I still have the photos and film footage I took with a zoom lens; and of course I have the memories. Where I stayed in the provincial capital of Victoria I had a meal at Green Cuisine, which at the time was one of the best vegan restaurants that I had ever visited. I would not peddle scare stories of a supposed ‘climate crisis’ to deny anyone younger than I am the right to travel that far (though my holiday was long before Canada was ruled by the fascist ‘liberal’ regime led by Justin Trudeau).
In the middle of the Eco Fest was an electric vehicle. Labour and environmental concerns have already been voiced about the mining of cobalt for the batteries for these electric cars. Even the Guardian will address the former, though sidesteps the latter issue. Notwithstanding these very important issues, a grid supply or maybe just a diesel generator if off-grid, is still required to charge these up. So are electric vehicles just a massive ‘green’ con? In urban environments, it means the elimination of emissions from internal combustion engines. But the salient issue is that the point of pollution is just moved elsewhere. And whatever ‘green’ campaigners may like to believe, photovoltaic cells and wind turbines cannot supply all the electric power required by the national transmission grid. Some people may argue that getting rooftop solar panels and a wind turbine in their back garden will do the trick, but not on those winter days of short daylight and which are genuinely cold with freezing fog, due to there being anticyclone over the country, hence not a breath of wind.
On the subject of power supplies Eon, a German-owned company which is one of the Big Five privatised energy supply cartel, had a stall. Its British Head Office is about ten miles up the road at Westwood Heath Business Park on the south-west edge of Coventry. Its stall had a sign stating: Are you worried about the rising cost of energy bills? We are here to help. I didn’t approach the stall because it was clearly a public relations exercise staffed most likely by people who had been hired for the day. Even if they were salaried staff, I expect that the message would have been to get a ‘smart meter’. Or perhaps the obvious, such as get better insulation for your home if Eon or any energy supplier can help with that. Rooftop solar panels, facing south obviously? Fine during the summer, but not much help during the winter. Meanwhile the music from the bandstand was electrically amplified and not a solar panel in sight.
There were some stalls that were unrelated to ecology or ‘green’ issues, one such being that for Veterans’ Support Group, another for the local Primary Care Network; others being for yoga, fitness, including that from the company that runs the council-owned gyms in Warwick District (a service outsourced by the council four years ago) as well as some local craft and food stalls, the only vegan offering being confectionery. Political stalls included one called ‘One World Link’ and one for a local support group for the United Nations, a globalist organisation, which far from being innocuous has long since been corrupted, now being in partnership with the World Economic Forum to implement the totalitarian Agenda 2030.
Adjacent to that stall and also being run by people at least in their sixties, who presumably joined a long time ago with good intentions, was that for the former human rights organisation Amnesty International; I stress former as it has failed to oppose lockdowns, vaccine mandates and all the other tyrannical measures introduced under the guise of ‘Covid’. Amnesty International has become a disgusting organisation, peddling the Agenda 2030 message of ‘fair access’ to toxic pharmaceuticals but refusing to defend the human right to decline these without loss of employment or otherwise being excluded from society as is being done by the fascist Trudeau regime in Canada. I am pleased to say that its stall certainly wasn’t busy!
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