+An article in the current edition of The Environment (journal of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, CIWEM) reveals a new way of tracing Covid-19: it gets into our sewage. Researchers in Utrecht have discovered that the virus, perhaps not unsurprisingly finds its way into our shit. I hope Matt Hancock will make something of this at his next Downing Street Party Political Broadcast, it could lead to a new government target. Volunteers needed!
+I still have a need to write to the Guardian now and then. I like to get things off my chest. Hence the following:
Rebecca Willis accurately examines the cognitive dissonance MPs suffer when it comes to dealing with climate change (The long read, 21st May), which greatly reflects that of the population at large. But other factors play a part. I remember a meeting organised by an energy minister to glean the views of members on a coming energy white paper. MPs representing constituencies with historical energy interests (e.g. oil, coal, nuclear) were well represented. Renewable energy tends not to have a specific geographical base so had no traditional political leverage. Those of us who supported renewables were in the main seen as obsessives more associated with movements such as Climate Camp, as opposed to white coated, highly paid technicians in nuclear power stations, backed by an incestuous lobbying industry. That renewable energy now contributes so much to UK energy supplies is a miracle of sorts, but every step of the way has been a struggle.
The bigger picture so far as MPs are concerned is that they will, by and large wish for a return to the old normality after Covid, since that is the way to get re-elected. The impetus for a ‘new normal’ I think will whither in the face of reality, which is to say that sufficient of the old economy will survive to suffocate any genuine departure from our old habits. That's what the boost in government spending is all about.
+The Chief Medical Officer of England, Prof. Chris Whitty in this morning’s paper is quoted as saying “All cause mortality has come down at the same time as the Covid deaths have come down and it is now at roughly the rate it is in an average winter. So we are essentially having a winter in terms of mortality.” Was this meant to be reassuring? I’m sure the government will be reassured that it can peddle the message that things are now just ‘average.’ I’m not at all sure I have confidence in Whitty any more. Mid May is not normally considered part of winter. Maybe that’s what he was saying, but perhaps his words were taken out of context. Still, it leaves me with no choice but to take his advice on beer bottle labels to limit alcohol consumption to just 14 units a week with a pinch of salt.