It seems unlikely that bookmakers will be offering good odds against a white Christmas this year, in fact the best odds will be available t’other way round. Right now the allotment is a foot deep in snow and according to Tom’s pin-up, Eno the weather-forecaster, we are due to receive a lot more of the cursed white stuff. This morning we made improvised snow shifters, thawed out a load of water-feeders and then moved on to breaking the ice on the ponds for fear that the fish will expire of lack of oxogen, By the time we had finished we were in need of a few puffs too. But those of us of a cricket bent were in a state of shock.
Amongst others I had put it about that Mitchell Johnson (recalled for the current Ashes Test) couldn’t hit a barn-door from five yards with a beach ball. Our heroes are now in a state of shock after the said barn-door hitter skittled England out after also top scoring with the bat. How wrong can one be? From muppet to Roy of the Rovers, Mr Johnson is now our choice to save the planet since no one else seems interested. Indeed half of the British delegation to the ‘last chance for the world’ conference in Mexico flew home early to vote in the tuition fees debate. Clearly saving Nick Clegg’s skin takes precedence over saving the planet!
The United Nation’s conference was held in Mexico and 200 countries sent representatives, albeit that some of them were the equivalent of the senior janitor. In the end they predictably did nothing. But one clear opportunity struck me and I cannot fathom why this at least cannot be tackled. Many delegates supported the idea of a system of incentives to prevent the destruction of tropical rain forests in countries such as Brazil, Congo and Indonesia.
Incredibly deforestation accounts for 15 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. So here we have a single target that could bring a big step forward. The problem is that people in poor countries see felling as their only means of earning a meagre living. Given the option of earning it in another way they would be happy to leave the forests intact. So it merely needs the richer and larger countries to sign up to a contribution and, at last, the campaign which scientists tell us is the only hope of saving the planet would be up and running. So did they agree to go ahead? No!
Yet every developed country pays dues to something and the money required here is not penal when shared. For example, we think nothing about handing over £7 billion to bail out Ireland or heaven knows how much for the other Euro victims that we will have to underwrite. The economy of Ireland, Spain etc versus the destruction of the planet sounds an easy choice. It is, we prefer to let the planet flood. Of course some of the giants have problems of their own. In the United States President Obama faces opposition from mad people such as Sarah Palin who still believes that the world is flat. Doubtless there are equally tricky political problems in China. India and the rest.
But surely the conference has made progress on this basic issue at least. Not according to Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists. He says that the ” outcome of the conference was not enough to save the planet”. But, as if to offer consolation, he adds “but it did restore the credibility of the United Nations”. So that’s all right then!
Hopefully a move on the forests will evolve but right now it is hard to believe that mankind has the will to save itself. Still it did at least save Nick Clegg from humiliation, perhaps that is more important?
WHAT ABOUT THE SAVERS?
The Bank of England yesterday expressed great concern that inflation may make necessary an increase from the all-time low bank rate thus increasing mortgage rates for 7 million home buyers. They seem to have forgotten the 7 million savers, many of whom rely on interest for their existence in old age.
Mention that to any of the finance wizards and they will tell you that everyone should spend and borrow to save the economy. But isn’t that exactly how we got into this appalling mess?
STAMP PRICES UP AGAIN!
The price of a first class stamp is to go up again. From April it will cost 46p. Prices have gone up by twice the rate of inflation for five years. The increase is Royal Mail’s response to a fall in volume but the problem is that those still using the mail as against the internet are mainly older folk, some of whom are struggling to cope financially.
The last thing I would want is privatisation but something has to be done for the service continues to deteriorate whilst the cost of using it rockets. What is needed is good management and the mystery is that the government believes that only ownership by the French can bring that.
There must be plenty of dynamic young managers who would love to move in. If we don’t believe that we might as well close down Britain plc right now.
YESTERDAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS; 1. The Netherlands 2. John Wayne
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple were creations of which author, who died in 1976? 2. Who became conductor of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 1979?