This Your Planet, Is It?...
- “Morning sir, or madam, or neuter," the thing said. "This your planet, is it?"
- "Well, er. I suppose so," Newt said.
- "Had it long, have we sir?"
- "Not personally. I mean, as a species, about half a million years. I think."
- The alien exchanged glances with its colleague.
- "Been letting the old acid rain build up, haven't we sir," it said. "Been letting ourselves go a bit with the old hydrocarbons, perhaps?"
- "I'm sorry?"
- "Well, I'm sorry to have to tell you, sir, but your polar ice caps are below regulation size for a planet of this category, sir."
- "Oh, dear," said Newt.
- "We'll overlook it on this occasion, sir."
- The smaller alien walked past the car. "CO2 level up nought point five percent," it rasped, giving him a meaningful look. "You do know you could find yourself charged with being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don't you?”
- - Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (Good Omens)
Evergreen: A Beautiful Homage to Mother Nature
Given that we have just celebrated World Environment Day and World Oceans Day is just around the corner, I thought it fitting to post this music video I happened across in one of my many YouTube loops. The song is called “Evergreen” by French singer Axelle Renoir and is taken from her 2007 album “Ushuaïa”. Created in collaboration with French environmentalist Nicolas Hulot, the album places a special emphasis on respect for and preservation of nature and the environment.
The video was directed by Yoann Lemoine and all-in-all, it truly is a thing of beauty.
A British Diamond Made In China: Pondering The Environmental Cost of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
If you’ve not been fortunate enough to have been hidden away from the world on some distant tropical island enjoying pina coladas on the beach in the company of feral pigs over the last few days (if not weeks) then you’ll more than likely be aware of the onslaught of celebratory activities sweeping across Britain in honour of Queen Liz’s Diamond Jubilee. While for the most-part largely welcomed and well received, the occasion and it’s corresponding events haven’t gone without their fair share of criticisms.
Opposition to the celebrations focused largely on the high monetary costs involved and the effect a new Bank Holiday would have on the losses in productivity of a still-struggling economy. Rows over workers’ rights to extra pay or holiday time in lieu for those forced to work the new bank holiday ensued. Yet despite all the kerfuffle about costs to the economic and social welfare of the country, I was surprised not to hear even the slightest concern raised for the cost to the environment.
How ironic that the falling dusk of this day of all days - World Environment Day - shall see the beginning of the removal and disposal of hundreds of thousands of kilos of union jacked cardboard and polythene symbols of coerced Royalism which seems to serve no purpose other than, perhaps, to prove to the crew of the International Space Station that Britain has the most patriotic landfills in all the world.
But it wasn’t only the sheer quantity of potential waste items that concerned me, it was the “quality” of them, or more precisely, their likely country of origin. From bunting to bowler hats, cocktail stick-flags to cupcake stands, paper plates to party poppers, the paraphernalia surrounding this weekend’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations all stood out to me to have three main things in common - asides that is from the obvious Red, White and Blue - the three little words “Made” “In” “China”. Mountains of waste is one thing, but throw in the added environmental cost of the importation of this soon-to-be landfill-fodder and all of a sudden this “diamond” is starting to look more like a cheap cubic zircona.
"Oh, but they can always recycle" I hear someone there at the back absentmindedly mumble through a mouthful of dry Victoria spongecake. While it may be true that much of the cardboard and paper products can be recycled, the issue is will they be? And what then of the thousands of kilometres worth of cheap plastic bunting, not to mention the plastic flags, hats, cups and cutlery that have adorned the lamp posts, heads and tables of the nation’s multiple street parties? These are not so easily recycled. Some local councils have urged citizens to hold onto their tri-coloured funsies so they can re-use them for the Olympics in July and August and proudly show their support for their nation’s athletes during the games. However this, to me, is at best merely postponing the problem.
So, given that the nation had become blanketed over the last week in a plethora of Union Jack emblazoned party gear and is set to be again come Olympifever 2012, I wondered, how was it that nobody else has seemed to consider any of this? Then again, I foolishly realised, who has time to pause and consider the environment, when you have tea, cake, fireworks and most importantly, the quintessentially British will.i.am to distract you? Very few indeed, it seems…
The first law of ecology is that everything is related to everything else.