Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

The Green Dragon, Ain’t that a pub?

That goofy Conwell Alliance vid with all the talk of “the Green Dragon” is making me thirsty–especially since my fav pub when I was young was called “the Green Dragon”. The place had super music!

Anyway, I decided to google up the old haunt, but it has changed owners and names.

Anyway, there’s the Green Dragon in Upper Wensleydale which looks like a nice place for a pint.

The Green Dragon Inn in Cowley, Gloucestershire, whch offers far more than a drink.

The Green Dragon, Sambourne offers AA three star accommodation together with real ales, fine wines and extensive menus.

Anyway, as the landlord at the one I went to used to say:

Oh well, Nobody Inn!

If you think environmentalism is bad, then drink some toxic waste!

Since I realised I am a “green” prior to Christmas, I can say the views presented by the “Christian” conservative groups is total rubbish. Environmentalism is in no way a religion. For that matter, they aren’t Christians either, but that’s a lot of other posts.

The above video was put out by the Cornwall Alliance. The real fear is that true Christians are beginning to wake up to the facts of the Green Movement. The Conwall Alliance has deep ties to the oil industry and the climate science denial machine. The ultimate source of money for many of these groups comes from a few main sources: the Scaife foundations (Carthage, Sarah Scaife, Scaife Family), the Bradley foundation, and the Koch foundations (Charles Koch, David Koch, and Claude R.Lambe). These often fund in apparent coordination with ExxonMobil. Such foundations specialize in providing seed money for what later go on to become self-supporting propaganda operations, that raise money to support themselves as “non-profits” often, or sometimes as outright for profit astroturf businesses.

Anyway, the Conwall Alliance uses the work of “lord” Monckton (Kinda like Lord Sutch) to refute climate science–gimme a break!

And I have to agree with Mojo that “Of course, if the environmental movement was actually as strong as the Christian right seems to think it is, we would have quite different politics on this issue.”

And they’d be building their homes on toxic waste sites if we were wrong.

Anyway, I’m glad these people are scared of the truth.

See also Resisting Cornwall Alliance Evil Anti-Green Propaganda

And further laughs at: Richard Dawkins Interviews Creationist Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America

Walking in a winter wonderland!

OK, Europe is having an incredibly cold and snowy “winter” (even though it hasn’t passed the Solstice–meaning it’s still autumn).  That has the climate change deniers saying things such as “how can there be global warming when it’s this cold?”

The problem is that this is a misunderstanding of the topic since it isn’t as much global warming as it is climate change.   The real proof that this is happening is in the extremes in temperature,  which is what I pointed out in my White Christmas, weather anomalies, and General chaos post. While I can get into all the snow and the incredibly likely possibility of a white christmas, there is the extreme heat we see in summer time as well. Unfortunately, people aren’t taking the proper notice when they read stories such as this one. People should be noticing that the real issue is “climate change” not “global warming” and stop fixating on all the “nice” snow.

Especially since the “nice” snow is disrupting the hell out of transportation in Europe (and this too!). Climate change is going to effect everyone, especially economically.

The most troubling aspect is that there is a batch of climate change deniers who have been elected to the US legislature. The hope is that they will have hearings where the evidence will be shown and explained in a way that these idiots will understand it. Although, the real fear is that there will be more talk when now is a time for action to be taken. Of course, that action needs to be a drastic change in lifestyle.

Blair’s a weasel, but…

White Christmas, weather anomalies, and General chaos

One of the issues in the green community is how to impress the people who doubt the reality of climate change: that is the “well, the other day it was colder in southern Florida than northern Maine” type of person.

Countries covering one fifth of the planet’s land saw record high heat. Drought altered the world’s food trade. Floodwaters inundated parts of the U.S. and Asia with frequency that defied statistical expectations. Thousand year flood events are happening every few years. It’s exactly those changes in extremes where we notice the climate change. Droughts and floods and heat waves that are outside the bounds of what we’d normally expect. The global warming component is rearing its head in that way.

Increased precipitation events, whether rain or snow, are just what computer models of climate change predict. This is because they are a symptom of warmer sea temperatures off the coast that are providing extra moisture to produce that huge amount of snow. It’s not a sign that global warming is not here, quite contrary in fact. That extra moisture and warm temperatures kept feeding severe storms in the U.S. Nor’easters soaked New England in late March; a deluge hit coastal North Carolina in October; record rains fell in Oklahoma City in June; and, in May, disaster struck Tennessee.

In 2010, the record heat concentrated in mid-Atlantic region, so not only did they have “snowmageddon” (The monster storms dumped record piles of snow on the mid-Atlantic, including Washington D.C.), but they had their hottest summer on record in the DC area.

Through October, more than 41 hundred record highs were reported around the U.S. About 15 hundred record lows were posted in the same time, a high-to-low ratio of about two point five to one. But the U.S. heat wave paled compared to what much of the rest of the world endured this summer. Moscow had never before hit 100 degrees. This summer, it hit that mark 5 times in ten days. Eighteen countries set records for high temperatures. The warm temperatures covered a record amount of the earth’s surface. Never before has 20 percent of the earth’s surface experienced all-time record highs in one year. In Pakistan they hit 128 and a half degrees Fahrenheit, which is the hottest ever recorded in Asia. And, Southeast Asia hit its highest with Burma over 116 degrees this summer.


On a more personal front, the UK is having snow storms which has tied up air travel in the UK since late November. While I like the concept of a White Christmas, the reality is much more of a concern. Icy roads affect much of the UK. There was an extreme weather warning today for Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders, with some 15 to 20cm (6-8in) of snow expected between 1100 and 1800 GMT. Up to 10cm (4in) are expected in other snow-affected areas, with up to 20cm on high ground. Temperatures struggled to get above -5C (23F) overnight. The BBC said there were lows of -19C (-2F) in parts of Worcestershire and Shropshire. The temperatures are likely to stay below freezing throughout the day.

Airports are knocked out all through the country. Edinburgh airport was closed until 1430 GMT and then opened for departures only on Sunday. Rail and road travel is suffering from the weather. The more personal side of this is that we sent a package out to the US on the 23rd of November and it got “lost” in the system until it appeared on the 17th. Ultimately, it was delivered on the 17th, but usually it only takes a week for small parcels to make their way between the US and UK.

But this is just a small indicator of larger economic issues related to climate change. Unusual weather causes significant negative economic impacts: Many work weeks were cut short, businesses were closed, and deliveries. Airlines had to cancel flights and then struggle to get back to normal–as was the case with other forms of transport. Emergency crews worked overtime to restore downed power lines and trees, as well as other weather-related accidents. Cleanup efforts also are quite costly to those areas with historically little expectations of heavy snowfall.

So, people can make idiotic and ignorant comments on the topic of climate change, but the ultimate upshot is that it is indeed happening. Unfortunately, people are no longer as in touch with nature to be aware of the change. Another problem is that it will take a drastic change in lifestyle for some people to reverse years of neglect toward this issue. The, there is a part of me that believes in the Gaia Theory, which holds that Earth’s physical and biological processes are inextricably bound to form a self-regulating system so as always to be as favourable as possible for contemporary life.

Is this weird weather a warning of more drastic weather as the planet seeks to keep its stasis? The planet’s homeostasis is now being disrupted by our brief binge of fossil fuel consumption, which has released a huge amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Indeed, we have already pushed the planet over the brink, and that we will soon see remarkably rapid rises in temperature, well beyond those envisioned in most of the computer models now in use. Because the earth is already struggling to keep itself cool, our extra increment of heat is particularly dangerous, and we will soon see the confluence of several phenomena: the death of ocean algae in ever-warmer ocean waters, reducing the rate at which these small plants can remove carbon from the atmosphere; the death of tropical forests as a result of higher temperatures and the higher rates of evaporation they cause; sharp changes in the earth’s “albedo,” or reflectivity, as white ice that reflects sunlight back out into space is replaced with the absorptive blue of seawater or the dark green of high-latitude boreal forests; and the release of large amounts of methane, itself a greenhouse gas, held in ice crystals in the frozen north or beneath the sea. Some or all of these processes will be enough to tip the earth into a catastrophically hotter state, perhaps eight degrees centigrade warmer in temperate regions like ours, over the course of a very few decades, and that heat will in turn make life as we know it nearly impossible in many places.

Will the Earth make it so obvious that climate change is a reality that no one but the most foolish can ignore?

The Centre for Alternative Technology is in financial straits

I just received a message from The Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales asking for money. The Centre has been around since 1974 and I’d like to say its the oldest centre for information about green technology. If it’s not the oldest, it is one of the oldest centres, which makes me want to help pass around the hat. Thousands of people visit the Centre from around the world since it was founded. There is quite a difference between the Centre and Doncaster’s Earth Centre was founded in 1999, but went bankrupt in 2004 due to a poor business plan (The Earth Centre was used in the remake of the Survivors and now houses an airsoft centre).

The problem is that environmental issues are slipping down in their importance for the international agenda. The issues of climate change, environmental justice and biodiversity loss are loosing momentum. In Britain we watch with dismay as one environmental public body after another closes. The international climate change negotiations in Mexico in December are shakey. And all the while, across the world, people are suffering the effects of climate change, their homes destroyed and their voices drowned out. The Centre can can adjust and diversify for the long term, but in the short term it faces the looming threat of job losses and shrinking departments, just when the message of sustainability is needed more than ever.

It would be a shame to see the Centre go the way of the Doncaster Earth Centre. So, please consider giving:

Good Question!

I just received an e-mail which asked the question:

Over the past year, China has invested nearly twice as much into creating clean energy technologies as the United States. And, at the same time, they have installed nearly as much renewable energy capacity as the U.S. Considering their less than satisfactory environmental record, why is China leading the clean energy race, while the U.S. lags behind?

As anyone who has spent time in that part of the world will tell you, the Chinese are abysmal when it comes to the environment. For example, I may have moaned about Kai Tak Airport being built for Kamikaze pilots, but the PRC decided to destroy Lantau Island to build a replacement for it. The PRC has also built the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River which flooded archaeological and cultural sites and displaced some 1.3 million people, while causing significant ecological changes, including an increased risk of landslides.

The problem is that the PRC is leaving the US in its dust when it comes to new technology. Accodring to the NY Times: China has vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year. It has also leapfrogged the West in the last two years to emerge as the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels. And the country is pushing equally hard to build nuclear reactors and the most efficient types of coal power plants. These efforts to dominate renewable energy technologies raise the prospect that the West may someday trade its dependence on oil from the Mideast for a reliance on solar panels, wind turbines and other gear manufactured in China.

Oh well, too bad the US is in love with its fast fading image of itself as a world power.

Posted 09/12/2010 by lacithedog in Energy policy, Environment

More high speed rail

I decided to see what others are saying about High Speed Rail in the US.  The Cynical Synapse has this to say:

A recent poll of over 24,000 by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found 62% would ride high speed rail if it was available and competetive in time and price with flying or driving. I’ll bet the number would go up if it meant avoiding full body scanners and/or “enhanced” pat downs. Amtrak wants to cut time from Detroit to Chicago from 5-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours. I’d call that competive with driving. Round trip on Amtrak costs $62-84 depending on times. Airfare starts at $190, so travel by rail is more cost effective than flying. The problem is 5-1/2 hours takes too long while 3-1/2 hours makes skipping the security lines at the airport worth it.

If Amtrak could knock that figure down another hour with the type of trains the Chinese have, I’m sure even more people would find rail an attractive option.

Blue Cheddar mentions that 650 people attended a recent hearing on passenger rail in Minnesota packing the ballroom where it was held. Most of the attendees were pro-Rail. Blue Cheddar mentions a Badger Herald article about the hearing. The proposal of a high-speed rail system between Milwaukee and the Twin Cities is driven by the current transportation system’s limitations and the increased travel demand. A Minnesota DoT study has found current modes of transportation do not meet the current demands impacting the transportation system’s infrastructure.

Some peole are finding that building more roads for traffic to stagnate is not the solution.

Other bloggers are pointing out that the Chinese are leaving the US behind with Chinese high-speed rail technology. Ilook China mentions that the latest generation of Chinese High Speed trains will crisscross the country at speeds up to 400 kilometers or 248 miles an hour. I’m sure that type of speed would get people to take the train from Detroit to Chicago, or even further! More importantly, high speed rail is what China is using to stimulate its economy. Originally Chinese plans for high-speed rail were set in the future; however, faced with about 15 million job losses due to the 2008 global economic crises caused by US banks and Wall Street greed, China put six-million people back to work in 2009 by moving this project forward.

Why doesn’t the US have high-speed rail?

This is a serious question, although part of the answer may lie in the fact that Rail Travel isn’t a US invention whereas the “inexpensive” automobile was. The problem is that rail travel has offered a far more efficient mode of transportation than air or personal automobiles, yet has not been nutured in the US. So, other countries have high speed rail such as Eurostar and China’s Wuhan-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway. The latter being the fastest train service in the world with an average speed of 312.5 km/h (194.2 mph) on the 922 km (572.9 mi) route.   While Amtrak’s Acela promises high speed service with a top speed of 240 km/h (150 mph),  the trains average less than half of that.

Another problem with high speed rail in the US is the infrastructure needed for such a line.  Either that or a train that can address the old track beds used by the current rail system.   The current track beds are too curvy for most high speed rail trains, which is a major problem with Acela.  Additionally, high speed rail trains share tracks with freight and slower passenger trains which are another reason that speeds above 241 km/h (150 mph) are not possible on shared track under current US Rail regulations.  So there are many reasons proper high speed rail service in the US would require purpose-built dedicated track on a separate right of way.

British Rail is a dream compared to US trains.

There are tilting mechanisms which allow for the trains to use the older track beds, but that technology doesn’t allow for speeds high enough to make train travel competitive with air at this point.  On the other hand, train service is still limited by the rail regulations to 241 km/h (150 mph). So, there would need to be an investment in the rail infrastructure.  That is something which would require a change in priorities from bailing out financial institutions to working on infrastructure.

Additionally, the “high speed rail” which does exist in the US only operates in the NE Corridor (between Washington, DC and Boston, MA).  There needs to be a expansion of rail service beyond the NE Corridor to the rest of the country, which is another reason higher speed trains are needed in the US to bridge the long distances in the West and even across the continent.

But, given the thought that the fastest trains in the world are found in China and the US is in debt up to its eyeballs to China, perhaps the Chinese may be the US’s salvation in regard to high speed rail.  Quite frankly, even though high speed rail is something the US desperately needs, I doubt there is the will amongst politicians to move for its development.  As history has shown, the US would rather neglect its infrastructure until it is painfully obvious that it needs repair.

Ruining your Christmas spirit!

What is Christmas without alcohol? Forget putting Christ back in Christmas since he has never really had anything to do with the date, but drunken revelry–that’s another thing. Oz Clarke and Hugh Dennis tried to sample every Christmas tipple in a BBC Christmas special last year.  And the institution of Christmas drinking is enshrined in all those Wassail songs.  Too bad actual wassail is pretty revolting.  Mulled wine is far more of my fav for the season.

The problem is that the process of making alcohol is fairly environmentally unfriendly as a recent Mother Jones article, An Inconvenient Vermouth, points out. In terms of greenhouse-gas emissions, alcoholic beverage production in the US alone results in a carbon footprint which is the annual equivalent of 1.9 million households. Not great news if you want to be green and know that EVERYBODY has to start reducing their carbon footprint.  But, don’t worry about that too much since the MoJo Article talks about which forms of alcohol are environmentally friendly.

Wine, for example, is fairly environmentally friendly with most of its carbon footprint coming from transportation.  You can also be more environmentally friendly by using wine that comes in cartons rather than bottles.  Beer is fairly environmentally friendly as well with most of the carbon footprint coming from refrigeration and glass production.  Surprisingly enough, kegs are the most efficient method of packaging beer with cans coming in second.  While aluminium production is an environmental horror, cans are recyclable and cost less to transport.

The spirits industry comes in for a serious beating with Gin, tequila, and rum being the worst for the environment.  The problem is that the distillation process requires loads of energy.  American bourbons are aged in virgin-oak barrels that are used only once, most of those barrels end up being reused by other liquor makers.  And while some of those liquor makers may produce single malts, think of the energy involved in distilling the liquor and transporting it.  In terms of distillation, vodka requires more energy and water than most spirits.

Rum is made from molasses or cane juice, and its fibrous leftovers can throw off the microorganism balance in waterways. In 2001, the EPA sued Bacardi for illegally dumping 3,000 gallons of of mostos, an industrial waste from its rum processing plant, into a river near its Puerto Rico plant. Although, that does mean that many major rum distillers now treat their water. Additionally, sugarcane is also a notoriously destructive crop, producing massive amounts of wastewater and greenhouse gases. Tequila also has a pretty bad waste problem. For every liter of tequila, you get about 11 pounds of pulp and 10 liters of vinazas, or acidic waste—which ends up befouling soil and water in Mexico’s Jalisco state, where most tequila comes from. Blue agave farmers, meanwhile, have used more and more pesticides since their crops were chewed up by insects during the 1990s.

So, it sounds as if this is a victory for the slow food crowd who prefer beer and wine that is locally produced.   Steer clear of distilled spirits since they require loads of energy to produce with Rum and Tequila being down right environmentally unfriendly!  It also sounds as if the best way to drink is to go to a local pub that serves locally manufactured beer or wine!  While you are at it, take public transportation to reduce your carbon footprint.  Also, using public transportation means you won’t get busted for drunk driving: making it an environmentally, legally, and financially wise decision to use public transportation.

There are ways to make the distillation process more environmentally friendly, but most distillers don’t practise them. MoJo does mention which distillers use environmentally friendly practises. I strongly suggest buying their products if you choose to drink spirits. It also might be a good idea to write your fav distiller and ask them what they are doing to cut their carbon footprint?

I leave you with Charles Dickens’s Smoking Bishop recipe which is mentioned at the End of “A Christmas Carol”:

5 unpeeled oranges
1 unpeeled grapefruit
36 cloves
1/4 pound of sugar
2 bottles of red wine
1 bottle of port

— Wash the fruit and oven bake until brownish. Turn once.
— Put fruit into a warmed earthenware bowl with six cloves stuck into each.
— Add the sugar and pour in the wine – not the port.
— Cover and leave in a warm place for a day.
— Squeeze the fruit into the wine and strain.
— Add the port and heat. DO NOT BOIL!

Serve “smoking” warm. Yield: 15 to 20 servings

Yet another quiz.

This time from the Union of Concerned Scientists

What do you know about global warming? Can you tell FACT from SCIENCE FICTION? Want a free “Got Science?” sticker?

Take the true or false quiz that pits your knowledge of global warming against public officials, media personalities, and political hacks. See if you can tell who’s “Got Science” versus who’s spreading propaganda that’s “Not Science” about global warming.

Get a free “Got Science?” sticker — no matter how well you do on the quiz. I did (5 out of 5!!)!

It’s by the Union of Concerned Scientists and CREDO, so you know it’s the real deal. Check it out:

Good luck on the quiz!

I know enough people out there who will take this quiz. And if I can get George Monbiot to take it and spread the word…

Or is this beneath him?  Betcha he does as well as I did!

The Destruction of Blair Mountain

For some reason, US Citizens are more than willing to see their history being plowed over.  In the case of Blair Mountain, not only will a historic site be destroyed, so will an entire mountain.  Obviously, Blair Mountain is a mountain and its located in West Virginia.  More importantly, Blair Mountain was the site of the largest Civil rebellion since the Civil War when Miners and the Mine owners clashed in actual armed battle.  Between 10,000 and 15,000 coal miners confronted an army of police and strikebreakers backed by coal operators for five days in late August and early September 1921  The Battle ended only after approximately one million rounds were fired and the US Army intervened by presidential order.

The current “battle” is between Coal interests and those who would preserve this area.  The Battle of Blair Mountain site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 30, 2009.  Coal Interested contested the designation of the Blair Mountain site and the site was delisted.  Once again, the Big Coal interests demonstrate that they don’t care about the public.  In the comment letter submitted by battlefield archeologist Dr. Harvard Ayers dealt with the records of ownership of battlefield properties and included a legal opinion on title holders by John Kennedy Bailey, real estate attorney of Charleston. After extensive review of the tax, deed, and death records at the Logan County, West Virginia, courthouse, Ayers and Bailey concluded that five of the objectors of record submitted by Mr. Reid-Smith were not legitimate owners. Two were dead, two were Life Estates, and one had sold their property. Of the 10 of 57 properties that he researched in depth, he also discovered 13 additional owners not found by the cursory search of the West Virginia Attorney General’s office. The upshot of this research was that the count shifted to 25 objectors and 37 non-objectors, which would overturn any attempt to de-list the battlesite.

A petition from a long list of some of the nation’s most prominent scholars, historians and archaeologists–including the president of the Society for Historical Archaeology, the former president of the American Historical Society, officers of the Appalachian Studies Association–made a direct appeal to WV Gov. Joe Manchin:

“The Blair Mountain Battlefield is a unique historic and cultural treasure that deserves recognition and protection… No doubt much remains to be discovered, and scholars must be able to continue to study this important chapter in American history..We are concerned that the recent attempt to delist Blair Mountain from the National Register may be a first step toward strip-mining the mountain for coal production, which will destroy the historic site. The National Park Service found that the battlefield is both significant and intact, and we believe it must be preserved for future generations.”

In 2005, United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts declared:

“The UMWA has always believed the Blair Mountain battle site should be preserved, and I began publicly calling for it back in the 1980’s. We believe a monument should be erected at the site explaining what happened there, and that the road running through the site should be renamed Blizzard Highway, in honor of Bill Blizzard, the miners’ leader at Blair Mountain. We support preserving the land immediately around the battle site, because we believe it’s important for future generations to stand on that ground, and understand the importance of what happened there. This is also a personal issue for me and thousands of others from coal mining families who have relatives and ancestors who fought at Blair Mountain. What they did is a source of pride and inspiration to our families, and helps give us the strength to carry on their fight for justice. We will never forget it, nor should America.”

Before the ink was dry on the National Registry, lawyers representing three out-of-state coal companies, including Massey Energy, somehow managed to round up new “objectors” to the Registry status, and asked the WV Division of Culture and History to issue a recount of the objectors vs. non-objectors. According to their own company report, “Jackson Kelly’s lawyers aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty…”  For those not in the know, Massey Energy Co.’s sprawling Upper Big Branch mine was the location where an underground explosion blamed on methane gas killed 25 coal miners in the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than two decades.

Anyway, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Class War is alive and kicking in the US, but the American public can be easily distracted with wedge issues. The Working class can be deluded into believing they are “middle class” and made to believe that their interests lie with the rich and powerful. It’s a shame that the struggles of the workers for their rights have not only been forgotten, but the worker’s rights have been successfully rolled back.

Blair Mountain should be preserved for both its historic significance and its being the last vestige of scenic beauty. The De-listing of the Blair Mountain Battlefield must be reversed!

Please write a letter asking that the Blair Mountain Battlefield site be relisted on the Historic Register using the model from the Friends of Blair Mountain Site and spread the word to your friends that they should ask that this site is relisted.

And sign the petition here

See also:

The Tea Party’s Mad Hatter!

Julia Bovey of the Natural Resources Defense Council made a comment that “There is 200 times more mercury in each filling in Congresswoman Bachmann’s teeth than there is in a compact fluorescent light bulb.” This was in response to Bachmann introducing the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act (somebody say something about government waste?), to repeal the ban on conventional light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent light bulbs. She argued that the government has no business telling consumers what kind of light bulbs they can buy: “By 2012, incandescent light bulbs will be no more,” and “Fluorescent bulbs are more polluting because of their mercury content.”

Think of all that mercury in poor Michele’s teeth!

Given that Mercury is what made hatters mad…

Posted 01/09/2010 by lacithedog in Environment, Tea parties, Tea Party

If yanks are too stupid to do anything about guns…

then you can bet they will do fuck all about their addiction to oil: let alone the fucked up economy. Which is kind of why I haven’t been posting lately

I had finally gotten around to watching the Panorama show BP: In deep Water that I mentioned in this blog post. And you can see here:

Nevermind the Beeb has come out with yet another show about the Deepwater Horizon shit storm since then.

Add in the rather cynical line that BP stands for “Beyond Petroleum”.

I imagine that the US will get around to handling its Oil addiction when they are done with shooting each other. Gun rights are far more important than: education, health care, housing, the economy.

Arm the unemployed!

I’ve been wanting to mention public transit and how it is yet another thing where the US is crap. Not that the US needs to be so far behind the rest of the world. This article at the Huffington post gets into how the US’s PT infrastructure was trashed by the automobile interests. The amusing bit is that the highway infrastructure is now falling apart as part of the means for keeping petrol cheap. There is another interesting twist to this in that infrastructure repair is one of the methods for economic stimulus.

I find it hard to say the US is good at much of anything, other than firearms ownership, when it can’t provide decent health care, education, housing, public transportation, and other quality of living rights. The cities in the US don’t provide for decent nutrition for urban dwellers (think of all the brilliant excuses for this happening).

It’s really pathetic how easily distracted US citizens are from issues of real importance by wedge issues.

I just thought about this!

On 16 December 1773, Colonial American Rebels dumped a shipload of tea in Boston Harbour to protest the East India Company, British Monopoly on the tea trade. They didn’t want to be slaves to Britain.

On 20 April 2010, British Petroleum, a British Monopoly in the petroleum trade began dumping a shitload of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Americans are slaves to foreign oil.

God Save the Queen.

Back to reality

While reviewing iPlayer offerings, the Panorama show BP: In deep Water came up.

The deep water thing is something that I have mixed feelings about since I am pro-environment, but I am also British for fucksake! And BP is a British Company: BP=British Petroleum.

And one good thing Maggie Thatcher did was privatise this company or the British taxpayer would be fucked.

But the really amusing thing is watching US politicians kiss BP’s arse! They seem to have forgotten what the Boston Tea Party was really about. It was a protest against the English monopoly (the East India Company) within the tea trade. This British monopoly’s interests were outweighing local (North American Colonial) interests.

Likewise, BP’s interests in drilling oil are overwhelming local interest in the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem.

Of course, like any good monopoly, BP and the petroleum industry have loads of supporters because they see they economic interest being threatened. So, who cares about some birds and fish when I can’t eat anyway? Money is far more important than the environment

I keep pointing out that history is written by the victors, what would be the story of the Boston Tea Party had British economic interests prevailed during the war for American Independence? Would the Bostonians be seen as a bunch of thugs who got what they deserved?

So, I feel for the people and Gulf ecosystem, but that’s a British Company who did it!