Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Cor blimey! How I found time to work at all beats me. There seems to be an endless string of things to do, to the extent that getting to write this on a regular basis is proving a bit of a challenge. And I started out wondering what I was going to do with my time. Shoot. How wrong you can be.

The spaniel continues to educate me in the art of stick throwing, and how to create your very own wood yard in the dining room. He has also given some fascinating demonstrations of how to reduce recalcitrant sticks to chippings, using very blunt teeth (well he is very old now - probably about 96 in human years).

Meanwhile on the window here, I have my very own life drama being played out, as a spider hunting solitary wasp seeks out a little zebra spider which, in turn, is aware of a daddy long legs that is twatting about in the corner. Actually I don't think any of them will find one another, although the crane fly may well blunder in to the spider I suppose. They're not awfully bright.

Now to mow grass. You see, there's just no time.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I see that Tony Blair is finally displaying 'intense irritation' with George Bush regarding his intransigence over global warming and the forthcoming statement from the G8 meeting next month. Wow. I've been intensely irritated by the little weasel for years, as are millions of others in the rest of the world.

US policy on pollution and global warming is disgraceful. And it must be perfectly clear to all that this is a direct consequence of the pork barrel politics the US people permit to go on. Sadly it is the other 96% of the world's population that will suffer, whilst US citizens pamper themselves with the fruits of consumption (25% of the world's resources). Yet the US expresses puzzlement as to why they are disliked in the wider world. I guess it's because they don't really know.

US journalism is extremely poor quality for the most part, and little news of any worth appears on the news channels. Michael Moore has, however, already exposed the parlous state of political debate in the US, and the covert censorship that occurs in the media, so someone might wake up soon. Let's hope it's not too late for the rest of us.

Still, the rest of us can at least get on and do what we can, and in the first instance we are now actively working to make this as low a carbon footprint household as we can. This is a complex proposition, of course, because it means that we need to examine every aspect of our lives, but it's surprising what one can come up with.

Mind you hare-brained can also emerge, I discovered, as I speculated whether I could use the spaniel for electricity generating purposes. He needs a stick thrown about every four minutes it seems. I speculated that if I could somehow hook him up to a generator his irrepresibility would probably power a small village. I think the only down side would be the cost of bonios.

On the other hand, changing our shopping practices to pay much more attention to issues of Fair Trade and where things have come from - flying green beans from Kenya is just silly and very carbon intensive - does make a difference.

Trying to actively employ biofuels would also be a good move, but getting hold of them is near impossible at present. I see that many European countries are making efforts in that direction, but I assume that finding space to grow the feedstuff is tricky because of food farming requirements. Perhaps if the subsidies that are given for food production, skewing the agro-economy and disadvantaging the developing world, were given for bio-fuel feedstuff production, then we might achieve two beneficial things. But I don't suppose the oil companies would like that, which means the US will seek to slow things down as much as they can.

Funny, isn't it, all the talk about Free Trade and flexible labour markets, doesn't mean fair trade and and a better deal for 'workers'? Not surprisingly the US and Euros get very sniffy when the logical interpretation of free trade is raised and someone wants subsidies removed. They only like it if it means someone else's tarrif barriers are removed. Meanwhile the elctorates sleep walk to the demise of the planet, while the West sucks it dry and befouls it, drugged by the morally bankrupt philosophy of consumerism.

Actually, I find I am ashamed to be a human. Our species wreaks so much havoc and suffering on the other organisms in this world. And all in the name of profit and 'progress'. Apparently it doesn't matter because we are divine and they aren't. What stuff and nonsense. If God created the world then everything in it is divine and should be respected accordingly. If not, then we behave like astronauts who can't be arsed to take the time to work with their spacecraft, and for convenience just rip it up and crap at will. Would we have sympathy for them when they started to suffer and screamed for someone to get them out of it? I think we'd find it hard. But in any case there's no-one going to pop out of the sky to save our sorry arses.

Meanwhile, I shall go and make our garden a welcome home for a few small denizens of the land of which I am part. Given we're supposed to be the smart guys on the planet, I suggest we each have a direct responsibility to support the other life forms who, in turn, support us. Creating havens, however small, is one thing we can all do.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

This is something of a novelty, for I actually have sufficient time on my hands to be able to have a blog at all. Finally, at the grand age of 53, I have the opportunity to create yet another new life for myself, having been made redundant by a US Corporation (in the brutal way that US corporates seem to have perfected). It was a startling experience to find that after 30 years in continuous work I apparently had no value, but I understand that in the bid to cut costs to satisfy the venture capitalists and shareholders, sacrifices had to be made. I've never been a sacrifice before. It's not an experience that I would recommend.

Now, I recognise that I could, at this point, panic and rush to the nearest job centre, but that's not going to happen. First off I am taking a month off to do nothing and so to become a human being, which will be an important change from a human doing. And so there will be time for contemplative thought and we'll see what emerges.

However, some things are pretty clear already. I will not rejoin the corporate world. The legal idea of the embodiment of an organisation as some sort of being - as in corpore - leads to an interesting proposition it seems to me. For having watched a number of corporations operate, from inside and out, their behaviour, in a human, would be described as psychotic.

This leads to a rather scarier notion. For, as anyone can see, globally politicians are increasingly influenced by corporations and corporate interests. The most glaring example is in the US, where corruption of the body politic is endemic. It really is very rich for a country that has moral values that require the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley, to lecture the Africans on business ethics. What ethics? Robert Mugabe and George Bush are as bad as each other, they're both corrupt, they both implement their self-serving policies with violence, they don't care how many people get hurt in the process. The only difference is that Mugabe doesn't have WMD.

Thus endeth the first rant of the day.

So the scary notion is that, slowly but surely, global politics becomes the instrument of business, at which point we cease to be people. We become 'Human Resources' - notice that personnel departments are a thing of the past. I fear for our children's future. Something needs to be done. I wonder what?