Today the UN published its Human Development Report 2011. The report has shown, for a number of years now, how human development has raised living standards across the world. But this year's publication highlights how a reverse to this trend is affecting poorer populations.
With cycle-manufacturing, cycle accessory manufacturing, retail and other cycle-related employment all thrown into the mix, that's a healthy figure and a good sign of the state of the cycling industry in this country.
As many as 23,000 people are employed in these UK cycle and cycle-related industries and they contribute some £600 million to our economy in wages and taxes.
We've had an interesting email from the Make Wood Work campaign.
In essence, the UK Government's Renewables Obligation (RO) policy encourages the use of bio-mass burners for electricity generation with financial subsidies. Whilst, from an environmentally-friendly point of view, biomass burning creates energy from waste materials, the forest products industry is concerned that using wood for bio-mass burners will damage their industry.
I decided last year to start investing some of my savings with Triodos Bank. As a green and ethical citizen I though that I'd vote with my "green" and give it to an ethical bank that would invest my meagre savings in a positive way. Whilst I've deposited the tiniest amount with them, I intend to move most of my savings to Triodos to ensure all my money is being looked after by and invested in sustainable causes.
This green and pleasant land, in our opinion, isn't green enough. We're not just talking about environmental and energy-saving initiatives but also the fact that this country was once covered in trees and mankind, in his infinite "wisdom", has seen to remove so many of them. However, Norfolk County Council have been planting trees in rural villages, not for environmental reasons, but for traffic calming.
Last night I went to a climate change consultation with my local Rushmoor Borough Council.
40 local residents were invited down to Aldershot on a cold February night to discuss the borough's policy and, arranged into small groups, we brainstormed Rushmoor BC's plans for the environment and the future.
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has been running a consultation for the regulation of inorganic phosphates in domestic laundry and cleaning products (DLCPs) since October 2009. The closing date of the consultation is 21st January 2010.
The consultation by DEFRA's Water Quality Division seeks to gather comments on the banning of inorganic phosphates for forthcoming regulation.
I've just been reading the article Stolen e-mails embolden climate change skeptics regarding the Climategate affair where scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit had their emails hacked. Now I'm all for "leaks" of information that may be of public interest but that "thousands of e-mails and other documents made over the course of 13 years" are available is a considerable breach.
A one-day climate summit in New York yesterday saw about 100 world leaders attend ahead of the crucial Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December.
China, now the world's biggest polluter, taking the shameful crown from the United States, seemed to make the biggest commitment with President Hu Jintao saying that the country would cut carbon emissions by a "notable margin" by 2020.
It's funny how most Brits say that self-sufficiency would help us out in this recent financial crisis and yet half of us admit to lacking the skills our grandparents had in abundance.