Environment&Random life30 Aug 2006 08:52 pm

Dancing fox A south London couple driven to despair by urban foxes roaming their garden have spent nearly £1,000 trying to keep them out.

Oh honestly. That’s a little over the top.

Is it a crime to throw a few outdoor parties during the summer months?

“He also added that he feared the presence of foxes may deter house buyers and affect property prices.”

The nerve.

Environment&Random life24 Feb 2006 12:12 am

Ooh, it’s been Controversy Corner here for the last couple of days. To keep the momentum of well-mannered disagreement going, tell me what you think about this. Admittedly, it’s not in the same league as the previous issue, but it could still lead to fisticuffs at dawn depending on your viewpoint.

This evening I was with a very old friend (she’s my age, I mean we’ve been friends 20 years) and she told me that two friends of hers shoot squirrels in their back garden. They wait until their daughter is in bed and then they go outside and gun them all down.

I was horrified.

Call me a lily-livered pansy and/or a Buddhist (neither would be a million miles from the truth), but squirrels are (a) great (b) cute (c) harmless. Surely?

No, the trigger-happy couple say, they are vermin. They strip bark off trees. They must be DESTROYED.

But no… no, surely not? They’re excellent assets to any garden or wood, because they tidy up all the discarded conkers. And they’re very clever too. The ones in Russell Square are so used to people, they’ll wander right up to you and stare at you to see if you might be concealing acorns about your person. That enhances any urban bench experience.

The ones round my home make me happy on a daily basis, just bobbing around the trees and nibbling snacks with both hands. They’re part of the ecosystem. They don’t invade our homes or attack us. They’re fluffy. What’s not to love?

Reader, are squirrels expendable vermin or valuable wildlife? You tell me.

Environment&Global politics&Random life25 Sep 2005 01:50 pm

Thanks to BlondeButBright for this link:

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

Their view is that humanity should seek to die out deliberately, in order to restore some balance to the planet. They suggest this long-range goal is accomplished by opting not to reproduce.

A brief snippet:

“After we’ve seen a few hundred TV dramas where the good guy kicks the bad guy’s butt, it’s tempting to look at the real world with this same knee jerk, zero-sum mentality. We might look for an enemy to attack when championing our righteous cause, but in reality our enemy doesn’t have a butt to kick.

In the end, the real “enemies” are human greed, ignorance, and oppression. We can achieve more by promoting generosity, awareness, and freedom than we can by vainly kicking at a buttless foe.

… Each time another one of us decides to not add another one of us to the burgeoning billions already squatting on this ravaged planet, another ray of hope shines through the gloom.”

No kids, for moral reasons.

What do you think about this idea? (Have a browse through their ‘About the Movement’ page if you have a moment to spare.)

EDIT: Do you have children? Do you want children? Tell us that below too.

Soundtrack to this post: Baby Boy РBeyoncé

Activism&Environment&Global politics21 Sep 2005 06:42 pm

Just a reminder that tomorrow is World Car Free Day.

The site I’ve linked to is a European one, but my Canadian Adbusters calendar says “WORLD CAR FREE DAY” on it, and that’s good enough for me.

Anyone who gets the bus tomorrow gets a sugar-free lollipop.

(Oh hang on, that’s not right. That’s anyone under 12 who goes to the dentist.)

OK, you don’t get a lollipop, but you get to feel mildly virtuous for the day, if you’re normally a petrolhead.

Anyway, report back here if you are car-free on Thursday 22 September. That includes those without personal transport or driving licence. If anyone deserves a lollipop, YOU do.

Environment&Global politics&News media21 Sep 2005 02:13 pm

World growth will begin to slow as a result of increased oil prices” squawks the International Monetary Fund’s latest news release.

The IMF mathematical calculation is spot on. However – surprise surprise – the news coverage generated by this is missing three very important points:

1. Oil is finite. Therefore prices are inevitably going to rise as time goes on, because that’s how the free market works.

2. All resources are finite. We have only one planet, for a start. Therefore you can’t have endless economic growth. The idea is nonsensical.

3. Economic “growth” is simply a sly way of saying “increasing the gap between rich and poor”, surely? For every extra buck made by a shareholder, the world loses a little of its natural resources, or space, or air quality. And usually the parts of the world which are most impoverished financially are the parts which suffer the most degraded quality of life as well. Why do journalists paid by huge media conglomerates write about “growth” as though it’s an unequivocally good thing? (Oh wait, the clue’s in the question. Arf.)

Might I respectfully suggest that instead of firing off hysterical news releases, the IMF put their public relations staff to work promoting a new economic model based on something slightly more grown up than wishful thinking, elitism and greed?

Soundtrack to this post: Dirty Cash – The Adventures of Stevie V

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