Monday, October 31, 2005

Coo. We went of to the Winkworth Arboretum yesterday to see the various maples and other trees in their autumnal leaves, and they did not disappoint. The range of colours - intense reds and yellows and pinks and purples - against a backdrop of grey-green Cedars and darker oaks and so on was really rather spectacular.

But what on earth has happened to Autumn more generally? Last week we went for a walk over the South Downs, and at one point passed along the edge of an arable field that still had flowering Cornflower, some poppies, and a member of the pea family that I couldn't identify. At Winkworth yesterday, in their new wetland zone, there were specimens of Monk's Hood in flower - four months later than they should be - together with Red Campion in the woods!

It is, of course, dangerous to extrapolate too much from a few isolated incidents, but they are consistent with a pattern that becomes increasingly alarming. If the plants get out of step with the seasons it is going to make life very tough on the organisms that depend upon them, and ultimately ourselves.

Meanwhile we can all get used to having the times of day messed about with as we revert to 'daylight saving time' - at least that's what I think it's supposed to be when the clocks go back an hour. Why do we indulge in this craziness? I gather it was invented as a ruse to enable factory workers to be able to go to work in the light in the winter. But since few people work in factories anymore for whom this was originally cooked up, and in any event the rules of employment are a little less draconian than in 1914, I can't see the point.

Willem is due to go to some Halloween party tonight, so I had better get the shopping and stuff doner. What is this Halloween, and why does everyone now insist on spending so much money on the tat that appears to accompany it? Suckered by the Americans again, I imagine. What a load of old nonsense.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Well, the Starlings really have returned with a vengeance. From just six last Autumn we appear to have getting on for 50 this time around. They are just so aggressive to one another, fighting and squabbling over pretty much everything. It's amazing they manage to fly around in such large flocks when roosting time comes in the evening, without fisticuffs all over the sky.

But it's good to see them making some sort of recovery from the population crash they have suffered over the last few years, even if it is going to cost the gross domestic product of a small European country to keep them in food this winter - which apparently is set to be a hard one, although who the hell knows. We've just had the warmest October day on record, and the North Atlantic storm season is now a record with 23 storms, and running through the Greek alphabet to label them because they've run out of names.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I am reminded by my cousin that this blogg has become moribund and needs a swift slapping to wake it up. Slap, slap.

Any comments that I'm just a slapper will be treated with some contempt, obviously.

There are good reasons why this blogg stalled, of course, since most time has been spent job hunting and researching ecohousing. So now I have enough reference books to start a small library, and I guess my next task will be to start to try and correlate the huge amount of information in them.

That means sitting down and reading them, but I think this will have to be done on a topic by topic basis rather than trying to absorb it all from cover to cover, book by book. But this also has to take its turn with the need to fill in job applications and the like.

The price of land to do a self-build is becoming absurd in this country, so maybe we'll have to try our hands at a renovation of an old building. That will mean some compromises for sure, but it will be better than nothing. However, since we are not going to be in a position to move anywhere for a couple of years, I'll not fret too much over that.

I am delighted to note that two of Bush's neocon friends are in some trouble for what appears to be sharp practice. They'll not be convicted, of course, but it is helpful in alerting the US public to just how corrupt their political system has become. All around there is the sound of chickens coming home to roost - cluck, cluck, cluck.

But all that said, I can't hang around slagging off the Axis of Idiocy formed by Bush and Blair. There are some more pressing tasks to be undertaken, the first of which is an assault on the kitchen, followed by some application form filling in.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The job search continues unabated, but it is becoming clear that I don't really fancy much that is on offer. So I suppose that I am just going to have to be patient, which will no doubt make me jolly virtuous. But it would be nice to be contributing some cash to the household. Maybe I'll just have to go off and do a holding job for a while until I can find the right thing for me.

In the meantime, however, there is the research into eco-building to keep me occupied, and of course this blog, not to mention all the science and other news.

It was also rather alarming to discover that George Bush was instructed by God to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. This is clearly not the Christian God, who is clear on points such as not killing and treating other humans with the respect that one should llike accorded oneself. I note that a wry commentator in the Independent, posing the same question of which god this is, opts for the god in question being most likely to be the god Mammon. However, I'm not so sure.

Looking at all of it I conclude that this is the same false god that instructs Osama Bin Laden. In both cases the god concerned instructs the unleashing of death and destruction on the, mostly, innocent. In both cases it appears that there is only the one version of truth. And, of course, there will be heaven on earth once this world view is imposed upon everyone else. It reminds me of the approach to life taken by such historical notables as Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Let's hope 30 or 40 million don't have to die before this one settles out.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Working mt way through the climate blogs I notice that there is significant discussion about Chris Mooney's book on how the Republicans appear to have declared war on science. This is a proposition that, from the Eastern side of the Atlantic, appears entirely plausible. But I don't think the issue is that the administration has declared war on science per se, ratherit has declared war on those areas of science that produce results that are inconvenient to its supporters. This is a normal political and commercial response to unwanted news.

As it happens, the areas in which this administration are particularly active in this regard, are ones with very scary consequences if they are wrong - and I think it must be fairly clear where I stand on that one.

What we, as global citizens, require is that our politicians take a global view on matters such as climate change and resource depletion. That can only happen with more globalised political structures. So it is particularly irritating to sea the US doing its best to undermine the UN, which is currently the only real contender for creating some sort of global governance. Naturally large changes will be required, but they really should be attempted, not swamped by the interference and disabling tactics used by the Bush Rottweiller in the UN, John Bolton.

At the same time as achieving a more global political strategy, there needs to be significantly more education to enable voters to be able to make informed, rather than politically misinformed, decisions on who should hold power. Bring back Nirvana, that's what I say.