Peter Lynn

June 2008

Kite Fliers Save the Planet.

Yes we can, I have a plan, two actually.

The first one is in three basic steps:

1.  Build heaps and heaps of kites.

2.  Fly them (this step is optional).

3.  Bury them.

Climate change acolytes call this carbon sequestration; by burying things made of carbon compounds that aren't biodegradable we reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Yep, it turns out after all that non-biodegradable is GOOD, biodegradable is BAD. 

And, recycling is not much better.  At best recycling is a lost opportunity.  At worst it's an energy wasting process which starts with the hot water and detergents used for cleaning and the time (which has an energy cost equivalent) spent on sorting.   Then there's the energy cost of transporting sorted items to successive recycling centres, more sorting, more transportation and finally, after all this, often as not, everything gets lumped back in to one heap and burnt in an incinerator.  I don't doubt that an honest audit of recycling would, like for bio-fuels, show a negative in the energy equation- using much more than it saves.  But I digress, please read on:-

Actually I'll go further.  If you buy the idea that man made greenhouse gases are driving runaway global warming (and this view has become such an orthodoxy it's become dangerous to deny, whether it's true or not) then it follows that biodegradables are not just a bad idea, they're a crime against the planet.

The biodegradable principle is that things we use, packaging materials in particular, should, after use, quickly break down into constituent elements and re-cycle themselves back into the 'natural' world.  Pardon me?!  With Armageddon approaching as CO2 in the atmosphere passes 375ppm, we're promoting the use of biodegradables- which pump even more CO2 into the atmosphere?!  And on top of this there's the methane that decomposition produces- a greenhouse gas 20 times worse than CO2.

I don't understand.  If CO2 levels are threatening the world, shouldn't we be pulling every bit of carbon we can out of the cycle and locking it away somewhere?

Biodegradable plastics should be banned; use or promotion of them should be a criminal offence.

Rather than having policies to reduce the use of packaging materials we need to mandate increases.

If every item we purchase was required to be accompanied by non-biodegradable packaging materials of at least equal weight, which then went into a local landfill (along with discarded products, similarly required to be non-biodegradable) , we should be able to get atmospheric C02 levels to at least trend down for a change.  Even at 1 tonne per person (and there are currently 7 billion of us) per year, the cumulative effect would be enormous. And, if we made any sort of effort, I'm sure we could be more 'wasteful' than this.

It doesn't make any difference whether the non-biodegradable materials we bury are from current (that is growing things) or fossil sources.  Every kgm that is buried instead of being burnt or allowed to decompose removes the equivalent amount of CO2 from the atmosphere.

And while I'm on this, roads are good for the same reason.  Asphalt is an oil product, so every barrel of oil that is converted into asphalt and locked up in a supermarket car park or road somewhere instead of going through a car bus or truck is a barrel that isn't adding to atmospheric CO2.  Therefore, to be more responsible stewards of spaceship earth, we should build many more km's of road and more car parks for every car than we have now- which won't be a hard sell I reckon.

And another thing; what's this with public pillorying of mothers who use disposable nappies?  Shit is organic- it's carbon compounds.  Wrapping this stuff up in non-biodegradable plastic film and burying it is doing a service to the planet.  Using washables and letting this carbon leach back into the atmosphere is an insult to mother earth.  

It's all so blindingly simple and obvious really.

Us kite fliers can show the world the way; starting by BURYING OUR KITES! –and some of us have already made a start, see photos.

Robert van Weers preparing to save the planet

Peter saving the planet

Olly Stelling - drop your kites in here


Oh, and the second plan by which us kite fliers can save the world?  It's in fine print at the bottom*.

Peter Lynn, Ashburton, May 21st '08  (just about to fly away to Asia and Europe to fly kites).

*walk instead

Thanks to David Gomberg for the photo of Peter




Peter Lynn Kites Ltd
105 Alford Forest Rd

Ph: +64 (0) 3 308 4538
Fax: +64 (0) 3 308 1905