the rainforest

Is without question one of the most importent assets of our planet. It is concentrated on various geographical locations. Lets take Brazil here as an example.

green leafed trees under blue sky

The typical British countrydise, cleared of forest, ready for farming. Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Of course us developed nations we have already cleared a lot of our forests and developed our lands. We in Britain even talk about becoming self-sufficient farming-wise to justify us leaving the EU without a deal.

For that of course we need to farm the land and clear probably even more forest.

We really do love to rely on the rain forest. The untouched and virgin rain forest, that same rain forest that saves our planet.

But what about those nationas that are couched within the rainforest areas. Nations like Brazil. Do their citizens not have the right to farm, to develp the land, to get skills-based jobs that are based within their national borders.

scenic view of rainforest

Rainforst    Photo by Arnie Chou on Pexels.com

Whilst we here in Britain demand that we can become independent of others, we do expect nations within the rainforest regions to leave that forest and just not devleop, to depend on others, help others, so that we developed countries can stay developing ourselves.

What are the nationals within the rainforest countries supposed to be doing?

Nobody has thought about this and I think that just shows how stupid our privately educated politicians and business leaders are because all they can think of is themselves.

It is an international problem and it needs nations to work together. But of course our political leaders only think about Brexit and becoming indendent from Europe and use the resources of other nations to bolster our own wealth.

The rainforest? The rainforest is depended upon that it stays as it is. So what about putting that thinking cap on?

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The hinges of Brexit

There are several dimensions to this

  • Political independence
  • Commercial autonomy
  • Environmental concerns

Historically there were during

  • the 1600 – 95% of war between European nations
  • the 1700 – 75% of war …..
  • the 1800 – 45 % of war
  • 2000 – 0% conflict so far

Considering that the UK government pledged to cut Greenhouse gas emmission to zero by 2050, it seems illogical to leave the EU now.

Leaving the EU and having trade deals with further away countries, would mean considerably more transport of goods, more travel.

The UK is a water logged country and relies on either planes or boats for travel. There is only one land (under-water, tunnel) form of transport that doesn’t rely on flying or boats and that is via the Euro tunnel.

With increasing weather instability, transport by container ships will be endangered. There will also be a reduction of flights because it is very unlikely that the air travel industry will come up with a distinct change in airplane design that is more environmentally friendly.

Yet Britain relies for a large part on air travel. There are now calls to stop inland air travel but the train fares are too expensive to make that affordable.

Whilst I do not suggest that we should have to put up with any political system in Europe, just to get our trade, we need to seriously consider the implication of a break from Europe from the points of environmental change.

London_waterlevels

Flooding predictions for London for around 2080

What voters deserve is a clear planning procedure to include the worsening weather conditions, the increased demands on immigration because unstable political systems in Asian and African countries as well as increased flooding of large areas will decrease landmass available for people in those countries and they all will attempt to emigrate to saver regions.

Whilst our own coastlines suffer from erosion and raising sea levels will eventually encroach on our land.

A strong European council will be an assurance that political systems in European countries will not break down and revert to undemocratic methods.

Leaving Europe now without a deal makes us very vulnerable as we will be more dependant on trade deals with distant nations, when the transport of goods may be disturbed by worsening weather.

Being an influencer in Europe and remain as such will do us more favour than just leaving without a deal.

Whilst large swathes of English land owners want to break off from Europe because they have got the land to support themselves, the rest of us including London, Wales and Scotland feel very uneasy.

Of course theoretically the UK could manage on its own but the right-wing nationalists have a strong history of violent racism and that is what makes it an impossible thought to even embrace. The Jo Cox murder proved what right-wing terrorists are capable of.

I would say that the threat of war from an unstable future Europe together with worsening weather conditions would definitely threaten the future of our civilisation. Our armies would be severely hampered by the weather and our domestic situation would become severely unstable too. Further away allies may not be able to reach. Even D-Day had to be delayed because of bad weather and weather is going to be much worse. So we have to be very sensible and build alliances whilst it is possible to do so and prevent a shift to the right and into facism.

For these reasons I sincerly hope that a new Conservative Prime minister will be stopped from suspending parliament to push through a no deal Brexit.

 

The rainforest fund

top view photo of forest

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

Woke up this morning thinking that all the nations who have a foreign aid budget should also have a rainforest fund. Our efforts to reduce deforestation must increase and it has to become a lawfully required activity to save nature.

I searched the Internet and such organisations do exist, predominantly trying to help save the rainforest. Yet whilst countries, around rainforests make illegal logging a criminal offence, it is impossible to police and enforce the laws.

Programs like ‘‘I bought a rainforest’‘, Planet Earth, highlighted the problems, which make poor inhabitants of the rainforest regions fell trees to sell, just to be able to survive. Large swathes of rainforest get chopped down for wood to make furniture, planting of Palmoil, farming fruits for sale etc.

Higher earnings and a world-wide decreasing of poverty doesn’t ensure that people earn that money with environmentally friendly activities.

There is no environmental value how GDP is achieved, it is just GDP. As our governments are proud to provide full employment, they also do not care 100 % what products those workers make, whether they help destroy natural and vitally important resources or not. Capitalism is not valued by earth friendliness, it is valued by profits achieved, whatever it is they sell.

photography of factory

Photo by Chris LeBoutillier on Pexels.com

When we reduce our carbon footprint inland, we still deal with other countries who have a huge one. OK, we no longer strive to produce polluting goods in Britain, but we have them imported from China. Pollution is a world-wide problem, not a local one.

We need to start giving each product and service a carbon footprint value just as we give foods a calorific value.

I don’t support Esther McVey’s call to reduce the Foreign Aid, that Britain gives, instead this Foreign Aid could be diverted to Rainforest preservation. Each time foreign aid gets reduced, we increase the chance of troubles brewing up abroad, which then will need to be solved by wars. Wars have a huge carbon footprint.

Neither do I support Boris Johnson’s promise of further tax cuts for the rich as people simply do not want to invest in Britain because of Brexit. Tax cuts do not prevent Brexit. It just proofs how poorly configured Conservative Brains are, all they can think of is ‘less tax will solve all problems’.

I’ll make another post about Brexit.

 

Against genetic modification of our food

I think it might be possible that some medications become ineffective not only because the viruses get used to it but also because genetic alteration of food will change the way our genes and bodies work. May be wrong but look what David Suzuki has to say about this:

Fact is that if genetically modified foods can cause cancers in mice then it might also be bad for us. We are all part of the same food chain.

I almost always read the label and found to my dismay that my favourite foods now have genetically modified grain and starch in them. I am changing my food habits and switch to other foods, which is hard as we always want to eat what we love.

Parasites resistant to drugs

This article I am referring to, has to do with Malaria but it could be about other illnesses that are now resisting antibiotics. We are using a lot of genetically modified crops, which will affect the ability of humans to resist antibiotics. Another new trend that endangers humanity.

A song and a dance deficit

Whilst barriers to export monies had been removed a long time ago and the UK concentrates on education and arts, it is absolutely no wonder that the widening trade deficit starts to hit us. We allow more and more housing per square meter available and close down manufacturing and business to allow that to happen.

Of course any UK based rich person can invest their money in an overseas country to produce cheap goods, which are then imported to the UK. Taxes are not paid to the UK but to the manufacturing country and the rich person themselves has changed residence to cheaper tax heavens.

Of course the international drive to exploit cheap labour markets to make more profits cannot be stopped as it is only the nature of business to make as much profit as possible. Business does not have an ethics built in, the ethics come with understanding and promotion of them, sometimes by individuals and sometimes by governments.

It’s only the biggest trade deficit since September 2011, when we already had a big deficit at that time but no remedial action was taken. Our imports from EU countries remain unchanged at £17.1 billion, which explains that we only import the absolutely necessary from relatively expensive labour markets, in European countries.

But there is hope because as soon as living standards rise in the currently cheap labour markets, we won’t be able to afford their goods and services any longer and have to seriously consider making goods ourselves once more. Just wonder where that would take place, when all space available gets increasingly occupied by housing.

Maybe we will also see a general reduction in manufacturing worldwide because increasing earth warming will remind us that it is exactly the manufacture and use of machines and goods, produced using natural resources that makes our temperatures soar.  Some Chinese residents recently dared to complain that their river is in danger of pollution if a factory is allowed to spew out waste into it, whilst previously those residents just died quietly from poisoned waters.

The other question is do we really want to be on the top of the manufacturing table? Just prior to World War I and World War II Germany was much superior in a low trade deficit and high manufacturing output, whilst Britain lagged behind.

During these Olympic games Britain has shown the world that this relatively small country cares a lot about health and fitness of its inhabitants, see the medal table to proof it.

Worrying levels of drug abuse in the UK

I think there might be a relationship with the increased drug abuse in the UK and the complacency of the courts towards bad and irresponsible language use. The increase of drug taking has virtually run parallel to an ever increasing abuse of the English language for all sorts of between the line insinuations and even worst direct swearing.

The statistics published in today’s Metro paper are more than worrying and show that this nation has lost the grip on reality and that shows in some High Court judgements. Not that I am saying the judges are on drugs but I am saying that the drug culture has won a worrying amount of public acceptance and bad behaviour has risen so that it is now acceptable to swear in public and judges don’t care about that any longer either.

The Columbian President complains that it is because of the drug taking habit, of the UK, amongst other nations that Columbia has a big problem. It is true that if is often just a matter of demand and supply and where there is no demand, there cannot be a supply.

The figures are greatly concerning if one puts them into the relationship of country size and population numbers. That 2.5% of English and Welsh use Cocaine, compared to only 2.1% of US citizens and only 0.8% of Colombians, shows that today’s show stopping society has lost a grip on what is right or wrong and what is good and bad.

The UK drug market is worth £21 billion compared to the USA £23 billion. And now David Cameron wonders why the economy does not lift off. In Columbia, Peru and Bolivia, an area the size of Greater London is used to cultivate the plants that make Cocaine and surprisingly the Colombians have more drug seizures than any other country, namely 61%. In Europe Spain makes the most confiscations.

Of course that makes sad reading in that it looks as it almost everybody in the UK has got their fingers somewhere in that drug honey pot and makes money on this. The corruption over drugs must be rife, or there would not be so much drugs be in circulations unchallenged.

It is this backdrop of widespread drug abuse and tolerance of drug dealing and drug use that puts the current situation in Britain in the context of gross negligence.

Unions don’t protest about proposed benefit curbs

Unions do not seem to mind that the government does not want to raise benefits to the promised level but they do mind when it is about worker’s rights. In particular they moan about the pensions of public sector workers. Public sector workers are the biggest drain on the tax payer. Unions do not mind if benefits are cut just to satisfy their demands for workers. That makes unions very unpopular with me.

Without the public sector workers our system could not function. They are the middle-man between the rich and the large pool of poorer recipients of funds. If we had a different system whereby the rich were taxed directly by paying relatively more for products, less public sector workers would be needed to supervise subsidies to producers for example, as they would no longer be needed.

There should be more direct connection between purchase and benefit to producers without the interference of the state all the time. Just look at the big workload farmer’s subsidies produce. The matter of production can be completely overhauled by stopping producers making goods solely for the luxury markets, which require large spaces to store them whilst they remain unsold. Whilst lots of shop keepers selling cheaper goods just about survive in struggling markets and have to sell alcohol and tobacco to make ends meet.

Lots of civil servants have to distribute subsidies and tax reductions to those affected. We could do without this extra burden.

We just need to change the economic system to cut out those demanding public sector workers and so the problem is solved. Yet today, business and governments have no fantasy and no inclination to make a positive change for the future.

Many young people today struggle to find apprenticeships because too many goods are mass produced in far away countries, which do not need manual skilled labour. We should end the production of cheap mass goods, which are not fit to survive longer than a year on normal use. We must stop wasting our young people away on the benefit system. If we changed our economy to only produce quality goods, more young people would be needed to learn trades that are needed to make those goods locally.

Instead we get mass production, mass data processing and little attention to the needs of the people, who are made to survive on handouts and cheap provisions, distributed by expensive government officials.

After all it is only this economic system that allows left-wing politics to take a hold.

What jobs the future holds

Having just read the latest report about the biggest ozone hole yet over the Arctic, I wonder what type of job creation David Cameron has in mind when he promises to stimulate the economy. How long-term are David Cameron’s plans. Is he thinking further away or just till the end of his current term in office. I always thought that building houses is something that people do for generations, so that a house is not just for life but for the longer future.

What I really miss in any of David Cameron’s latest speeches, is a relevance to our future, in respect of earth warming and how rising water levels affect the type of homes we can built and where we can built them.

Of course I do not try to be pessimistic, it is always nicer to look ahead with fresh ideas and full of enthusiasm. That though needs a certain amount of realism, which is something I miss on all the major parties, in office today. They all talk about deficit reduction but fail to understand the basic principles of European law because the current government has decided to enter a Europe-denial phase in the hope that things work out against Europe at a later stage,whenever that may be. Whilst Labour, the Conservative and Liber-Democrats all play roughly the same trumpet, with only tiny little variations, we see all their followers follow suit with tiny upheavals here and there.

It is like it is described beautifully in this article, that all those party members suffer from the herd mentality. All comments and political behaviours follow suit as not to wake up the nation with some critical thinking. If anybody still remembers what it meant to learn about it at uni.

So what house-building would be sustainable for the future generations in the plural. It would have to be determined by doing some research how earth warming and rising water tables would affect our geography. Then of course future jobs would be determined by the fact that rising water levels would destroy much of our coast line and people would have to move north and start building new settlements on higher grounds. But I have not heard one high-profile politicians at the moment even mention the stark realities of our future to come.

 

large roads near schools are health hazard to children.

I wrote about the subject before when it was found that children’s lungs do not develop properly when they reside near busy roads. Now a study found that even school children suffer aggravated health problems from pollution if their school is in close proximity of a road. Kids spend around 8 hours in the school and they play outside at least 1 hour of that time. But pollution also comes in through windows, doors and other crevices.

Simon Birkett, Director of the Campaign for Clean Air in London said: “We need a massive campaign to increase the public understanding about the dangers of air pollution and we have to advise people on how to protect themselves and their children. this is an important issue”.

That could and should become the deciding issue at the next Mayoral elections how traffic can be reduced, how our children can be spared lung damage.

Here in Tower Hamlets the council has decreased the availability of parking spaces for new built flats. Schools are regularly monitored that parents do not park outside and parents are actively encourage to walk, use public transport or cycle to school. Many schools here in Tower Hamlets have now a transport policy and / or are part of the Sustrans ‘Bike it’ Network. However, in my view not enough is done to make cycling easier and mark roads clearly for good use, so that pedestrians are not endangered by cyclists and to help cyclist to ride safely, especially when they have children with them.

I think it is a job for a Mayor to re-structure the road policy and discourage use of petrol burning motor vehicles and encourage other forms of transport, which are environmentally friendly and also consider the reduction in space for each individual transport user with an increase in population numbers.

The Apothekon Project concluded that air pollution could be linked to coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults aged over 65. The Mayor published a study last year, which concluded that long-term exposure to airborne pollution is responsible for the premature deaths of more than 4.000 Londoners each year.

1,100 schools in London are within 150 yards of busy roads, which create high levels of pollution from exhaust fumes. The roads carry more than 10.000 vehicles each day, this could be responsible for 30% of all new cases of Asthma, European scientists claim. There are 2,270 schools within 400 yards of such roads.

Children have to take sick leave from school for breathing problems. One parent at St. Paul’s Primary School in Hammersmith has 3 small children who all suffer from Asthma. The school is in the centre of busy roads and parents support the campaign for clean air.

Under the circumstances it seems very unfair to London children that unemployed parents and often working ones are not allowed more than 2 weeks holiday to get a breath of fresh air outside of London.

I thoroughly and wholeheartedly support a campaign for fresh air. We are entitled to breathe clean air, as much as we are entitled to drink clean water. More must be done to improve air quality in London.

European Air quality can be monitored via websites, one of which is DfRA, which links to the Eye on Earth website. I find it hard to understand why the measurements show low pollution but breathing problems occur in children in high traffic areas. I suppose it does make a difference if one is within the immediate vicinity or measures an area from another location. Probably most readers know what its like to smell bad air.  My daughter lived on a very busy junction and the flowers died in the pots on the first floor and the laundry smelled bad.

I think there must be more strict measures than just age limits or taxis. There should be strict laws on polluting vehicles that spit black smoke from their exhausts and an age limit to all cars. I think Boris Johnson has already improved on vehicle idling by improving the waiting times at traffic lights, in that he reduced those and improved the flow of traffic. But more must be done to thin out traffic and disperse traffic from busy roads. The most radical solution would be stopping all traffic that is not necessary like allowing only business vehicles and creating more pedestrian zones in the Capital. Interestingly roof top gardens may improve the relaxation of employees but do not improve air quality on the ground and lower levels, which is where a lot of health damage takes place.

I have not yet heard any Mayoral candidates bringing forward radical solutions but Boris Johnson has improved the quality of public transport vehicles.

Source information Evening Standard 21.6.11

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