A Gross Domestic Mistake

The Gross Domestic Product of the United Kingdom has risen by 0.7% in the three months to 30 September 2014. GDP figures are closely scrutinised. Governments regard a growing GDP as an important indicator of the economic success of the nation, and they boast when it rises and they are criticised when it falls. But GDP is just one measure and is not a proper indicator of the economic position of the people who live in a nation, only (usually) a minority of people and some big businesses. Continue reading

Sea Ice Extent 2014

The extent of Arctic sea ice in 2104 reached its lowest extent for the year on 17 September. It was the sixth lowest that satellite records have recorded and is very significantly lower than the annual average ice extent recorded by the same means between 1981 and 2010, so it is clear that the trend for Arctic sea ice extent in summer is falling. Continue reading

Sylvan Grove

I was in South London on a busy arterial road, surrounded by cars and lorries, passing big warehouses, supermarkets, petrol stations and shops made grubby by the diesel particulates that flew either side of the road. people who have to live and work along that road and cannot avoid breathing in the pollution caused by the traffic, end up has human air filters; eventually theu do not notice it. Continue reading

Farming Solar

There has been a fashion in the United Kingdom of covering large swathes of good farmland with electricity producing photovoltaic solar panels. This fashion has arisen because the government has given ridiculously high subsidies for PV installations. The government gave such high subsidies because the government set itself renewable energy targets instead of carbon reduction targets.

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I should Go To Greece

I have not been to Greece for several years. I should go there. The sun of Greece seems to shine brighter and harder than the Arabian Sun or the tropical sun. It is kinder than the sun of France or Italy although they are all the same suns. In Greece the sun shines without mercy and is the same sun that shone on the place where democracy developed from an imperfect design out of a desire for people to be free. I should sit under the Greek pine trees in summer than leak resin and drink rough wine and eat simple food. I should go there.

The Advantage of Twisting Words

It is a shame that politicians use the device of pouring ridicule on their opponents to twist their words and bring their opponents into opprobrium and disrepute. It is not a civilised way to behave nor is it helpful for the voters to decide the real issues and which politician best serves them. I suppose, however, that it is better than treating their opponents with violence and barbarity, which happened in the United Kingdom not too many generations ago and which happens now in many parts of the world.

You should spell “ebola” with a capital “E”

The crisis of the disease Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea continues to grow into a potential disaster. Thousands are being slain by the disease. 70% of those contracting it will die. The rest of the world pours out broken promises of aid and plenty of sympathy. But promises and sympathy will not avail a person who has contracted Ebola. That person needs nursing and medicine, otherwise he will die.