ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY

That’s all we hear in Climate change talk. We need cleaner energy, we no longer support oil, we want to get rid of coal and natural gas will run out in so and so years. We need renewable energy, we need it yesterday if the human race is going to survive, we need to use eco cars that run on electricity instead of petrol and we need light bulbs that will outlast our species by a million years.

What we really need is to stop. Stop right where we are and empty our pockets. Look at the contents of our trousers and bags. Look around our homes. Look at the energy consuming possessions we have around us. Look at ourselves and then take a long look at our parents and grandparents.

What did your grandfather do when he wanted to call his friend? If he was lucky he crossed the room and made the phone call on his landline. If he was not so lucky, he walked to the local phone box.

What would he have done if he wanted a loaf of bread? He would have walked to the nearest bakery and bought himself a loaf. What was growing in his own garden to eat?

What would he have done as a child to entertain himself? He would have met with friends and gone on adventures, played outside, got dirty, broke a leg, got into trouble and recovered.

How would our parents and grandfathers have gotten to school? A bus or bike or even walked, some of them miles at a time. It wasn’t that long ago when school was a privilege, not a right. Perhaps some people need reminding of that.

How did your parents open their shutters on their houses? How did they open their garage door? How did they open their gates onto their property? (He probably didn’t even have gates. It’s our modern scared society that makes us all have 6ft gates to guard our own piece of land) How much energy did he save by doing things himself.

How much of his own energy do you think he used to live a fulfilling life? How obese do you think the children were in their early years? It is all related, if we take and take and take energy from other sources and don’t use our own energy to do things, then what do you expect was going to happen? Bigger and bigger energy plants = bigger and bigger waist lines.

It’s all very well to say you don’t have time to do the things that your grandfathers may have done, but we do have time, we just prioritise in all the wrong ways, like reading this blog!

The world has to change and those at the top aren’t going to change it. It has to be done from the bottom up. Once enough people change, the power at the top will take notice, and inevitably, find a way to make money out of it.

If you want change, change.

 

 

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ALL ROYALTIES TO PARTNERS IN HEALTH

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Still looking for a Christmas gift? By buying R.S. Barrington’s The Waiting Room, you can give twice this Christmas! Here is why:

When I read anything written about or by, Dr Paul Farmer, I feel deeply moved and heavy of heart. Here is a man who has given his life to people who, without him, would have had no life. As often as I can, I spread the news of the fantastic work that Partners In Health (PIH) has achieved, and what they continue to do, in some of the poorest and remote places on Earth. 

I implore you to read up on what they have done and what they continue to do!! www.PIH.org

I am often asked how I came to know about PIH. When I answer that my favourite band has connections with Haiti, the country that PIH was conceived in, the conversation turns to Arcade Fire.

On their 2007 tour they donated $1.00, €1.00 or £1.00 of every ticket directly to the charity. Arcade Fire front duo, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, found out about PIH after reading Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, and later went on to compliment the Haitian proverb by using it as lyrics in Sprawl II, from their third album The Suburbs.

As a fan of both Arcade Fire and the work carried out by PIH, I continue in the same vein with all royalties from the sale of my book The Waiting Room going to the charity to help in their continued good work.

So this Christmas, Give Twice.

AT LAST SOMEONE RECOGNISES OUR GREED

We are constantly reading about global warming and fed numbers that sound like a London bankers bonus. Numbers that most of us just see as big!

But a study has emerged warning that Chinas’ major cities are outsourcing their CO2 emissions to the poorer reigons, bare in mind we have been outsourcing our pollution to China for decades.

In the past, reports linking global warming with China, have thrown figures around like “2 billion tonnes of coal”, “one third of the worlds CO2 emissions” and we are expected to look at China as a power hungry, dirty, problematic country that needs to be resolved.

China today—like the other fast-growing mega-nations, especially India—is obsessed with growth. Slowing it down seems impossible. Fueling that growth requires evermore burning of dirty fossil fuels, which turn skies into haze and light rivers on fire.

This new study is suggesting, it is up to us as buyers of everything Chinesse that needs to change if China is to change it’s current trend of CO2 emmisons.

The abundance of cheap produce from China has led to a “throwaway culture”, said Dabo Guan from the University of Leeds, UK, who worked on the paper.

We as the consumer have the power over China, not politicans or even themselves, to see change and reduce omissions in CO2 and world behaviour.

IF IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ROYALTY

Working as a seasonnaire, with the snow capped mountains as your play ground; it is easy to lose respect for the countless peaks and valleys that we call home.

February half term is one of the busiest times on the piste, as schools close across Europe, families escape to the fresh mountain air for their annual migration to the slopes.Remote Church at Monal

As this is the case, we picked up snow shoes and hiked away from the crowds. As Duchess Kate Middleton was pictured walking in the Alps earlier this year, if it’s good enough for Royalty, then it’s good enough for us to escape the queues, explore the local mountains and regain the respect that the mountains deserve.

Our first hike took uView on route to Monals to the lost village of Monal high upon the mountains. The only path in the summer is a Lunch Break at Monalcart track that ends 500 metres from the village centre. The path in the winter is a one and a half hour hike from the valley below. The hamlet has similar status of ‘World Heritage’ and is a world away from Après Ski. The whole scene exemplifies the hardship of winter and portrays the mountains as truly unpredictable, as not 200 metres from the village centre an avalanche has slipped, this time without consequence, but as a reminder the mountains are in control.

Our second walkAlong the empty paths to Monal took us to the bottom of the Tignes dam. With an access road to the ski resort of Tignes planted on top of the dam, it somehow loses its mystical power. A walk along the narrow valley below shows again the might of the mountains. Man’s intervention Tignes Dammay hold back countless cubic metres of water, but nature herself shows us who has the power on this short walk. With the fresh snow dotted with rocks the size of paving slabs the walk is intimidating at best. As the melting snow creeps into every crevasse and freezes, breaking apart not only the cliffs above but also the access road underneath our feet, every step has to be well thought out. Ice fall 10 metres highThe stunning ice falls, attacked by the warming weather, are a danger that creak and crack in the afternoon sun.

A safe return from both walks brings a revised view of our surroundings. Something that was easily lost by taking the Gondola and ski lifts every day.

UNDENIABLY UNBUDDHIST

I’m going to predict the future and give it a somewhat happy ending, but first I’ll set the scene. Nepal 2010, home of the tallest mountain on earth and birthplace of the most peaceful religion, Buddhism, is struck by a chain of cholera. Eight people die from the affected 1400 as the monsoon season ends, this level of outbreak is classed as routine and easy to control.

It is summer. In January of this year an earthquake devastates the country of Haiti effecting 3 million of its 9 million population. A third of the countries inhabitants. It is stated that the death toll will remain uncounted as disaster response teams deal with survivors rather than count bodies.

Edmond Mulet, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said, “I do not think we will ever know what the death toll is from this earthquake” 

The 1.6 million homeless wait patiently for undelivered, promised aid as for the FIRST time in History, Cholera reaches Haiti. All fingers point to the Nepalese soldiers who, after arriving in Haiti in 2010, spilt waste and sewage from their UN base into the Artibonite River, which became the source of cholera in Haiti. The outbreak began in mid October 2010 in the rural Artibronite Department. There can be no coincidence.

I wonder if Mr Edmond Mulet knows the amount of people who have died from the Cholera, or as a result of his peacekeeping force firing on the Haitians during riots?

The death toll in Haiti from Cholera is over 7000, the amount of people effected by the disease directly or personally, on this Caribbean island, is impossible to imagine.

As for my prediction, I see the UN doing a U-turn. I see them apologising whole heartedly, I see them promising more and more aid to help in this crisis. UNfortunately I don’t see this aid reaching its destination in time, I only see this acceptance of blame well after the Nepalese soldiers have left the country and cholera behind them.

Please please please Watch this video and sign the petition, lets learn to be truthful, accepting of all faults in life and by accepting these faults we can learn together.

THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE OLYMPIC TORCH

I, like all other sports fans am excited knowing that not only Euro 2012 will entertain us this summer but also the Summer Olympics held in London. Day seven of the Olympic Torch relay through the UK saw it pass through the small town of Ross on Wye.

Olympic Torch Relay day 7

I arranged with my brothers and their families to meet in our small town centre to watch as the torch relay made its way through crowded streets into Wales, on route to London.

The atmosphere was filled with a great sense of community and togetherness, exactly what the Games are meant to represent. The children had flags, excitedly waving and everyone there had a smile on their face.

The police demonstrated a large presence circling the small streets and, to much laughter were waving like royalty atop their motor bikes. After this we saw numerous sponsorship buses barely able to squeeze past the assembled crowd as they rumbled on towards London.

The excitement in the crowd was set to reach fever pitch as the last police car told spectators the flame was only a few minutes away.

Then it passed us. Before we knew it the Olympic torch had passed before our eyes, hidden from view by a large truck filming the event and shielding the trophy that had drawn such a number of fans. The girl carrying the flame was escorted by four, for sake of a better word, body guards, who also helped obstruct the view.

The crowd disbanded disappointed and the organisers were cutting down the bunting before the truck had turned the corner. Those who decided to watch from home had a better view. The rest of us will have to wait another 64 years.

THE RINGING TELEPHONE A THING OF THE PAST?

After the tragic storm that hit central USA in the last few weeks people are grieving the loss of loved ones. My sympathy is with the survivors as they struggle to come to terms with the destruction after the tornado.

In the wake of the storm I read a report on the internet which quoted a 50 year old man saying; “It is horrible the things we take for granted are no longer here.” He was talking about the fact that during the search for family members and loved ones, people had to talk to each other.

The article continues: ‘Cell phone signals were hard to find, internet was out and electricity indefinitely interrupted. In many cases, word of mouth conversations replaced text messages, Facebook status updates and cell phones.’

Little did I realise that talking had become a thing of the past.

A fifty year old man is quoting ‘the things we take for granted,’ A man I’m sure grew up talking to his fellow citizens without the aid of technology.

This made me ask; ‘Is the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell obsolete?’  Are we no longer in need of mobile phones to call each other as technology now allows us to share regular ‘status updates’ instead? Rather than ask how our friends and family are feeling we can just check out their status on social network sites.

Recently my Facebook homepage has been dominated with my brother and sister in laws ‘mobile updated status via blackberry’, so much that I think they have nothing to talk about when they see each other in the evenings. I receive news of my new baby niece through the updated status of my older sister in law. It was only a few years ago that I was sent a card with pictures of their first child happily welcomed to the world. Now this little pleasure of sending and receiving cards has passed to the electronic age.

This is not a criticism, rather a sign of the times and current trend. I myself prefer the free medium of email rather than pick up international calling costs.

My next book focuses on a relationship between a ‘traveller’ from the future, who after coming out of retirement is called into service to aid the human race one last time. The ‘traveller’ meets a retired human from our own age, and although he communicates with his own people through telepathy, he can talk, a rare occupation in his own human world.

Are we moving in the direction where our vocal chords will simply be surplus to requirements? Will evolution take these from us as they cease to be used?

I for one will keep singing to help future generations experience the necessity of vocal chords.