Population growth is bad for the environment – protected or not!

Not only does population growth impact on protected sites but on ALL areas of Cornwall. Development itself – whether for roads, housing or other development destroys land and severely reduces sustainability.

Carbon emissions from England’s roads plan ‘100 times greater than government claims’ (What a surprise!!!)

Not surprising. After all we have lots of other myths to contend with – buildings which are zero carbon, development which increases bio-diversity, pollution free electric cars!

Lets be brutally honest – development results in an environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions. We need to limit development not increase it!

Carbon emissions from England’s planned £27bn roadbuilding programme will be about 100 times greater than the government has stated, according to expert witnesses in a court challenge.

Environmental campaigners are seeking a judicial review of the second roads investment strategy (RIS2), which was described by ministers when launched as “the largest ever investment in English strategic roads”, paying for 4,000 miles of road and including such schemes as the Lower Thames Crossing and the Stonehenge tunnel.

Lawyers for Transport Action Network (TAN) claim that the strategy is incompatible with climate crisis commitments. Government lawyers have argued that the additional net greenhouse gases from the roadbuilding are de minimis, or too small to be material.

However, the two expert witnesses testified to the high court that the official calculations dramatically underestimate the figures – potentially by a factor of 100 or more.

Phil Goodwin, emeritus professor of transport policy at UCL, said in a deposition that “the total emissions of carbon from RIS2 schemes reported by Highways England in its separate scheme appraisals give a number which is roundly 100 times greater than that suggested by DfT witnesses”.


Making money from selling your house – are you that stupid?

It seems that Lillicrap Chilcot, in common with various commentators, think that if homeowners sell a property now with demand being high, they will be able to make some money from the added value.

An example, a house in Penzance which sold for £328,000 in 2016, was sold for £368,500 in 2020. An ‘extra’ £40,000! But there is a flaw here – as other houses have also increased in value over the same period, its likely that the owner who sold in 2020 had to pay more for their next house!

And the humorous article from the ‘dailymash’ sums up the fallacy of homeowners making a profit from house sales.

A COUPLE who made a large profit on their house have realised they now need to buy another one that is equally expensive. Bath-based money-obsessed ********* Julian Cook and Mary Fisher recently sold their terraced house for £104k more than they paid for it in 2009. However the …idiots later realised this was largely irrelevant unless they want to be homeless. https://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/couple-makes-100k-selling-house-only-to-realise-they-have-to-buy-another-one-20170930136692

However the fucking idiots later realised this was largely irrelevant unless they want to be homeless.

For home owners wondering if now could be a good time to sell up and cash in or to make that move within the county, Ian said with estate agents operating as usual during lockdown now could be the perfect time to get the eyes of house hunters on your home. He said: “So many house have sold particularly in the last six, seven or eight months that if people out there are thinking of selling and are perhaps thinking of waiting until lockdown three is all over or are thinking ‘2021 can’t be a good year to go up for sale with all of this hullabaloo’, I would say think again.

Housing and employment myths

Apologists for the current housing market, where too often houses are regarded as investment opportunities, desirable second homes, or simply for those seeking a ‘lifestyle’ move, assert how many jobs are dependent on this system as the quotes below from Lillicrap Chilcott suggest.

There are two major flaws with this argument. One is that it assumes residents don’t create a similar demand for goods and services. Some have implied that richer buyers spend more on such activities. Maybe they do, but that reflects income inequalities which need addressing, a matter of concern not something to welcome. The second problem is that it ignores the downside of excessive demand – higher prices and rents exclude many residents from the housing market. You might have a job laying patios for second home owners but you cannot afford to live in Cornwall!

People moving around the county, into the county and buying second homes in the county creates an awful lot of employment for a lot of trades,” said Ian. “Those who beat the drum for ‘ban the outside buyer’ should stop and consider how many tens of thousands of people’s employment in the county hangs directly upon the strength of the Cornwall property market.

“Whether its laying a patio, baking a cake, putting a new roof on a house, being an interior decorator or a carpenter, without that influx of people coming and buying – whether it’s £150,000 or a very different price – they are causing people to have very flourishing careers, very flourishing work opportunities.”


50% of houses sold to non-Cornish residents

With 50% of properties being sold to Cornish residents, that leaves 30% sold to people moving to Cornwall and 20% bought for second homes/holiday lets. If those shares were applied to the total number of all houses sold in 2020, that would mean that of the 7,000:

2,100 were bought by people moving to Cornwall;

1,400 bought for second homes/holiday lets.

[Lillicrap Chillcot is not necessarily representative of all estate agents, but the figures are worrying]

If you think climate breakdown and its causes is boring?

Climate breakdown IS a major problem, its causes are well known as are the solutions. Yet policy makers and the general public are unconcerned. Obviously not bothered about the fate of the environment or future generations!

G7 summit and climate change (2)

[From Cornwall – a developers’ paradise?]

The request for information on the carbon impact of the forthcoming G7 Summit in Cornwall was given extra relevance when a UK Government press release appeared on January 23rd claiming the meeting would miraculously ‘create a greener, more prosperous future’. It would also ‘address challenges including tackling climate change’.

Such a touching concern for the planet would surely imply that the G7 and/or the UK Government had performed a thorough carbon audit to assess the impact of their conference on climate change and have put in place measures to mitigate any costs.

I waited with growing anticipation therefore for an answer from my MP, George Eustice. And waited. And waited.

George Eustice MP

Here’s my question again – Could you please inform me what the carbon footprint (in terms of Co2e) will be for the G7 summit to be held in St Ives and district this coming June.

After almost two months waiting for a reply to my simple query, I became impatient. So, on March 2nd I contacted the G7 directly and sent the same question to the G7 Research Group at the University of Toronto.

This time, a reply was received within hours, not months.

Amazingly, despite ‘tackling climate change’ it seems the G7 has no idea what the carbon cost of its own summits are. Moreover, it has never even thought to work it out.

In fact, doing this is hardly rocket science. There are well-known methods available that can be used to calculate the carbon costs of conferences.

But whatever had happened to my original communication? Find out in the next instalment tomorrow.