Thoughts on Canalival (derived from LC’s tweets 7 June 2013)

The following is London Canals’ tweets posted on 7th June 2013. These have been ordered correctly and extra info has been added where necessary.

The big issue with Canalival is endemic of a throw-away society. Hundreds of dinghies & thousands of bottles etc dumped in canal.When a big event’s underway there’ll be litter issues. One only has to look at London Marathon where tons & tons of litter always dumped on pavements and in streets.

Even ‘small’ events such as the annual pillowfight in Trafalgar square generates several dozen skips of trash. Do we want such events where the environment is trashed willfully, or do we want events where the consequences can at least be “managed” somehow (bearing in mind there is still a considerable impact on the environment.)

It is clear that even the smallest festival produces a huge mass of rubbish that has to be processed/disposed of. A recent programme on ITV called “Dirty Britain” investigated Haydock races, a reputed and orderly event and found, “the furthest thing from their minds (revellers, festival goers) are the people who have to clear up.” In other words people enjoying themselves DONT want to be tidy or clear up.

It seems perhaps ironic that the greatest amount of rubbish (the most overflowing bins possible, the greatest spread of bottles etc on the ground) ironically ‘proves’ an event’s success.

I dont think ANY event could claim to be environmentally friendly these days. Even green/vegetarian events are a big drain on environment. No amount of care or clearing up is going to reduce environmental impact on any canal, or river.

In fairness we have Canalway – each May bank holiday its organisers at least do a good job in managing any potential environmental impact that may occur. Thats why one does not see tons of litter floating in the water/lying around Little Venice/Paddington’s towpaths when this festival is on.

Rubbish has to go somewhere, and one environment that’s saved usually means another elsewhere gets it in the butt. Means we shove the problem elsewhere. Its a pass the buck-game and there is a considerable negative benefit that will sooner or later ultimately make itself felt.

These days instead of ‘saving the environment’ we seem to be saving bits but forsaking other bits – overall its a huge negative impact. We are living a huge lie with regards to any aspirations we may hold that there is ‘environmental management.’

Other massive issues are population growth, migration, leading to landgrab and greenfields being built upon for homes, in turn means more rubbish, more environmental problems.

Its clear we have come to a point where ‘saving the environment’ is basically bollocks. Its a big lie. Environmental organisations have become nothing more than a means of papering over the very serious issues, and are clearly a waste of resources and money.

The big problem? We cant go back. We can only go forward but the question is how, in what format? How do we save the environment? Or do we not save it no longer?

Planet Earth as a living organism (as proposed in Lovelock’s Gaia) has clearly been trashed beyond the wild dreams of humanity. Every single square space is polluted, littered, from the deepest valleys to the tops of the world’s highest mountains.

Any next festival, no matter its so-called credentials, is going to bring yet further distress to London’s waterways.

I think all events on the canal should be banned until we can envisage new ways of going forward. That is the basic reality.

(These tweets were originally collated and posted on London Canals’ defunct Facebook pages on 7 June 2013. )

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