The Power of Wind Power In Our Cities.

Anyone who has ever held a smiling sun flag or anti-nukiller-power banner will know just what the wind can do.

Here is proof of just what we can do with such a power.

UK windfarms now generate enough power to light and heat more than 3 million homes.

Now if only that power could be used to power vertical windturbines on our city street, and combined it with solar panels , then we would never need to pay for street lighting ever again.

Just think of the savings which would be made on public expenditure this way,  and how that money might be better used for social care or libraries.

Such projects could also kick start local economies,
& be an ideal form of co-operative employment.

Vertical Wind Turbines.

There are a lot of people who do not like wind turbines to be
placed in the countryside.

The real problem is not where they are constructed,
but how to generate electrical power just where it is needed the
most:  –
i.e.  In our cities or urban centres.

I was in centre of Bristol last week, and came upon the site of a
vertical wind turbine which is installed on top of a roof.

It looked very elegant indeed.

There are a lot of very good technical reasons why this type of
vertical turbine in ideal for use within urban areas.

The are many different models to choice from.

Some of them are also being used in offshore wind farms.

There are also a lot of very imaginative designs for windturbines
which have been and are being developed right now.

I look forward to the day in which they become just as common a
sight as the urban fox.

So Called Ecologists.

There is an old saying which likens ‘Fighting for Peace’ to that
of screwing for virginity.

There are co-called ecologists who claim that the problem of
climate change can only be solved by the use of nukiller
power.

They would seem to of forgotten that mining of Uranium,
and every thing else about nukiller power produces Climate
changing damage.

This says nothing of the other long term ecological mess
which nukes produce.

We can stop climate change
– by cutting our energy use,
– by building wind farms,
– by better insulation of our homes,
&
– reverse things by growing more trees.

What we can not do is work out how to safely store the
radioactive sludge which result from the use of nukiller
power,
or
guarantee to safeguard this very toxic waste into the coming
millenniums.

So when the likes of George Monbiot states that Nukes are the
answer to Climate change,
then all I can do is sing the words to that popular old song:
‘and the band played believe it if you can’.

Promoting Wind Turbines.

The first time I saw a wind turbine in use was some 30 years ago, and all I could think of was WOW!
I still get those WOW! moments every time I see a wind farm in
action.

The really important thing to remember about windfarms is
that it is tried & tested technology which can help us solve the
problems we all face in terms of both nukiller power and
global warming.

The other important point about the use of wind turbines,
is they form a part of a decentralised solution to much of our
economic woes.

I also believe that it is really important to promote the use of
wind turbines,
and as a part of this effort I’ve put together a brief set of
links upon the subject.

Energy4all.

This will give you links to all of the ( windfarm ) energy
co-operatives within the uk.

Wind Power Monthly.

This is worth reading.


Wind Power Works

For some very good technical info for none techies you might
like to look at the Windpower website.

Marine Current Turbines.

This company has developed some really tidal power
technology.
There is also a very long history of the use of wind power which you might like to read about.

Poul La Cour

Poul La Cour was a pioneer of wind turbines.

He was also one of the greatest technologists of the
twentieth century.

You might also like to learn about his museum.

Once you know more about his work,
and all those have followed on from him,
then you too will go WOW!

Palestinian Waters

Just like many other people I’m very critical of the World Bank,
but just once in a while they do produce some interesting reports.

One that caught my eye of late is
world bank report 47657-gz .

‘WEST BANK AND GAZA
ASSESSMENT OF RESTRICTIONS ON PALESTINIAN
WATER SECTOR DEVELOPMENT.’

Water supply & waste disposal are very fundemental needs for most people,
but given the political structure of the area,
then how these services are delivered presents major problems all around.

Maybe it’s not the most imaginative of titles,
but the contents do illustrate a lot of the fundemental problems which occure within the
area.

The Sharpness Action – July 1979.

For many years I have told the story about going up a dock
yard crane.

This is the first time that I have ever written about just what
went wrong upon the action, and just how it effected me.

Of necessity this is very much a personal account.

To my knowledge there has never been any academic account
of the action.

Summary.

July 4th 1979.

This was a direct action that took place in a dock yard where
low level nukiller waste was being loaded on to a ship to be
dumped at sea.

It was one of those actions upon where every part of the
planning went wrong.

Some of us on the action had never meet before, and there was
no attempt to do any NVDA training before we set out for the
action.

Most of us on the action were stopped and held by the police
on the way to the docks.
& thus no one landed up in the place they were supposed to be.

It also involved going up a dock yard crane,
and the unplanned action of various people sitting in front of
a dock side train.

Needless to say,
& whatever the intention ,
the whole concept of support people and affinity groups did
not come in to play.

Various people who had never intended to climb up the cranes
were on them when the police started to carry away everyone
else who was in the area,
and then the real fun bit kicked in to place….

What Went Wrong.

The action was part of a campaign by the Seven Side Alliance
to stop drums of low Level nukiller waste being loaded upon a
ship at Sharpness Docks and then dumped at sea.

The Seven Side alliance was made up of Anti-nukiller groups.
The largest of which were from Stroud & Bristol.

A small demonstration had taken place at docks during the
loading of the boat during 1978,
but only by people from Stroud and the immediate area.

I had meet some of the people who were going to take place on
the action before, but many of us on the action had only meet
for the first time the night before.

Of necessity the group in Stroud undertook a coordinating
roll on the action,
and so most of the planning for the meeting was as much of a
briefing about what had been done so far in preparation for
the action as anything else.

Thus we had to rely very heavily upon the local knowledge of
those who lived within the Stroud area.

There was no Nonviolent training for the action,
and no thoughts were given about any contingency planning.

As an aside:
It might also noted that such NVDA (Nonviolent Direct Action)
training which had taken place in the UK during the 1970s,
was aimed towards running demonstrations,
rather than this kind of more dramatic action.

It was the people who were supposed to be doing some of the
support rolls that could not get away from Stroud:
because the vehicle they were in started to malfunction.

None of us from outside of the area were provided with a maps
of the area,
though I do recall been shown a sketch map of the docks.

We only ever managed to get something like an hour & half
sleep upon the floor before setting out for the action.

Being stopped by the police and held for 1hour & 40 minutes
on the way to the docks was something that had never built in
to the planning scenario.

Neither had we ever dreamed that we would have to push a
police vehicle along the road after we were released.
This was due to the police vehicle having run down its
batteries while we being held in the middle of a very narrow
country lane.

Once released and overlooking the docks we expected the
place to be full of the police,
but the first of them only turned up some 20 minutes after we
entered the docks.

It had also been decided that a press release would be put out
at the time we were scheduled to arrive at the docks, but no
one had thought about what would happen if this action was
delayed.

Thus one of the group had to make a phone call to make sure
that this call was not made until we had entered the docks.

It was at that stage that things seemed to take on their own
momentum.

No one had though about checking out if anyone who planned
to go on the action might just happen to suffer from vertigo.

When we entered the docks it was still early dawn,
and everyone who was with me just wanted to go run for a
crane and climb up it.

At that stage I just froze.

It must of been some sort of self preservation instinct that
kicked in. Though in retrospect that seems like it being very
sensible indeed.

No one had any hard hats, slip proof footwear, life jackets, or
any kind of safety harnesses with them.

These were the days before anyone ever really gave much
consideration to health and safety issues.

Later on others arrived everyone at the docks and went up on
to the cranes, and then down to the dockside again:
– Myself included.

Thus when the docks was cleared by the police: –
No one was in the position that they had planned to at.

The dockyard train turning up hauling the drums of nukiller
waste was an unexpected occurrence.

No one had given any thought as to what might be done if this
might happen, and thus the sit down in front of the dockside
railway train was a totally spontaneous action.

After this happened those on the sit down were carried on by
the police & dumped down the road.

At this stage there was one on the action who had any list
names of who was were still in the docks,
or any contact addresses for them if things went wrong.

We had all left our bags in a house in Stroud, as a just in case,
and the only really useful phone number I had was that of a
lawyer.

This being in the era before mobile phones, it was only the
public phone near to the docks that was available for us to
use.

There was also no local contacts that we could call upon for
help within the Sharpness village.

When the police cleared the docks and carried away those
who did the sit down there was only one guy from Stroud and
myself to do any contact work with others.

When the guy from Stroud went off to chase the police car
that had driven off with those who had sat in front of the
dockyard train, it left me as the only person to observe what
was going on at the dock yard gate.

It might also be noted that no real thought had been given
about how we might record the action. I had the only camera
on the dockside, and thus I took the only photos which exist of
this event.
( The photos are now with my archive at the IISH in Amsterdam. )

Within the next couple of hours a lot of local supporters
turned up, as did some of the press.

While the docks were closed to us outsiders,
and people were on the cranes,
there was a lot of people milling in front of the dock gates.

As vehicle went in or out of the dock gates people were sitting
down in the road,
but the police would just pick them up and dump them on to the
grass verge.

It happened so many times that those of us who were by the
gate became very blase about the whole thing.

Yet again this was an unplanned for action.

Something else which had not been planned for,
was a small boat which got in docks and was apprehended.

As luck would have it no one was arrested that day,
but those on the cranes were held by the police before being
released.

Getting back from the action.

How we might all get back from the action to pick up our bags
was something else which had been overlooked,
Thus it was just a matter of luck who was around and able to
give us a lift back to Stroud.

To this day I have no idea just how one would make the Journey
from Sharpness to Stroud by bus.

In the evening I went back on the bus with the group who were
from Bristol.

I was staying at Bristol at the time.

You can imagine just how tired we all were by that stage.

What happened on the Friday.

The demonstration on the Friday involved just a small number
of people.

While one group of people held a symbolic protest at one side
of the docks,
another small group went in to the docks from the other end.

The intention was that the group who got in to the docks
would chain themselves on to the lock gate which gave the
ships access to the River Seven.

If the idea of people chaining them selves to the dockyard lock
gate had taken place, then we may of had some of the same kind
of logistical problems to face as a few days earlier.

Yet again no one who had volunteer to undertake this action
was wearing a hard hat, life jacket, life jacket, or safety
harness.

I didn’t volunteer to take part in this action as I’m not a
swimmer.

After that week there was no follow up meetings for those of
us who were upon the action,
&
No follow on support too .

With just 3 exceptions,
I never meet any one else who was on the action from that
week on.

When I got back to London on the weekend there was no real
immediate emotional support awaiting me,
and no one who was near me with whom I should share this as a
common experience with.

What I did find that helped me was to write a long account of
the action which appeared in the Anarchist Periodical
Freedom – July 28th 1979 .

1980

The next year there was another action just outside of
Sharpness.

A scaffolding tower was placed upon the small railway line
just outside of the docks. This held up the transportation of
the nukiller waste drums to the ship.

In 1981 the dumping of nukiller waste was suspended,
and has never been resumed.

My own take upon being involved within any NVDA as a result
of being on the Sharpness Action.

While this account might be a good one to show just was might
go wrong on an action,
and thus show the need for some proper contingency
planning:
there is also something else which needs to be said.

It is not just the need for proper planning,
and NVDA training for an action which needs to be considered.

It is the follow up,
and follow up support for those who take part in actions
which really needs to be worked upon by those who engage
upon NVDA.

Renaming and Rethinking the world.

I have a small undated J Bartholomew atlas of the world,
which must of been published around the start of World War
one.

Looking at the maps in this work is a lesson in history,
for within this atlas you will find the following places: –

Galicia,
Bohemia,
East and West Prussia,
Schleswig-holstein,
Christiania,
Siam,
Nubia,
Ceylon,
Manchuria,
Austria-Hungary,
Servia,
Peking,
St Petersburg,
Annam,
Persia,
Rhodesia,
Silesia,
Moravia,
German South West Africa,
German East Africa,
&
The Belgium Congo.

Though the more knowledgable of you may be able to place
these counties, regions, or towns upon the map,
it might prove be very difficult for those individuals who are a
product of our modern education system to be able to do so.

The point being that many of those places have changed their
names since the publication of this atlas,
much in the same way as national boarders have oscillated
over the centuries.

This is turn might be a very good starting point for a lesson in
linguistics.

Even a fleeting glance at this atlas will confirm just how
much the political map of the world has changed over the last
100 years.

It all goes to show that there is nothing static about politics,
or just how we see and name the world about us.

Yet while the Russian, Japanese, Dutch, Austro-Hungarian,
French, Spanish, British, and German Empires
of the last century have long gone,
we are still exploiting the world in the very same way.

We need to start thinking about the world in global terms,
and not via the names of states which will continue to come
and go.

Only then will we be able to start dealing with global issues
at a local level,
and not be bound to thinking about the short term shifting
needs of the nation state.

A Walk In The Urban Wild Life Park.

There is something which I keep noticing:
a lot of areas of waste land within our city centres.

Areas that have been flattened after various buildings have
been pulled down, and which currently serve no socially
useful purpose.

These are places which are surrounded by fences, and that
are now starting to turn in to urban wildlife areas.

Such patches of waste land are very indicative of just what
has been happening to society over the last few years.

– How certain parts of the economy slowed down and came to a
complete standstill.

We now keep being told how the recession is on the turn,
yet I’ll not believe that the economy is starting to work again:

– Not until there are signs that all of these waste grounds are
being opened up and new buildings are being constructed.

Yet that is not the end of this story………

Continue reading A Walk In The Urban Wild Life Park.

What’s the Colour of Your Shirt?

The recent political struggles between the Yellow & Red Shirt
movements in Thailand reminds me of an earlier era.

During the 1930s we had the Communist Reds, Nazi Brown
shirts, and Fascist Black shirts.

In 1931 Paul Poirt came up with the idea of a Green Shirt to
sybloblise peace. The use of this colour was based upon the
fact that olive branches are green.
This idea was backed by the New York based New History
Society which sold these shirts, as did the War Resisters
International.

In 1934 the music hall Lupino Lane recorded a satitical song entitled Shirts. This was a very partriotic song which stated that Britains would never wear shirts.

During the 1970s the Green Movement came in to being.

It was during this era that I used to be in correspondence with
Petra Kelly.

Petra was a founder of the Green Party in Germany.
We both had a concern about the various dangers posed by the
Nukiller Power Industry

Since that time anything which is ecologically sound has
become known as green.

With growing concerns upon the use of fossil fuels as a
major cause of global warming ,
we are now starting to get many politicians,
and the Nukiller Power industry,
referring to Nukes as being:
‘A Green alternative to fossil fuels’.

Well the major objections to the use of nukiller power have
not changed that much since the 1970s.

Just stating that one has changed ones colour does not
change the facts.

Nukiller power is major environmental polluter,
and nothing is ever going to change that fact.

There is an old expression about being broke, or loosing the
shirt off ones back.

Any development of Nukiller power will really be going for
broke,
and we will all then be without a shirt to put on.

What’s So Special About the Automotive Industry?

I keep hearing about how various western Governments wish
to pour money in to the Automotive industry.

They claim that this is in order to kick start the economy,
reduce the number of people on the dole,
and help in the manufacture of (sic) ‘Green Transport’.

I never noticed the same rush to help the bicycle
manufacturing industry when that went down the sink.

Surely if the object of the exercise to help build the economy, create jobs, and built an ecologically sound transport system, then it is not going to happen by throwing yet more money at the automotive industry.

It would be more productive if the money were to be used to
help build more trains, bicycles, trams, and light railways.

It shouldn’t take much imagination thinking in order to
understand this point,
but we are talking about politicians here.

Enough said …..