This is how I feel

Congress woman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated in a debate in congress once that ‘Religion and faith are not about exclusion’. This is also my faith and my comprehension of God that I understand and believe in, hope for and have faith in, that can answer prayers or force us collectivly to work to answer our own prayers within this life for this world and for those who come into this life in the future. A force for goodness and justice that will enable us to answer our own prayers and give what we can and should to others so that they may be clothed, sheltered, fed and loved.

I just thought I would go onto Twitter and have a look at what other people views and expressions were at this moment in time and came across a lovely clip of democrat congresswoman from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez relating to faith, humanity, god and taxes!

AOC Flips the Religious Freedom Argument on Its Head

I found the clip above emotionally and spiritually empowering and refreshing to know there are people that believe so passionately in views that I can respect and agree with concerning faith and conviction of what others are entitled to or should be protected from. I don’t buy into a Church that sells it’s belief in the good are Godley and are deserving of their wealth, good health and power status. I feel if Jesus were alive, preaching and teaching today there are many aspects of my society, its systems and institutions and mechanics of wealth and poverty creation and sustaining of that wealth and poverty which would deeply concern and anger him on how humanity treats its fellow humans. Christ would discuss matters of economics, politics, scoail justice and equlity were he around today.

If you’re not born in the right country with the right type of passport and amount of money at the right time you risk a whole lot of pain and suffering due to global inequalities and dependent upon the degrees of latitude and longitude that you were born on the globe.

These inequalities look to become far greater this century than they have been for many a year and those that look to escape the poverty, starvation and move to a place where they may have a chance of a better life will have walls built to stop them, boats sailing to catch them and be imprisoned in migrant camps, once they arrive on a foreign shore and be blamed for wanting a better life.

We don’t look to a future of greater food resources or medical resources for the people on this planet but instead one in which there are depleting resources for people and planet on a more hostile environment.

Though knowing there are advocates in positions of authority and power such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does spring forward hope and optimism for the future.

Placebo – Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (Cover) Official Music Video

I just don’t feel how you feel    

A momentous time in British history is presently unfolding with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the closing of the Elizabethan age and the dawning of the age of Charles III. There has been a huge sway of emotions from people including friends and family as they mourn the loss of their Queen and perhaps contemplate their own mortality at the same time.

When it comes to my own emotions concerning the events unfolding in my country and how I feel and how I am supposed to feel I am still unsure of what to feel or what I should feel. As a human being I respect the person that was Queen Elizabeth and feel sympathy and empathy for those that knew her and especially her family for the loss of the most senior member of their family.

Though it does not make me feel especially British that she has passed, I know the pain of loss and that’s not the feeling that I am feeling. Watching the news at the moment you would think that every citizen of Britain is a loved up royalist morning the loss of the Queen and welcoming in the era of Charles III with great reverence and pride.

King Charles III

Although there are many doing this across the country and there will be huge crowds flocking to pay their respects for the passing of Queen Elizabeth and also the inauguration of King Charles. But there are also huge swathes of people just going about their day to day business catching the train for a day trip, heading to the shops to get bread and milk, just going about their daily lives.

I love living in Britain but I don’t feel patriotic towards its institutions and the mechanics with which we use to devour global resources and ultimately bring about our own potential destruction.

Charles is a passionate environmentalist but he has now taken on a job that is essential that he is non political in his words and actions and seen and described as above politics and so any attempt to advocate one policy over another or to criticise or support a policy he will be potentially be criticised and blamed for now so in some ways the environment has lost one of its great advocates to the crown.

A part of me wants to batten down the hatches and wait until the storm that is the whipping up of British patriotism across the UK media outlets and across these shores but another part of me feels that so long as I am respectful and explain where I am coming from I still have the right to speak and feel how I feel.

Levellers – One Way

The war on climate change – just your typical father and son small talk!

I went out for a meal with my father last week, a sort of pre-birthday pub meal for him and as so often happens we got talking about the world, democracy and climate change, you know just your typical type of small talk you might say!

The way that it came up in the conversation it really is very much like the areas of conversation were all connected. My father is an educated man, more intelligent than me by far, has a better grasp of the English language, loves to read books and also listens a lot to BBC radio 4 which is our UK radio station for informing people and educating people.

So he is well armed to have a discussion about almost any subject matter and express his views on it eloquently and to the point.

Whereas for me on the other hand I am a news junkie mostly about what is going on in the local area as well as globally the good and bad. From watching the news on the TV, reading articles on the web and also keeping an eye on social media and blogs. I am also dyslexic and struggle to read books and struggle to remember what I have read  so I don’t tend to gain information from long articles or books, my memory has evolved in a different way, where I have an emotional memory that  remembers things in relation to my emotional connection to them or from a pictorial or visual stimulus too rather than from remembering words from a page I would rather look at pictures that as they say is worth a thousand words.

There are many things that me and my Dad agree on but also it seems the longer you talk to anyone about any subject the more you find to disagree about rather than agree. We are both fearful for the future of the planet and humanity, we both in our own way try to do our own bit whether that is simply recycling consuming ethically, donating to charities and also advocating change for others when appropriate. But when it comes to our world views he is very much a pessimist and thinks we are all doomed and hopes he is wrong where as I am very much more of an optimist and hope we are not all doomed and hope I am not proven wrong.

With the recent heat waves, fires and lack of rain that have struck Europe over the last few weeks it always makes me think that although we might have it bad here its far worse in the area of the globe that have had famine, food shortages and lack of water for decades such places in Africa that are far hotter it than us for far longer too make me feel like there can never be time for a poor me attitude for how bad I might think I have ever had it in relation to how bad others have and will have it in the future.  

We had a brief respite from the heat today when a storm came over Exeter, it was only a little one but the air and coolness in that storm and rain was sweet.

Storm clouds over Exeter today

Ocean Colour Scene – The Riverboat Song

Don’t Look Up

When I was a child I went to a school assembly that taught a valuable lesson in a slightly violent and destructive way. That assembly stayed with me as a metaphor of what we have and how easy it is too loose what he have to this very day. It was a non
religious speech given by our very religious Religious Education teacher.

Basically she brought into the hall a few props one of which was a beautiful vase and a bag with something else in. she then talked about how to make vases all the effort that goes into making them what they are made of, how much they are appreciated and then she put the vase in a the bag and unusually brought a hammer out of the bag too and then placed the bag with the vase in on a table and smashed up the vase into many broken pieces that it was simply irreparable and showed us the broken pieces too.

The way that I still see this lesson that she taught us that day still today is that life is like that vase which is fragile and precious and we can and should appreciate it, show it respect and take care of it. But in a blink of an eye with the lifting of just one hammer and bang on the vase then that fragile thing shatttered into a hundred peices and just like life can be gone forever without any undoing or rewinding being able to bring it back.

This leads me also on to the film Don’t Look Up which I finally got to watch on the weekend a really great film, excellently written and with a fantastic cast. I had not wanted to see this film for a while as I was worried that there would be to many gags and an inappropropriate ending or horrifying ending. Well the film got me hooked and I don’t want to spoil it for you but I do recommend a watch.

It has a lot of paralels with how our leaders are engaging with climate change and how to many politicans, climate change adaptation is still appears to be a numbers game concerning what do opinion polls say I should say about climate change or what do opinion polls say I should do about climate change rather than seeing any politicans being elected yet with any actual conviction on how and why we need to adapt to a changing climate and the real fear that we could be headign for extinction if we do not change our ways and learn to live as a guardian of wild places and living orangisms and the planet rather than economic growth machines.

The Fire by Rosie Eade

Political leadership in the UK today and does it have what it take to survive this century?

Tonight in the UK there was a political debate concerning who will be the next leader of the Conservative Party and UK government. They will not be elected by the people for the people but rather chosen by the conservative members of parliament to then be voted for by the members of the conservative party members.

Therefore they are not trying to decide how to govern but who can out conservative vote each other. That is the most important point that they have reached in their political career to date. Sometimes politics does seem just like a numbers game where you have to convince enough people of your point of view and direction that it is just enough to get you over the next winning line.

I can’t argue that the British system is one in which is by any definition the best system of governance in the world. But it is one in which I am content to live within and be governed by and that is more than I can say than other forms of governance in the world.

The world in our life time faces some huge fundamental questions concerning why we are governed the way that we are is there such a thing as society, or a global citizen and if so what is the point of that society and the citizens that live within it and who should it strive to work for and in which way.

The machine that is human global system of production, destruction, pollution and poverty, wealth and power really has been a shambolic eclectic mix and mishmash of peoples working together and  against each other and also those not even being given an opportunity to work at all.  

What makes me liberal minded is that I respect your right to do what you do so long as it does not impact negatively on the lives of others.

What makes me conservative minded is my respect for what has gone in the past try to learn from what was done well and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

What makes me socialist minded is my belief in social justice and the rights and just treatment which we are all born into or must continually strive to work and fight for and defend.   

But mostly I am a believer in the right to life for the earth, humanity and those generations as yet unborn. Pro life and providing all creatures and peoples with an opportunity to exist on a planet that is not infested with humans hell bent & blinded by their own ignorance or greed in causing its potential destruction.

When you understand how we count economic success, productivity and all so called positive outcomes in our political institutions there all invariably deeply floored in many ways.

We don’t have a constitution or economic or political system in place YET that strives to protect all lives on earth and the earth itself. Imagine rather than how many dollars or pounds a country helped make each year that instead we considered success by how many species had been saved from extinsion or how many sustainable forests were being protected replanted and not being cut down or how many people did not have to feel that they had no way out other than to commit suicide. An eco economy or socially just policies for people and planet is where we need to be moving to but I just don’t see that kind of vision in any political leaders of our next government yet and i hope to see such vision in my lifetime though if we are to have a good chance of surviving the next 100 years of human and planetary struggle. We must strive to let people and planet live, thrive and be protected and respected.

These are the dreams and ideals I aspire to hope that can one day come true, these are the hopes and fears that I have that I pray to god about and these are the ideals that I hope an atheist or a believer in a righteous and just god could both hope and believe in living for and working towards too.

Go Greens

We had an election last week in my local council, for those that don’t know what an election is it’s where you vote people in within a democratic country who then decide a variety of matters concerning how your town, county or country is run and governed.

If you choose not to vote saying everyone is being as bad as each other than your probably listening and feeding off two much right wing propaganda that encourages or even legislates for others that do not follow their agenda to not to have a vote so as to maximise the chances of their own people getting into power.

If you yourself make the mistake of going on to vote for a right wing party they will likely go on to not have your interests at heart but their own instead and when in power will primarily focus on making themselves and there buddies wealthier at the expense of others just like you and me. Which will ironically potentially make you even more disillusioned with politics and make you mutter under your breath again about how useless and self interested that all politicians are and take you back to square one of not wanting to vote again. Voting right wing parties in might be a good idea at the time but like dangerous drugs and heavy drinking sessions it causes pain and is not recommend to be done on any regular basis what so ever and will be deeply regretted sooner or later.

Voting is such a timeless and fun game really in capitalist free thinking parts of the world, one of the greatest games that there ever there was is politics, trying to understand it, trying to come to terms with what happens and doesn’t happen and trying to make some sense of it. Such a timeless and fun game really where the poor and perplexed try to vote in people that will at the very least attempt to do something that is in the interest of those that vote for them opposed to those that you can vote in that fight against you and vote in policies against your interests and mainly to serve themselves.  

They say as you get older your political leanings get more right wing again another probable lie again stated to get people to vote right wing. I seem to be voting more away from mainstream left wing parties such as the Labour party in my country and turning to the greens. Which suits me fine.

We have 3 councilors now in my council ward and all of them are Green party councilors, which means Exeter now has a total of 5 green councilors which although not a huge amount, it does mean though that with the support of the liberal democrats it now makes them the second biggest grouping on my council and so the official council opposition for the first time ever, which is fantastic news here for Exeter and I am delighted that I voted for them and had a green party poster up in my window for the election. They are tremendously well organised and focused on a green friendly future in Exeter and it is amazing to see them doing so well here for the first time ever.

A Climate of fear & changing times for us all

Who would have thought just a few weeks ago that after having nearly tamed corona virus and with countries starting to try to implement a road map to mitigate climate catastrophe World War 3 was on the horizon and not just that but that we are only minutes away from a potential nuclear catastrophe like we had not been threatened with for over 50 years.   

Growing up when reading about potential problems for the future one threat that was talked about was the concept of climate change wars. This being a situation where nations and people would be increasingly fighting for ever decreasing resourses and when I look to Putin and how his actions in the Ukraine are unfolding that is exactly what this is a violent and deadly grab for resources on his own boarder in the name of reunification of Ukraine to Russia. People are calling him mad which he might well be. But he is also cold and calculated and has so much to lose if his war goes wrong for him that I fear what is still yet to come for Ukraine and the those next in Putins sights.

He will surely see the West’s sanctions and his now global status diminished to that of leader of a pariah state as an act of war and further evidence in his own mind that the west has always hated Russia and it does not matter what he does he just can’t win . His political judgements are increasingly looking like the actions of a gambler on a heavy losing streak risking it all and yet having still not hit rock bottom. There are very little factors in place to stop him from creating more devastation for Ukraine and the planet and continue to role his dice and inflict his decisions on others again and again and again.  

A leading academic called Harald Welzer , author of Climate Wars: Why People Will Be Killed in the 21st Century, stated back in November 2017 that “My belief is that we will see a renaissance of violent conflict in the 21st century, and that many of these conflicts will spring from climate change.”

A professor at the University of Flensburg in Germany, Welzer studies the cultural and political implications of climate change. His book, first published in 2012.

Twentieth-century wars were fought over land, religion, and economics. But Welzer argues that the wars of the 21st century will be fought over something quite different: climate change, and the shortages of water and food that will come from it.

“Ideology will always be a surface-level justification for conflict, But if you look deeply at the source of future conflicts, I think you’ll see a basic resource conflict at the bottom of it all.”

So with that in mind I don’t see Putin as just mad but I do see him as an incredibly dangerous individual with a large arsenal at his disposal and a lot to lose and nearly nothing left to gain. This is all very dark stuff that has been rattling around in my head for the last week. There are very few positive outcomes from this scenario should it have a hint of truth within it at all.

One of the biggest game changers for this conflict that has yet to state how it will act under the circumstances is that of China. China could embolden Russia to continue along a potentially catastrophic path or could be the peacemaker. Though Russia is on the brink of having lost global power and influence due to its invasion of Ukraine, China on the other hand is a powerful nation with more to gain from a thriving and more stable and peaceful world than it has to gain from one at nuclear war with itself. Putin might get to a point where he feels that he has nothing to lose by escalating a war to a nuclear crisis put China and President Xi Jinping will not be in such a hurry or have the belief and conviction concerning the necessity to set the world on fire.

China though having tried and failed to set out a coherent diplomatic position in the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is now attempting to position itself as a potential peacemaker to end the war.

That position has not entailed acknowledging that Russia has invaded Ukraine, let alone condemning it. But as China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in a call on 1 March, Beijing stood ready to support negotiations to reach a political settlement. According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Kuleba said he was willing to move forward with talks and “looked forward to China’s mediation efforts for the ceasefire”. 

This horific real life story is in no way over and continues to unfold before our very eyes.

Expert on green living I am not!

But the futre of the planet is still in our hands

I have just had the good fortune or should that be misfortune of trying to calculate my carbon footprint online! After completing my fifth or so survey this evening I am none the wiser as to whether the results are good or bad. I’ve done one by the World Wildlife Fund, United Nations and one called CoolClimate Calculator to name but a few. There are things I know I do that are good like getting my electricity on what is called an “Octopus super green tariff” which uses green energy measures for my electricity and carbon offsets my gas usage. Also not owning a car or a pet even and using public transport, but there are things I do that don’t help such as eating meat, purchasing goods (or should that be bads) from Amazon and flying to Dublin last year. So on the eco tour of my life choice journey it’s kind of a swings and roundabouts ride or snakes and ladders game you might say but hopefully and mostly going in the rightly sourced direction!

I do think that it’s important to try to be ethical and think about the environment consequences of what we do, thoughtful with what we consume both purchases for our homes, body and charitable donations to others too!

But it’s not that easy to work out what you need, want or don’t need or don’t want. Or know how to buy something ethically or unethically. I can shop locally for food my favourite baker on the Quayside near me is selling great fresh bread and locally sourced milk, but when I go in there one of my main problem is also not buying there delicious cakes, ummm cakes!!

Here is one someone made earlier

One of my biggest purchases last year (in size and cost) was no not a cake! But to invest in a new bed my last one was knackered with rusty springs, rusty springs I tell you. Well in need of replacement even before the pandemic started but the bed firms stopped doing disposal and recycling of old beds during the covid-19 lockdowns so it was very difficult trying to sort out getting a new bed while sorting out the departure of the old one. But how do I know what is an ethically sourced bed or not.

Out with the old and sleeping on the new

I bought the bed from a local store of a national chain of stores that had a shop in Exeter, because I do like to support stores with a local base when I can and when I know what I am purchasing, but I have no idea if it was an environmentally friendly or unfriendly purchase.

I think we just need to be mindful of what we are doing and purchasing and why at all times as the little consumers that we are, I have just remembered a phrase my Grandpa used to say about having or buying something which was ‘it’s only a bargain if you actually need it’.

So maybe I can’t be the most ethically sourced consumer on the planet but what I can do is not be frivolous with the time, money and resources that I do have at my disposal.

Villagers – Set the Tigers Free

Environmental catastrophe or slow car crash syndrome!

I don’t know if you have ever been in a car accident or crash but for a very brief moment in time all your senses are heightened and it feels like everything that is happening in slow motion even though time ticks along at its same old pace. Your eyes are wide open and if like I was, your in the passenger seat then all you can do is sit and watch the driver hopefully move the vehicle to somewhere safe (if your lucky).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on the current state of knowledge about climate change. Today they issued a IPCC report is ‘code red for humanity’

Though many will still scoff at the idea of climate change and claim it’s still a matter of what ever they can try and stretch our little brains into believing it is, so long as it is anything other than actual climate change and does not interfere with their capitalist freedoms to make money at the expense of others, such naysayers will always exist on a spectrum of opinions and ideas about ever changing situations on big issues. There are many that still don’t believe that Covid-19 exists but at least they never stopped the development of vaccines and medical advancements for the rest of us.

We could seriously be looking at the car crash of a situation that could very much destroy this planet and all life on it if we are not careful, the idea of the destruction of wildlife, climate change and irreversible decline in climate are ideas that have been around the block since when I was a child and yet still we get headlines like those of today like this warning that this was some how not foreseen, certainly not acted upon as quickly as it could have been and were still in the eye of the storm or the screeching of the breaks of the car crash of a situation.

Just as with Covid-19 I feel that humanity has within it the capacity to do what is right, when it is asked to and by those that need to. But time really will wait for no man, women or environment to see if we learn our own collective climate changing lessons.  

Rory Ellis – Road of no return

Ecological Spring cleaning

So I have just renewed my membership of Moor Trees a fantastic rewilding charity based here in Devon. Their long term vision is for a Wild Heart of Dartmoor, a core zone that is predominantly wooded and largely shaped by natural processes, but combined with low density grazing. The core zone would be surrounded by a mosaic of moorland, blanket bog, mires, pasture and crops with managed native woodlands, including working woodlands.

Dartmoor is the closest area we have near to where I live that can be described as close to a wilderness area as we have. A stand out wild area of beautiful landscapes and legends. Dartmoor National Park is a vast moorland in the county of Devon, in southwest England where Dartmoor ponies roam its craggy landscape, defined by forests, rivers, wetlands and tors (rock formations). Trails wind through valleys with Neolithic tombs, Bronze Age stone circles and abandoned medieval farmhouses.

A Dartmoor Pony grazing next to Plymouth Leat, above Clearbrook in south-west Dartmoor. Photo by Nilfanion

In the UK if you stand still long enough one of the utilities companies that you use will find a way of making more money out of you or just simply taking you for granted. So I decided to shake up some of my utility suppliers last night. Its well worth checking prices online and going to a comparison sight to decide what it is that is important to you and then signing up to who can best deliever what you want

I signed up last night to an Octopus Energy – renewable energy deal where they are also able to carbon offset my home gas usage. My Dad has been signed up with them for a couple of years now and finds them really easy to work with and loves there ecological motivation and credentials. I clicked on a link from my Dad which enables us both to get some cash back by me signing up.

I also eneded my contract with Talk Talk for my Phone and Broadband deal after they deciding early in the year to double the price of my broadband and mobile deal that I had with them as well as destroying the quality of my broadband speed and reducing the customer service number to a we wont answer your calls line. The speed of braodband was so slow that it was affecting my abilty to work at home.

So I also changed broadband supplier in order to get a fastrer supply for a cheaper price and a better customer experiance. So I am going to try POP telecom Broadband and see how that goes.

Amy MacDonald – Dancing in the Dark