A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery inside an Enigma

The speed of light in a vacuum is 299,792,458 metres per second and nothing can go faster than that speed, or so we thought. Our reason for thinking this is Einstein’s theory of special relativity, the infamous E=mc2. But people forget that the theory of special relativity is simply a theory, not a proof. Continue reading

A Remembrance

On the tenth anniversary of the destruction of the Twin Towers inNew Yorkthe papers, television and newspapers in theUnited Kingdomwere full of articles and shows about 9/11. The anniversary was treated by our media as an entertainment, albeit a solemn one. Papers were filled and television and radio stations overwhelmed and no doubt much readership was attained and much advertising sold. It was a circus where grief was the clown. Continue reading

The Pollution of Photovoltaics

I have previously explained that there is “clean” renewable energy and “dirty” renewable energy. Clean renewable energy produces little pollution and almost no emissions and includes wind turbines, solar thermal panels (that produce heat) and dirty renewable energy includes energy produced from wood burning. The distinction is important because the point of renewable energy is to produce fewer emissions and less pollution. Originally I had classified photovoltaic panels as “clean” but the latest news suggests that photovoltaic panels, which produce electricity, are really a very dirty form of energy. Continue reading

Photovoltaic versus Solar Thermal – Energy Production

Sometimes politicians forget the plot. The plot is climate change. The only point of solar panels is to produce carbon emission free energy, but now in many countries the point seems to be simply having solar panels themselves. I should add that there are two types of solar panels but the government are subsidising the wrong type. Continue reading

THE MARKET ECONOMY’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

By Tony Dickson  

“If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth and population would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not a better or a happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity compel them to it”   John Stuart Mill “Principles of Political Economy” – Book IV, Chapter VI (1848)

Our society is much given to regarding our technological and economic prowess with great complacency.  We now live, so we are told, in a post-industrial age: an age where the primal concerns that engaged the attention of humanity throughout the millennia have been left far behind. We are no longer hunters and gatherers, but economic sophisticates with mobile phones and central locking, who regard the few remaining primitives with implacable condescension. This perception is of course, both a monumental conceit and a profound delusion, because those primitive economies achieved something that quite eludes us: stasis and thereby, sustainability.  Economists tell us that if our economy does not grow it will…it will…well, they’re not sure…. perhaps hold its breath until it turns blue. There is simply no long-term model for a static industrial economy; although we may do well to consider the Japanese as potential canaries. Continue reading

The Nice Thing about Writing a Blog

One of the nicest thing about writing a popular blog is that you meet, not in person but by correspondence through the internet, people who can help you develop your ideas and you can put different views to you. Sometimes you can reject these views and sometimes you can develop them, but without this discourse and development ideas stagnate and liberty, which is the free dissemination of ideas, can be lost.

I have been corresponding with a Australian, Tony Dickson, who has agreed to permit me to publish something on these posts and on Monday (a good day for blog traffic) an article by Tony will appear. I hope that you will read it then, enjoy it, and that it will set you thinking.

Tony’s work highlights the problem of economic growth, a problem that i have explained in these pages before. In the words of Brian Czech, we are shovelling fuel on a runaway train. Tony is a farmer and sees things with the logic of someone who lives close to the land, unlike me. Read all about economic growth and what it really means tomorrow.

The Inheritance

It is a good day to think about what our fathers did for us and to wonder whether we shall do as well for our children. We mould the times as our fathers moulded their times but the deoxyribonucleic acid that winds around itself in our cells but one of the gifts that we inherited. The DNA provides basic instructions for life, and what we need to do to maintain life but the fundamentals of right and wrong, of good and evil and of liberty and slavery which we need once our bodies have the been established comes from the habits and lessons of our parents, who breathed life into us with an act of selfishness and selflessness.

Yes, it is a very good day to think about our fathers and their gifts to us and wonder whether our gifts to those that follow us will be as valuable as the inheritance we ourselves received.