The Red, the White(s) and the Blue…

Just recently my attention, after the distraction of our own Brexit, turned to the Presidential elections in the US – now I’ve shown interest in the past but this time around it’s become an obsession in comparison.
Perhaps  the presence of Donald Trump and then even more the possible eventuality of him getting the Republican candidate ticket (which has now become a reality) prompted me to observe the political circus for far longer and deeper than ever previously.

I had to educate myself a little initially to familiarise my self with the different system and jargon and electoral process, the biggest difference being the protracted nature of the whole shebang and then the almost unnatural and chromatic shock of red signifying right of centre and blue signifying left of centre politics.

From my not fully informed UK perspective Hillary Clinton appeared (to moi) to be the natural and only option for President especially after observing the antics and listening to the rhetoric of Donald Trump.. but apparently to the US electorate it wasn’t and isn’t as clear cut as my cursory appraisal

So started my in depth look at the whole situation and as to why Hillary Clinton as a career and cabinet politician seemed so unpopular (even hated) and as to why Donald Trump as a billionaire playboy boom and bust business man was even on the electoral radar.

I came to the conclusion that the generic USA populace must be suffering (but much worse) from the similar disenfranchised feeling that the generic UK populace were experiencing and expressing protest to in the UK June Brexit referendum.

I’m not comparing the two cases directly of course as being in a different state of the USA can and must feel for some like being in a different nation altogether given the geographical scale and the socio-religious, industrial and gun-toting cultural diversities involved.

I still arrived at the same outcome that Hillary Clinton is the ‘no brainer’ choice of presidential candidate but I can also see why Trump garners blind support from those same resolutely disenfranchised if sadly deluded citizens despite his sexist bigotry and his simplistic ‘we’ll just  make it happen’ declarations.

Roll on Nov 8th so it’ll all be over or it’ll be the start of it all being over for the planet.


Gone to the dogs

For what seems months and months I have read and listened to the all the claims and counter claims regarding what I now believe is the totally unnecessary referendum over whether or not we should leave the EU.
The whole issue I feel has dragged this once proud and independent country to a low point in its history.
The issue has I feel been rushed and in their haste to get it resolved I feel that the government has created a lethargic population many of whom are so fed up with the half truths and unsubstantiated facts that they will probably not bother to vote.
This I feel will result in a very close result one way or the other and it is entirely possible that it will set one side against the other.
It is a fact that the whole structure of the EU is under severe strain with behind the scenes power struggles and the ever present failure of the Euro .
If I am to be honest I really do not care whether or not we leave this fractured organisation because I am of an age when life is lived by the day – but having said that I do care about my children and grandchildren who sadly are the people who will have to clear up the mess we are intent on leaving.
When I think of all those brave souls who put their lives on the line to give this country it’s freedom from tyranny, I am convinced that had they a voice they would say “what a waste of time that was, the bloody country’s going to the dogs”.
Rant over. Have a nice day. 😊

It’s A Fracking Shame

(posted on Square Pegs but after today’s news about the go-ahead to start fracking in Yorkshire, I think its worth re-posting)

If I think hard about the state of the world, it’s depressing. The beautiful planet we were given is gradually getting destroyed – and nobody seems to care. Turning the clock back some years, we cooked meals and the only take-away was the local chippy or the ice cream shop. If we were hungry, we weren’t handed a fiver and sent for sweets, we could have bread and jam. Biscuits and cakes were usually available, many home baked but you were taught not to be greedy and only take one. Visitors got first choice, not the children. As a throw-away society, we’re littering the planet with our rubbish and people will shrug their shoulders and say it’s nothing to do with them. Of course it is – where does the rubbish come from in the first place.

Burning coal caused problems in cities with smoke and at worst smog, at least that problem has been ironed out.  However coal mines were dug deep into the ground, nobody thought anything of it, the tunnels were propped up but when the mine closed some of the tunnels were left and all sorts of rubbish used filled up the mine shafts. The result now is the material used is rotting away, vibration and the elements work together and cause many of the shafts to weaken and give way. Open cast mining on the other hand had to be left in a state sympathic to the surroundings, when the mine closed. The area I live in has had several incidents of mine shafts caving in, with one known fatality.

I started to think of these things again after watching a TV programme on sink holes. Sink holes can happen suddenly, without warning and can swallow up buildings and land and even people.

Florida is one of the worst areas known for the appearance of sink holes and apparently the explanation or rather the most common explanation is salt mine companies taking short cuts. Instead of mining the rock salt, they pump water into it, dissolve it, bring it up for desalination processing and reverse the process to turn it back into salt. The drawback is, it leaves a yawning gap and the rock still erodes and continues to be washed out by underground streams and when the roof of the cavern gives way, the sink hole appears. That’s in Florida – but it’s happening here as well  Sink Holes in Britain

I do get concerned at the amount of countries agreeing to fracking, they say it is safe, they said the same about the coal mines and the salt mines, but I feel that when you interfere with the stucture of the earth, how can it be safe.   Many places in Britain are licenced to test drill for shale oil already. I live between two volcanic plugs, only a short distance apart. They’ve been extinct for several thousand years but would fracking in the area awaken them again?  It’s suspected that that could happen in the Mendip hills should they drill there.

In 2011, energy company Cuadrilla suspended test fracking operations near Blackpool, in Lancashire, after two earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude hit the area

A subsequent study found it was “highly probable” that shale gas test drilling triggered the tremors.”

We never seem to be happy with what we have been given, forests are stripped bare of trees, ruining the whole ecology and destroying the habitat of animals and people alike. Tractors are getting bigger, even small farms seem to like to show off the biggest tractor they can get, but the land drains in the fields can’t bear their weight so collapse making water run-off from the fields add to the roads flooding. Another problem which is thought to result of flooding is the fact everyone is too busy to bother with a garden so they concrete it or slab it, reducing the natural drainage.

Nuclear power is also quite controversial, highly dangerous but the long term storage of used nuclear fuel can never be far enough away, nor stored long enough to be safe.

These things aren’t just happening in other countries, they are happening here, so whilst there are companies allowed to take short cuts, and fat cats reaping the profits, and people look for easy ways out, we’re not exactly leaving a very good heritage to our families by allowing it all to happen.

Now it has started in Kirby Misperton, Yorkshire