Posts tagged with making sense
25 September 2010 - Global warming? Gays are the cause of it!
Well, this is apparently what some Samoan clerics have stated: “Clerics in the South Pacific have fingered the key cause of climate change – homosexuals. The revelation came at a conference at the University of the South Pacific considering the implications of Climate Change and Creativity.” The clerics haven’t explained the rationale of their arguments though – although the Register suspects “their latching onto climate change as a consequence of gayness is informed by a more biblical sense of cause and effect.”
Or maybe, as a blogger funnily posted elsewhere “Global warming is a gay issue. […] The heat generated in discos, bath houses, the manufacture of interior furnishings, leather tanning and the result of … um …. friction, is a major contributor to the global rise in mean temperature. There are also lifestyle issues, such as homosexuals’ liking for gas-guzzling Jeeps and the environmental impact of frequent vacations … Read the rest
24 September 2010 - ‘Transition’, what it’s all about?
Whether are not you are interested by global debates on climate change, Peak Oil, overpopulation, financial, economic, food and social crises; whether you are in favour or against any systemic paradigm change; whether you believe that technology will save us or not from any doom-and-gloom future; or whether you think that it’s too late “we’ll hit the wall anyway”; you probably sense that there is something wrong in the society where you live and work. I’m not talking of the Hollywood trend of making apocalyptic blockbusters or the ‘2012’ end-of-the-world mania. But simply of the changes that you may be perceiving around you.
It’s likely that you intuitively feel that, somewhat, things are not right. It may be that you believe that “things are not as nice as they use to be”; that there is too much injustice, pessimism, inequalities, ignorance, loss of values or else; or that prices … Read the rest
18 September 2010 - Enough already!
Yesterday, I was emphasising the need for a systemic economic change. There is nothing original about that, as it seems that an increasing number of people understand the limitations and self-destruction of our current social and economic models. As a matter of fact, the Chronicle.com has asked scholars’ views on what will be the defining question of the coming decade and why. It offers a variety of worthwhile reading answers, and one in particular has struck me. According to Professor Pat Shipman, “the defining idea of the next decade is ‘enough.’ […] The day of ‘enough’ is coming. “Enough” is part of a reaction against the overwhelming greed, violence, dishonesty, and petty meanness of the last decades. I believe that people in America, perhaps in all of Western culture, are tired of the adversarial system of law, government, and behavior that has held sway for so long. … Read the rest
17 September 2010 - Immigration: how much is enough?
This, of course, is a politically incorrect question to ask – and that’s precisely why I’m raising it. Indeed, given the massive migrations to come, due among others to climate change and economic opportunities, it’s a question that needs some proper thinking. As a reminder, let me quote a 2009 United Nations Populations Fund report: “Estimating future climate change-related population flows presents [a great] challenge, with figures ranging wildly from 50 million to 1 billion people by the middle of the century, either within their countries or across borders, on a permanent or temporary basis. The most widely used estimate of people to be displaced by environmental factors by 2050 is 200 million” – compared to the current 25 million.
The report further states that “overall, environmental migration is—and is likely to continue to be—mainly an internal phenomenon, with a smaller proportion of movement … Read the rest
16 September 2010 - Neoliberalism? I’m tired of this shit. Let’s push for a systemic economic change
A friend of mine sent me yesterday a very very interesting document, titled Manifesto on Global Economic Transitions. Published in September 2007 by the International Forum on Globalization, it had foreseen the need for a systemic change even before the (latest) GFC (global financial crisis). In opposition to the current unsustainable neoliberal dogma, it rightly argues that “less and local” are the way forward. Indeed, in light of the current resource depletion and destruction, climate change, financial crisis, socio-economic inequalities, and societies which overarching values are driven by profit rather than well-being, we need a systemic economic change – along a systemic change in our values, but that’s another story. So, if you too understand all too well that the neoliberal doctrine is in its deathbed, you’ll be thrilled to read that the authors of the Manifesto push for “Economies of Ecological Sustainability, Equity, Sufficiency and Peace”. Sustainability, what … Read the rest
15 September 2010 - Plastic is fantastic?
“Phrases like ‘The Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ have become common parlance. But this is a too-simple way to mentally contain a problem that is everywhere – no stretch of water, no beach is free of microplastics.”
For more information, see the Plastic Pollution Coalition and “How worried should we be about everyday chemicals?“.… Read the rest
15 September 2010 - Five daunting climate change scenarios
The UNFPA 2009 State of the World Population report recalls that “Walter Kälin, Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, has identified five climate change scenarios, each of which has a different impact on the pace or scale of migration or displacement:
• Hydro-meteorological disasters, including extreme weather events such as hurricanes, flooding and mudslides, which may lead to sudden-onset displacement.
• Environmental degradation, including desertification, water scarcity and soil exhaustion, which may result in gradual migration or displacement.
• Losses in state territory, including erosion and coastal flooding resulting from rising sea levels. Persons living in low-lying coastal areas and the so-called “sinking” small island developing states, such as the Maldives, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, will be most affected by this scenario. It may lead to gradual migration and displacement, and possibly even to statelessness.
• Designation … Read the rest
13 September 2010 - Burning the Koran – more of the same?
The ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks passed relatively quietly, with – as far as I know – no significant negative events reported. The Pastor Terry Jones, under pressure from various actors cancelled the planned Koran burning by members of his church in Florida. Though some countries experienced protests as a result of his plans, they have for the most part been peaceful.
However, in a disturbing new development, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka of Kansas, USA, has threatened that it will burn the Koran if Jones fails to do so. They are apparently not affiliated with any major American Baptist groups. They however already burned a Koran publicly in 2008, but the event fortunately failed to garner major media attention. It remains to be seen if they will follow through on this most recent threat. I hope someone stops them in time.
9 September 2010 - Why aren’t you composting?
According to compostweek.com.au around 60% of the rubbish Australians put in their everyday garbage bin (destined for landfill) could actually be composted.
So why don’t more people compost? This isn’t a new idea… Are they unsure how to compost? Don’t they realise the benefits? Or maybe they don’t know the negatives? Or are they just too lazy? Or maybe they think they don’t have the space?
Here are just a few of the benefits of composting:
- Reduces landfill which also means reduced methane production. Did you know that when our waste is buried without air it doesn’t breakdown? It actually creates a large amount of methane which contributes to our total greenhouse gas emmissions!
- Is a fertiliser for your garden.
- Keeps soil cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Helps aerate compacted soils.
- … and much more…
There are so many ways to compost. Here are just 4:
Try … Read the rest
9 September 2010 - Daunting: Arsenic in water poisoned 77 million Bangladeshis!!!
Following a publication in the Lancet Journal, news recently reported that “up to 77 million [out of 162m] Bangladeshis have been exposed to toxic levels of arsenic from contaminated drinking water”. The water was mainly originating from wells that are said to have been built in the 70s, including by aid agencies. Gosh, 77 millions people!
Although I’ve heard of this news for the first time only recently, it’s not a recent discovery – nor did it happen just in Bangladesh. The UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) was already concerned by the problem in 1997. According to a paper published in the Bulletin of the WHO in 2000, ” the contamination of groundwater by arsenic in Bangladesh is the largest poisoning of a population in history, with millions of people exposed. […] 1 in 10 people who drink water containing 500 … Read the rest