Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Unbearable Tiresomeness of Google

So it's come down to this!

It started gradually. With little things. Changing the whole format of the Youtube and Blogger pages for the worse, degrading both look and functionality. Then constantly harassing you every time you sign in, nagging and nagging "We don't like your name ... would you like(?!) to change it?" On and on and on.

Then - without asking you of course - they set up a shell G+ account under your identity.

Then they stop you from commenting on Youtube.

Then they stop you from adding or removing from your Blogroll.

Then they stop you from 'liking' or even subscribing to other Youtubers.

What next in the litany of coercion? Not much hope that the EU will grow a pair and help those of us who aren't just happy to knuckle under and do Google's bidding as willing pawns in their Advertising Empire.

If this is my last post here, I won't be surprised.

Goodbye, and thank-you to any who have commented.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sticking Plasters on Running Sores

This video illustrates brilliantly what is wrong with the Food Bank concept from its very basis.

Own Goal with Devastating Consequences?

Who are the real denialists?

Sail World is a pretty straightforward publication with an audience of sailors wanting to know about their hobby. Their interest is in being totally objective.

So, here's what a Sail World 
news item of 19th August reported about this year's Arctic ice season:

"In 2013 there has been a 55% increase in Arctic ice since this date last year". And they have maps based on satellite imaging to prove it.

So when the Mail on Sunday tells us that their newspaper has received a
leaked final draft of the IPCC's latest report, showing that the world is warming far less than the international panel have long been predicting, things really are starting to look increasingly bleak and chilly for the single issue climate protesters.

Trouble is though that the, so say, climate crisis has been the most over-promoted environmental issue - even amounting to what some have described as "
the great climate change hijack" - one which has diverted almost all the public and policy-makers' attention to itself and narrowed down all debate to one issue alone; that of global warming. The climate obsessives have marginalised and side-lined all the other huge ecological, or rather socio-ecological problems we face, like overpopulation, habitat destruction, massive losses of biodiversity both wild and cultivated, erosion and degradation of soils, freshwaters and seas.

Many scientists have also tied themselves, and their science, to the climate bandwagon in the public mind.

If the whole thing does prove to be plain wrong, then not only environmentalism but even science itself will suffer a massive blow to its credibility, and humanity could be facing a new age of reaction against science, against reason, and against the natural world. 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Divided by a Common Language

Tom Slee at P2P Foundation blog:

"When differences are papered over and confused.

This seems to be the case with, that presents itself as a grassroots organisation but is directly influenced by sharing ‘business platforms’ and with a clear aim of fighting against regulation ..."

"The language changes, the mask slips. Participants become customers, sharing becomes buying. The phrase “across verticals” reminds us that Douglas Atkin is an advertising executive. Now the sharing economy is about loyalty programs and cross marketing? Not the kind of sharing I want to be part of. I don’t have a problem with commerce, but what I do object to is commerce wrapped up in, and appropriating, the language of solidarity ..."

Tom also adds a comment underneath the piece: "I do have a feeling that there is a Euro-North American split, in which community-minded Europeans don’t realize that their partners across the pond are libertarian-minded Americans using similar language."

As someone living in Europe, I think Tom is broadly correct about the Euro v USA split. Look at the discourses on lots of topics - all sorts, from vaccination, fluoridation and autonomous / off-grid lifestyles through to attitudes to Bilderbergers, state control and various conspiracy theories, and you will very often find that beliefs held by left-wing people in Europe are held by ultra-right "libertarians" in the US.

What this results in, in this era of internet and global communications, is that Europeans and USAmericans frequently get our wires totally tangled because we think we are after the same goals, we are even using similar language, but underneath all that we are actually on diametrically opposed sides!

A recipe for some disastrous interaction ...

Monday, 9 September 2013

More than GDP

Robert Costanza is Professor of Public Policy at Australian National University and in his interview at the 6th Ecosystem Services Partnership conference in Bali this August he explains the work that's being done to increase our understanding of the immense and irreplaceable value provided to humanity by Earth's ecosystems. To give you some idea, we're talking trillions of dollars each and every year.

Watch the video here.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Fake it Till You Take it All

The Cupboard is Getting Barer

"The amount of raw materials needed to sustain the economies of developed countries is significantly greater than presently used indicators suggest ..."

"Humanity is using raw materials at a level never seen before with far-reaching environmental impacts on biodiversity, land use, climate and water," says lead author Tommy Wiedmann, Associate Professor of Sustainability Research at the UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

"Now more than ever, developed countries are relying on international trade to acquire their natural resources, but our research shows this dependence far exceeds the actual physical quantity of traded goods"

"In 2008, the total amount of raw materials extracted globally was 70 billion metric tons – 10 billion tons of which were physically traded. However, the results show that three times as many resources (41% or 29 billion tons) were used just to enable the processing and export of these materials."

Read more at Constantine Alexander's blog.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Age of Impoverishment

The Age of Ignorance

Disturbing and beyond sad that young people largely do not even begin to comprehend what we are destroying for ever:

"Recent analyses of the history of fishing off the California coast, as seen through interviews with three generations of fishermen, produced startling findings. The youngest group (age 15-30) had no idea that it was once common to fish right off the coast. They didn’t view the coastal zone as being overfished because, they said, there were no fish in this zone."

"The oldest group (age 55 and above) could recall eleven species that had disappeared from today’s far offshore fishing ground, whereas the group between age 31 and 54 could recall seven, and the youngest group only two. Sixty years ago the oldest group could recall catching 25 goliath groupers per day, but by the 1960s the number had plunged to eleven, and then to only one a day in the 1990s. Tragically, only ten percent of the youngest group believed that stocks of the grouper had disappeared because they didn’t think they were ever there to begin with."

From Brent Blackwelder. Read more at the Daly News blog from the Centre for Advancement of the Steady State Economy.

(Before it's too late!)