Some of you may have watched rather more Quest TV ‘How it’s Made’ this Christmas than you thought you would due to unwatchable telly on all the other 20 channels.
Take heart, it could have been worse, like Chatty Man Christmas Special or Rude Tube Epic Christmas.
An unexpected side effect of watching the mesmeric bread rolls, women’s tights, hazard signs, screwdrivers, baby chicks and aluminium sheets, float by, trillions of them, is that you realise the enormity of how much we make and consume. So it was interesting to note the timing of the speech on European wasteful use of resources by the European Commissioner for the Environment, the Pole Janez Potocnik, which came right in the middle of the orgy of Christmas consuming and watching of Quest.
Our wasteful use of resources is something that should be obvious to us all but is hardly mentioned, it is another ‘elephant in the room’, like population, energy shortage and food. Anyway Potocnik has mentioned it now, because of the Economic Crisis and after two years of frightening headlines, the public have accepted that. He warned that unless energy, water, food and precious metals are used much more sparingly the costs of them will go right up and our living standards right down. He says
“We have simply no choice. We have to use what we have more efficiently or we will fail to compete”.
True to his word his department is on the case. Checking ‘The Regulations’ and making new ones to safeguard the EU’s natural resources, but the question is, will our Government and Herefordshire Council keep up with them. The Conservatives in both cases are still hell bent on development, to get it out of its giant debt problem, hence its proposed changes to the planning laws, and its announced spend on big infrastructure projects. Herefordshire Council are right behind them, with its grandiose plans to build 16,500 new houses on green field sites around Hereford, Leominster and Ledbury plus new roads through open countryside for them all. They will definitely have to think again.
“There are real problems with security of supply and this is not yet on the radar screen”
And he makes clear he means water, air and earth. To be fair, some UK organisations have it definitely on their radar screen and have for ages. The Environment Agency, Natural England and a range of voluntary organisations have been saying it for years, but they have been weak voices in the planning debates. Up to now all the power has been with the developers. Maybe now, even they will wake up and realise that Herefordshire’s assets are its land, landscape and water and they must be protected. Don’t hold your breath though, Herefordshire has always been last with everything and true to form our current Conservative Council will cling to the last to its out dated ideas for growth and development into open countryside.