Tower in Flames

That the building industry thought that it was not risky to clad a high rise apartment block in flammable cladding is frightening enough. You may hope that it was mere oversight how many councils decided that the look of a building trumped the safety factors and not just clad their building in a pre-packaged instant disaster, but now are leading in the race to become of most productive in the calculation of terror.

That Governments implicate themselves by bonfires of regulation to allow businesses to do whatever they felt could be acceptable risk. It was not just trying to make things look better by covering these buildings with a flammable cosmetic. It is building in vapid negligence of safety regulations.

The non-flammable may be more expensive prior to the first fire. Now, perhaps it should be the only option on the market. The fifth tallest skyscraper residence, in Dubai, all 89 stories of it evacuated without even a single injury.

The money they spend on this edifice to structured living with unnecessary luxury, a concentration of wealth so desperately crammed together, these “homes”. Unbridled luxury or high rise poverty, the destruction of homes is the most terrible fear.

Notwithstanding, the safety record of that building compared to Grenfell, and witness now the Governments of the world have failed to regulate for safety due to budget constraints. That’s one terrifying omission. We want Governments to remove regulations that expose our lives to risks that can be avoided? The difference to less flammable classing for at least 80 dead people was only £300,000 at Grenfell. It would have been more on this and the 30,000 other risk clad buildings in the Middle East. Just think, the masses live in Tinderboxes at the dawn of the age of global warming. Good plan? Leadership? Or just an illustration of something more sinister? Human greed seems to create blindness to consequences of broadly shared risk. The owners of these buildings have a problem. The risks their designs pose to insurers and the risk of the loss of life and the loss of living. Cramped quarters are still someone’s digs. 80 stories of people Losing everything is tragic, but it is not as criminal as they at least got everyone out.

Religion and Extinction

We are different to any other species in that we have evolved what we call economics, science of extending survival. Or is it a massive inter-generational war that the current political generation are guilty of, increasingly responsible for causing environmental collapse.

Why do we measure progress by growth? When we solve that one, and measure progress with an economics that includes compounding interest for any future consequence of our indulgence.

Only then we can call ourselves good Christians or good Muslims or good Jews. We remain greedy and primitive in our mutual interests. Why think like this?

Part of the lesson of certain matters remaining secular and out of the control of the driving faith or the possessors of property or the military – but that the ultimate control must remain honestly in the hands of the people. So we have countries for that. But faith is a personal matter and your path to your saviour or prophet is a relationship between your self and something all powerful. Therefore when you are praying together it is as though a casting of individual threads to your personal heaven is a revelation to the self, not to the army, not to the workforce, not to the merchants, the bankers or even the holy ones we listen to preach their secret messages in sermons to the initiated. In all religions there seems to be a strata that pulls people up – spirituality is a wonderful thing, don’t get me wrong.

Having to take sides for your whole life is the commitment of belief. But the essence of individuality is the thing. It is the most important and elusive thing. Your thread can vibrate within a group but it can also find its own pattern. It does not matter. If we align beliefs into destructive paths then as a group we start to consume that which we have no right to, we take that we have to leave alone. The first lesson in The Book of Genesis was not to take the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge or die. Not to take the irreplaceable fruit means we must consider requirements of future life in our consumption.

The ways in which competing religions have interpreted this basic tenet of their own belief is astounding. The destruction of species is wanton, selfish and will result on our own death.

These words or wisdom are drowned by the clash of battle as we fight for our set of beliefs. But this fundamental exists. If we sow extinction, then we will become extinct. I am just not sure if today’s political science really gives a damn about the future.

The Greenhouse Treaty

China and America have agreed to targets for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 for America, and 2030 for China. On the scale of problems, China is a significant player, with a much larger population competing for resources as economic growth strides into the greener parts, its lungs, pollution is rife, significant and horrendous to the increasingly aware population. It is they who are served by a mutual accord of the current world leaders. Both have already made history.

China’s pollution is evidence of a population growing too fast. Economic growth is reflective of a certain attitude to risk. Countries are examples to each other of how to do it or how to do it all wrong. Overheated economies destroy our habitats. The solution is not war, economic war or invasion. It is much easier than that.

According to World Bank figures for 2010 – 2011, developed nations afford to include the exponential cost of environmental damage, on the index the UK is about 20. China is 60. But compare that to Botswana, at 199. The problem is not China. It is the misuse of resources and the rape of land by too many competitive hungry humans. We have to evolve to stop killing our future.

We can do this by simply changing our thinking. Our economic system needs to evolve into one that is geared to reward economic contraction. Our religious beliefs need to encompass a new spiritual path that includes a respect for all life and ones descendants who are as much us as we are our ancestors.

Todays comments

A few Disturbing Trends with our comments in The Guardian:

7 Aug 2014

Boris Johnson’s bid for parliamentary return in 2015 leaves Tories divided

The true blue conservative denies they are running until the finish line is in view, their competitors unprepared, relaxed and busy elsewhere can then make a huffing and puffing dash for the main prize.

Salmond rallies SNP backbenchers after independence debate

If the UK had a government which paid a little more than latent lip service to the parts of the country that are not London, I really wonder if the Scots would fight for independence. The popularity of this possibly economically difficult endeavour is an indictment of the Coalition and the unfair lot dealt to the many to enrich the very few.

Democracy will finally defeat that act of “mentalism”. But the question, what options do we really have? That question is the emotional argument that precedes this revolution.

Of course we may be “better together”, but the majority have to ask “better for whom?”

NIESR says economic recovery slowing after weaker manufacturing figures

I fear that like the previous government’s folly with the city, and the horrors of the 70s recessions, that it is “shock” that suddenly causes fragile recovery to be history and disaster to be the sounding board for electability. It is “old thinking” that is still leading economic planning and reactivity to timebombs that manufactures “heroes”.
In other words you are so brilliantly right. Open your business to the world. Dependence upon “economic growth” (based on the value of assets) is simply not getting us anywhere.

Sorry, George but increasing London property prices is not economic growth. You got to create industries, cause people to invest in and start new ventures, be willing to take risks.
Worrying about interest rates and the resale value of your nest egg stultifies imagination and reduces the rationale for business growth. It is not just investment bankers having dosh, it is the actual activity that seems to be faltering.

6 Aug 2014 – on Martin Rowson’s cartoon on Lady Warsi’s resignation

Being “right minded” seems to be a qualification. Or is that encoded tory propaganda or merely ukip splashing about in puddles?

Or that vacancy leading the Liberal Democrats, he may have to resign also.

…governments that pendulum swing between building and destroying systems – how much waste that does that create? Democracy under First Past the Post is truly the most inefficient system, especially when it is polarised between opposite sets of values. Proportional representation is more effective as they get to be far less adventurous as their mandate is less total.

EU Elections

The European Parliament is a government body that decides upon the laws that join our people together. Issues like human rights. It is infected by “protest parties” who are only there to act as dead weight opposition but what is what achieving other than making the government of the EU less effective?

A strong UK voice in the European Parliament is a no brainer. Of course we need the best representation possible and make an effort to make the whole of Europe more and more prosperous.

Pollution

Pollution threatens all life. Man made pollution is the result of the industrial revolution and growth. Or it is the result of criminal expansionism?

Pollution is the addition of artificial byproducts from unclean industrial activity to a natural environment, too often with unforeseen consequences, or worse, known but hidden consequences. One of the pollutants we continue to add to the precious atmosphere is CO2. Unfortunately for us, there are many others. In the short term, we are most threatened by the consequences of CO2, but who knows what other accumulations of poisons in the food chain may cause breaks and starve us to death first.

For example, our chemical warfare on “pests” that seems to have a side effect of bee eradication, may be the end of us before lower Miami is fully under-water from sea rising with the melting ice-covers of Antartica and Greenland. That is ice above the land not, which when it is water will displace the coastline and reshape the British Isles. Is that how much we care about our countryside?

See also:
George Monbiot – Why we couldn’t care less about the natural world

Captain Sunshine

Corporate Taxation

If Google, Apple, Amazon and other multinational corporations can operate in the UK declaring all corporate profits in low-tax Luxembourg, then all companies that operate in the UK should operate out of a Luxembourg headquarters. They have been set a precedent, which if not legislated against fairly could cause a revolution of sorts, businesses becoming independent of the legislatures in which they operate. It effectively ends the concept of the corporation being a citizen of a nation.

To allow existing laws with all their loopholes to exist, the Government is allowing much capital dilution in the economy (inflation) but the unfair tax laws make repatriation of this capital unlikely and that allows the Government to hoodwink the population with “low inflation”.

Imagine, if all the tax-protected capital was to flood back into the UK at once, the inflation would be ridiculous. But by keeping UK interest rates low, by allowing this offshore sequestering of capital in tax havens, the Government uses QE without risking inflation showing up in the economy.

The Chancellor, the Government and the opposition are all guilty of short-term thinking. As they deflate the value of the currency by QE, they watch boatloads of tax protected funds being parked in offshore banks. So the money supply does not actually grow, but new investment is stimulated as those without can get loans. But the trick is on the general population as those who need such funding are paying larger margins than they should to borrow when the base rate is 0.5%.

Quite apart from these mechanisms of funding the destruction of existing retail businesses by competing with globalised companies means endemic unemployment. That alongside the enslavement of students by the charging of exorbitant fees to get a foot in the door of a career in an uncertain road, and you are witnessing the continuation of one of the most dangerous trends mankind has conceived. Economic racism.

Fukushima revisited

Read this in the Guardian just now.

Currently about 400 tonnes of groundwater is streaming into the reactor basements from the hills behind the plant each day. The plant has accumulated about 300,000 tonnes of contaminated water, which is being stored in 1,200 tanks occupying a large swath of the Fukushima Daiichi site.

Eventually Tepco hopes to have enough space to store 800,000 tonnes, but fears are rising that it will run out of space sometime next year because it can’t keep up with the flow of toxic water.

The Guardian.

They think it would be safer to pour contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. The trouble with the Nuclear Power industry is that it has no real solutions the problems imposed by meltdowns. How much will nuclear safety have cost us 100 years from now? If Nuclear Energy is costed honestly it must incorporate premiums for accidents that can be bought back by safety record. It only takes one disaster to bankrupt a power company.

A better solution is to make all homes self sufficient using renewable energy. Power is still required for industry, but it is a politically achievable and meaningful result that has a positive effect on everyones’ life.

Fracking Earthquakes

A series of earthquakes measuring up to 5.7 on the Richter scale, across Okalahoma, USA were triggered by injection of waste-water from fracking.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued a press release yesterday indicating that the magnitude 5.7 earthquake that struck Prague, Oklahoma in 2011 was unintentionally human-induced.

The USGS claims that the magnitude 5.0 earthquake triggered by waste-water injection the previous day “trigger[ed] a cascade of earthquakes, including a larger one, [which] has important implications for reducing the seismic risk from waste-water injection.”

Read article.

Will fracking bring it on?

The nature of the ground underneath us is that it is not the singularly solid mass we perceive. Our point of view is relatively spec like tiny and the size even of a country is hard to encompass as a personal experience. There is a lot of ground underneath us and drilling out ancient residues and making big empty caves may result in a few ground sinks but what are the effects of explosions followed by mass removal of part of the ground that we live upon?

To pretend there is definite scientific evidence that there are absolutely no risks of earthquake or ground damage is the stance of the Prime Minister. His advisors clearly are very pro-fracking and have said that there are documents that show there are minimal risks. I am sure that someone has studied them properly.

Now. it would only take a fairly minor earthquake – about 6 on the Richter scale – and thousands would be killed. The underground could be affected, it could be wrecked. Overnight London would cease to function. It may happen anyway, but fracking means letting off explosives underground and removal of solid matter that supports us. It probably will not cause earthquakes but the fear in the average person may turn to fury if something does go wrong.

There simply needs to be published proof that fracking poses no threat and not lurch into an industrial scale venture that many are convinced that may destroy entire communities,

The Prime Minister has a responsibility to do more than promote this as economic miracle – he needs to convince the electorate that the economic plans of multi national companies do nothing that endangers the lives of any citizens of the land.

If you search for the wonderful headline Quake Britain: UK overdue a massive tremor that could kill scores of people at any moment, warn experts you will find an article all about it.