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.