Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Government To Wheel Out Celebs To Push Incineration

Here is a story that did not get as much coverage as it deserved this month - Friends Of The Earth reveal that leaked information reveals a government plan to wheel out "celebrities" to promote their discredited and out of date incineration plans. These plans are of course becoming more and more obsolete as both tighter legislation at a European level and developments in waste treatment technology (such as anaerobic digestion plants)come online. Here is the FoE press release -

Government plans two million pounds PR campaign to promote incineration

The Government is planning a PR onslaught to promote the burning of waste, Friends of the Earth have revealed. Leaked Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) documents outline their controversial plans to use celebrity spokespeople to gain public support for incineration. Information obtained by FoE indicates that over £2 million pounds of taxpayers' money is planned for the scheme, at a time when DEFRA is cutting budgets in other areas.

DEFRA's plans aim to make it easier for councils to build incinerators by persuading the public that burning residual waste - waste that isn't reused, recycled or composted - is a good thing to do. In reality, the inefficiency of incinerators, and the fact that they divert waste from recycling, means
that they are much worse for climate change than other technologies. They are also extremely expensiveto build, requiring councils to sign up to at least 25 year-long contracts with massive multinational waste companies, requiring long-term financing through local council tax.

Dr Michael Warhurst, Friends of the Earth Waste Campaigner said:

"The Government is proposing to waste public money burying the dirty truths about incinerators. This "public engagement campaign" is selling outdated, expensive and polluting technology. It comes at a time when DEFRA's budgets are in crisis - it is outrageous that these plans are deemed a priority for spending when other vital work areas are facing cuts.

"If the Government really wants to help the fight against climate change, it should be aiming for much higher recycling rates, and should invest in policies to get waste out of landfill without incineration, which will reduce our climate impacts and increase our resource efficiency ."

Greenman's Occasional Organ calls on all "celebrities" that the Government might attempt to enlist to reject attempts to persuade, con or pay them to propagandise for the pollution, public health hazard and waste of resources that incineration represents.

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