Friday, August 18, 2006
Quite right too. His acting's been anonymous since Gallipoli.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THIS - IN 15 YEARS YOU'LL PROBABLY BE GOING TO WAR OVER IT
No, it's not a new chair from Ikea. In 15 years time, when wars over oil will either be old hat (because there wont be any oil left) or pointless anyway (because we'll already be dead), then it may be time to start fighting about something else. Except unlike oil, which, to be honest, the human race did ok without for quite a while, this is something much more important that none of us can live without. This is a water molecule.
It's not just tossers like me that are recognizing the new "value" of water. That Bono-owned bible of capitalism, Forbes, has already recommended to its readers: "Water is one of the world's great business opportunities. It promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th."
How nice for this essential element to already be on their shopping list. The shanty town population of Bolivia, who cant afford the cost of three months pay for a private company to give them even a single pipe to drink clean water from, already know that what comes out of the sky isn't necessarily free.
A report by CBC Canada (who, incidentally, lucked out on the water stakes, along with water-rich Russia, Brazil and China - three energy rich countries too) shows that private businesses already own the water supply to several hundred million people on every continent in the world.
This map shows how the world will be doing for water in less than 20 years time.
If you live in a red bit, you're fucked, no matter how much money you have. If you live in the orange bit, you'll be OK as long as you can afford it, and if you live in a blue bit, you'll be OK. Except you won't be OK. A shortage of something like water will cause an attempted mass migration by those who don't have it to somewhere that does. Except things like borders and cultural differences usually mean that this won't be possible, and the resolution will be war.
There are some commentators who already believe that the driver behind the Rwandan massacres was a shortage of water, and in the middle east, where 5% of the world's population tries to live on 1% of the world's water, conflicts over clean water add to an already dire relationship between Jews and Arabs. Jews are commonly called Well Poisoners, a name dating back hundreds of years, and as recently as last year stories of Jewish settlers poisoning Arab wells appeared on Al Jazeera news.
Meanwhile, as consumption fuels global warming, evaporation is becoming worse, and aggravating the issue even further.
Eventually the earth's population is going to exceed the available supply. And unlike oil, there just isn't another option. It will be fight for your water - or die anyway.
So relax about oil running out.
Energy wars are old hat.
Water is running out. And unlike oil, there isn't an alternative, no hippy commune to hide inside, no wind farm to blow away your worries. With 8 billion people wanting water, and only enough to go round, even with no borders, prejudice or private companies, for 6 billion, then somehow, somewhere, 2 billion people have just got to go.
(By the way, if you live in the white bit of that map, then you're either in an igloo or up Mount Everest.)
Monday, August 14, 2006
IF YOU DON'T NAIL IT DOWN...
...some cunt will nick it, that's what my old dad used to say. Trouble is these days, the price of nickel what it is, someone will steal the nails too.
As the price of raw materials continues to rise (what with them running out forever) it's become profitable for thieves to steal manhole covers in East London and sell them off for scrap. Fetching between £5 - £10 a time (US $9 - $18), the missing covers have been causing havoc, not least because of the hole they leave behind. Police have upgraded the crime to "stealing a safety device" which carries a jail sentence, following thefts in Stratford, West Ham, Forest Gate and Canning Town.
Deputy Mayor of Newham Christine Bowen told the BBC: "They are leaving dangerous holes in the ground that put pedestrians, especially the most vulnerable, at risk of falling into them. They could also cause great damage to vehicles." Thanks for that, Christine. Very insightful.
NASA "LOSE" HDTV FOOTAGE OF MOON LANDING #1
Apparently with HDTV at home you could see the strings, and it looked a bit like Thunderbirds without all the fuzz.
NASA "LOSE" HDTV FOOTAGE OF MOON LANDING #4
One small step for man, one giant balls up for the archive department.