January 8, 2013

Non Essential, Desirable and Damaging

“I don’t have a problem with anger, I have a problem with the things that make me angry, and I think the main problem I have is that most people – society in general – are not sufficiently angry about those things that upset me. That in itself makes me angry – a sort of latter-day angry young man.” Roger Deakin

There are times when a shared sentiment flies off the page. Reading ‘Notes from Walnut Tree Farm’ today this passage distiled what I’ve been feeling for such a long time. My own excitement of moving onto our smallholding, Harewood, has helped to keep the black moods at bay but never far from the Internet I am saddened by the continued obscene set of priorities of government and the propaganda dressed as news from a media that often seems to collude rather than challenge.

Simple truths that threaten to destroy us all hardly get a mention, a favourite slogan from the Occupy Movement goes ‘those who maintain that continued economic growth on a finite planet are either mad or an economist!’ As the obvious signs of depletion continue to become apparent our governments continue to maintain growth as priority over all else. And what is ‘all else’? It’s the engagement in the destruction of the last wilderness, the oceans and it’s coral wonders, forests, fish stocks, diversity and rare and wonderful people. If life on earth is possible without these things which I doubt, it won’t be life as we know it.

For instance in West Papua Indigenous people are subject to genocide, the eco-system is being decimated and most of that destruction is directly linked to the demand for the resources required to feed our behemoth consumer habit.

Watch this short film and tell me that you’d allow this in your name for growth, because this is what growth looks like. It may be happening a long way away but we’re up to our elbows in the blood.  Look into the eyes of Guru Jemaat Steve Su and tell me that 400,000 lives are worth the pursuit of growth; meat for hamburgers, nickel for cheap electronics, palm oil for bio fuels and the destruction of the forests and everything that lives in it..

Researching her film The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard discovered that of the materials flowing through the consumer economy, only 1% remain in use six months after sale. Even the goods we might have expected to hold onto are soon condemned to destruction through either planned obsolescence (breaking quickly) or perceived obsolescence (becoming unfashionable).

Infact most of what we buy fits into a neat acronym NEDD, items the Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke say’s stands for  ‘non essential, desirable and damaging.’ Yesterday he introduced the Welfare Cash Card Bill to the commons to restrict the consumption of this stuff. Well actually not, its just another Tory government headline stealer. ‘No Booze and Sky for Shirkers!’ Designed once more to keep the focus on those who actually consume relatively little and whose footprint is tiny. I have no doubt that it will keep the middle England media enthralled while ‘the Strivers’  a group this government loves to bounce on it’s knee like a fat little baby will continue to strive for even more, whatever the consequences.

So am I wrong to be angry that our leaders don’t make it a daily duty to tell us there is a problem with our consumptive lifestyle in much the same way that they tell us at every turn that the Welfare State must be reformed? Am I wrong to be angry that millions have and will continue to die because of our economic model? Am I wrong to be angry that the very planet is at risk for the sake of stuff that will be discarded within days or months? Am I wrong to be angry that tomorrow’s headlines will be about shirkers?

You tell me.

Ken Finn

As a Postscript … The UK Guardian Newspaper published a telling graphic on how little of the current UK deficit is down to those un-employed and recieving Benefit… It’s a tiny percentage… Well, well at least one paper is telling it like it truly is. Check it Out

February 24, 2008

A Magic Bullet … in the Head

Filed under: Bio Fuels — ken finn @ 2:07 pm

No Magic Bullet

The evidence that Bio-fuels are neither a magic bullet  solution to climate change or a sustainable energy alternative is already proven. That it is an environmental and human rights disaster is already clear.

Yet on 15th April, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) will be introduced across the UK.  From that day, all forecourts will have to sell petrol and diesel with a 2.5% minimum blend of biofuels unless they choose to opt out at a penalty cost of 15 pence per litre.

The government has accepted that there is a problem and has ordered a study but rather than postpone its move to make Bio-fuels compulsory they are pressing ahead with the deeply flawed logic of turning food into fuel and rainforest into green deserts of bio crop.

Every day indigenous people are being forced from their homelands to make way for plantations, often by violent means.

From next month we will be forced to be complicit in the destruction of the rainforest and it’s teeming diversity because this government cannot accept it got it wrong.

Join the campaign to halt Bio-fuels

March 31, 2007

Their Food in Your Tank

Filed under: Bio Fuels — ken finn @ 9:00 pm

Wise words on the Environment from Fidel

I’m not sure why but I hadn’t expected such wise words from Fidel Castro. I recommend you read his views on the meetings of minds between President Bush and the US motor industry and their plans to focus on bio fuels as the solution to future oil shortages. In a time when the global population is in expansion, climate change threatens crop production and water shortages are likely to create major instability it cannot be right to convert food into fuel. But I’m stealing Fidel’s thunder … Read on

May 27, 2006

The Golden Turnip

Filed under: Bio Fuels — ken finn @ 11:58 pm

There's Gold in them thar veg

I was browsing the Conservative Party website the other day. I know I should get a life but I was assured that the Blues were getting Green. I was curious!

It seems that Euro MP Neil Parish has seen a wonderful opportunity for UK farmers in the dawning energy shortages. He put forward the proposition that British Farmers could lead the way and even the world in ‘biofuels,’ that we could be the ‘Middle East’ of this new fuel source… given the right tax breaks.

He went on to illustrate just how big the opportunity was by pointing out how even the US was going to feel the pinch. He says,
“It’s not just Europe that faces an energy crisis. The United States is coming under increasing pressure to find more environmentally friendly alternatives to oil and gas. The rise of the Chinese economy means it is set to match the USA’s per-capita income by 2031. If this does occur, China alone can expect to consume 99 million barrels of oil every day. At present, the entire planet only produces 84 million barrels.”

Did you get that?! According to his sources in 25 years time the Chinese population will be consuming all the world’s oil, in fact more than all the earth’s output. If his projections are correct it doesn’t take much of an imagination to see that the shit is going to seriously hit the fan and pretty soon. I can’t believe that the US will simply allow China or anyone else to dominate energy supplies.

Earth has a finite amount of oil. Some very qualified people are saying that oil production will peak this decade, which makes Mr. Parish’s predictions even scarier. There simply won’t be 99 million barrels of oil a day let alone 300 million or whatever the combined global demand will be by then. That’s if it were possible to sustain the lunatic growth that’s destroying the planet.

Growing turnips for diesel may well be a profitable business in the year 2025 but it certainly won’t solve an energy crisis. I can’t but ask why a serving politician can’t see beyond his little ‘Golden Eldorado’ of biomass. How he can be so blind to the awful danger revealed by his business proposition?

Source Parish: Biofuels must play an important part of Europe’s energy supply