Shameem Kazmi

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About Shameem Kazmi

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  • Birthday July 4

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Birmingham, UK.
  1. It is likely before 2015 the government will announce an end to the free plastic carrier bag in England. Should a tax or ban be introduced on carrier bags? Governments and local authorities around the world have already banned or taxed free issue carrier bags, and there is pressure for legislation in England. They argue that cities must spend vast sums to clean up the bags and the damage caused by them, money that's better spent elsewhere. Not to mention that plastic bags are a nuisance on the environment, polluting waterways and other natural areas and killing off animals. Banning plastic bags, the activists say, will redirect funds to infrastructure and spur entrepreneurial efforts to come up with alternatives to plastic. Is this the answer? Plastic carrier bags make up less than 1% of litter on our streets. Most litter is from snack food packaging, bottles and cans, banning or taxing plastic bags will make little or no difference to the volume of litter on our streets. However, litter is a problem of social behavior, and is not specific to any one material or product. In 2011, 8bn plastic bags were issued in the UK and that was a 5.6% increase on 2010. The recession may have been a contributory factory with families changing their shopping behavior with smaller, more frequent shops each week. Just over a year ago a 5p charge was introduced in Wales and the amount of single-use bags has fallen significantly. Latest figures show a 70-96% reduction in the use of single-use plastic bags. Northern Ireland is set to bring in a 5p charge in 2013; Scotland had completed a consultation on a proposed charge of 5p that, if adopted, would leave England the only country without one. In the UK, the packaging industry employs tens of thousands of people people and generates over £10bn into the economy. The answer to the problems associated with plastic bag use is not a ban or tax, but better environmental management. As consumers we must be aware that we can make positive choices to help the environment in the way that we shop. Everyone who cuts back on the number of bags that they use makes a contribution to saving resources and reducing waste. Many materials need to be managed if they are not to harm the environment. Indeed, if not properly managed, paper can be a worse polluter than plastic bags; it occupies nine times as much space landfills, and does not break down substantially faster than plastic. If a free-issue bag can be made from renewable materials that allow the bag to be multi-use and then compostable in the home, should this be part of a tax or ban? Carrier bags are a distraction and a diversion. Major supermarkets don’t want to be the first to introduce a self-levy and do have voluntary agreements in place. There is growing public support and media spin that will go in favor of government action. Unfortunately, of all the bigger environmental problems we face today, carrier bags are not one of the critical issues. If only politicians were as keen to address climate change, biodiversity loss, the collapse of marine fisheries, and a lot more of the environmental problems rather than ‘window dressing’. A proposed tax or ban in England would discriminate unjustly against plastics and would represent an anti-competitive move and a serious restraint on trade, damaging jobs and an industry already battling against over-regulation and under-investment. Shameem Kazmi E Twitter: sjkazmi Linkedin: Shameem Kazmi Skype: shameem.kazmi
  2. Moon Mining: Myth or Reality?

    The lunar landings in the 1960’s and 1970’s by NASA may have paved the way for one of the biggest conflicts ever to be seen, and it hasn’t happened yet. This is the chase to find a secure, reliable and clean energy sources to feed the power thirst nations on earth. Governments around the world are looking to alternative sources of energy. Secure, clean, less waste and of course the reduction in carbon emissions that is the catalyst of climate change. Nuclear power is seen as a reliable source of energy and the chosen option for future power generation. Despite the enthusiasm for nuclear energy as a carbon-zero energy source, there are still issues around radiation, safety, uranium mining, and nuclear weapons through enrichment. Waste and decommissioning nuclear plants is a major problem, costing millions of pounds in decommissioning and nuclear waste buried for hundreds of years underground. For decades scientists have been trying to make nuclear power from nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion makes use of the same energy source that fuels stars, including our sun. This process doesn’t produce the radioactivity and nuclear waste, as would be found in nuclear power stations, as this process if different, and known as nuclear fission. One source of raw material to make nuclear fusion is helium-3. Helium-3 is different from other helium gasses, it is a lighter isotope and when it fuses with other nuclei it releases energy with no radioactive waste. The energy stored in helium-3 is 10times the amount of energy found in fossil fuels. Helium-3 has been emitted by our sun for billions of years and is carried by solar winds, but Earth has a magnetic field that deflects these particles away, so the only helium-3 found on earth is from bi-products of nuclear weapons and this is extremely scarce. The moon however, has been continuously bombarded with helium-3 particles for billions of years. It is estimated that the moon has an abundance of helium-3 in the region of 1million tonnes. The estimated price of helium-3 is £4.5billion per tonne. It is estimated that to power the earth for a year would only take only 100 tonnes, so we have a potential clean power source for 10,000 years. The process will be very expensive and require billions of pounds of investment. The extracting and refining of helium-3 will require new technologies, as the material is low in concentrations in the lunar surface. Around one million tonnes of lunar soil will be needed to mined and processed for every tonne of helium-3. There will also need to be new nuclear power stations to take the helium-3 material. Over recent times there has been an increasing number of global powers and emerging market economies announcing plans to enter the space race, many announcing plans to visit the moon; India, China, Russia, USA to name a few all accelerating plans for visits to outer space and the moon. How will global powers cooperate with such a precious raw material that could answer all of our future energy needs? Helium-3 will deliver nuclear energy that is clean, safe, carbon-zero and take away the threat of enrichment for nuclear weapons. In 2009 the US government commissioned a document into mining helium-3 and policy options. It is clear in this document that alleviating conflict and discontent with nations was a major concern to the US administration. The report concluded that international space laws fail to establish rules governing mining, ownership and exploration of helium-3. Will profit, politics, power all come before the needs for cooperation and collaboration? Providing affordable clean power for the developed world is key but ensuring developing nations and third world economies are not forced even further into energy poverty. Conflict will come, controversy and disruption, as power-greed nations seek to monopolise our lunar surface. Shameem Kazmi E Twitter: sjkazmi Linkedin: Shameem Kazmi Skype: shameem.kazmi