Posts Tagged ‘Rain Forests’
Morale on the allotments was lower than a snake’s belly this morning. Mud does that to you and we gravelled in a grudging way, knowing that we face a week of similar conditions. Anyone passing the gates might conclude at first sight that highly motivated codgers were defying the elements with a song in their hearts. But things are not always what they seem!
On the national stage that is being amply illustrated this morning. The left-wing papers are talking of Clegg’s fury and his intention to rebuild our ties with Europe. Their more numerous right-wing peers point out that Clegg initially supported Cameron’s veto, an act that paves the way to a better tomorrow. The odds are that both views are wide of the mark, certain it is that the chance of Clegg surviving to rebuild anything is akin to my opening for England in the forthcoming Test series against Pakistan.
But the greatest veneer of deception surely covers this morning’s headlines about the supposed breakthrough in Durban in the governmental talks about climate change. At first glance it sounds marvellous news, at last world leaders are going to actually do something about carbon emissions which every bit of evidence suggests are causing a potential Armegeddon to build up as the icecaps melt, the rain forests come down and the big polluters, America, China and India, continue to belch out more and more destructive emissions.
On the face of it the last minute agreement reached in Durban merits the ecstatic headlines. But it isn’t what it seems. The world’s leaders have merely agreed to write a comprehensive global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, covering developed and developing countries, to come into force in 2020. The next phase of negotiations covers “a protocol, a legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force”, so the amount of wriggle room left is considerable.
Even if a real deal emerges there will still be a long way to go for Durban didn’t so much as discuss how far and how fast countries must cut their emissions. Considering that emissions have risen 50% in the past 20 years and that with every further increase we have less and less chance of keeping global temperatures to within a further 2C, it is hard to confidently cast aside the latest warnings from scientists about climate change becoming “catastrophic and irreversible”.
Governments will now begin negotiations on what the new climate agreement should look like. We are told that the outcome must be wrapped up in 2015 with a legal document ready to be signed. Governments will then have 5 years in which to ratify it. Whether that will happen in the case of the “big three polluters” is open to doubt, given the possible effects on their economies. Right across the world powerful national and vested interests are involved and many refuse to believe the evidence, in the way that someone with a fear of dentistry ignores a decayed tooth right up the moment when it is too late to save it.
I apologise for being negative and sincerely hope that some good comes out of the Durban talks which at least have produced an intention to consider action. But it helps no one to pretend that suddenly the world’s leaders have come to their senses and, hey presto, the planet is saved.
Nothing so far has countered the scientific forecasts that a large part of the low-lying areas of the world will be under water within three or four decades. So I guess that the news that ‘Little Mix’ have won the X Factor isn’t that important in the great scheme of things.
There are of course many who advocate just waiting to see what happens but that sounds dangerous. It reminds me of the story of a London cabbie who was driving a Bishop and, as cabbies tend to do, launched into a tirade. He said that the ‘Bish’ would look mighty silly if, having denied himself the joy of sinning, found upon dying that there was nothing more. Ah, said the Bishop, but not half as silly as you will if you find that there is.
Some say never believe what you read in the newspapers. I say things are seldom what they seem. Same thing really!
If, dear reader, you have been confused of late take consolation from the fact that vast numbers across the land have been likewise. The central processing computer which services many a blog has suffered what it describes as a “catastrophic outage” which sounds rather like an illness I once contracted in Nigeria. In other words it conked out. Yesterday parts of our site were restored and I ventured to put out a new blog. Hours later that too vanished into the ether. So this effort will be somewhat restricted on the basis that it too may never reach you.
Up until the ‘outage’ your daily offering had been literally that, with no break since May of last year. So I feel a compulsion to update you. Not that much has happened on the allotments other than more rain than visits the rain forests. But there was one bit of excitement, our latest flock of ‘Columbian Black Tails’ has started laying. They are around 24 weeks old and the eggs are small but its a start. Inevitably this triggered Albert into restarting his argument about which came first, the chicken or the egg. I always respond egg and he always then demands to know where the first ever egg came from. If any of you know I would love to hear from you!
The revelation that the new internet communications highway is not always as dynamic as we are led to believe has triggered a mood of grumpiness on my part. The mood was not improved earlier today when I found myself trapped in yet another motorway jam. I eventually tired of watching in my mirror the women behind me painting her face, and of gazing at the truck in front which proclaimed ‘keep moving, we do’ and switched on the radio. I was just in time to hear Prime Minister’s Question Time. Ye Gods, it sounded like the terraces at Millwall on a bad day.
But I did gain pleasure from the answer David Cameron gave to a member who asked if he was impressed with his government’s policy on the sale of forests. He replied with one word -NO. In other words the massive protest spearheaded by ’38 Degrees’ which already has over a half million signatures, plus the many mass rallies, has led to a U-turn. It has probably also led to his sacking Caroline Spellman! But why he allowed such a crass idea to see daylight is a mystery. It would earn no revenue and would endanger freedoms that go back through the mists of time.
I was less impressed with his defence of the Big Society, a subject which preoccupies the prime minister and is a mystery to everyone else. Every day we read of charities closing down as council chiefs wield the axe on all but their own astronomic salaries. And right now we are swamped with stories of the Banks, who caused the disaster, paying their senior people salaries and bonuses described by the Archbishop of York as obscene. It seems that in the Big Society some will be considerably bigger than others.
A couple of days ago I was chatting to a local Mayor who is a Lib Dem. We seemed to agree that Clegg et al have failed to grasp the concept of a coalition. Yes, the partners vote together if the government faces a vote of confidence but they meantime stand up for their own policies rather than act as lapdogs. Many of the worst right-wing excesses of this government such as the NHS reforms are clearly things that true Liberals oppose. So why the silence?
But there is good news on the protest front. The forests plan triggered middle England into action as never before. The British Medical Association is to hold its first emergency conference since 1992 to vote overwhelmingly against cooperation with reforms which most GPs believe will destroy patient care. Meantime another burgeoning protest group called ‘Cuts’ is staging demonstrations against Banks and major companies who are practicing tax avoidnace and ’38 degrees’ is running a massive campaign with Osborne portrayed as ‘The Artful Dodger’. Yes, it seems that he too is saving a cool million per year via tax avoidance.
We will never rival Egypt and its like, in fact many believe that given a revolution no one would turn up if there was football on the box. But at least the worm is wriggling if not turning. The millionaires in the cabinet won’t listen of course but at least we will release our pent up aggression. That is probably all we should do for I’ve had enough of catastrophic outages to last me a lifetime!
THOUGHTS FOR TODAY; “All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed”…..Sean O’Casey “The people in hell – where do they tell people to go?”……Red Skelton “Maybe this world is another planet’s hell”….Aldous Huxley “What do you think of modern civilisation? I think it would be a good idea”….Mahatma Gandhi “”Beware of the man that picks your dresses for he wants to wear them”….Erica Jong “I won a competition. The prize was a year’s supply of Marmite – one jar”…..Tim Vine “My mother wanted me to be a nun. It’s steady work, they supply the uniform, and you’re married to God – at least he’s home every night”…Dorothy Zbornak
QUIZ WILL RESUME SHORTLY!!!
A volcano erupts and suddenly the mighty machines of man are as straw in the wind. It is perhaps generous of Mother to give us the occasonal reminder that whenever she feels so inclined she can smother us, drown us or blow us away.
If she did not those of us without self understanding would forget completely and come to believe in our infallibility. Our machines would be all capable, our edifces indestructable and our military might all conquering. But all are reduced to dust in the face of nature, the power that towers beyond anything man can produce.
Scientists can of course explain each and every act of nature. Those of us of less knowledge and fanciful minds sometimes wonder if there is not a more mystical explanation. Could it be that God or Mother Nature observes the growing arrogance of man as he polutes the planet and destroys its natural resources and being a benevolent being decides to issue a series of yellow cards’. If so will she one day decide that enough is enough?
You don’t have to be of a religious disposition to delight in the joys of nature on a sunny Spring day. Nor to realise that we are speeding up the race to ultimate destruction. Who cares about the rain forests or the thousands of air miles, the rocketing population or the nuclear waste? We are all powerful!
But we seemed less so as we waited in vain at the airport. And we couldn’t even blame the government, social services or any of our usual scapegoats. Perhaps we should ridicule the supposed natural powers as we do with global warming. But suddenly it is much harder to do that as the dust hangs high over Heathrow’s gleaming indestructable towers!