Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trying to educate the local Tory MP

Dear Graham,

Thank you for fitting me in last week at Westminster.   Your constituent, Maria, was doing very well explaining to you the Feminista manifesto, which I support.    I was already in London for Green Party Exec,  Earth Charter, and the women's rights and the badger cull demonstrations, and,  as I am always emailing you, I felt it might be useful to have a face to face meeting for a change.  As agreed, due to lack of time in your office last week, I shall  explain a few other points and make some requests  in addition to asking you to sign the Trident EDM.

Firstly, infinite and undefined 'growth' on a finite planet isn’t possible without destroying the planet.   The only kind of growth which would work would be ethical growth:  that is growth in activities which enhance rather than destroy communities and ecology.  Please see www.picturesofsuccess.org for examples.  Government's job is to give a clear lead and to set up arrangements to regulate activity.  Unregulated trade now  is anachronistic – to say the least.

Secondly, everything flows from this: if Corporate Man is in charge of this planet, everything becomes distorted.  For example, industrial farming likes monocultures instead of biodiversity - hence we get swarms of 'pests', leading to too much chemical use, leading to dying bees, leading to more chemical use...and so on.  It's 50 years since the publication of Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring' and what have we learnt?  Nothing, it seems.  Human health is also suffering of course, due to the poisonous environment we inhabit..... You could say this contributes to 'growth' -  in profits for pharmaceutical companies : all that chemotherapy!  ...Perverse incentives.

Thirdly, and related to the point above,  please do not support a badger cull.  The evidence now points clearly away from it being useful.  Nature's complexity should be respected.

Fourthly, related to points one and two, please stop doing what the construction lobby says.  Encouraging the selling off of the land for housing is the last thing we need when we must grow more food in this country.  Please promote legislation which stops new-build on greenfield sites   (my blog explains more)

Fifthly,  arms, and war.  Just because arms have been manufactured and used for a long time, it doesn’t mean it's a good idea!  Could we please move on and stop the madness of this industry?   An arms industry creates more perverse incentives...towards war...'we dont want to waste these expensive weapons, do we?'    The skills used to make weapons could, for example, be redeployed making equipment for renewable energy (like 'turbines back to Lissett': wind turbines now gracing the old bomber command airstrip)....  To be positive -  let's really put our backs into supporting Hull as a green city, and Yorkshire as an ethical trading region

Finally, may I ask you, once again,  to consult your conscience and consider signing EDM 96 Trident Replacement.   The EDM highlights the conclusions of the Government's own National Security Strategy that the threat of a nuclear attack by another state is of low likelihood.  Following on from that, the EDM is a simple statement of opposition to Trident replacement, highlighting its £25 billion procurement cost and £100 billion lifetime cost.  The conclusion is that there are better things to spend the money on, whether within the Ministry of Defence or in other Ministries.

In a time of spending cuts we must scrap Trident replacement - please add your name to EDM 96.

Sincerely          Shan Oakes

Monday, October 29, 2012

The tragedy of the human race

I can’t bear it that ancient forests all over the world are being hacked down to be replaced with industrial  agriculture in the name of ‘development’. 

In classical tragedy,  when the hero oversteps the mark,  he gets  his comeuppance :  he’s pursued to his death by the Furies.   In my view we are living our very own worldwide classical tragedy right now.   ‘The hero’   (the human race)  is exercising his fatal flaw(s) of  short-sighted selfish greedy arrogance (in the shape of Corporate Man).  He has  already unleashed the horrifying Furies.   Of course the Furies are tormenting the poorest and most vulnerable people and the other species first – but,  what goes around eventually comes around.  

What is particularly worrying is that so many  humans seem to think we can escape ‘the Furies’ by leaving this planet behind when it’s trashed, and going somewhere else :  to an afterlife, or other planets!     I wonder if we’ll ever get real and deal with our fatal flaws ?