Daily Archives: October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Our beautiful earth is being destroyed.

Day and daily we hear of trees being cut down. These are the same trees that give us the oxygen we need to survive. People are polluting the earth by dumping rubbish on the streets, into rivers, lakes and oceans. Car exhaust and smoking causes smog and makes the oxygen layer in our atmosphere thinner. If we don’t take action, our earth will end up like one big junkyard.

For all the years and more than I have lived here in Northern Ireland, we have had to put up with great plumes of black smoke coming from bombed buildings, burning cars and the 11th Night Bonfires. They all released a pungent foul smell. These fumes released a large amount of sulphur dioxide (SO2), and sulphur trioxide (SO3) into the atmosphere. These sulphur oxides (combination of sulphur and oxygen) reacted with the water vapour in the air to form very strong acids like sulphuric acid (H2SO4). These acids fell along with the rain and from this we got ‘acid rain’ This rain is very harmful for plant, animal and human life. Is it any wonder the Cancer rates are so high in Ulster.

The burning of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum releases a large amount of these gases into the atmosphere (I am a culprit here as I use oil for central heating and for years used coal for an open fire).

We are warned that the large-scale development of industries and burning of fossil fuels, large amounts of pollutants are being released into the atmosphere. This is causing an imbalance in the environment. For example the release of carbon has lead to the rise in global temperature because of the greenhouse effect.

Back in August in Cold Feet I wrote looking for assistance in finding Eco Wood Briquettes. I managed to find some and this time they are described as African Super-hot fuel logs trademarked as Bushblok. Striking while the fire was hot I asked for 6 packs. There was no barcode on the pack or price label attached. The sales assistant went off to telephone her Supervisor for advice, I waited patiently. Eventually she returned without a price. She picked up her colourful fuel pricelist and picked the lowest priced item and scanned it into the till. “£1.35 per pack” she said, “It is not my fault if they are not marked, I am sure they might be double that price.”

Feeling pleased, I motored merrily home with my winter warmth. It was only when I was unloading the car that I read the label it states:

They are made from encroaching Bush in Namibia, the Cheetah Capital of the World providing sustaining rural business opportunities while restoring the Cheetah’s Savannah habitat. They are useful for cooking fires, braii, home heating, and industrial heat applications. As a result of the extrusion process, it has a calorific value approaching coal, some 4870 Kcal. It has an after burn ash content of 0.35-0.5% and is classified as a Smokeless Fuel.

Smokeless and cheap they might be, but I am sure they left one hell of a carbon trail from Namibia to the UK Mainland and from there through a couple of stops before reaching my fireside.

Should I feel guilty?