One wedding and several funerals

[ UPDATE : SEVERAL NEW PLAUSIBLE FACTOIDS HAVE EMERGED NECESSITATING CHANGES. ]

Jubilant scenes across New York as mass flag-waving breaks out to celebrate.

Are they congratulating Wills and Kate ? The Americans probably reviewed the TV ratings for the right royal wedding and decided they too needed something to boost the morale of the nation. So they went and killed Osama Bin Laden.

Or not. He could have been dead for days, because the plans were made weeks ago. Was he killed pre-emptively ahead of the collective British regal marital hysteria ? Why did the young newlyweds ship out to an “undisclosed location” instead of jetting off on honeymoon, pronto ? Was there a “credible threat” made on their lives in retaliation at the death of the Al Qaeda spiritual leader ? Or was an unarmed Osama bin Laden murdered by a surprise military attack at night at his family home after an Al Qaeda threat was made on Prince William and his new wife ? You have to admit the timing of the news is interesting…

Bin Laden “buried at sea” ? Yeah, right. If his body was dumped at sea, that could cause considerable affront to his supporters, but at least it would cover the fact that he had been dead for well over 24 hours, which would be an even worse affront according to Muslim burial traditions. If the body was no longer fresh enough for a photo shoot a hypothetical burial is necessary, one that can obscure the facts from international cameras and mobile phones. The Americans sent in a hit squad rather than dropping bombs from drones. Why go in person ? To make sure they have video and photographic evidence of the killing to show to Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama a few days later ? And by what moral and legal justification did Barack Hussein Obama issue a kill order instead of capturing Osama bin Laden for trial for his alleged crimes against humanity ?

Meanwhile, back in Libya, several other funerals have taken place after a NATO bombing raid in Tripoli, at night, targeting the Gaddafi family home, the victims of which included a son and some grandchildren of Colonel Gaddafi (and possibly even Muammar Gaddafi, the Brother Leader, himself, was killed too, although we don’t know that for sure yet) and sparked massive protest, which may lead to foreign troops “on the ground” to “finish off” the war – maybe disguised by gas masks, or under cover of enacting war crimes warrants. Various world leaders have declared they want to see the end of the current regime in Libya. NATO might be used to protect energy supplies. It could get a whole lot nastier now. What had Libya and Libya’s leader done to deserve this ? Declare energy independence ? :-

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/67d1d02a-5314-11e0-86e6-00144feab49a.html#axzz1LD4mxQ1w
“Oil companies fear nationalisation in Libya : By Sylvia Pfeifer and Javier Blas in London : Published: March 20 2011 : Western oil companies operating in Libya have privately warned that their operations in the country may be nationalised if Colonel Muammer Gaddafi’s regime prevails. Executives, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the rapidly moving situation, believe their companies could be targeted, especially if their home countries are taking part in air strikes against Mr Gaddafi. Allied forces from France, the UK and the US on Saturday unleashed a series of strikes against military targets in Libya…”

Osama bin Laden was arguing for a end to foreign interference in Arab territories, which naturally would have involved reasserting national control of oil and gas resources, and retaining wealth in the countries of origin. And many western strategists believe that this “threat” should never be allowed to happen. Osama bin Laden, in poor health, had probably negotiated a deal where he was allowed to live peacefully in retirement, but things changed, and the American Navy stormed his house at night and killed him and attacked his family. If the United States go after a sick man, and nearly murder his wife just because she happened to be in the way when they shot him (no taking prisoners, then), what will they do now ? Take out Pakistan for harbouring him (even though they agreed to host Osama bin Laden’s retirement in the first place) ? Or cut international aid intended for disaster relief in Pakistan ? It is now a distinct possibility that by encouraging universal joy over the death of the “sinner” bin Laden, a great piece of media entertainment, the world audience is being warmed up for overpowering violence against Libya, whipped up by American hawks. The deal breakers. All the wrong actions for all the wrong reasons.

And what did Barack Hussein Obama say ? “No Americans were harmed“, whilst “bringing Osama bin Laden to justice…Justice has been done“. Internal moral compasses may flinch at these words. Justice normally involves a court of law, not the President of the United States watching an “enemy of America” being liquidated on a secure webcam. Two victims of extensive and enduring negative American propaganda have been attacked with full military might whilst tucked up in bed at home. Who’s next ? Julian Assange ? Hugo Chavez ? Some other man made out to be a demon ? And while Ed Miliband, Labour Party leader in the United Kingdom says the world is now a “safer place”, Americans are being issued with travel advisories.

Irrepressibly Positive

Image Credit : IndyMedia

Campaign activism. For so long it’s been about negatives, bannings, stoppings, full of anti-attitudes.

But now, here today, in glorious technicolour, I am announcing the formation of a pro-positive, cheerleading, bouncy, public movement of natural-born optimists.

“In Praise of Carbon-free Planes” is a new movement all about accentuating the positive of aeroplanes that produce clean air and holy water from their engines, that cost virtually nothing to run and make people exceptionally happy.

It’s a wholesome campaign, a virtuous club of the more-than-willing. There’s nothing at all down, negative, bad or wrong, evil or morally questionable or worrying about Carbon-free Planes. They are calorie-neutral, so you can eat as many as you like in your cereal bowl for breakfast.

Plus, they’re such a light concept, they’re gossamer-thin, wispy and transparent. So, they don’t exist, but that’s no reason not to call for them.

Just like we’re calling for smoke-free, smog-free, Carbon-free Coal. And icky-spill-free, conflict-free, Carbon-free Petroleum Oil. And chemical-free, Carbon-free refineries, exhaust-free particulate-free Carbon-free cars, vans and trucks.

Continue reading Irrepressibly Positive

George Marshall : The Dying of the Light

In the orange light-filled advertising corner : the oil and gas companies proclaiming new, untold riches beneath the melting Arctic. Technology will make us stronger, less polluting and improve the lives of the countless poor.

In the blue chain-smoking activist corner : Climate Change and Peak Oil are really, really serious, destabilising and horrible and we should all get depressed and go and lie down in a darkened room for a while.

On the other hand, most people don’t fall in one camp or the other. We worry about Climate Change some days, but we’re too pre-occupied with trivia on other days.

We have a natural in-built “happy button”, according to recent research mentioned in New Scientist magazine, so we can’t sustain feelings of doom and gloom for too long unless we’re clinically unwell :-

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727791.000-how-to-be-happy-but-not-too-much.html

We’re born to be sunny, optimistic (Teddy Miliband’s favourite word) and relaxed, only reserving adrenalin and noradrenalin for times of stress.

So why does George Marshall try to convince us that everyone is dangerously susceptible to “apocalyptic” language ?

http://climatedenial.org/2010/09/29/collapse-porn/

People can cope with being given bad news as long as they have some strategy with which to combat the problem.

It’s not wrong to tell people the truth about Climate Change just in case they get scared and worried.

Alarm is a good thing – I’d rather a fellow pedestrian shouted at me to “look out !” if I’m about to be mown down by a car as I cross the street, rather than just watching on and wincing at the crunch moment.

Continue reading George Marshall : The Dying of the Light

Tu Me Manques, David Miliband

I don’t know about you, but I’m missing David Miliband from the political fish-eat-fish top table already.

If he were to ask me, which he won’t, but anyway, if he did, I would recommend that he starts reading up about Energy production and supply, over the next 18 months or so before he gets invited, acceptingly, back into the Shadow Cabinet of the UK Government.

If he were to spend his time on the train between South Shields and Westminster looking into energy security matters, into crustal petrogeology, the Middle East oil fields, Wind Power, solar and marine options, he could make a strong comeback into the limelight – as opposed to the “lemon” light he’s been cast into, thrust into, so far.

If he becomes acquainted with the ways and wiles of engineering and fossil fuels over the next few years, the viability of Renewable Energy solutions, the transport explosion phenomenon and how to control it, then he will be able to offer solid assistance to his younger brother Teddy – who appears to be mistakenly sold on the idea of new nuclear power.

And if Ed Miliband were to ask, (again, which he won’t), I’d say – atomic energy cannot save us; carbon capture technology cannot save us; algae biodiesel can only trickle, even Frankenstein GM algae biodiesel; Peak Oil is almost definitely here; efficiency of use alone cannot save us. We have to go right out for a non-combustion, Renewable Energy future.

Stay, David, Stay !

Video Credit : Russia Today : 24 September 2010

The timing was critical.

Just before the election of the new Labour Party leader, there was a media buzz concerning suspicion that David Miliband might have been personally implicated in decisions regarding interrogation involving torture practice in foreign countries.

What surprised several commentators was that this was not news. An enquiry was announced by David Cameron in July, and new guidance was issued (which human rights groups have challenged).

The timing of this upsurge of “watercooler debate” was striking in that it was so close to the Labour Party’s hour of decision :-

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314427/David-Miliband-gave-green-light-interrogations-torture-nations.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11414770
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100926/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_torture_inquiry_1

It appears that David Miliband may have been tripped up once again.

Continue reading Stay, David, Stay !

The New Teddy

How long will it be before the nation’s kiddies and softies start calling Ed Miliband “Teddy” ?

I mean, there he is, making the most important speech of the Labour Party year, newly elected as leader of that party, and his hair misbehaves in that cute, fluffy, just-got-out-of-bed, ruffled way.

Somebody see to his coiffure, please ! He’s in line to lead the nation. He can’t have a follicle out of place.

Extract from Teddy Miliband’s first leadership speech :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/sep/28/ed-miliband-labour-conference-speech

“…Let’s be honest, changing our institutions won’t be enough to restore trust on its own. Look in the end, it’s politicians who have to change. This generation must reject the old ways of doing politics. And must speak to the issues our generation knows it must confront. The focus groups will tell you that there’s no votes in green issues. Maybe not. But taking the difficult steps to protect our planet for future generations is the greatest challenge our generation faces. When I think about my son, I think what he will be asking me in twenty years time is whether I was part of the last generation not to get climate change or the first generation to get it. And climate change, just like the aging society, can’t be tackled by the politics we have. They don’t lend themselves to the politics of now: instant results, instant votes, instant popularity. X-factor politics. So we can’t be imprisoned by the focus groups. Politics has to be about leadership or it is about nothing…”

Actually…I’ve decided I’m a convert. Marvellous stuff. Who is this man’s speechwriter ? I want to talk to his agent.

…And for more of that cute little-biddy bed-hair cowlick at the back of his head, watch here :-

You know, in this video, I think that his brother David actually ruffles it some more…the Miliband Brothers’ “hair ruffle” – something to beat the Obama first family “bump” ?

So sibling affection. But mixed up in that a spot of sibling rivalry ? :-
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/img/cartoons/mac/2010/09/28092010.jpg
“I’m sorry. I didn’t want my political ambitions thwarted, so I sold him on eBay.”

Edward Goes Greenward

Don’t get me wrong. Despite the fact that the election of Ed Miliband to the leadership of the UK’s Labour Party proves that it’s still a very small club for posh boys at the top of the working man’s political authority of choice, Ed Miliband does have some advantages from his experience in the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

He’s probably the only person in the shadow Government who has the faintest idea about where electricity comes from, and what the future should hold for energy resources and energy services, in an increasingly tightened global economy. We definitely need somebody at the highest rank disputing the Government’s mistaken policies, who knows that energy production is not the black art of a magician, and has a price, and consequences.

Both “Ed” and his brother David have had important roles in managing the country, but Ed has avoided falling into a number of gaffe-traps that David has smilingly and innocently dropped into. And he hasn’t always adopted the lobbying positions from large energy companies. Unlike David, who, it appears, could probably be persuaded to say anything on behalf of Big Energy Business, especially Big American Energy Business and the Airlines.

The right-wing press are accusing Ed Miliband of being a closet communist, or crypto-fascist, just about, as he was an acolyte, avatar and archivist for former “Premier league” Gordon Brown, but they should be more concerned about his commitments to a revolution in Energy, a European-led Low Carbon energy revival.

The Labour Party has swung Ed-ward. And he’s not going Redward. Edward is going Greenward.

Should Have Been Diane

http://www.dianeabbott.org.uk/news.aspx

Really, it should have been Diane Abbott who was elected to lead the Labour Party of Great Britain. She’s forthright, outspoken, gives good telly, and shows us that the central political battleground is rather like a kindergarten of cloned, spoiled infants, all vying for, and whining over, needlessly, one brightly-coloured soft toy covered in lickspittle and Asian flu variants.

Why do the top politicians all have to wear standard office suits, I ask you, with monochromatic ties ? Why do they all have to have short hair and be shaved and male and white, or if not white, then hail from an ex-colony ? Is it that the rich dodderers who actually run the country from their slick, corporate lobbying offices feel more comfortable if there’s a white, beardless man at the helm ?

I can imagine it now, in spit-waxed, leather-armchair, illegally smoke-filled lounges, “Oh, that chap Ed Miliband – he’s one of us, don’t you know. Slightly exotic political family background, but he’s a proper gentleman, knows how to use a handkerchief when he catches a nasty cold, and wear cufflinks, and knew he should frown frostily, patronisingly, even perhaps slightly nauseatedly at Gordon Brown, the day he left office. Excellently phlegmatic – just what we need to serve the purposes of the country’s rich. Don’t listen to that blather about the unions, he isn’t red. Ed’s our man. He’s quite open to big industrial lobbying. We just need to get his party resurrected to power.”

Continue reading Should Have Been Diane

Permanent Session of the Climate Security Council

Ed Miliband put on his favourite suit, shirt and cufflinks today and ruminated at the Environmental Audit Committee in the House of Commons in the United Kingdom Parliament (all you Americans can stop reading now : none of what follows will concern you) :-

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=6084

One of his many views was that there should be a more permanent nature to the ongoing international Climate Change negotiations, and I entirely agree.

Ed Miliband said he didn’t think that there should be a “repeat” of what happened at the Copenhagen UNFCCC conference in December 2009. I also agree with that.

Goodness gracious me ! I find myself in agreement with Ed Miliband !

Triumph Voluntary : Bigger than Coal

In the hallway supping on orange juice and ice, I turned off the Sky Eternal Non-News on a fat, loud TV because I saw someone standing in front of it in a hynotic trance. He complained, but didn’t demand the show turned back on. Thankfully that provided the quiet for us all to talk some to each other and read a little.
Continue reading Triumph Voluntary : Bigger than Coal

Ed Miliband : Hot Reaction

I mustn’t be too hard on the man, he’s just become a father. And he is most congenial, friendly and well-motivated in his heart-felt engagement with Climate Change.

But seriously, if he really wanted to engage the people in the room, he would have been more careful not to be so dismissive of the magician outside the front door who was trying to show everyone very theatrically that Carbon Trading doesn’t work.
Continue reading Ed Miliband : Hot Reaction