Archive for September, 2014

No I don’t mean 5 a day. Not even 7 a day if you live in Australia. I mean 4 a day.  4 power outages a day. This is what people in Lebanon (and no doubt other countries which I haven’t been to in the last 2 weeks) have been experiencing over the last two months or so. During my stay, I counted a total of 31 power outages in the span of 8 days which equates to an average of around 4 power outages a day.
Having 4 power outages a day makes you obsessed with – wait for it – power outages: When did the power go out? When is it coming back? How long has it been since it went out? Shall we turn the generator on? The big one or the small one? How many A/Cs can we turn on?
Besides becoming positively obsessed with power outages, the whole situation makes you appreciate things that you almost certainly always take for granted. ‘Power’ in most countries is contingent upon the provision of oil and gas – a component of natural capital. There are other components of natural capital, from many different habitats, providing things we need which are much more undervalued or not valued at all such as climate regulation, water regulation and biodiversity (among others). The troubling thing is that there are many alternative sources to generate power or electricity but alternatives to ensure the preservation of climate regulation, water regulation and biodiversity are much more difficult if not arguably impossible to conceive of in this context. Just a thought I had in trying to make the most out of power outage number 12.

Read Full Post »

A blog by Limu:

A juxtaposition of announcements on how short-sighted political leadership is missing the evidence on the value of the environment were published last week.

Europe’s new structures battered the environment into a market defined role. A letter to the new European Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner emphasises a reporting line to a new vice-president for growth, jobs, competitiveness and investment.

On the same day a medical doctor at Aston University came up with an excellent quote on walking as ‘a magic pill’ to slow ageing (it’ll prevent obesity and diabetes, lower the risk of some cancers, and relieve depression… really magic). The evidence on accessible natural green space being a key way to motivate exercise existed 10 years ago and has strengthened since.

I think that regarding the environment as just another tool for expanding GDP, weakening its protection, is wrong. It makes me sick. It’ll make you sick too.

Read Full Post »