Quick Links 31st May 2016

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.


So the first permission for fracking shale gas has been granted in North Yorkshire. I don’t think this is the right way to go for a sustainable future energy supply, I think the costs and potential risks are just too great for the reward on offer, and I’m not alone in that thinking. I think the costs involved could be better spent on true low carbon solutions rather than the frequently touted “bridge” to low carbon that promoters of shale gas trot out. There’s one thing for sure however, the progress of this recently permitted operation will be scrutinised very closely, to see what the longer term prospects for shale gas in the UK really are, the true impacts on the community and environment, and the general safety record in the UK of an industry that has had a slightly dubious one in other parts of the world.

I have a lot of sympathy for the views stated by Chris Packham regarding nature reserves. They are an important resource, but I really think we are at risk of neglecting what is right in front of many of us in favour of growth, consumerism and selfishness. I love my local “patch”, it’s not the most rich area in terms of biodiversity, but I love it for what it is. I often wonder though whether it will outlive me or whether I’ll see it’s decline or decimation in my life time because of other pressures. As a species we seem to be on a course of self-destruction one way or another, and we seem to be intent on taking everything else on this planet with us. If we have to rely on a small patchwork of nature reserves to get our “natural fix”, it’s likely that the patchwork will be unsustainable, and then the developers will move in to those areas too. We cannot keep taking without giving a return, our account is too much in debt.

The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures doesn’t really need much commentary from me, as it’s here every week, although I particularly liked the money spider pic.

Currently reading: “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer [Amazon UK / US / CA]

2016-05-27 15.14.30

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3 Responses to Quick Links 31st May 2016

  1. David says:

    Interesting articles, Alan. Fracking is a terrible way of getting resources out of the earth. It really should be made illegal. I’m totally convinced that the destruction to our natural resources is by design, with the greed and vanity of men and women fuelling everything.
    The thing is, when you’re inside the system, it’s really difficult to see – if not impossible – to see the corruption that’s happening. When you step outside of it for a time, things become much clearer and easier to see. You also realize that you don’t need all of the stuff that they say you need in order to survive or to even be happy. It’s our unnatural desire for things and possessions that keeps their machine/system running.
    Not saying that we (Janice and I) are perfect or understand everything, but I will say that, by getting ourselves out of the corporate system, stopped relying on government to decide things for us and put our faith in our Lord and what the bible has to say, we’ve discovered that we don’t need a heck of a lot to live a happy and fulfilling life. We can also see the corruption of the world and its governments a lot easier from this perspective, as well.
    Our approach to managing our homestead has been a predominately “live and let live” approach. We do trap the odd mouse around the house and RV and when we first moved out here, we had to deal with a rat problem in the old grain barn. But aside from that, we’ve let the wildlife here pretty much alone.
    So far, it’s been a good trade-off for us. We had neighbours that didn’t let much wildlife get on their property, and that land now seems to have a never ending problem with pests (mice, rats, garter snakes, etc). On the other hand, the owls and other multitude of birds, a transient fox that runs through our land every so often, and odd badger every now and again, seem to keep any pests under control. In fact, to the surprise of the local pest control officer, we haven’t had any more problems with pests in the old grain barn in the past two years.
    David.

    • Hi David, They say that power corrupts, and from what I’ve seen of the system, particularly at a political level, (where I was until recently working), is that it’s all about power. I’ve met a few politicians who are there to represent their community and constituents, but they are by far and away in the minority. There are far more who are there for the power, and what it can bring them personally. It then becomes a vicious spiral downwards. The more they have the more they want and I think that becomes infectious outside as well to everyday life.

      I agree with you that actually what is needed to live a fulfilling life is actually very little, but I suspect the reality is that many find the thought of “less” very scary and like to have those other things. I’m not sure that I have answers but I know I’m happier now – with less – than I have been in a very long time.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, best wishes, Alan.

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