Sunday, June 25, 2006

Whinge, moan, gripe.

Our present government is, so I understand through various initiatives made public through the media, committed to alleviating the burden on the earth's resources and thereby stalling the onset of global warming. Yeah, right on.

Let's get one thing straight first. Global warming is going to happen whether we like it or not. It's happened hundreds of times over the last 3 or 4 billion years but we're so self-important we think we have some kind of hold over nature this time. Nature doesn't really give a flying one what we, Greenpeace, Prince Charles, Guardian readers or the Georges Bush and Monbiot think; she's a cruel and unforgiving mistress with permanent PMT. Huge seismic and volcanic events that do more physical damage to the planet in a few hours than we can manage in hundreds of millenia, are way beyond our control, so I think a little perspective is called for. The last ice-age ended, so were told, 10000 or so years ago. No it didn't, the current wave of global warming started back then and the ice cap is still retreating as a result. Greenland is still in the ice age - it's covered in Rising sea levels are an inevitability so let's get used to thinking that the last couple of thousand years of our civilisation is disposable; nature thinks we are, why argue when she holds all the cards?

But there's no need to speed up the inevitable, is there. We can spin out our resources in a sensible manner and maybe earn a few years parole from Mother Nature for good behaviour. Let's start with a couple of easy things, shall we? I would love to see legislation aimed at all electronics companies (yes, a law, from a well intentioned nannying state) that insists on standby functions on all new electrical appliances turning themselves off after 30 minutes of inactivity. It's fairly common knowledge now that an average TV uses up to 40% of its normal power consumption on standby but it's also fairly well understood that the average human is a lazy bastard who'd rather press a red button than actually get up off its rear end and do something for the common good.

The other state sanctioned piece of idiocy I've not yet fathomed is the opening up of mail delivery services to competition. Stepdaughter had some concert tickets delivered this week. They arrived by a special courier who was driving a van and I had to sign for them. That's a van to deliver a single envelope. Repeat: the courier drove his van onto this estate of 100 houses, delivered one envelope and drove off it again without making any further deliveries. And he'll have to come back again soon as the order wasn't complete. The Royal Mail has offered this service for years, on its regular delivery runs using postmen riding energy efficient bicycles. It's called recorded delivery. Yet folk whinged at Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier when he cut the second delivery because he cited it was an unjustified waste of resources for little benefit and his company was now being forced to "compete". By a "socialist" government!! Roll on global warming, I'm off to the highlands while London gets flooded.

24 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Sharon J said...

Can I come with you? Please?

12:29 pm  
Blogger jromer said...

It really puts things into perspective doesn't it? I think I'll have those doughnuts after all. And where's my liquor....?

6:43 pm  
Blogger jromer said...

Did I write Rick? I don't know why I did that! OMIGOD! I'm so sorry I took such a liberty. I'm being completely serious. It bothers me when people call me Annie.
Please accept my apologies. I meant to write Richard.

3:53 am  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

A..., you weren't to know and I'm of a forgiving nature and we'll no doubt laugh about it in years to come. Rick I always see Rick as the very 70s club owner in Magnum.

Sharon, of course.

9:35 am  
Blogger jromer said...

now you've done it. i will hear the theme music from magnum when i see your photo now.

10:09 am  
Blogger tom909 said...

You might well be right about global warming Richard, but do you think the products of our behaviour over the last 250 years is neither here or there.

2:53 pm  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

No, as I said Tom, I think with more judicious use of our meagre resources we will be able to perhaps buy ourselves a little more time before the inevitable happens. I think it's the supreme arrogance of the human race to believe we're affecting the planet. We're not, we're affecting the other humans and animals living on it.

2:58 pm  
Blogger Who is this Dave? said...

Nothing to do with this post, but it was you who said last week that you were getting your cricket vicarioulsy via my blog, wasn't it? If it was, you may wish to look at yesterday's (Sunday's) posting.

4:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know about pmt.Perhaps Mother nature has reached menopause.Would explain the hot flush's

4:50 pm  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

Welcome to first timers Dave (I have applied) and to my friend and ex-colleague, Andy. Andy has worked in the middle of the A282 for more years than is healthy, so be kind to him.

5:32 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Now I'm no scientist, thank goodness, but doesn't water expand when it freezes? Surely, then it takes up less space when it melts, so what's all the fuss about?

9:14 pm  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

Er...yes. As long as it's floating, it makes no difference. Ice melting on land and running into the sea (Greenland, Antarctica and other continental ice) does.

9:35 pm  
Blogger Mystic mog said...

Remember who was first against the wall when the revolution came
(see galactic encyclopedia)
yo ho ho
mystic mog

10:01 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

Richard, I'm only bothered about the planet because that is where I live. I don't think environmentalists are being arrogant - I actually think the 'I don't care, I'll carry on being a greedy consumer being' are the arrogant ones.
You know there are an awful lot more humans on this planet than ever before. Even as short a time ago as 300 years the number of humans on the planet had virtually no impact on the environment. Now we are.
You might be right about past history, but what is happening now is like you say, at best not being helped by our behaviour. At worst we are choking ourselves and the planet towards a very big change. What worries me about your view is people (Uncle Sam) use it as an excuse to carry on plundering and raping the planet.
Signing off - one old green hippy who just knows it ain't right what we're doing and we need to face up to it.

10:12 pm  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

Oh, Tom please don't get me wrong, I recycle and do my bit, I just wish others would be as committed, from the top down. As I said, we can probably make ourselves a little more comfortable but I doubt we can seriously delay the inevitable. There are much bigger engines of change about than the ones we manage. What I'm really complaining about is yet another set of double standards. Tell us all to recycle then make it all worthless by using a van to deliver one letter? It stinks of base hypocrisy. I'm certainly not an apologist for Bush and his ilk. If we want to effect some kind of change then we have to examine the way our systems work as well as recycle cans and I see no willingness to compromise company profits through altruism. Mind you, Warren Buffet seems to have made a very big gesture in that direction so maybe there's a start.

10:39 pm  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

The longer this goes on, the more I find myself wondering if Marx was right. Not that I'm an expert, but what you've pinpointed with the example of the delivery van is the essential madness of free market economics.

Everything's OK so long as we're free to compete and buy shares to make a profit and place that profitability above compassion.

Except it's not OK. It's very very crazy.

Who knows whether global warming is all our fault or just part of the natural cycle? Who CARES? The point is it's happening, and it's threatening the human race's survival. Yup, that bad. Now we can do like clever civilisations down the centuries have done, and adapt to changing circumstances; or we can do like dumb civilisations have done, and kid ourselves that we've invented the best way to live and if we sit on our hands long enough everything will be all right.

I'm an optimist. I still think it's possible to get out of this. But it's going to take some brave politicians; and it's going to take every bit of global communication on the net that we can muster; and it's going to take government legislation; and it's going to mean abandoning the sheer idiocy of sacred cows like maintaining a nucleaur deterreant or thinking that every Englishman's home is his castle (and his bank account); and it's going to mean reining in the religious fundamentalists everywhere before their intellectual laziness causes irreparable harm; and it's going to ask all of us to stop being so fucking greedy and live with a little less at a slower speed.

But it doesn't have to be dour and repressive. Sometimes the less you have, the more you work together. And the more you laugh.

(Sorry, Richard. My blog's in hiatus still, so I'm pirating everybody else's for a while...)

10:38 am  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

You go ahead Mark. It just strikes me that we need to use a lot more common sense if we are to survice as a race and be able to watch cricket. The free market is bearable as long as it benefits everyone equally. Our biggest enemy is greed, pure and simple.

I cited Warren Buffet in my last comment. Notwithstanding the fact that he made his fortune through investment and that alone will no doubt throw up a few moral inconsistencies, he nevertheless maintained all along that it was his intent to ultimately give away his fortune. He's now allegedly making arrangements to give $44 billion to the Gates foundation to help fight disease. I don't know much about him but what I've read makes him out to be a decent enough and very unassuming kind of bloke. If we have to have multi-billionaires I would rather they were Buffets than Donald Trumps.

11:25 am  
Blogger tom909 said...

Richard and Mark, I know we are not a million miles apart on this one. But I think you can look at this from both directions and we need to. If we don't buy it business won't produce it.

11:28 am  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

That's very true - as is the converse. The one thing that will always hold true is that as long as there are two people in the world, there is a market and that applies whether one is trading with money or barter. It's a hard truth to accept for the idealists but once you start imposing a will, however well intentioned, it becomes fundamentalism and it's proven time and time again that fundamentalism in any form creates fierce division, resulting in just as much hate and suffering as it was originally attempting to allieviate. I'd rather work with a system that can be changed and adapted from the inside. Checks and balances.

11:53 am  
Blogger Dyna Girl said...

Going to see, "The Inconvenient Truth" after lunch. Seen it yet?

4:28 pm  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

Don't think it's out here yet but I've just been to the website. This will be quite interesting to watch from a distance. We, to the east of the US, are all fairly well aware of the many of arguments around global warming. This is America finally waking up and I expect to see a kind of bandwagon created. The annoying thing is that while the message may well be there, you bet your life it will be destroyed by people trying to profit out of it. One step forward and an equal one back again. Maybe I'm far too cynical.

4:43 pm  
Blogger Sharon J said...

It's all very well and good saying that if we don't buy it then it won't be produced etc but what about when we don't know what we're buying? Nowhere on the site did it say that they'd deliver tickets by special courier without even bothering to put them all in the same delivery. Ok, so I've learned... but where else am I going to get the tickets in the future? Take my car to the venue to buy them beforehand and pollute that way instead? I dunno what the answer is, I'm sure.

9:54 pm  
Blogger ziggi said...

how will a TV know when it's been inactive?

1:04 pm  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

Ask Microsoft. They're experts at getting things to shut down unprompted. I'm sure it's not difficult.

2:23 pm  

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