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A questionable butterfly

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Lynne
Lynne
26 May 2017 08:56

Delicate subject given what happened in Manchester on Monday.

But of the many articles I have read over the past few days the one that can be read via this link I thought the most illuminating

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/i-newspaper/20170525/281870118384984 

Click on the link above and then put the cursor to the right of the page clicking on the arrow to continue reading.

Andrew
Andrew
26 May 2017 11:46

@Lynne, thanks for sharing that. it might be a delicate subject but you right to raise awareness of articles like this, more so after what happened in manchester.

I think I've read about Wahhabism once before, somewhere. But you have to go looking for it. The Saudis are untouchable due to trade deals, especially the arms trade. Definitley the real 9/11 conspiracy. Trump's demonization of Iran is worrying.

Lynne
Lynne
26 May 2017 13:06

Info here explaining the ideology of Wahhabism and the Saudi Arabia connection.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

 

I have just been listening to a tv debate about Islamist terrorism.  The following points were made:

 

1.Whilst the military intervention of some western countries in the Middle East may well have acted as a Jihadi recruiting sergeant,  the ideology of Wahhabism means that those who follow it hate our way of life and they would still hate our way of life and wish to change it to their way of life even if we had had nothing whatsoever to do with middle eastern military conflicts.

2. So they would be attacking us anyway.

3. They have attacked (by which I mean perpetuated terrorist activity) countries that have had nothing to do with intervening in the middle east/Libya. This includes other Muslim countries.

4.  Why? Because they hate any way of life that doesn't adhere to their form of Islam. 

 

1 Agree
Paul
Paul
26 May 2017 14:32

So the simple answer is kill ALL the bad guys and then help the descent people left to build prosperous lives.

Andrew
Andrew
26 May 2017 16:34

@Paul what 'decent people left'? By your logic some of them would be culpable of genocide. Categorizing people into two groups of either a) good and b) bad is very simplistic.

 

And what if some of the 'good' people then turned 'bad'? Would the 'good' people then have to kill some more 'bad' people? Or should killing all the 'baddies' in one fell swoop do the job? And create a prosperous paradise for the 'goodies' to live in happily ever after, for ever and ever and ever...?

But what if killing people turned the 'goodies' into 'baddies'? What then?

Doesn't Wahhabism advocate killing the 'bad' people or so called 'infidels; because they hate any way of life that doesn't adhere to their form of Islam?
@Paul did you read anything @Lynne wrote or referenced about wahhabism?
@Paul you might get on well with katie hopkins.
 
 
2 Agrees
Paul
Paul
26 May 2017 20:15

@Andrew , yes sorry, everything you say is correct, everyone else is wrong.

My thoughts are - remove the bad, help the good. Simple!

1 Agree
Andrew
Andrew
26 May 2017 23:10

@Lynne you raise some really good points, Does it matter if countries don't intervene militarily in the middle east? They can intervene economically, politically via sanctions, punitive trade deals, debt reparations, etc and also culturally (western fashion, tourism or the media), religiously even, with missionaries, or the growth of secularism and a shift toward westen ways, abandoning customs, etc. all of which would anger followers of wahhabism and jihadists.

 

And the undemocratic way the UN, WTO and IMF are all structured and dominated by the USA, and supported by other wealthier western nations creates a rich global north and a poor global south, exploiting the labour and resources of the developing and poorer nations. Which from the perspective of the poorer global south (or third and developing worlds) just seems like conquest without war. As their own corrupt governments are just clients of the USA. It's now called neo-colonialism.

So whereas the ideology of Wahhabism means terrorists would attack the West for being 'the West', I think there is a correlation betweem the growth of a small Islamic sect into globally operating terrorist organisations and the the geo-political hegemony of the USA and their allies over the rest of the world and it is especially acute in the oil producing Middle East.

The UN, NATO, WTO and IMF which are dominated by the worlds; main powers but above all the USA do nothing to aid peace in the Middle East. And are seen as oppressive by many people who become disaffaffected - a small minority become radicalized and then terrorists.

Irrespective of any nation's military capacity or involvement in the middle east - muslim countries included, they are perceived as targets by jihadists simply because they are trading partners and allies of the USA or other oppressive regimes like Russia (Syria being an example). And in a globalized, neoliberal world, that is going to be a lot of countries.

Then there's the historical context. The creation of the state of Israel for example, a massive error of judgement coupled with unresolved colonial era tensions and modern day neo-colonialism have now effectively resurrected a 'them' and 'us' that existed at the time of the crusades in the eyes of those who have become radicalized and committed to Wahhabism. 

Like I wrote on the other thread, Monbiot's The Age of Consent goes into detail about geo-politics and how they have created rife conditions for the rise of terrorism, although it was published a couple years after 9/11 it is still relevant. 

 

Hate just doesn't grow from nothing. It's cause and effect, a universal truth.

2 Agrees
Lynne
Lynne
27 May 2017 06:19

@Andrew - the reason I referred to western military intervention is because that is so often put forward as the only or main explanation for the rise of Islamist terrorism. 

It isn't.

As you say, anything 'western' or anything indeed within the Muslim world that deviates from Wahhabist fundamentalist beliefs are things not tolerated by the Wahhabist sect.  So a question to be asked (and to which you have provided answers in your post above) is why has the ideology of a sect of Islam (Wahhabist fundamentalism) morphed into Islamist terrorism? (Al-Queda, Boko Haram, IS)  

 

Saudi Arabia is in an 'interesting' position in terms of Wahhabism and the 'west'.   

 

And how do the Islamist terrorists explain away to themselves (given their anti West ideology) their use of western innovations?

Information Technology in all its various forms comes immediately to mind. 

Andrew
Andrew
27 May 2017 20:05

@Lynne i completely agree with what you've written and i've definitely learnt more about wahhabism and how it links to the jihadist organizations. military intervention is but one factor and the main/only explanation, because our media, governments, religions, financial institutions, corporations, etc in the west don't want the public to question how the western world's higher standards of living are dependant on maintaing the status-quo of a rich global north/poor global south. plus framing the discussion in military terms suits them, because they can claim that attacks like those in manchester, paris and orlando were 'unprovoked'. And they then have the justification to invade wherever they want. i.e. Now it's Trump and Iran as you point out.

Our news coverage of the middle east is very selective, it does not portray ther reality of western neocolonialism in these countries.

 

Terrorists who fight in the name of Islam are in no position to explain anything. They're exploiting a world religion that does not advocate killing fellow humans in the Koran.

Islam and Christianity have both been interpreted in different ways by different sects from the original teachings of Jesus and Mohammed. I believe their teachings have largely been corrupted by the powerful.

 

Just like Franco killed Spanish Republicans with the backing of and in the name of the Pope and Catholicism in the 1930s.

 

Terrorist cells just like any despotic governments willl use any means available to achieve their ends. Including western innovation and tech.

 

Wahhabism may claim to be the pure or fundamental Islam, but for me it is just a death cult.

 

It's cyclical throughout history, from thge Spanish Inquision to the Nazis, the use religion or patriotism to justify their cause; but the cause is really just hatred.

 

Disguising hatred within an ideology befriends, brain-wash and then radicalize often vulnerable, poor, disaffected, unstable and already angry individuals who consider themselves 'believers' It's exploitation and then they strap bombs to their bodies and these people walk into crowded city centres or concerts and obliterate everyone and themselves.

Having said that I don't believe Western and in particular US hegemony has anything to do with freedom and democracy, it's another idelogy; lies fuelled by greed.

 

If one person who is bigger and stronger takes and takes and takes from another who is smaller and weaker, the latter becomes angry and often hate filled.

When the latter retaliates and inflicts damage on the bigger, stronger person, then that bigger person retaliates but with greater force because they can; they're stronger.

Then it just escalates; anger fuels anger and both sides become entrenched and hatred thrives on both sides.

That's the World today. The psychology is the same is the two individuals, just played out on the macro level, encompassing populations numbering millions.

 

There is a study however that shows that nations that have engaged in military conflict in the Middle East, Libya, Yemen, etc are experiencing higher levels of terrorist attacks/threats.

I'll see if I can find it.

 

I just question why hatred occurs in the first place. I don't believe it occurs spontaneously without any reason.

 

It all looks Darwinian to me, 'the survival of the fittest'. essentially I think nations are just enlarged tribes. And tribes just mirror other animals that live in social groups such as Lions or Hyenas. More powerful species dominate the weaker ones, the same story is played out amongst human populations the world over and it always has done.

 

Jihadists use western tech, such as machine guns and bombs, cars and lorries driven into crowds and mobile phones and computers to communicate as they'd be ineffective with swords, camel, horses, pigeon messengers, etc.

European nations only developed guns and bombs based on Chinese Knowledge of gunpowder and Western scientific and technological advancements and communication use knowledge and such as mathematics, the numerical system, astrology that the Arabs acquired from the Greeks and Romans and kept alive and developed further whillst Europe entered the Dark Ages.

Portuguese navigators and Columbus would never have discovered the trade routes to the East Indies or the Americas without Arabic knowledge of the stars, etc Even spectacles originated in Cordoba in Spain which was then Arabic and Islamic Caliphate of Al Andalus.

One of the earliest civilizations was Mesopotamia (roughly modern Iraq) where a huge innovation; agriculture is supposed to have begun. all cultures borrow from one another,
It just shows how ironic and un-human the Wahhabist ideology is, Easily critiqued and full of contradictions.

We've just evolved effective ways of killing each other by developing technology. Will we evolve as a species and discover ways of living in peace together?

 

The problem is that many people view others as being good or evil, it's too simplistic, the three world monotheistic (one god) religions that grew out of the Middle Eastern tribal societies portray the World in those terms and they still influence both Christian/Jewish/Western and Muslim worlds - even if some people consider themselves atheists or agnostics, culturally we've been conditioned by 1500 - 2000 years of Christianty and those in the Muslim have been conditioned by 1400 years of Islam. I'm not a Christian  so why do I say 'Oh my God' or 'for Christs sake'? It's ingrained in society

 

Fundamentalism can occur in Christian, Western or European societies, Francoist Spain, Nazi Germany, the KKK in America's 'Bible Belt', Trump is linked to white supreacists allegedly and the Russian government have links to the extreme right.

Some see the Israeli state as fundamental judaism - the justification - the holocaust. Hatred fuels hatred. Cause and effect.

And then there is terrorism emanating from Islamic nations, and despotic governments have existed from Libya to Iraq, now Turkey. Saudi Arabia have extremist views regarding women, law and order and punishment.

 

I don't think terrorism or fundamental extremism should be directly linked to those religions and societies, as most followers of these faiths and citizens are not fundamental terrorists, but I never hear of any Buddhist terrorists or a totalitarian Buddhist regime.

2 Agrees
Lynne
Lynne
28 May 2017 07:06

Article here about how a change in UK foreign policy re the Islamist terrorist threat won't make any difference.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/26/delusion-terror-attacks-just-about-foreign-policy

 

and article here about how western military intervention increased terrorist threat to the west.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/corbyn-speech-manchester-attack-war-on-terror-did-cause-it-a7758066.html

leatash
leatash
28 May 2017 10:18

My first taste of active service in the late 60s was the Redfan north of Aden we were killing Jiahidists and they were killing us and at this precise moment the same is going on as the area is now Yemen so 47+ years of fighting has solved nothing.   The bottom line is they dont like us and we dont like them and long after i am 6 foot under the Middle East will still be a training ground for Jiahidists and on it will go thats the way it is there is no end to it there never will be.  So all the fancy ideas for peace all the fancy writing and agreements dont resolve one thing they enjoy it, thats what they do if there not killing us they are killing each other all they do is wage war they always have and always will.  But of course we now have a further problem and that is Europe is awash with ISIS fighters who have arrived by mixing in with migrants and if we dont close our borders free movement will eventually allow them to travel to the UK, they play the long game as they always have, and always will.

2 Agrees
Andrew
Andrew
28 May 2017 12:32

thanks at @Lynne this is an interesting thread. The merchandise and prepared speech for cities preparing for attacks is shocking, relating to the former - any chance to make money out of it and the latter shows terrorist attacks are becoming the accepted norm by the establisment, but I'm not completely surprised. And I agree with the 'damned if we do damned if we don't' as jihadist view 8 year old girls as crusaders as mebtioned in the Guardian article.

But there's no deeper analyses of global trade, corporations, neocolonialism that is what the West now represents.

But it's not surprising when the Guardian are sponsored by Branson's Virging and Rockefeller.

UK and US analysis of jihadism is only half the quation, where's the self-critical enquiry into the role of the West and who our governments and institutions really represent. Our media is Euro and US-centric and overtly neoliberal.

 

This careers advice to aspirant journalists describes how they're just expected to turn neoliberal press releases into news stories;

 

http://www.monbiot.com/career-advice/

 

This is an interesting article on the psychology of neoliberalism:

 

https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/joel-millward-hopkins/neoliberal-psychology

 

@leatash

So non-Muslim's nation's never wage war? All some of them seem to do is wage war. Or exploit other nation's resources and labour through other means as I described. Which is like a proxy occupation - neocolonialism.

What about corporations within those nations that sell military hardware to anyone will buy them. It's a lucrative trade killing people.

Not all groups labelled terrorists trace their geographical roots and ideology to the Middle East. 

Some fight for equality and against government exploitation like the Zapatistas in Mexico.

 

Some people probably do enjoy killing and the feeling of power and dominance over others.

So as well as some jihadists... Hitler, Putin, Franco, Pinochet, Hussein.. I hate to think what'll happen once Trump gets a real appetite for war.

 

"So all the fancy ideas for peace all the fancy writing and agreements dont resolve one thing..."

 

and

 

"...fighting has solved nothing."

 

Not looking very hopeful then.

 

@leatash maybe killing and hatred are viwed as natural and integral parts of humanity by some in the same way that diseases and the ageing process are necessary.

 

Death is inevitable. We all have to die and some point and medical advancement and longer life expectancy means we have a higher global population placing higher demands on available resources. So very different world regions must learn to co-operate - otherwise we face a huge population decrease global through natural disasters and more resource wars; possibly extinction in the future. So it's 'do or die' and building borders and continuing wars will just speed up that process. It's about our survival as a species and of other species too.

 

I don't believe that killing and hatred are what being human is essentially about, and nor do many others in the world.

I'm not sure if we mirror other animals in the natural world in 'the survival of the fittest sense' just because the powerful prevail over the weaker, because that's about survival.

 

Most human wars are about greed in origin, not survival and wars are fought for the powerful and nobody else. The weak, who are just managing to survive do not have the means to start wars. They're just exploited as troops for a patriotic or Western cause or recruits for a jihadist cause. Cannon fodder.

 

I don't even know if other animals are capable of 'hatred'. Maybe that's just another human innovation. Or if they are they're too busy feeding, breeding and sleeping to indulge in it. They only kill for food or defence, a Fox might kill more chickens than it can carry away or eat. Maybe that is just the frenzy of killing in the moment. But the driving motivation is hunger and not 'hatred', 'badness' or 'evil'. They're cunning, but not evil and hate-fuelled.

But their motivation is to feed themselves and thier cubs. Dogs can be trained to fight, but would they go so far without human intervention and cruelty. They become hyper frenzied and dangerous because they're traumatized by humans for a sick blood sport..

It looks like hatred can be nurtured and used as a weapon.

 

And if we created and cultivated hatred, we can deconstruct it. If we choose to.

 

And I do believe in dialogue, talking doesn't have to be fancy, but it should be honest and open. But that requires inner self-reflection, listening and patience and we're not very good at these in the West. I can't write whether people in Muslim world are or are not as I don't live there and a holiday or tour of duty only provides a small and often biased perspective.

 

This article shows ab ability humans possess that other animals do not have;

 

In reference to the 3.7 million French citizens who came together in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre;

 

"This norm – cooperating with unrelated members of our own species – is, as a review article in the journal Frontiers in Psychology notes, “spectacularly unusual when compared [with] other animals.” It is a norm that is also innate. Empathy, the paper explains, appears to exist even in the earliest stages of infancy. "

 
 
Also on; http://www.monbiot.com
 
So I don't believe humanity is doomed and that the current system cannot change. It can, whether it will is up to us as a species.
 

Putting up borders will achieve nothing, they never have throughout history. It is impossible to castellate the West whilst simultaneously plundering the rest in a globalized, neoliberal system.

 

burneside
burneside
28 May 2017 15:21

Open borders are exactly the reason we have so many problems in Europe today.  It's possible for terrorists to move from one side of the continent to the other without any checks at all.  It's the reason there are so many migrants massing at places like Calais trying to illegally cross the Channel to enter the UK, they've simply travelled through many countries completely unhindered.  It's telling that countries in the east, like Hungary and Poland, who refuse to bow down to Brussels and accept migrant quotas do not have a problem with Islamic terrorism. 

2 Agrees
Andrew
Andrew
28 May 2017 15:25

you're so right @burneside architects of terror can move all over the globe completely unhindered. putin in syria, trump in saudi arabia. and we even let trump into the uk! What's Blair up to these days?

Many jihadists were born in the UK - border controls will achieve very little. 

And seeing immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the same light as jihadists just tells me how effective right-wing propaganda has become.

burneside
burneside
28 May 2017 15:26

Like I said, you are off your head.

2 Agrees
Andrew
Andrew
28 May 2017 15:28

Hardly, at least I'm not blinded in one eye when it comes to reality.

leatash
leatash
28 May 2017 17:54

The reality is if you have a rat problem you cut down there numbers so they are manageable now take Yemen after we pulled out the jihadists grew in strength untill now and the Saudies are having to sort it and why because they are next.  But there is light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of Mr Corbyn maybe he could go and talk nicely to them and with a bit of luck he wont come back.

1 Agree
Andrew
Andrew
28 May 2017 18:14

@leatash maybe the jihadists also believe they have a 'rat problem' in relation to westerners, other Islamic sects, Christians, women, homosexuals, children enjoying a pop concert, etc.

Maybe real the problem with extermist minorities in the Western and Islamic Worlds is that they consider other human beings to be like rats; essentially. vermin.

Maybe viewing different global regions as different worlds is also the problematic as we all have to coexist on one world. Somehow.

@leatash so you dislike corbyn so much you wish he never comes back. Do you mean that the jihadis made him 'disappear'? I presume you mean dead

Did you even read what @Lynne posted about Wahhabism being funded by saudis?

There's no point discussing politics with someone who firstly doesn't read what others post/reference and secondly has so much hatred and extremist views.

 

3 Agrees
Andrew
Andrew
28 May 2017 18:45
leatash
leatash
28 May 2017 23:51

You just dont see it these people pose a real threat to our way of life and all the fancy talk in the world will not change there views the answer, find them lock them up and throw away the key and do everything in our power to keep our borders secure.  I dont beilieve anyone could even contemplate trying to persuade them to stop them killing innocent people of all faiths, you have to fight fire with fire and i was proud to see soldiers on the streets from my old regiment on the news this evening.  And you are correct Andrew i dont like Corbyn i have supported the Labour Party all my life and i feel let down by a leader who is a dinosaur with a manifesto from the 60s 70s. We need a progressive leader with new fresh ideas not the old left wing idiology, that time has gone its to late but Corbyn doesnt get it. So as i have already stated i will be voting for May as soon as the polls open and then wending my way to Altnaharra no phone signal no tv signal and no radio signal so i wont know the result for 10 days just peace and quiet and great trout fishing and the bonus, the fishing is free. 

1 Agree
Andrew
Andrew
29 May 2017 01:09

@leatash they cause more than a 'real threat'. anyone can see that following manchester, bataclan, 7/7, 9/11, etc. 

Our way of life in the West is part of the problem in my opinion, you really don't read others' posts, do you?

And please don't tell me how I 'see' the situation, especially  when you obviously can't be bothered to process what I've already written. I never mentioined we could change their views or persuade them to stop killing innocent people with 'fancy talk'. And I object to you assuming that I hold that viewpoint as well as your patronising tone.

 

I advocate dialogue and cooperation between nations, persuading the Saudi government government who appeases the wealthy Saudi financiers of Wahhabism and jihadists to cut thir funding, freeze assets, apply sanctions and the rule of law, encarcerate, etc. And I expect nations like the USA and the Uk not to appease states like Saudi Arabia and turn a blind eye to the rise of Wahhabism within their own borders. Ideally the USA and UK should cease to trade with Saudi Arabia, apply sanctions andinternational law via the UN. And if necessary intervene militarily against the Saudi's if they continue to harbour terrorist on thgeir soil.

 

The West would have to stop eploiting the rest too. But the Saudis have oil and our society and economy is fossil fuel dependant and they want military hardware manufactured by the US and UK and a blind eye turned to human rights abuse and Wahhabism that creates the odd hate filled jihadist sect... Otherwise they trade and form alliances with Russia or China. 

One solution is to move away from fossil fuels and the Middle East would be less intertwined with the West. 

In any case the UN is dominated by the US which is as corrupt as this country. 

Is that clear? I didn't expect jihadists to sit down for a nice chat and then say 'oh okay then- it's a far cop' and hand their weaponry into the local police or army barracks.

I don't expect Trump or May to apply international law as they're just puppets of the corporate world. 

 

You seriously belive May is 'a progressive leader with new fresh ideas?' That's why you're voting Conservative?

 

Left-wing ideloogy, just like right-wing ideology is built upon the stupid idea of never ending economic expansion. On a planet with finite resources neither are viable nor sustainable.

The difference is that the left-wing ideology seeks to distribute wealth evenly across society, whereas the right does not it seeks to concentrate wealth in the hands of the few.

It's just the better of two now defunct systems.

 

If you want an argument with a fervent leftist you'll have to look elsewhere.

 

I'm fervently anti-Tory because they have lack compassion for others and they should not govern a nation. The 'nasty party' label is a case of 'if the cap fits'.

 

@leatash you actually think 'fighting fire with fire' is the way forward? and you write that corbyn just doesn't get it?

The so called 'War on Terror' is exactly what jihadists want. Why isn't the West exerting it's influence to cut funding of terrorists by other Saudis?

Because the elite in the Western powers are making lots of $$$$$$ by dealing with oppressive, authoritarian regimes, so they think 'to hell' with protecting our citizens and dealing with the root causes of terrorism.

They turn a blind eye and create proxy wars, Looks like Iran is next. Trump and May, like Bush and Blair and puppets on strings; cowards too. They have no integrity,

And a society that lives in constant fear is easier for our corrupt government to control using the right-wing media. It suits May and Trump and their corporate masters.

 

If May wins you'll have peace and quiet for 10 days of personal oblivion when fishing, yet we'll see many more attacks like the one on Manchester and anyone voting Tory should carry that responsibility after June 8th. The UK will have little peace and quiet if the Tories win.

 

Military reactionism alone has shown to be a complete waste of time, money, resources and most importantly the lives of soldiers and civilians in this country and many others.

Lynne
Lynne
29 May 2017 07:08

On this petrochemical revenue business.

This is a finite resource. At some point oil will run out. Then what? 

Heard on the tv the other day that when we had those glorious days of sunshine a few days back huge amounts of electricity got generated by all the solar panels in this country. Trouble is we don't have a lot of sunshine here though, do we (although with climate change..........?).  Person on the tv said that certain oil rich countries in the middle east are already anticipating how to generate revenue when the oil runs out by placing huge numbers of solar panels in their very, very, sunny countries.  

 

 

And it seems it is not only Saudi Arabia providing a funding stream for the spread of wahhabism 

·         Qatar and Saudi Arabia 'have ignited time bomb by funding ...

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/11140860/Qatar...

... says Qatar and Saudi Arabia ... Qatar and Saudi Arabia 'have ignited time bomb byfunding ... It's not addressing the fundamental problem of Wahhabi ...

·         Qatar Financing Wahhabi Islam in France, Italy, Ireland ...

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2833/qatar-financing-wahhabi...

Qatar Financing Wahhabi Islam in France, Italy, Ireland and Spain. ... which is heavily influenced by the Wahhabi ideology subsidized by Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia.

Lynne
Lynne
29 May 2017 08:29

Here's another link. It will take you to a critique of a book entitled 'We Love Death As You Love Life: Britain's Suburban Terrorists' by Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute.

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n16/owen-bennett-jones/we-and-you

   

Andrew
Andrew
29 May 2017 12:21

@Lynne thanks for the links about wahabism, i'll have a look and the book by r, pantucci sounds good too.

 

We have the knowledge and technology now to come off fossil fuels, vested interests prevent this and government cow-tows to them.

 

Although people oppose wind power the UK is situated in the Gulf stream so we have an abundance of wind; a renewable energy that is not being properly harnessed, yet we would need more turbines all over the country, as the wind is always blowing somewhere. 

Opponents to windfarms argue about bird flight paths which lacks evidence and that they're ineffective, They're not they just haven't been rolled out on a grand enough scale. And that would need the state to take control of private land - which is a paradigm shift.

 

Offshore windfarms yield more consistent returns but servicing them is logistically harder and energy intensive as  access is an issue. The best yields from wind are found on uniformly sloping ground and not jagged mountains witherratic up-winds from peaks, aretes and corries. So That means we will have to build on Britain's hillsides.

 

We live on an island, with some some high tidal ranges ion the Bristol Channel, 2 high tides per day in the Solent and powerful tidal races like Coryvracken and all over, from estuaries to headlands. Why not build tidal turbines into infraestructure like bridges, harbours, flood defences like the Thames barrier, reservoirs and why not take advantage of fast flowing inland water ways, especially those that have already been canalized and with embankments.

No doubt people opposed windmills years ago, they opposed the coming of the railways too. Change is difficult. But they offer no alternatives to tackle the coming energy crisis. They criticize yet offer no solutions as they're pretty in denial, too scared to face change. Which is completely understandable, psychologically peak oil and climate change threaten humanity as it now exists. And nobody wants to think we and all the generations before have got it wrong.

 

Yes we can't generate as much power from the sun in the UK, but other countries do, especially those of Southern Europe and north Africa. Sustainability thinkers advocate a huge international grid, where Saharan regions could trade there solar generated electricity with northern European nations;

 

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1872110_1872133_1872141,00.html

 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/desertec-dreams-can-saharan-solar-power-save-europe-a-664842.html

 

Portugal went for 4 days with renewable power, it's a start;

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/portugal-runs-entirely-on-renewable-energy-for-four-consecutive-days-a7035561.html

 

And further north Germany, but they have a government that invests in infraestructure as values human beings.

 

http://www.sciencealert.com/last-sunday-95-percent-of-germany-s-energy-was-provided-by-renewables

 

Before the nay sayer say 'it'll never happen'. Who knows for certain. It's not about that, it's about how to harness renewable energy on a global scale and that clearly requires co-operation and peace.

As a species we might not be capable.

 

We also have to consume less power, of you use a carbon footprint calculator

http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/

like those found on WWF you'll see most Westerners live as if we are on 2-3 planets. And what happens when the chinese catch up with our consumption rates? Scary thought.

 

And to those who claim wind farms ruin the look of the countryside. Less so than electricity pylons.

I like the look of some turbines.

 

The countryside is already damaged and far from anything natural, it's a man-made industrial landscape with pockets of woodland and hedgerows wheo biodiversity clings on.

What about the damage sheep and cattle farming does?, the farming of livestock is on an industrial scale. Metal Barns and Silos, warehouses of battery farms and a monocultural, barren grassland has nothing to do with beauty or biodiversity. Especially when pesticides kill much life in the local biome.

Plus the dairy and meat trade ise a greater net contributor of carbon emissions than transport. So eating beef or pork is fossil fuel intensive. Then there's methane, flooding from compoaction of the earth and overgrazing. and effluent seeping into the water system from slurry pits and destroying the fish and invertebrates that has a knock on effect to other animals up the food chain, including us.

 

Slurry in the River Culm Devon;

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2015/nov/12/toothless-environment-agency-is-allowing-the-living-world-to-be-wrecked-with-impunity

 

Sheepfarming is so damaging, Monbiot refers to intensively grazed farmland as being 'Sheepwrecked' have a look;

http://www.monbiot.com/2013/05/30/sheepwrecked/

 

And then there are Bovis, Cavanna development, out of town supermarkets and shopping zones, new road ways, etc all of which remove productive arable land for food production. And the homes built are usually on the cheap, sub standard, poorly insulated as the Code for Sustainable Homes (CfS) was scrapped by the Tories. Plus brick and mortar homes, access roads, new sewerage systems, etc are all carbon, energy and resource intensive and use petrochemical productts like Kingspan insulation rather than more benign natural materials. 

As more people live and shop on the peripheries of towns and commute to other towns to work the car becomes king. Our public transport is inadequate.

We travel using the most fossil fuel modes of transport imaginable, even for a trip to the local shop peoiple choose to go by car, rather than walking, which is better for their health and well-being.

There was a reason people used to build using cob, thatch, local stone, etc, They were local, cheap, required only human energy and renewable or reusable (stone) materials and without having any concept of it; were eco-friendly as people were linked to the land.

 

And solar farms taking up productive farm land is a scandal. Landowners are just after the lucrative subsidies.

We should have Solar thermal on all S facing roofs, thermal before phoitovoltaics for hot water - it's cheaper but the powers that bhe oppose it, because you and I would not be so dependant to the 'Big 6' energy providers. It'd be too revolutionary for the status-quo as going green would empower peole.

 

All the turbines, tidal power, etc would create jobs; Green Jobs. It'd help us to move off fossil fuels and away from boom and bust neoliberalism and austerity.

 

Check out Zero Carbon Britain from the Centre of Alternative Technology where I study.

For more info;

 

http://zerocarbonbritain.com/en/

 

Lynne
Lynne
30 May 2017 08:49

On a slight tangent (or there again, maybe not......)

 

Another example of religious fundamentalism (albeit a fictional one - or there again, maybe not.........)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Handmaid%27s_Tale

 

 

Andrew
Andrew
30 May 2017 13:45

Someone else recommended that book to me a while ago as well - Looks like a good read. I'll add it to books to read list. And yes, fiction could become reality...

Atwood's an environmental campaigner too. Her show on 6 Music's Paperback Writers series was good; about the music that influences/inspires her throughout her life, but unfortunately it's no longer available on iPlayer.

leatash
leatash
30 May 2017 14:20

So Andrew you study at CAT i had a very memorable conversation with Gerald Morgan Grenville in the early 80s who was the founder but also served in the Army he was a 2nd Leiutenant in the Rifle Brigade thats if i remember correctly, we had a long chat about his ambitions at the quarry. I have had several visits my most recent a few months ago and i was a little disapointed with most interactive displays not working and the whole place was a bit shabby, so i hope by my next visit things will have improved.

Andrew
Andrew
30 May 2017 23:30

@leatash, so you wouldv'e seen it in the early days, we had the 40th anniversay in 2014. i was up there last month, yes it could look better, the shabby comment is made often by folk. the visitor/tourist side needs investment, recently more money has gone into the graduate school for the environment (gse) at the top end, you might have e used the cafe there and seen the rammed earth lecture theatre if you were given a tour.

What was Gerald Morgan Grenville like? Some of the original guys still lecture - Philantrho-hippies really but they transformed the quarry. It needs new energy injected into the place though, we had lots of ideas but the place is probably less radical these days than it once was and like anywhere there are internal politics too.

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