I've had issues with Greenpeace for years now, and they don't go away. The organisation which started out opposing the slaughter of whales has broadened its scope over the decades of its existance to cover every environmental issue around. It has also changed its modus operandi from activism to stunts and lobbying, and is now, in the words of one of the crew of the Greenpeace ship presently in the Southern Ocean, not run by activists any more, but by suits.
Sea Shepherd, which was formed by Captain Paul Watson, together with fellow Canadian Robert Hunter, when he fell out with the then Greenpeace President Patrick Moore. Moore is now a lobbyist for the logging, mining, salmon farming, bio-genetic engineering and nuclear industries, so Paul was a good judge of character. Greenpeace is now a moribund, overlarge multinational, full of middle class wankers who have no stomach for direct action, being more concerned with their pension plans than anything so controversial as interfering in the murder of whales, who they see rather as a handy means of raising money - the only mention on their website opening page is a picture of whales with the entreaty to 'support Greenpeace' ie. send us money. Read about the Sea Shepherd fleet of vessels here.
To make matters worse, Sea Shepherd has repeatedly tried to mend the relationship and co-operate to better effect against the Japanese whaling fleet, only to be rejected over and over by Greenpeace who cling to their petulent attitude, including refusing the offer of a helicopter [piloted by a former U.S.Marine Corp helicopter pilot], despite not having one themselves so being next to useless as far as finding the fleet - Paul Watson stated; 'For the sake of the whales, I am requesting that Greenpeace set our political difference aside. Our disagreements are trivial and petty compared to the slaughter we are both trying to stop. Once again I appeal to Greenpeace for cooperation. If Greenpeace cannot make peace with me, one of their original founders, then how can they expect to promote peace between nations?'.
Sea Shepherd on the other hand have huge support in Australia, which now has a conservationist Prime Minister, and an Australian navy vessel, armed and dangerous and crewed by young Australian sailors only too eager to defend whales, is heading down to the Southern Ocean to intercept and arrest any Japanese thought to be breaking international law - their ship is equipped with guns and holding cells for the criminals. Recent news is breaking that a shipful of 1,000 Japanese anti-whaling protesters is also headed down south to take on their countrymen. Lets hope there are a few Kamikazis among them!
Fact is, Greenpeace just want to be there to make movies, which will in turn make them money. Stopping whaling is low down on their agenda, and they are being marginalised by people who do actually care about that. Greenpeace should either fold up and distribute its assets among real environmental organisations, or become a branch of the Conservative Party and stop the pretense of being a radical organisation. Sea Shepherd, on the other hand, IS a radical organisation protecting the oceans of our world, and doesn't hesitate to ram whaling ships if the opportunity presents itself. That's the kind of direct action I admire, and they'll have my support all the while they do that. They are rightly feared by the whalers, because, unlike Greenpeace who now just film the their members in symbolic inflateable protests against the slaughter, they really will get stuck in, they care. The independent documentary on Greenpeace the other day said it all; they have hundreds of tonnes of meat on board for the crew's flesh habits, while almost all the crew of the Sea Shepherd vessel appear to be vegans. And now apparently, after the fire on board the Japanese abbatoir vessel in which one crewman died, Greenpeace held a vigil. They then offered to tow the crippled vessel back to port, and when that was refused they hung around for two weeks until the vessel had been repaired and could proceed under its own power; not something normally done, but then Greenpeace do have something to prove. Perhaps they're hoping for the Nobel peace prize.
Farmers - Anyone doubting that famers are on a nice little earner despite their constant wingeing and generally low IQ, should note that the girl of seven who was killed on a quad bike in collision with a Range Rover on Boxing Day in Essex, was the daughter of a farmer who gave both her and her ten-year-old brother the bikes for Christmas. These bikes cost £1,200 each and are intended for off-roading. They were riding them behind the father driving in his car, in the dark on a public road. It is illegal for anyone under sixteen to drive a petrol powered vehicle on public roads. It is not illegal for farmers to take the tax payers money to waste on breaking the law and killing their children. I shall expect the father to be prosecuted. So far only the unfortunate motorist who collided with the child is facing police questioning.
Just discovered this band, Band of Horses, and wondered why it took me so long as they appear to have been around for a while. They were on the Jools Holland show the other evening, which I often miss as I can't stand the oleaginous Jools who makes my flesh creep ever so slightly. But he does have some fine musicians on the show, and I really should try to suppress my dislike of him and watch it just to keep up. Band of Horses are scalp tinglingly good, so good that I immediately found their website and ordered the LP from which the songs they played on TV came. I don't do that often, but listening to them again on the website I was even more convinced they were special. Hailing from South Carolina via Seattle, they produce a fine brand of indie rock with Country and Southern rock overtones all hinging on a very individual voice, singer Ben Bridwell's, which is plaintiff yet powerful [and anyone who reminds me of Neill Young is onto a winner]. I may have to buy the first album as well, which by all accounts was a stunning debut. No One's Gonna Love You like I do [ Casey Finn] is a superb pop song, pure and emotional. Is there a ghost is another fine track.
I await my ebay purchases to arrive from China with some impatience, will they arrive on time? Hoping mail is speeded up at this time to cope with the huge increase, I mean, how long can it take to get on a plane from China? I expect the Band of Horses CD will arrive first from Amazon as it only has to navigate the trunk roads of Britain. In future, the environment allowing, with a miniature anti-gravity device attached to each parcel, they will fly separately to their destinations using solar power, programmed to find the recipient post code and call them on the telephone when the parcel lands outside their door. There will have to be a fly zone for mail to avoid collissions with commercial aircraft, which will undoubtedly still be flying on the last remaining stocks of fossil fuels, but expensively.
As I expected, Bali will join Kyoto in the catalogue of shame for humanity's complete disregard for the beautiful planet which gave birth to us. It is homo sapiens failure, although most blame has to go to America, home of the stupids with guns, still unwilling to face up to reality, or to make any change to their destructive, greedy, selfish lifestyle. Despite the brave face and positive spin politicians have put on it, Bali is a complete failure at the eleventh hour to actually do something about environmental armageddon which is fast approaching. Who knows if it's avoidable, or capable of being mitigated at this late stage, but we could at least, as a species, be trying to do something. But Americans, lardarsed thickoes who can't see past their next dinner, have dissed all moves by the rest of the world to make a last ditch attempt to change our ways, and will stand condemned if there is anyone left to condemn them.
It's no good Hilary Benn going on about what a change from a few years ago when America wouldn't even accept climate change was a reality, and now they do. The fact remains they will accept no restrictions on their 'economy' little understanding that they will have no economy when climate finally hits back in a major way. And all this at the end of a week when half of the US has been frozen solid, and a year when deserts have expanded, forests have burned and low lying areas all over have been inundated to a degree never seen before.
I suppose we can't blame them; it was after all the dregs of Europe who fled to the new world to steal the land from the indiginous people and make fortunes for themselves. And they have bred rather too much with cousins. So perhaps the rest of the world should treat America as a basket case, rather than expecting too much of it. No country with its marbles intact would elect a monkey as president, so best accept it and stock up on nuts.
Bali proves conclusively that homo sapiens was never fit for dominant species. Having been around for such a short time compared to the dinosaurs, we really did screw up big time and have no right to hang around while other species go extinct because of what we did. Mass suicide would be the only decent thing to do. Starting with Americans; they have the guns.
Never one to shut up when the opportunity to shoot his mouth off arises, 'Gombeen' Geldoff is now entering the climate change debate, another subject he is totally ignorant on, claiming that we have to invest heavily in nuclear power. This jumped up gobshite hypocrite has decided that the poor of the world aren't enough to exercise his miniscule talents and desire for attention and, ignoring all the arguments to and for investing in yet more nuclear, he simplistically as ever disses renewable energy as 'Mickey Mouse' in favour of nuclear, in a blog for car maker Lexus. More
'On this issue, I don't care what anyone says: we're going to go with it, big-time' says the ill educated bog man, well nothing new there then, when has this ego ever listened to anyone? That new nuclear power stations would cost vast amounts of money, would take at least a decade to build and come on stream, are dependent on imports of fuel, and can contribute only a small fraction of the UK's energy needs is clearly beyond this ponce's intellectual grasp. Having achieved nothing in terms of world poverty - something he set out to 'solve' a few years ago while not actually shelling out any of his own wealth, now the failed popstar publicity seeker is jumping into what he has finally percieved is the big issue of the day [and for the rest of the days before homo sapiens finally dies out on this radically changed Earth] with his usual subtlety and well considered viewpoint. The pity is that the media gives him the publicity he craves.
At last a Christmas song with some real lyrics, not the usual poncy 'maybe this could be my pension' crap, but a hard hitting song from Malcolm Middleton, titled 'You're gonna die'. It could even make it to number 1!
So Led Zeppelin have done their much hyped 'Concert for the Rich' and obscenely rich people from all over the planet have flown in for 90 minutes of songs which have all been heard before, were once considered a tad pretentious [Lez Zep did inspire 'This is Spinal Tap' after all]. The carbon footprint alone for this one off must top all records for a concert. Plant, with unbelievably golden curls still, did his rockstar bit, and Page, looking healthier than he was when last I saw him in the eighties, did his usual magic, showing yet again that he's one of the foremost rock guitar talents ever. Tickets at £125 each, with one pair of front seat tickets reputedly being resold for £83,000 made it beyond the means of ordinary folk [the obscene rich don't think what good they could do with that amount of money, like buy a flat for a homeless person, it's all about self]. As they were all sold in a lottery, it would have been unlikely that so many celebrities with money to burn would have got tickets, but Paul McCartney, Liam Gallagher, Mick Jagger, Priscilla Presley, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell managed it, so one assumes it was their millions which made it possible.
When I saw them in the seventies, moonlighting for the security company covering a series of London concerts, they were quite impressive, with Plant wandering round the auditorium at one point showing off his new radio guitar setup which freed him from the past restraints of the short guitar lead umbillically attaching him to his amp. I expect most of the audience at this concert were too young to have attended in the seventies, and those who were old enough probably weren't into Led Zep then. Now they can say 'I was there' and feel special. The Tee shirts will be on Ebay by now, and doubtless bootlegs will be on the P2P networks for the poor.
I've been having some fun on ebay for the last week, having searched for jade jewellery initially, and been sucked into bidding on several items, then some amber pieces took my eye, all from China or Thailand, then I got into some miniature antique jade carvings [Tang and Qing dynasty] which are really beautiful, then some boxwood ones which are more modern [there was even one of Mickey Mouse!] but beautifully observed and modeled. So far I have won ten items without paying more than I wanted to and a lot less than in High Street UK, and I'm waiting on half a dozen more to come to the end of their time.
The prices are truly excellent, even including postage they are easily affordable, and I'm now waiting for the parcels to arrive. At the same time, some French government prat has been complaining about Ebay in France, that it isn't regulated by French law, and claiming people get ripped off. He's clearly unaware of the way Ebay does business, and how sellers ratings are controlled by buyers; any dodgy deals would be quickly reported to Ebay and dealt with, anything shady or underhand would result in bad feedback from buyers with resultant loss of interest.
I suspect this is another example of the French getting shirty about the English linguistic takeover of the world, where once they dreamed everyone would speak French. Now even French people have to use English, especially on the internet, and the French authorities, ever mindful of the 'standing' of France in the world, have periodic outbursts of frustration. The spurious allegation that Ebay is unregulated is just the latest. Perhaps they can't get their heads round the public doing the regulating, rather than government dictat, with laws, regulations, prosecutions etc. Just like the music industry floundering in apprehension and lack of understanding over downloads, some people just find it too difficult to move into the modern internet age, fearing their world will be turned upside down, but it has already and the sooner they accept and work with it the better.
A new Gallup poll has found that Americans are the stupidest people on the planet: A new Gallup poll confirms what many of us already knew: Americans are stupid. In a poll that asks What single country do you consider to be the greatest threat to stability in the world? the vast majority of TV-watching American idiots voted for Iran with China coming in second and North Korea at third. The US didn't figure, despite it being one of the largest arms dealers in the world, has invaded more countries than anyone since WWII, has the largest stock piles of WMD in the world, has stepped out of international missile treaties so it can develop yet more megadeath bombs, and voted for a true idiot, Bush, only 8% of Americans consider the US a threat to world stability.
Here's a project worth supporting if anyone has some spare cash. A film, a work in progress, on the vanishing of honey bees in North America and elsewhere by what has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder [CCD], which involves bees abandoning their hive and their queen, a situation unheard of previously by those who know bees. This website explains and highlights the situation and has a trailer and information on something which will affect all of us eventually, and perhaps not so far in the future.
Whether we know it or not, we all depend totally on the humble honey bee to fertilise the majority of our food crops, if all the bees disappear, huge numbers of plant species will cease to exist, or at least cease to bear fruit and famine will result. This article suggests, with convincing scientific arguments, that it could be genetically modified [GM] crops [which areplanted widely in North America, but still banned from Europe where CCD is still not been verified] causing the bees demise.
If it is GM then we are doomed. GM pollen is now distributed round the planet, it's in the atmosphere, it's carried by winds high up into the stratosphere, something some of us have been trying to tell the clever scientists for decades. These plants have been genetically engineered to contain insect pathogens, and guess what, bees can be susceptible too. And although the GM scientists claim there's no danger, they have been known to lie and to get it wrong. In the event that this spreads worldwide, and currently there's nothing to suggest it won't, then we can forget about climate change making life on Earth untenable for the not so bright naked ape, as we'll all be extinct in a matter of years.
It seems like everything we do, even when trying to do the right thing, ends up in catastrophe. Hydro electric power on the surface appears a benign renewable energy source, but it's never that simple, and two schemes are presently much cause for concern: Mosul Dam in Iraq is causing worry among Iraqi bloggers and those who would be affected were the dam to collapse, while a far bigger problem, largely because it's much bigger, is the Three Gorges Dam in China, which isn't yet completed is causing earthquakes and mudslides, millions more are going to have to be moved from their homes and already cracks have started appearing. Even state officials have joined environmentalists in raising concerns, but the authorities as ever say everything is fine. One thing is certain if it goes, the majority of the booming Chinese population live downstream from it, the heart of industrial China, and there is such a weight of water building up that would make a tsunami seem like a ripple if it were to rage down to sea level.
See the rabid towelheads of Sudan are revolting in Khartoum. And all over a teddy bear. Don't remember Buddhists getting irate over Yogi Bear, and marching screaming in the streets demanding Hanna and Barbera be shot, but then maybe they have a stronger grasp on reality than Muslims.
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:
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