Friday 28 September 2012

I sleep well, but am up early. After making Tina a cup of tea, I check the news on-line. There is yet another story about economic growth rates in the news.

I don't get it. Our politicians are leading us to hell in a handcart - or in a nice shiny BMW 3 series if the aspirations of people in this corner of the planet are any indication. The world population of humans is shooting up at an exponential rate. We are constantly evolving new ways of wasting the limited resources we have at our disposal. It is generally accepted that the climate is changing because of human activity, and the consequences are still largely unknown. Even the most die hard climate change sceptic has to accept the destruction of other species and habitats. Surely the only long term solution to the needs of humanity on this planet is to gradually contract?

Not if you listen to any politician, either here in the UK, in Europe, North America, the BRIC nations, or anywhere else in the world, with the exception of a few Pacific islands who are about to disappear under the waves. Listen to our leaders and you will be left with the impression that growth is the only way forward. According to these fools, only when the economies of the world are back on their feet will they start to even think about the huge issues facing us. In short, our governments are powerless to stop capitalism rushing headlong to who knows where. Like a jockey on a run-away horse, all they can do is hang on and hope. Desperate to cling to power, they won't adopt any policy which might turn the electorate against them.

What I find really sad is that the few enlightened individuals who do try to make a difference are often mocked for their convictions. I long to hear a politician who will stand up and state what they believe in, and not be swayed by ill informed public opinion. Some hope ;)

I always think that (to take one example) encouraging people to adopt low energy light bulbs while allowing aviation fuel to remain free of tax is playing a deluded tune on that old fiddle while the flames engulf us...

While I'm on my soap box, there is a truly sad news story today about plastic waste in the Southern Ocean in the Antarctic. A research ship has found microscopic plastic particles in the sea at a concentration which compares to the rest of the world's oceans. These particles will enter the food chain with unknown consequences. "Would you like a bag for that trivial purchase?" "No thanks!"

I feel better having got that off my chest. There's a lot more but I don't want to alienate anyone... You've just ordered your new Audi? Oh well ;)

I am also acutely aware that earning my living sat in a car burning fuel all day is hardly environmentally friendly. I'd rather not do it, but I do like to have a roof over my head. So, to be honest, I'm as bad - if not worse - than everyone else. Except I beat myself up over it :)

A couple of lessons in the morning then I meet with Yvonne at her Dad's house. Graham was 90 last week-end and looks remarkable well. Yvonne wanted to meet my dad so the two of us visit Basing. Dad is OK today, we chat a bit and then help him to the table for lunch. Yvonne and I go to the Bell in Odiham, and have a beer and a sandwich.

Later, I collect Tina's bike from Winklebury Cycles. Gary is chatty as always, and shows me a new electric bike. The motor is in the front wheel hub, the battery on a small rack at the back, and the power only kicks in when you pedal. He encourages me to try it out outside the shop, it's great. A bit weird at first, but really effective when you get used to it. I manage to get Tina's bike home and secreted away in Tim's garage before Tina gets home.

Gareth Malone tonight on the TV - still just as good.