ecological auditing for myself / my household
cool to just above blood heat
ecological auditing for myself / my household
ah pre election stress disorder. I have been fighting the urge to hide under my duvet, avoiding newspapers tv and radio. remembering all the tory election victories I stayed up to watch - I'm the only person I know who didn't watch the 1997 labour landslide because I was so sick of being disappointed.
Groups of people seem to develop a dynamic that is independent of the will of their members. How? Do they become systems is their own right? There is something quasi organic in the way they grow, die off, change, reproduce even.
Self organising groups that get tired and elect paid workers to lead them. Groups that try and remain democratic and equal and struggle with power relations. Groups that astonishingly do remain stable against the odds.
The first time I was puzzled by this was when a women's health group started to do free pregnancy testing (it was not easily available then). After a time most of us complained that organising this was taking up all our meeting time and we never got to discuss interesting topics any more. The group split into two, and the interesting one we said we wanted almost immediately folded.
I received this by email today. Is it too much to hope that the recent economic crises are swinging the tide against our debt culture?
We really can't eat the future.
TODAY humanity has used up ALL of 2008's natural resources. From now to 31st Dec we're in ECOLOGICAL DEBT to the only home we have.
Humans now require the resources of 1.4 planets Just like any company nature has a budget – it can only produce so many resources and absorb so much waste each year. Globally, we now demand the biological capacity of 1.4 planets. But of course, we only have one.
Each year, humanity's ecological footprint is calculated (its demand on cropland, pasture, forests and fisheries), and compares this with the amount of resources the world’s lands and seas generate. Our data shows us that in less than 10 months we consume what it takes the planet 12 months to produce.
Earth Overshoot Day creeps earlier every year Humanity has been in overshoot since the mid 1980s, when the first Earth Overshoot Day fell on December 31, 1986. By 1995 it was more than a month earlier, arriving on November 21. Ten years later it had moved another six weeks earlier, to October 2, 2005.
Earth Overshoot Day (also known as Ecological Debt Day) was a concept devised by the NEF (New Economics Foundation). NEF's Policy Director Andrew Simms is one of the internationally acclaimed speakers at this year's Leeds Schumacher Lectures on 4th October. Tickets and more details are available here.
The Independent annoys me by having excellent articles about the environment interpersed with injunctions to keep consuming, for example a weekly 50 Best series of things to buy. Last week it was shoes, illustrated with the usual 8 inch spike heels and I was so enraged I removed the front cover before I could bear to read it. There's something about high heels that epitomises everything I loathe and despise about fashion and postfeminism. I experience them as if they were actually grinding my face, rubbing my nose in it ha ha we hate you you hideous hairy old thing.
I was talking to my lovely feminist niece about Sex in the City, which she likes, though understands why I don't. But it's changed hasn't it? Episode one poured scorn on men who had sex with models, a couple of series later and Carrie was teetering down the catwalk.
well they got women on TV but I still ain't satisfied
cos cooptation's all I see and I still ain't satisfied
they call me Mzzzzz, they sell me blue jeans
call it women's lib, they make it sound obscene..
(red star singers, back in the 60s)
Beware all your hopes and dreams and best ideas they will try and sell back to you.
material girls in the Guardian on the new golddiggers says it well
does it matter? Yes, they are still thrashing about trying to keep us stupid and unhappy and buying buying buying.
Meanwhile back in the real material world no one wants to worry their pretty little head about..
Climate chaos is inevitable. We can only avert oblivion
best Beltane wishes to everyone. I was going to write a blog reviewing 1st 4 months of retirement, but am distracted. There seems to be trouble around, personally, as well as in the world of course. I'll talk about a tiny one.
My neighbour came round with a problem with the little stream that runs through our gardens. I checked and it was running fine through ours, high after yesterdays thunderstorm. In her garden downstream it was still and had been seeping out. I put on my wellies and tried poking into the culvert at the end, could not reach any blockage and the next people down are away. So not much I could do.
And it seemed a bit like a tarot reading. blocked energies, numbness, feelings leaking out into the wrong places. and strong people picking up the pieces, getting out their plungers and doing their best while trying to keep distance from the bits we can't reach or help or solve.
mayday, new life, labour, help me
and if in the UK please go and vote tomorrow particularly in London, a curse on the tory fool and the monopolistic daily paper that is his campaign mouthpiece. The only local paper here "forgot" to mention the Green candidate. Funny no one worries about them while accusing the BBC of bias.
workers, mothers, lovers go and vote in your shared interests. we are in this thing together
Canada's theme for international women's day is strong women - strong world. Over the border the possible first woman presidential candidate and possible first black presidential candidate are destroying each other's chances. Can they not cooperate? Has nothing been learned since the arguments over whether woman or black people (men of course) would get the vote first?
So too sad today to feel strong. let's turn instead to a strong black woman to cut through the crap, oh Sojourner where are you we need you?
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): Ain't I A Woman?
Women's Convention, Akron, Ohio
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
I always find remembrance day creepy. The red poppy runup, the 3 line whip for anyone appearing on TV to wear them, the small scattering of white peace poppies. The obligatory silence if you forget and end up in a public place at the wrong time.
Apparently soldiers disabled in the recent wars were not allowed to join the official procession as they were not "veterans"
Bob Worcester in Je Me Souviens says that less people are dying in wars now. But what is a war? And isn't this just soldiers?
In WW1 90% of deaths were soldiers. In WW2 50%. Now it's more like 10%.
Not that I don't feel sorry for the soldiers who die and the people who loved them, but I'm made very uneasy by the tone of newspaper articles that imply soldiers should never be killed. Do army recruitment ads need a goverment health warning "soldiers can die as well as kill"? Is the ideal that our boys (and girls perhaps) just sit safely at home pressing red buttons?
The human and ecological devastation of war is vast. The military is responsible for 25% of transport carbon emissions (among other things)
I'm not wholly a pacifist though. I would have fought the nazis in WW2. In the army in the UK, in the resistance in europe or preferably in germany to stop them getting to power in the first place. But when do you know?
I'm not a twitcher but I like seeing birds, and my favourite is the kingfisher. I'm lucky enough to have seen a few but sightings are rare and they always lift my spirits.
Last night we walked around a newly discovered (by us) local ecology reserve. Disused gravel pits in a small strip between the river and the road, hardly anyone goes there.
So this abandoned pit is now a clear stretch of water, blue in the midsummer evening sun. Over it I saw a kingfisher fly into a tree, and it emerged a few moments later so my partner saw it too. Not just the turquise blue but the bright orange underbelly illuminated by the low sun. It flew across and was gone, but is still imprinted in my mind as a glowing vision of pure happiness.
Are we predisposed to love that colour? The oasis in a desert. The longed for cooling stream. A reminder of the preciousness of water as we wonder how long these small wild places can hold on.