Saturday, 28 February 2009

We did the Zombie Bank

This short singing cartoon from Mark Fiore really ought to cheer you all up after the last post - in a sort of masochistic way...

It helps a little if you're old enough to remember the original by Bobby (Boris) Pickett and the Crypt Kickers but it's still a very catchy song.

Here's another one from Mark Fiore

What's the worst that could happen?

The title of this post refers to the "global warming" book I helped with some of the research on - to be published in July

If you want to get a peek at "the worst" read this New Scientist article

Bear in mind this may not happen - but it could...

Alice in Wonderland

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

Deputy Tracey Vallois asked a question of our Chief Minister, Terry le Sueur, ahead of the strategic policy debate. This was to define "sustainability" so that all Members knew his understanding of the term ahead of important debates.

The JEP (25th Feb 2009) quoted him as saying (and this needs preserving for posterity just to show the colossal ignorance/blind-eye-turning we have in our senior politicians).
"Sustainability is a difficult thing to define," said the Chief Minister. "There are various definitions and interpretations. As far as I am concerned, sustainability refers to the ability of the Island to continue in a financial manner for a long time into the future, recognising circumstances and environments." He added that one should look at the Island's policies as a whole, rather than deciding on the sustainability of any particular one.

And he suggested that Islanders should ask whether policies delivered for Jersey and whether they would continue to do so.

It was often easier, he said, to think in terms of what was not sustainable and used the example of people who argued that a certain population level was not sustainable.

Sustainability as a concept is rooted in the realisation that there are too many people having too much of an impact on the Planet. The unavoidable logical consequence of not changing this is an inevitable deterioration in the Planet's ability to support us. Unless we adopt sustainable methods of living, then plainly our future will be - well, dear reader, you do the math.

Once the non-sustainable nature of humanity's current civilisation is recognised by someone, it is highly irresponsible for them to continue advocating business-as-usual but unfortunately this is our Chief Minister's basic position. When he talks about "sustainability" he clearly means "how do we sustain business-as-usual?"

I think we can now openly describe him as highly irresponsible because we sent him a copy of the New Scientist (16 October 2008 ) special feature "How the economy is killing the Earth" which lays out in stark detail the future. Here is part of it

In fact we sent all of the States Members a copy and assuming a) they read it and b) they understood it, we should have been able to look forward to them all making highly responsible environmental and economic decisions from then onwards. Fat chance! They completely failed to take into account the climate changing carbon footprint of continuing with an incinerator policy, so nobody should hold their breath, while waiting for sustainable decision making, anytime soon. Indeed, Constable Mike Jackson who is the Minister for Transport and Technical Services (the Department who planned and ordered the incinerator) said of Deputy Daniel Wimberley (who brought forward the proposition to cancel the incinerator)

"He seems to think we should all revert to living in caves and wearing animal skins. With all due respect, the Deputy has gone stark, raving bonkers"

BTW, Deputy Wimberley at no point said anything like that! - it is just the sort of appalling misrepresentation we have to suffer over here from too many of those who mysteriously (to many) get voted into office, of which Senator Terry le Main is probably the main example (his speech in this debate was a classic...). We even had a bona fide global warming denier nailing her colours to the mast in the debate!

To any readers outside the Island - take pity on us because unfortunately cretinous beliefs and comments are commonly expressed over here by the-powers-that-be. What is particularly galling is that these people are so arrogant that they actually think they're being smart or knowledgeable! You simply couldn't make it up!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

The title is a reference to a great book which everyone should have to read at school, the earlier the better.

I wrote a letter to the JEP last July, after the States originally voted for an incinerator, which started "It was a black day for a green sustainable future in the States". Yesterday was an even blacker day. The level of stupidity and incompetence on view was just incredible. A clear majority of our politicians are either incapable of rational judgement or they had such extreme pressure put on them, to save the face of the Council of Ministers, that they cravenly spouted the party line.

With even better arguments on the "alternatives to incinerators" side the "pro" incinerator vote was even stronger! Stuart Syvret's masterful exposition of the peak oil angle went completely over the heads of most.

What bothers me about Jersey politics is the extreme arrogance and self-belief of too many members - they heard arguments which, assuming they have basic English comprehension skills (dubious in some cases), meant that any rational caring politician ought to have had pause for thought and should have led to them checking out the powerful arguments for themselves. But what happened? These utter dunderheads are impervious to logic and science and reason and accountability. Their response to inconvenient truths is simply to look the other way and block their ears, or they prefer to listen to some wormtongue paid adviser and pretend that it has nothing to do with them and it is all somebody else's problem.

We even had Senator Sarah Ferguson coming right out of the closet and nailing her "global warming denier" colours to the mast! Who votes for these people? Please stop doing it!

Monday, 16 February 2009

We're about to launch a bit of a sustainability Blitzkrieg on the Jersey States "powers that be". We don't want to but they must be expecting something to happen - they surely didn't think they could get away with their simplistic inappropriate nonsense for much longer? They are are so backward at coming forward (because they drive by exclusively looking in the rear view mirror). Where are the properly thought out strategic forward-looking policies to keep us all safe and secure in the medium to long term? Someone has to wake them up and if no-one else can be bothered to put their heads above the parapet, then we will!

Monday, 2 February 2009


Mark Forskitt sent this "heads up" to me. If it has good info on "transition towns" then it will be worth watching...

"I have had some forward info on a programme to be aired on BBC 2, Friday 20th February, 8.00pm. The film is about permaculture and covers the basics of Peak Oil, and something about transition towns. Contributors include Patrick Whitefield, Colin Campbell, Rosie Boycott, Peter Melchett, Monty Don, Tim Lang"