Monday, January 08, 2007

On your Marx, get set... stop.

I don't think I am a communist. I rather like the idea of being comfortably off (though am having a bit of an epiphany as to how much one really needs if we are to survive as a species - loads of dosh really means loads of desire to blow it on stuff, travel, etc, otherwise one's mattress really is going to bulk up) and get a cold shudder when I see anything with 'not for profit' on it.

However, two pieces in one of my Sunday's had me looking up 'first against the wall when the revolution comes' in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Blowing the bonus

Buddy, can you spare a billion?

I don't have a problem with wealth as such, so long as it is honestly, morally and ethically earned/gained (which rather removes most inherited varieties, at the top end at least, anyway), but I certainly do with any wasteful, obscene misuse of it.

And I really do not like it being pandered to by those who seek to bask in a few moments of being close to it by offering exposure to those with such shallow lives they can't think of anything better to do with their financial good fortune.

Let's never let a silly thing like facts get in the way of a good debate

I keep saying the guy is a genius, so I hope he'll forgive me showing why every so often, especially if I post his URL.

Anyone reading this blog of late will note that I am getting a little frustrated with a load of folk who should know better, and paid a lot more, who go very quiet when I, and others, ask questions requiring a simple, factual answer.

Now I know why.

Parapet. Head. Stick. Over. Ouch. The Sequel.

Well, it is Monday: Flight from reality

'This has been covered elsewhere (including this online resource) quite extensively, and indicates a hot (well, warm, at least globally) topic.

The arguments and comments seem to be falling pretty well as expected, and predicted -

I thank the few here who have posted without rancour but with a legitimate concern to know more to act responsibly, or asked some legitimate questions which I do hope will be answered by those who claim to know (better).

I fear those we could have hoped to cool the pot so we may all sup from it are principally concerned with stirring it whilst fanning the flames."


A view from a Green MEP, currently en rouet to the pokey, apparently (for her views & actions) on Trident:

Who cares about the Ashes?

One I thank Dave of Solarventi for passing on: 'Dustbin' UK tops landfill table

Parapet. Head. Stick. Over. Ouch.

It's that kind of day: Guardian

"For some reason I don't often get approved for the Telegraph, but I'd like to share what I wrote to them today - - as it's happening here, too.

I am not an eco-Nazi. Nor am I a oil-funded climate-denier. I am just a bloke (one who is trying to raise his kids now AND ensure they have a future) trying to figure this all out to do what's best.

And I am certainly not feeling too well served by government, eco-groups, business, NGOs and even the media. All have an agenda (staying/getting elected, getting funding, getting grants to bestow and ratings/readership respectively) that serves, it seems to me, the environment they claim to serve pretty low on the totem.

I agreed with Mr. Leary in my blog a few days ago. That doesn't make me his lackey. I was simply agreeing with his point that retro-actively back-dating taxes was not on. But before he pops a cork and buys another new 737, I'm afraid there's not much else I can offer him in support. Or a lot of others in favour of ever more, ever-more efficient, ever-more offset and carbonally-traded travel: I really rather think we need to not only slow down, but actually even think about travelling less.

However, if the guys in charge of effecting this equitably, fairly and rationally are those in government (or those in governments worldwide), we have a few slight problem to overcome first.

Trust being first. Faith in abilities next. A sense of vision beyond the next sound-bite or election...

Make that more than a few."

Money makes the world go around

My reply to this: A first-class rip-off

"The planet breathes easier as we speak. Not.

Interesting that the PR airline machine has here decided to go for a fiscal comparison.

There is a lesson in this, however. If our leaders (especially those in capital cities) are sincere in us using the most eco-effective method of travel, it may make sense to make them cost-effective as well, by way of incentive?"

Martin in the Middle

As predicted, and feared, I am seeing eco-issues being stretched to extremes by the various camps with vested interests: If the eco-snobs had their way, none of us would go anywhere

I see our value now in trying to be a voice (hopefully of reason) for the middle ground:

'In the world of green, things are seldom black or white. Unless of course, you are in government, an activist... or the media.
For the rest of us poor slobs, weighing information and exhortation can be less than satisfying.
Things tend only to get published if they are at extremes. Or have extreme solutions.
Hence if you think everything is more tickedy boo than being doomsaid you are a climate denier, and if you think things may being erring on the dodgy and may need some allowances you are an ecosnob.
Here’s a bit of engineering for you. If one person takes a pebble from a dyke it will hold. If they keep on doing it likely will still hold as they are just one. But if they are joined by more and more it will eventually fail. And no technology can plug that gap if the combined efforts of individuals are determined to erode them.
Even those who demand freedoms have a responsibility to themselves, their fellows and the future to adjust their expectations and actions.
It’s a mess. Something has to be done. But what has been, is being and looks like being done doesn’t fill me with much confidence. All I see is battle lines. And while wars get fought little else happens and certainly nothing much positive. Meanwhile those who could be harnessed to help hunker down as the broadside sail overhead.
Maybe we have become too used to mobility, not just socially but also though necessity, especially for business. And here the policy makers have to figure out what they want and facilitate it.
But then the ‘its my right’ brigade need to meet somewhere (I’ll avoid halfway). I can visit my relatives in Singapore by means other than air, just as my Victorian ancestors did. If I am demanding the convenience and time and cost of an airplane that’s another matter. It isn’t the only method.
With an ever expanding and more affluent population, worldwide (China: fifty airports coming soon. They do of course have a child limitation policy to compensate, though it seems the rich can circumvent this. Was it ever thus), what does the author anticipate? Sorry if it takes her a bit longer to get to the opera or pop over to Verbier to catch the snow before it has gone for ever (there’s always a longer haul to Canada), but some poor sods walking across the Kalahari to find water, not factored into the carbon trading scheme, may feel certain restrictions of movement are in order.
Of course the government has seen what’s coming, but if yesterday's report is to believed and their solution is to tax households who add ‘value’ to homes via double glazing then we can see what their motivations and hence use as leaders really is.
Personally, I’d prefer to see about avoiding a Malthusian scenario by assuming that if something didn’t happen once before it won’t again. That’s a bit like jumping off a building and because you land on a truck full of mattresses (it happens all the time in movies) it will be there if you do it again.
If we really are facing an environmental crisis, maybe we can innovate and engineer our way out of it, but to give us the time to do so (it would be great for instance if we had figured out what to do with all that nuclear waste we assumed we’d have a solution for by now) before we are all toast, I’d suggest we accept we all need to cut back a tad.

Doing it fairly and equitably of course, is where the real fun begins. At least DOING whatever we can is a good start. But perhaps accepting that we DON'T DO everything we need not is a reasonable thing to consider as well?'