Open Plan Living

Homes built to protect

From nature’s extremes hold us

Safe as prisoners

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n.b. Realisation that we are in climate crisis has dawned fastest amongst those who live exposed to nature. Its worst manifestations affect the lives of our poorest and most remote communities first and hardest.

Those of us wealthy enough to close our doors and windows to weather, rich enough to produce artificial climates through air-conditioning systems, privileged enough to fly around the world avoiding rising seas and flooding rivers, are now learning that each step we have taken away from living within the complexity of nature, its inconveniences and discomforts, has led us deeper into a cul-de-sac of technology that reinforces the divide between Earth and humankind.

How can we row back when the tide is against us?

Can we start by stepping out and letting nature embrace us, perhaps? I offer you the following link to a simple haiku that celebrates living in nature…”open to anything” by a writer of rare talent.

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CLP 19/01/2020

Deep Pressure

Brendan

Storms the land

Howls through the night

Beyond the hedges

Through the woods

Tree branches clatter

Without leaves to soften the blows

The stove sputters

As the gasps of the gale

Suck air from its lungs

And from mine

As I lie listening

In wonder

That through it all

In this demonic raging

I hear the owls

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n.b. Storm Brendan, the latest incoming winter storm off the Atlantic, named by the Irish meteorological service.

CLP 13/01/2020

On Guard

Absolute madness

Police in UK list XR

As extremist group

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n.b. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/10/xr-extinction-rebellion-listed-extremist-ideology-police-prevent-scheme-guidance

The non-violent climate activist movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) is open to all members of the public. School teachers are being briefed on how to spot XR extremism. For example, children absent from lessons in support of School Climate Crisis strikes. Many teachers support XR.

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How are the promised 20,000 extra police officers getting on with combatting corporate tax fraud, money laundering and insider trading on stocks and shares?

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The UK moves one more step closer to becoming a police state.

n.n.b. Not easy to “Like” this post, so why not share it instead?

CLP 10/01/2020

Nothing Matters (VI)

Bubbling along

Without a care in the world

Ignorance is bliss

n.b. Street homeless, racism, violent crime, poverty, the 1%, addictions, outbreaks of disease, falling life expectancy, war, climate breakdown. “Nothing I can do about it” I hear. Is this true? I wonder.

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CLP 18/12/2019

On the Cheap

Here is a term used in economics, “externalities”. It means costs incurred as a result of running a business that are not picked up by the business, but by those living in the communities in which they operate.

A simple example is water pollution caused by pouring untreated factory waste into rivers, causing illness, increasing burdens on health services, affecting work attendance and reducing incomes of the afflicted and family members drawn into their care and support.

Cigarette smokers, whilst suffering from addiction, often choose to smoke and some justify the health burdens they impose on their families and communities by buying into a belief that the direct taxes they pay on cigarette purchases more than compensate for any health treatments required resulting from tobacco smoking.

Again this argument ignores the emotional and economic pain incurred by non-smokers who love and care for them, as well as the illnesses and disabilities imposed through secondary smoking, particularly on children, including pre-natal babies.

Another argument to justify smoking is perpetuated along the lines of personal freedoms and the concept of individual liberties. This argues that freedom to smoke is a choice that adults should be able to make, but the logic is not extended to acknowledge the known addictive properties of cigarettes, nor the imposition of polluted air, health problems, suffering of bereavement resulting from this “free choice” on those who do not have that choice, (children), or those who choose not to smoke, (fellow citizens, family and friends). It also fails to recognise the lying and deceptions systematically carried out by the managers of tobacco firms around the world.

The taxes paid directly by smokers raise cigarette prices at the point of purchase, but corporate tax laws allow the multinational corporations and their shareholders to continue to profit relentlessly from the manufacturing process. Which is why courts apply huge fines on the corporations challenged by group actions in the USA and Canada in order to penalise the cynical profiteers.

We know smoking kills; slowly, painfully, distressingly and expensively. This is written on packets around the world along with clear images of the ghastly health issues brought about by smoking. Despite this customers continue to queue to buy cigarettes. In the UK queues for treatment at hospitals are growing and no one calls to ban cigarettes and smoking despite the externalities imposed by this industry’s operations on the NHS.

Finally, today’s news unveils an horrendous story. In Delhi a deadly factory fire has killed “dozens.” Companies choosing to use low wage labour in loosely regulated or un-regulated economies to produce machine parts, clothing, household products and handbags, (in this instance), are doing so to improve profitability in wealthy, consumer-based nations where the customers live.

The corporations making the choice to source manufacturing in low wage economies are simply shifting the burden of employment costs directly onto the workers in these places. Low wage means: wage slavery (not enough income to risk time off for the fear of being unable to feed a family); it means no pension; it means no factory safety standards; it means no personal protection equipment for workers; it means the costs of production are externalised and carried on the backs of the lowest paid people the companies can find. This is so that we in the UK, for example, can get low price products that feed into our consumption-oriented world.

If the people in India, in this case, were paid properly, worked in safe environments, had health cover and pensions, they would not be so cheap to employ and the comparison to more local production sites would be more equitable. The Indian economy would have to move to a healthier, more sustainable and more independent model.

Of course this would change the economics of the globe. Would that not be a good thing? Could we not move to economies in which people have local work in sustainable businesses, regulated by the communities in which they operate?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/08/delhi-fire-india-factory-dozens-dead

In writing the above I recognise that the Conservative Party in England is pushing to de-regulate the economy there to push the externalities of all goods and services onto the backs of UK resident workers and their families, whilst the rich get richer through lower costs of production and higher corporate profits and shareholder dividends. They dream of an “Off-shore Singapore”.

I refer you back to my earlier post Fat Blond Bloke.

I also refer you to Naomi Klein’s book, No Logo.

CLP 08/12/2020

The Three Little Pigs

Pig 1: “Look guys

If we keep a low profile

All the heat will be on the cows”

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Pig 2: “Methane producing flatulants!”

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Pig 3: “I thought they were ruminants?”

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Pig 1: “No, that’s the owls.

They do all the thinking.”

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n.b. The methane producing capacity of cows is not as serious as it has been promoted, so I understand.

The whole question of climate change and bovine methane output is a distraction from the generation of air pollution from motor vehicles. The carcinogenic properties of diesel smuts have been masked for years. Turning attention to farm animals and the farming industry takes focus from burning fossil fuels. I am not saying agriculture is perfect, but when it comes to poisonous gas production we have to look at automobiles, aircraft and shipping.

Who started this? Where did the media get the story about cattle and methane? Who funded the ‘studies’?

CLP 06/12/2019

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