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Fool on the Hill is a ranting anarchist blog which attacks lies and dissembling of all kinds and exposes the environmental destruction that threatens life on Earth

 

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April 30 2009
We have three new mouths to feed!

The robins who nested in an unused plate rack hung on the garden shed wall have hatched their eggs and are working hard feeding the three demanding heads which shoot up from sleep every time a slight noise alerts them. With our help providing ready access to a special robin mix, -plus fat balls hung conveniently nearby, they should be able to raise all three successfully. More photographs soon.

Robins nest

It was a good choice, the plate rack, which as you can see below affords a snug, protected environment with no risk of rain or wind making life difficult for the youngsters.

Robins


April 28 2009
Whale wars - heroes or terrorists?

I was sent a DVD of the first two episodes of Whale Wars, to review, a new series just started on Discover Channel filmed with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society activists on board their ship the Steve Irwin as they tried to stop the Japanese from hunting down and killing whales in Antarctica. 

The crew of mostly young and highly committed volunteers, commanded by the avuncular Paul Watson who started Sea Shepherd, do whatever they can to disrupt the killing of whales, some of them putting their lives on the line and risking everything to do it, in the most remote and hostile seas on Earth. The filming throughout is exceptional; the camera is everywhere on the Steve Irwin, in the inflateables when attacking the whalers, and in the helicopter which acts as spotter plane for the expedition, the action is recorded in exciting, action packed scenes which include throwing stink bombs onto the decks of the whaler, and boarding it to manipulate the Japanese into starting an international incident, all filmed and sent by wireless broadband to news agencies throughout the world.

The series has everything and is better than fiction. It's a slap in the face for all those, including Greenpeace and the International Whaling Commission, who label them terrorists; they are never violent, the stink bombs are merely extremely unpleasant, unlike the live stun grenades launched by the paramilitary guards that Japanese whalers now have which could kill. See for yourself if the Sea Shepherds are breaking the law or upholding the law, after all, no governments will send their navy to tackle the Japanese despite them killing whales in an international marine nature reserve. So this little band of dedicated eco warriors are all that stand between the explosive harpoons and the whales. They have taken over from Greenpeace as the ones willing to risk themselves to defend whales, rather than film the slaughter and 'bear witness' as Greenpeace do while whales die agonising deaths and they stay pure and 'non-violent'. Greenpeace seem to have become similar to PETA these days, trading in the pornography of violence against animals to raise funds and increase their power base. Sea Shepherd just get on and do the job, and it's dirty. We have the privilege of seeing them do it courtesy of Discovery Channel. Don't miss it, and make up your own mind. To quote my favourite wit, Grooucho Marx, 'Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?'

Whale Wars screens at 9pm on Mondays from 27th April, only on Discovery Channel; visit http://www.discoverychannel.co.uk/web/whale-wars/ for more information and behind-the-scenes footage.

There's also a preview here http://www.youtube.com/user/DiscoveryTV

April 26 2009
Animation

I love animation of all kinds - since I worked on the animation on Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey in the sixties - and this little freeware program Sqirlz is a winner. With a seemingly infinite variation of settings that you can customise, it adds water effects to a picture like this one below, and also includes, raindrops and snow.

animation


April 25 2009
Of time and forgetting

My latest foray with the Olympus was to capture this shot below, an angle on time [the dandelion clock] and forgetting [the forget-me-nots] or perhaps not forgetting but remembering.

forget me not

Peter Simmons Photographer

Forget-me-nots are my favourite flower, tiny yet startlingly bright, they sit with their yellow hearts flashing in the midst of a vibrant blue which shines out from the darker green around it; they always make me smile with pleasure, and must drive bees wild with ardour they are so delivious. The ubiquitous dandelion clock was blown away by the following day, time again waiting for no one. It must be a memory common with everyone who grew up where they grow; blowing the seeds away to see if, with one blow [little lungs inflating to their full extent until, face red, the exhalation began], all could be scattered to the wind to grow bright and early next year with their wake-up yellow. The river meadows now are scattered with daisies and buttercups like stars in the night sky, with none of them relishing 'the plough'.


April 24 2009
A change of banner

I felt like a change of banner, the old one has been up for some time, and as I recently shot a series from the top of the castle mound overlooking Radnor, in Wales, and stitched it together using a trial version of Arcsoft Panorama Maker Pro 4, which is astonishingly good at matching up a series of pictures and joining them seamlessly. With my previous banner, I manually matched, copied and pasted them all together, and then set about covering the joins with the cloning tool in Photoshop, so many hours of work involved, and now, this program does it in a couple of minutes! And you won't be able to see the joins either. In the picture, Radnor is over on the left, the mound was clearly defensive, with an enormous amount of earth and rock needing to be moved to construct it, and capable of taking in all the surrounding farms and their occupants, of all species, if under attack. It's a relatively easy climb to get there despite that, and the view all round is stunning.


April 13 2009
They just don't get it

Not that it's particularly hard, but there seems an almost willful refusal to accept the stark fact that it is our consuming lifestyle which is destroying the ecosystem. An article in the Guardian said it all; oil consumption has dropped to the level it was in the 1980s due to the recession, this was reported as a dire consequence, and something to regret. Yet only recently governments were making grandiose promises to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels, while not having a clue how they were going to do that. Less oil being consumed means less carbon emissions, so without any action on the part of government, this drop has been accomplished. You'd think they'd be celebrating, but no, there's a desperation to return to pre-recession levels, to get the economy expanding again, to get growth climbing up and up again as a priority, for people to get out there to shop till they drop, buying worthless, unnecessary and unneeded goods to make themselves feel good, to create full employment again, to set off all over again with house price rises. In short, to learn nothing, but to continue with the same old way despite it clearly being the way to environmental meltdown.

What they should be doing is attempting to move people towards a less frantic life, to job sharing to reduce unemployment, to expand recycling and renewable energy industries, to change the economy to a sustainable system and to encourage people to start growing food for themselves. The UK is a net importer of food, having reduced the importance of agriculture over the last decades as imports of food have risen to alarming levels. Apart from the environmental cost of shipping or flying food from all round the world, there is the frightening prospect that when enviornmental excesses make growing food more difficult [as it surely will], the rest of the world will keep the food they manage to grow, and starvation will hit the UK, now dependant on imports for its basic survival. We have all known the insanity of grubbing up our apple orchards while the supermarkets import increasing quantities of French apples [which are tasteless, but have extended shelf lives] as well as apples from as far away as New Zealand and California, but it's been happening to many other crops, and as a result, UK growers have been pushed to the margins and can barely make a living. This doesn't concern the suits who are only interested in balance sheets and profit and loss statements. We also export such things as beef while importing almost equal quantities grown in what was once rainforest, making profits for the international traders, shippers and other parasites who contribute no actual value to anything, but whose efforts result in all of us paying more.

Meanwhile, the plods have swopped and arrested more than a hundred people in Nottingham planning a demonstration at a coal-fired power plant, under anti-terrorism legislation [passed by this government of control freak fascists] an increasing trend, treating peaceful environmental campaigners the same as islamist bombers. No one expects the plod to know anything about climate change, but they are under the control of fat Jacqui Smith who sees nothing wrong with grabbing as much expenses as she can, including for her sister's house as her second home, and porn DVDs for her husband, all at taxpayers' expense.

One can only hope that the recession gets much worse, that it is out of the hands of anyone [especially politicians like creepy Brown or the other pigs at the trough] and that it will force people to cut back, make do, repair and recycle instead of constantly buying new, and that many will start growing food to supplement what they have to buy. Famine in a rich country like the UK will not be a pretty sight. The plod would have their work cut out then, with no time to harass environmental campaigners or anti-capitalist activists.

 

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Time to move to higher ground

The time to move to higher ground link will change from time to time, illustrating how this phrase is becoming more and more common and relevent; from New Orleans, to Fiji to East Anglia to Holland and not forgetting other countries which aren't low lying but which can suffer devastating floods from too much rain, even Native Americans are affected.
I moved to higher ground in 2000 when it was clear that flooding was becoming the norm and climate change was happening now.
On the journey west, we passed flooded fields right across the [UK] midlands, it felt almost apocalyptic.
Since then, floods have become common in the UK and many other countries.

When farmers get flooded out on a piece of ground repeatedly they know what to do – farmers are a very practical lot – they move to higher ground


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Fadhel Al-Sa'd: The sun circles the Earth because it is smaller than the Earth, as is evident in Koranic verses... No verse in the Koran indicates that the Earth is round or that it rotates. Anything that has no indication in the Koran is false. [evidently, Galileo Galilei got it wrong]



The scenes from this war will create thousands maybe even millions of militants intent on inflicting damage on the only superpower. The war will be waged across America and in any American outpost and embassy. It will be brutal and messy and will continue for decades. Bush doesn't know what he has unleashed.
Fool on the hill March 2003


 


Some links to interesting climate-change related websites:

climateextremist

greenseniors.org

Animals Matter - a political party to change the way people think about animals

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