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Apparently, unlike normal F1, Formula E cars sound something like “polite but volatile washing machines”. The cars only get to 135mph, not the 200mph of Formula 1 and the batteries aren’t powerful enough to last the race so part of the deal is drivers hopping out of one car and into the next, fully charged one. It’s not quite the testosterone-fest of motoring race that we’ve known to date. However, to make up for it Formula E has some new gimmicks – fans can vote for their favourite drivers and the top three get a five-second power boost.
Somewhat contrary to expectations, it seems to have been successful with more than 50,000 turning out for the London ePrix in Battersea Park at the end of the sport’s first season. One reason might be that results are genuinely unpredictable with the season’s 11 races won by seven different drivers – comparing with three winners across 19 races in F1. Another might be that it is an alternative to fossil fuels for those who love racing machines. The Battersea site included ticket scanners charged on a solar farm, solar powered zones for charging phones, and a safety car run on solar power.
The racing vehicles are still powered by the same energy as the rest of the city, with all the carbon footprint that involves. But this might be a step in the right direction.
Or so reported the Sunday Times, saying that the tiny particles and toxic gases emitted mainly by diesel vehicles attack the skin.
The report adds that such pollutants are already known to damage the lungs and heart, causing inflammation that raises the risk of asthma, heart attack and stroke. The data is based on five studies, two in Germany and three in China, comparing the skin of people living in polluted cities with those in suburban and rural areas. What happens is that the tiny piece of soot is covered by an oily coat of unburnt fuel which lets particles break through the skin’s protective outer layer
The Indie reports that the move to drop subsidies for solar and wind generation is now to include ditching the tracking public attitudes to renewables http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/government-survey-on-attitudes-towards-green-energy-cut-back-following-general-election-10444337.html.
The move comes despite (or maybe because) the March survey showed solar energy with 81% support and wind of 65%, but nuclear only 29% and fracking 24%.
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This is Islington Council’s decision-making document about the new arrangements. The impact on Islington’s air quality of more bonfires was not discussed.
If you would like to comment on these new arrangements, please write in to: firstname.lastname@example.org . You do not have to live within the pilot area.
Reorganisation (reduction) of the green and food waste collection arrangements – trial in the area of Sussex Way N19
Islington Council is trying to cut down the expenses of collecting people’s green and food waste from their homes. Currently a pilot scheme is going on in the section of Upper Holloway bounded by the Holloway Road and the Hornsey Road, N19.
The new plan is for residents to take their food waste buckets to containers down at the end of the street. Friends have reported that at least one of the these repositories has collected flytipping beside it. Many residents won’t bother, and elderly and disabled people won’t be able to do this.
Garden waste is apparently to be taken (if you have a car) to a depository in a local park or to the dump. Otherwise it can be collected at £10 a time.
This is clearly a lesser service. Lots of food waste will go into the general rubbish. Lots of green waste will not be disposed of in the new locations, does that mean more bonfires (adding to Islington’s air pollution) or flytipping?
A response has been received from Claudia Webbe, who is the Lead Councillor for the Environment, and this is below:
Thank you for your email dated 9th July expressing shared concerns about the changes to the way in which food and green waste is collected.
As you know, Islington Council is committed to creating a green and clean borough, however, in order to continue to do this in the face of huge cuts to the Council’s budget, the Council needs to deliver services in a different, more efficient way. A pilot scheme was launched on the 8th June which implemented the changes proposed and these are as follows:
• Food waste will be collected from local communal bins, rather than from individual homes. The food waste caddies can be used to carry food waste to the nearest collection point. The compostable bags for the food caddies will still be available and can be obtained free of charge from local libraries.
• Garden waste can be taken to a collection point situated in various local parks or to the Reuse and Recycling Centre.
• Garden waste collections can be arranged directly from homes for a minimum fee of £10 to cover costs.
There will be no changes to the timetable of collections for rubbish and dry recycling which will be collected on the usual day.
These changes will allow the Council to provide an adequate balance on the things that matter to residents. The changes will also mean a possible reduction in the number of rubbish and recycling vehicles on Islington’s roads, which will in turn reduce emissions and keep costs down. There is no reduction in the Council’s commitment to recycling as it will remain compulsory across the borough.
Last year the cost of disposing of waste was in excess of £7m and I am sure you share the Council’s view that these costs must be reduced. The changes introduced in the pilot scheme are considered the best way of doing so, but it remains important for residents to help by continuing to recycle as much as possible. It is also important that residents in the pilot scheme area provide feedback so that the service can be improved before it is introduced to other areas within Islington. Consideration is currently being given to carrying out a review of the proposed scheme to determine how best to adapt the scheme to provide the best service to Islington’s older and disabled residents whilst preserving the momentum in reducing costs.
I hope that my response clarifies the Council’s position and whilst not agreeing with the scheme, I hope that you can appreciate the need for change.
Cllr Claudia Webbe
Executive Member for Environment & Transport
The farming and agro-industrial lobby have got their way, sneaking neo-nicotinoids back in.
The campaigning against this needs to carry on until they ‘get it’ or until the government stops abdicating responsibility for our environment and future.
Have just seen the brilliant solar panel displays installed by Brighton Energy in big sites in their area, funded by local people and individuals from around the country. Hoping that Power Up North London will be able to get something off the ground round here.
Now is the moment to sit out in your garden or the local parks on a nice sunny day around some flowering plants and for 15 minutes count whatever butterflies and moths flutter by. We should find whites, and if lucky, commas, red admirals and peacocks. On some of the council’s flowering meadows there may be meadow browns. The count is being organised by Butterfly Conservation and you can log your findings on their website from now until the end of August: http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/
This is a bullet point presentation of London’s air quality situation with great artwork, worth looking at even if you don’t like reading bullet points. Clean Air London’s analysis of Boris’s record on #airpollution and #cleanair priorities for the next Mayor