We're all familiar with the responses that can be heaped upon people in arenas like Facebook when a racist or homophobic remark can result in a comment going viral and hundreds or thousands of people sending hate-filled responses to the original poster.
It's easy. It allows the commenter to feel they've done something, but it costs them nothing beyond a few seconds of typing.
(I often wonder if this is why some right-wing religious groups target gay men. It requires no sacrifice on their part, but makes them feel they are exerting effort to fulfill god's wishes. Other Biblical requirements are much harder to meet. Not killing, not stealing, giving lots of money to the poor, get progressively harder.)
It's like that with environmental issues. The Daily Mail can heap praise upon itself for the success of a campaign to put a charge on one-use carrier bags. It's easy. The worst thing it can do to us is to make us pay 5p for a carrier bag, or to bring our own bag to the shop. It's an easy feel good factor to own a re-usable shopping bag.
Most people will move up to sorting and putting out their recyclable rubbish. It's easy, and there's an awareness that it helps keep council tax down (because of landfill charges).
After that, sadly, we're mostly driven by the desire to look good. It's no coincidence that most people installed double glazing long before they added decent loft insulation (even though loft insulation is far, far, more cost-effective). Loft insulation is invisible and double glazing makes our houses look good. We tell ourselves we're installing it for environmental reasons, but if it didn't come with good looking PVC frames, it wouldn't have caught on nearly as well.
Climate change is something we want the government to act upon. They should definitely do something. Though we're not always too sure about what. We want green electricity, and it sounds great, but we also don't want anything that will lower our standard of living.
and thereby lies the crunch. We ignore (not even deliberately, but by glossing over or turning the page) things that are stressful or that demand big changes from us.
If everyone on the planet lived as we do in the UK, we would need three planets to support everyone. In other words, we're using resources three times faster than is sustainable.
And here's the even harder part. Although we have known this for decades, and awareness of environmental issues is rising, our environmental footprint over that period has risen rather than fallen.
In short, we're destroying the natural environment (and the life support system for our children and grandchildren) because we're unwilling to sacrifice lifestyle elements that are often luxuries rather than essentials.
It's a New Year.
What are you prepared to give up that will actually make a difference?
This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth where it has comments.
We live in a world of instant media. Instead of reading a daily paper, we are now surrounded by more information than we can ever absorb. I think this forces a lot of shallow study instead of study in depth.
too much data means confirmation bias gets worse as we skim articles looking for the bits that agree with what we believe and never consciously notice the rest. This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth where it has comments.
Working at retyping and tidying up Roy Dommett's longsword notes is surprisingly relaxing, in spite of the amount of concentration required.
Actually, maybe the concentration is why I find it relaxing...
Anyone got work that they need editing? Doesn't necessarily have to be paid.
(One book I edited in the past was a biography of Margot Fonteyn and it was good to see the author, Ken Ludden, being interviewed as part of a recent programme on Margot by Darcy Bussell. I like to think that his book helped to make people more aware of his relationship with Margot.)
This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth where it has comments.
We're learning a dance originating from the village of Lingdale in Yorkshire and I'm gradually, with help from other longsword dancers, finding more records of early performances of the dances. It's an interesting and time-consuming project understanding what all the different writers were referring to. Some like Roy Dommett were so detailed that you have to work out what they meant by:
Over Neighbour's Sword
Each man takes 8 steps, 4 bars. The man in front lowers his sword almost to ground level.
l r/l r/hr l/hl r//
Left foot over first. Half turn to face back, completed as left foot goes over, completing turn that man raises his own sword and ½ turn anti-clockwise under it to face back, hop over, getting straight by raising neighbour's sword, which helps next man to turn ready to go over.
OVER YOUR NEIGHBOURS SWORD: Right arm overhead first, then turn to left from inside outwards: left hop/ right hop.
Those two are actually the same figure...
All in all, I prefer the first version, but I freely admit that it took me a couple of days to fully understand his notation system. Once I know the figure, the second is sufficient, but if you don't know it, then the detail really helps.
Because I'm finding Dommett's notes so useful, I'm retyping them. They were written around 1970 and have circulated in ever fainter photocopies since that time. It's a fairly major job as there's about fifty pages of dance history and notations, but I'm making progress. We started with an OCR file, but some of it came out looking like this:
-L,-~ 1/M t.,§v~¢1 ‘-vi-o r-f\~\~7
Ll P 4;“ K-»G\j~4- c£-~=c
so I'm using the OCR where I can read it, and just doing the rest from scratch.
It's actually quite relaxing, as long as I don't over do it and trigger the RSI.
This is Saw Gerrara, maimed, aging rebel, has become more fanatic than the rest of the rebellion, trusts no one (with one exception) even when they have come to offer help..
Remind you of anyone?
I kept seeing Gareth's face jumping off the screen at me.
It may be pure coincidence, but I wonder.... This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth where it has comments.
Turns out that I'd got logged out at some point, and while struggling to log in again, it used my Facebook id to log in and I thought that was really me (same photo, etc.) as opposed to Watervole me.
I've probably missed a lot of friend-locked posts in the last couple of weeks.
It seems to have linked my Facebook account to LJ, as when I posted a comment in Vera's journal just now, it showed my real name rather than 'watervole'. I have mixed feelings about this. I don't mind my name being known, it's always been there on my profile page, but I would rather have clearer options.
But basically, how the devil do I make a post on Livejournal?
It's a vicious circle. The methane released by the warmer temperatures helps warm the atmosphere further. And that isn't the only knock on effect...
And at the same time, the UK government are trying to make us believe that adding a third runway at Heathrow will not prevent us from meeting our promises on Climate Change - a claim that is pretty impossible to believe.
Air travel is one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions that we have any personal control over. We have to eat. We have to get to work. We really don't want to freeze in the winter. But we don't have to go on foreign holidays.
Try any carbon footprint calculator of your choice - they will all tell you the same thing. Giving up air travel will make a big difference, bigger than any other lifestyle change you can make.
If you have a beloved child, nephew, neice or grandchild, this may be the single best gift you can ever give them. Try and give them a world that still resembles the one you love now, before we pass the point of no return.
For the sake of my children and everyone's children, I gave up air travel in 2002.
For my granddaughter, and everyone else's grandchildren, I intend to keep that pledge for the rest of my life. This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth where it has comments.