VEGA News Item

Global Warming, Carbon, Kyoto, and Consultation - 02/03/2005
DEFRA invites Veggie Views, How many Calories of Power does it take to put a Calorie of Food from Farm to Fork?
We have not responded to every question, one reason being that we were unable to obtain all of sections of the report (some sections were unavailable for downloading on the DEFRA website), so we have commented on sections that we feel are relevant to our campaign.

Section 2: Q7, pg 8
Some uses of fuel could be audited on a population and international basis, e.g. air miles and aviation fuel reckoned on a per person basis.

Section 5: Q11, pg 38
Wider and inclusive coverage is welcome. Particulates, volatile hydrocarbons and halogen compoundscompounds, as well as sulfur compounds (at all levels of oxidation, and especially sulfur dioxide and sulphur hexafluoride) should be considered. Methyl bromide is still in varied use as a fumigant, e.g. for soil and for furniture, other bromo-compounds are used as fire-retardants, and volatile iodine compounds arise from seaweed rotting on coasts and as fertilizer on land.

Section 9: Q34, pg 74
Incentives as are applied to, say, condensation boilers should be promoted on solar heating initiativesand imperatives on all new buildings and in conversions and extensions.

Section 9: Q37, pg 74
The landlord should pay the bills for gas, electricity and water supplies

Section 10: Q40, pg 79
Changes and reversals to low-input and reduced intensification in the live/dead stock industry and the attendant processing in producing “cheap” milk, meat, broilers and eggs (as well as fish) beckon. Fuel costs and savings in no-till and mini-till alternatives to ploughing ect, as well as New Zealand-style methods with livestock, must be entertained.

Section 10: Q 41, pg 79
Consequent education of the consumer/customer in the costs and exchange of fuel demands in exports, imports, and transportation of foods and beverages and attempts at smoothing the effects of seasonality must be reviewed. Calories (spent) per calorie (content) would make telling calculations.

Section 10: Q 42, pg79
The foregoing changes and a growing dairy-free market (based on nitrogen-fixing crops) would reduce demand for heavily fertilised and monotonous low grade mesotrophic grasslands; consequent environmental benefits and reduction of water usage and effluent utilisation would accrue. On-farm windmills and solar panels could be deployed much more to provide power for crop drying, pumping .

Section 10: Q 46, pg 84
Remind the Food Standards Agency (it has a wider responsibility than Safety) that its responsibilities must encompass methods of production and disposal that involve consumer demand in environmental corollaries.

Other comments:
Light pollution is an indicator of avoidable misapplication of fossil fuels and illumination technology; it also contributes to environmental harm and disruption of wildlife. It is therefore a factor in climate change. We note that the merits of power generation, e.g. from fossil fuels or by wind, wave, or tidal forces, or nuclear are not adduced for this consultation.

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