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

How our brains are processing the pandemic

BBC News – How are Brains are processing the pandemic
The Prodigy – Poson

I don’t know about you but nothing feels normal about this year and it is just a little bat sh*t crazy. It seems on the news that one problem was kind of sorted and a new thing would pop straight up in its place a little bit like the arcade game below.

Hammer Hitting Arcade Game – Almost like watching the news during Covin-19 Pandemic.

Consumption Activism!

Bolsanaro presidency a threat to the Amazon?

The responsibility concerning the collapse of the world’s ecosystems, the destruction of its environment and an inaction on these destructive policies , falls at our doors today, into our bank accounts when we get paid and out of our wallets when we buy something.

Bolsonaro’s cultural genocide of native people and Ecocide of Amazon Rainforest is truly terrifying. If you buy products that are generated as a result of a chopped down and mining rainforest then potentially you are indirectly part of the problem and not part of the solution.

Consumption of mined goods, wood paper, oil, fish and meat is often what results in some of the most vulnerable habitat of our planet being desecrated.

Climate Crisis: Farming on the Frontline

The cold hard truth is as capitalist consumers and you can afford to buy fair-trade products, sustainably sourced and or locally sourced produce there is no reason not to. If we shift the emphasis as consumers to sustainable, organic, fair-trade, locally sourced produce we force Presidents such as Bolsonaro to look at their own means of making profit and getting votes.

This can start the very next time you go to the shop and buy a food item or product, if you are serious about doing something then start by doing what is in effect your contribution to saving the biodiversity of this world.

The view that it is somebody else’s responsibility is not really valid; we all have our part to play.

Song – Afro Celt Sound System – Dark Moon, High Tide

A time of rebirth

I have become obsessed and passionate about ecocide and rewilding since lockdown in my bubble. Globally there are many areas of wildlife that can be rewilded and enable the eco-defence shield and buffering of Mother Nature or earth, but the re-establishment of wildlife areas and prevention of the dismantlement of what is still left is in no way a certainty. It must be advocated for, worked for and potentially managed. The costs of not doing this are far greater than any cost spent to achieve it.

I strongly believe that by protecting the future of the land and seas we protect the future of man and without the land and seas there is no future.

There is a strong rebirth at the moment into looking to re-evaluate the recent and long-term history of humanity and more specifically an acknowledgment of the slave trade and injustice to ethnic minorities. People are now seekers of truth and justice and wish for a new vision of history and the right to a new and fairer future and society.

Though this change of perspective, thought shift or acknowledgment of pain and a need for healing has come about due to great personal hurt, anger and tragedy. I hope that there is potential for a greater positivity and good to be achieved from this moment in time.

I also feel that as well as looking to the scars and bloodied past of human history we should also look to the scars and bloodied past of the land and sea hence my focus on ecocide and rewilding.

We must though endeavour not to be haunted by our pasts but enlightened by it.

Song – Times Like these

What it takes to save a planet’s people?

It’s very simple, but very difficult to see that any political, legal or economic structure are comprehending it and if they do not comprehend it in our lifetime they and us we risk planetary suicide, murder and death.

We need to stop Ecocide.

ecocide/ˈiːkə(ʊ)sʌɪd/ Learn to pronounce nounnoun: ecocide

  1. destruction of the natural environment, especially when deliberate.”their crime is nothing less than attempted ecocide”

Why should this be the number one problem in a world full of problems.

Well I belive that with out an organic living breathing earth we will no longer have the bedrock to solve any and all other problems.

You can’t decide who lives and dies on a planet where everyone is dead and right now like no time ever, ecodide threatens to consume this planet.

Mass damage and destruction of nature is taking place globally.
And right now, it’s legally permitted.
We call it ECOCIDE and we’re working to make it an INTERNATIONAL CRIME.

Join the growing movement of Earth Protectors to help make this happen.

JOIN now!

Black Gold

I have just seen on the news and now also read on the NY Times oil article about oil. I signed up to a NY Times subscription this week and also pay my BBC subs online so feel ok posting this article. I can’t believe black gold or oil is now in negative equity in the USA and people will pay you to take it away. It’s a market working in the new environment. Not many cars on the road, not many planes in the sky and not many industries pumping out pollution. I knew that this was theortically profitable and possible, but genuinly never thought I would see it happen in my life time let alone to black gold or oil. During the 90’s the theory was about peak oil pricing and that it would be worth more than what people could afford to pay but negative equity! The brain boggles. So I have just searched for an article on the internet that I can post about it and found a good old BBC page.

US oil prices turn negative as demand dries up

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The price of US oil has turned negative for the first time in history.

That means oil producers are paying buyers to take the commodity off their hands over fears that storage capacity could run out in May.

Demand for oil has all but dried up as lockdowns across the world have kept people inside.

As a result, oil firms have resorted to renting tankers to store the surplus supply and that has forced the price of US oil into negative territory.

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark for US oil, fell as low as minus $37.63 a barrel.

“This is off-the-charts wacky,” said Stewart Glickman, an energy equity analyst at CFRA Research. “The demand shock was so massive that it’s overwhelmed anything that people could have expected.”

The severe drop on Monday was driven in part by a technicality of the global oil market. Oil is traded on its future price and May futures contracts are due to expire on Tuesday. Traders were keen to offload those holdings to avoid having to take delivery of the oil and incur storage costs.

June prices for WTI were also down, but trading at above $20 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent Crude – the benchmark used by Europe and the rest of the world, which is already trading based on June contracts – was also weaker, down 8.9% at less than $26 a barrel.

Mr Glickman said the historic reversal in pricing was a reminder of the strains facing the oil market and warned that June prices could also fall, if lockdowns remain in place. “I’m really not optimistic about the prospects for oil companies or oil prices,” he said.

OGUK, the business lobby for the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector, said the negative price of US oil would affect firms operating in the North Sea.

“The dynamics of this US market are different from those directly driving UK produced Brent but we will not escape the impact,” said OGUK boss Deirdre Michie.

“Ours is not just a trading market; every penny lost spells more uncertainty over jobs,” she said.

The oil industry has been struggling with both tumbling demand and in-fighting among producers about reducing output.

Earlier this month, Opec members and its allies finally agreed a record deal to slash global output by about 10%. The deal was the largest cut in oil production ever to have been agreed.

But many analysts say the cuts were not big enough to make a difference.

“It hasn’t taken long for the market to recognise that the Opec+ deal will not, in its present form, be enough to balance oil markets,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axicorp.

The leading exporters – Opec and allies such as Russia – have already agreed to cut production by a record amount.

In the United States and elsewhere, oil-producing businesses have made commercial decisions to cut output. But still the world has more crude oil than it can use.

And it’s not just about whether we can use it. It’s also about whether we can store it until the lockdowns are eased enough to generate some additional demand for oil products.

Capacity is filling fast on land and at sea. As that process continues it’s likely to bear down further on prices.

It will take a recovery in demand to really turn the market round and that will depend on how the health crisis unfolds.

There will be further supply cuts as private sector producers respond to the low prices, but it’s hard to see that being on a sufficient scale to have a fundamental impact on the market.

For US drivers, the decline in oil prices – which have fallen by about two-thirds since the start of the year – has had an impact at the pumps.

“The silver lining is, if you for various reason actually need to be on the roads, you’re filling up for far less than you would have been even four months ago,” Mr Glickman said. “The problem for most of us is even if you could fill up, where are you gong to go?”

Meanwhile, concern continues to mount that storage facilities in the US will run out of capacity, with stockpiles at Cushing, the main delivery point in the US for oil, rising almost 50% since the start of March, according to ANZ Bank. “We hold some hope for a recovery later this year,” the bank said in its research note.

Mr Innes said: “It’s a dump at all cost as no one, and I mean no one, wants delivery of oil with Cushing storage facilities filling by the minute.”

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