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 …..

Why I Am Vegie.

I turned vegetarian on the 26th of January 1970.

One of the reasons why I became vegetarian was because it is
an extension of my Pacifist, Humanitarian, and Atheist
philosophy.

I also became vegetarian because it means that one can grow
more food, and thus help to combat world starvation.

Even after the growth of the vegetarian movement, and after
all these years, I still find people asking just why I am Vegie,
or have very little idea upon just what a Vegie diet entails.

Once a year I go visit my doctor for a health check.
One of the queries I get a ‘well done’ for doing at these visits
results from my being Vegie.

Being vegetarian reduces the chance of developing many
medical conditions , such as stomach problems, high colostral
levels, etc.

There is also another reason for being vegetarian: –

It helps in the struggle to stop climate change.

Why?

Because it takes less energy and petrochemical resources to
grow the crops which comprise a vegetarian diet.

This just goes to show that there is no such thing as one simple
reason as to why I became Vegie.

There is an old saying:
‘You are what you eat’.

In this time of climate change worries there should be a new
saying: –

Your planet will change with what you eat.

Just think about it.

A Few Words to the Wise.

My uncle once told me something which I think we should all
keep in mind right now:

‘The value of any object is the replacement cost.’

This week I read that some 12 airlines have folded during the
last year.

While the funniest headline I read was:
Bankers apologise for being Bankers.

If you know Cockney Rhyming slang,
then you will know that it is not a complement to call anyone a
banker.

Meanwhile the politicians worry about how to inject more
cash in to the economy,
& how to increase the willingness of banks to lend money.

Now wasn’t it the over lending of money that caused the
present economic crisis in the first place,
or did I miss something else along the way? Continue reading A Few Words to the Wise.

Signs of the times.

Traditional shop sign writers practiced an art.

It took some years of training in order to become a really
good sign writer.

Such signs took a while to complete, but they gave our
high streets a visual quality which is missing within our
modern townscapes.

One would be very hard pressed to find a sign writer these
days.

Most modern shop signs being a mixture of plastic sheets
and individual plastic lettering.

Such signs are both homogeneous in style , and very ugly
in the extreme.

Once used and discarded,
such signs create yet more waste,
or just more plastics which needs to be recycled.

Continue reading Signs of the times.

Helping People to walk.

Walking is good for both health and the environment.

Here are a few ideas upon what might be done to encourage
people to use their feet.

– Install Pedestrian Shelters at all traffic lights.

The is nothing worst that just waiting & waiting in the rain
for the lights to change in order that one might walk
across the road.

– Make all Traffic Lights work with a Pedestrian
Preference, and timed so that one came reach the
diagonally opposite part of the road junction.

– Larger and more luggage racks on all buses.
This would encourage more people to go shopping via the
bus.

– No VAT or Purchase tax upon Backpacks, Walking Shoes or
Walking Boots.

&

– A crackdown upon all those who cause obstructions upon
the pavements, or who pavement park.

This is something which the UK Pedestrian Association has
been campaigning upon for many a year.

For more ideas upon how walking may be improved: –

See the website for
The International Federation of Pedestrians (IFP)

www.pedestrians-int.org

Two Films which should encourage people to walk.

Charlton Heston died a week back.

I would never describe him as a great actor, but he did
appear in one really remarkable film:
Soylent Green. ( 1973 ).

Soylent Green is a film set within a future that has suffered
an ecological disaster. Food is sort, and there are other major
pollution problems.

Yesterday I watched a 2006 film :
Flood.

Flood is loosely based upon a Richard Doyle book.
It is about a surge tide which coincides with a spring tide.
The Thames barrier is raised, but it does not work,
& Cockney Land ( London ) suffers a major flood.

This is a timely film while sea levels rise as the result of
global warming.

I notice that April 24th is ‘Walk to Work Day’.

Lets hope it works, & that a lot of people start to think about
the health & environmental benefits this will give.

We really do need more people to think about how saving
the environment is their personal responsibility.