We scroungers must maintain our dignity

One of the terrible things this government (here in UK) is achieving is to cause us believe that our dignity and even value as human beings is dependent on us having paid work; this is wrong partly because the capitalist system this government espouses actually makes decently paid employment for all impossible, certainly in the current economic circumstances, which their policies perpetuate.

However it is mainly wrong because human dignity and value comes from being human. “Work”, if that is what we feel we must value, covers a wide variety of activity and direct or indirect remuneration, monetary or otherwise; that’s the subject of a bigger treatise (doubtless there are some out there) but it is, I believe, a relevant point.

In my view, our humanity is undermined by the increasing individualisation of the society in which we live, as well as the insidious whispers that those who have disabilities of one kind or another are less than whole and therefore worthy of less respect. The variety in the human condition, combined with the system, means that there will be a small percentage of people who play the system unfairly, but the majority should never, ever, be punished for this, as is increasingly happening.

Worse is to come as the provisions of Universal Credit kick in, beginning next year, and increasing over the following years. As Laurie Penny suggests, we may have to redefine what power means, and some of us will learn of necessity to combat our powerlessness with our own inner resources and those of each other in order to survive.

© Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Helicopters and the Crowds

1995, Lincoln International School, Kampala, Uganda.

Break time on a sunny Wednesday morning: children of all races aged 5 to 18 years strolling around the quad or out on the playing field, some kicking a ball around, others playing tag; teachers and helpers enjoying their hot coffee in or around the staff room except for the two outside on duty and those embroiled in last-minute lesson preparations in the classrooms. I, the Maintenance Officer, happened to be down in the corridor near the computer lab which led to part of the field.

Military helicopters buzzing around Kampala’s sky were not unusual. This one however got louder and louder. I moved outside to where I could see it. It was hovering quite low over the field. Children moved to the edge as it … to my horror I could see it was landing in the middle of the playing field.

*****

January 1984, the road to Kotido, Karamoja, Uganda

My second day travelling what, because of my experience of the English countryside, I could only regard as a 150-mile-long cart track: red soil, red dust, red blistering heat, ameliorated only by the hot air blowing through the door windows in the cab of the green Mercedes truck – left over relief transport from the 1980 killer-famine. We stopped to view a couple of human thigh bones – all that was left of two teenage school boys killed by the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) some days earlier.

A few weeks later, on the way to buy timber from Mbale, 200 miles away, I am shown the place known as Lorengacora. There was nothing left, save a couple of burned-out mud huts that had once been grass-thatched, where once there had been a whole village of people, caring for their animals, growing their crops, collecting their water from less-than-clean shallow wells, or over-used boreholes with heavy-duty hand-pumps. The village had been bombed and set on fire by the military, in helicopters.

*****

1990, Moroto, Karamoja, Uganda.

With the approval of the local community I took under my wing a 13-year old orphan boy, in need of care and fees for school where he had previously shown promise. His story was long; it took many months for him to tell me most of it. People who suffer trauma, not least children and not least those who suffer long, find it hard to provide an intelligible and consistent narrative. Their listeners struggle to know wisdom and compassion in teasing out and piecing together some coherence.

Almost no part of Karamoja (near to the size of Wales) was free from senseless and violent persecution under Idi Amin, and later under the second regime of Milton Obote. The Karimojong inhabitants were punished for being ‘backward’ due to being semi-nomadic cattle keepers. They were also said to be ‘uncivilised’ due to their entirely-healthy tendency to avoid the wearing of clothes. The earlier colonial ‘Protectorate’ administration had ‘pacified’ and then pretty-much ignored them. It was left to the missionaries to introduce formal education, for better or worse.

James was from the south, the youngest by far of three boys – like his new dad, born later in the marriage. His parents died of natural causes when he was small. In 1986, when the villages around Namalu were attacked by the UNLA in helicopters, nine-year-old James had the unenviable experience, along with other residents, of running from the burning villages, soldiers firing live bullets at them from the open doors of low-flying helicopters. Obviously he survived, while many he knew did not. Not happy memories, nor what someone taking over parental duties would wish to hear.

*****

1995, Lincoln International School, Kampala, Uganda.

Even before the sound of the engine faded away, children started moving towards the helicopter, drawn perhaps as moths to light. As fear caught hold of me and possible scenarios flashed through my mind, I knew that, whatever could have caused a military of helicopter of the Uganda National Resistance Army to land in an International School playing field, I did not have the authority to deal with it. I began to run up the stairs towards the administrative block where I hoped I would find the Director. Time appeared to slow down, yet I was running. I had no time to be shocked and scared at the children and staff who had appeared as from nowhere and were flooding down the stairs to get a close-up view of this exciting event; yet I was.

“You’re going the wrong way!” I tried with limited breath to yell to a teacher. With what seemed to me a foolish disregard for the children in her care (and their large-fee-paying parents), she grinned and continued on down. Had I the time to think, I would have been aghast at the crowd mentality or dangerous inquisitiveness that drew them.

Running up more steps and across the grass of the quad, ignoring paved paths, I reached the Director’s Office outer door and ran in. He American, and at the top of this little heap, I would normally ask his Business Manager if he was free or, if she was absent, knock and wait. She was not in evidence: I knocked once and rushed in. He was apparently in the middle of interviewing parents of a potential pupil.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but an army helicopter has just landed in the school field. The buck stops here.”

*****

It turned out that the pilot was confused as to his location; he also appeared to lack common sense. He was eventually persuaded by the Director to fly away: I presume the latter was trained for any eventuality. Later I was told that one child, who had previously witnessed a military coup in another country, had been scared out of her wits. She and me together. It’s not hard to see what might have lain behind my and her reactions to the situation, but still I wonder about the teachers and why their first instinct was not to move the children away.

I never found out whether the interviewed parents sent their child to the school, but I do confess to experiencing a moment of pleasure in saying “the buck stops here”.

*****

© Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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BBC World Service 80 years old today

The British Broadcasting Service (BBC) World Service is 80 years old today, 29 February 2012. (So 1932 was a leap year.)

We complain, rightly, when the BBC does not give us the full unbiased story on news, local and international, and it seems to happen more often than before. Does this mean its vaunted independence is more compromised than previously? Perhaps it does. But let that not detract from the achievements of the World Service, as illustrated by my own experience.

In January 1984 I went to live and work in Kotido, Karamoja, Uganda. Later, some of my work was in and around Moroto, and I was based there from the end of 1985 until I left the first time in November 1986. I returned there in September 1988 and stayed until September 1991. I was working with the Anglican Church of Uganda as a practical volunteer, organising building programmes for the humanitarian work of Karamoja Diocese.

The BBC World Service was a lifeline to the outside world, particularly during the first tour. We had no phones connecting us to the outside world, only a ‘wind-up’ one in and for Moroto. We received mail every five weeks or so, and of course no internet. We had a radio system which connected the church bases at Kotido, Moroto and Amudat with Kampala and also with some of the Non-Government Organisations in the area, notably the Karamoja Development Programme, funded by the then European Economic Community and run by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Department of World Service. Being on the poorer end of things, Karamoja Diocese had no spare radios, so if one went wrong we lost a significant part of communication.

The World Service therefore had a huge value for us at that time. Not yet rebroadcast on FM, we listened on Short Wave which was not always reliable, usually in the evening at 6, 7 or 8 pm for the World News, followed by Focus on Africa with its unforgettable jingle, love it or hate it, which I believe has continued up to today. We kept up with major world events, with news of other African countries and with news of Uganda, for the Ugandan Broadcasting Service (UBC) of the time was unreliable in more than one way, parts of Uganda being in a civil war in the mid-80s following the flawed elections of 1981. Communications were such that at times colleagues from other parts of Uganda relied on the BBC for news of their own country and home area, trusting it more than UBC when the latter was available.

I am one of those who has a thirst for up-to-date news, I want to know what is going on in the world and soonish. Even bad things that we wish did not happen I would rather know than not, such as when Mikhail Gorbachev was put under house-arrest in August 1991 and it appeared for a short time that glasnost would fail. This event also reminded me abruptly of how people from very different backgrounds can view events in different ways. A Ugandan colleague in Kotido, always keen to keep up with world events, was quite blasé about it – regimes come and go, things change, we live with it – whereas my perception was that the huge depressing weight of the threat of nuclear war was once again descending.

The breaching and people-power-dismantling of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was an occasion of great excitement, hearing it on World Service almost as it was happening. One of my neighbours in Moroto was a German eye nurse who had, not so many months before, told me that German re-unification would be at least 20 years ahead. Unfortunately he was away in Kampala at the time.

The freeing of Nelson Mandela only three months later in February 1990 was another unforgettable occasion brought to us by the World Service. My not-yet-adopted Karamojong son was 13 and when I told him that Madiba was now free, he asked if he was now the president; again a difference in background and life-experience engendered a different perception. Though innocent of such politics the boy had long before lost his innocence of war, experienced at first hand.

Even other expatriates, English-speaking or not told me on a number of occasions that they regarded BBC World Service as more reliable and bias-free than their own national broadcasting services. I wonder if that is the case today. Now in the UK, I do not rely only on BBC TV for news from around the world, I use a number of services for major events, but day-to-day it is BBC radio that keeps me generally aware, though clearly biased at times on certain issues.

Not infrequently do we hear from the people in the trouble-spots of the world, where internet and social media do not yet loom large, that it is the BBC who have kept them factually aware.

So, happy birthday BBC World Service. Long may you continue, with a fresh injection of bias-free reporting. It is very sad indeed that spending cuts may reduce the service to some countries who most need them.

© Copyright Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Uganda and me in the mid 80s

An expression in very free verse, written for spoken poetry event that was cancelled.

July 1985
Idi Amin gone six years, all NOT well in Uganda,
in second reign of Milton Obote.

Do you have any money?
This politely to the bank teller.
Naaa, maybe next week, he said.

Have you got any petrol?
This at the fuel station.
Naaa, maybe next week, if God wishes.

Two hundred dusty cart track miles to Kotido town,
almost at the end of the world someone said.
On the way, remains of youths butchered by army,
a few bones left by hyenas.

Construction programme,
Anglican diocese, Welsh bishop:
White men on pedestals take frequent falls, saying
‘People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones’.

The president is coming!
We must paint the town.
English man give us paint,
National colours red, yellow and black.

I’m terribly sorry, Town Clerk,
I have only white; white man grins and adds,
Maybe he can bring it when he comes.
Oops.

Summoned to the District office,
for meeting with local heads:
District Commissioner, Administrative Secretary, Party Chief,
Police Commander, Army Commander
and, of course, the Town Clerk.

How can the President concern himself with paint?
You British are the ones who taught us,
‘when in Rome do as the Romans’.
Would you say that about your Queen?

Well I might sir, but you are right of course;
No disrespect intended to his Excellency,
Or indeed to anybody else.
Everyone afraid for their own skin.
As it was, the President never arrived.

Two weeks on: Our man is threatened,
Give that Land Rover, we go help him,
He hears we did nothing where shall we be?
This from the ‘friendly’ local militia.

‘Be Prepared’, we also taught,
spark plug leads swapped in advance
removed the need of having to say ‘no’.

Obote fled to Kenya, now General Okello rules.
Dilemma: now he’s not the president should the apology be
withdrawn?
Museveni’s rebellion gaining strength,
Teenagers recruited to fight him.

January 26 1986, six months to the day:
Okello follows to Kenya too.
Rebel Museveni now reigns in Kampala,
But here, fleeing soldiers run rampage.

Builder loosens fuel pipe on diesel Landy,
‘loses’ keys. Give us keys, open the gate.
Foolishly responds: Don’t have, it’s not my car.
Men, take down the fence;
Don’t need keys to bump-start a diesel with no steering lock –
or to take po’ whitey’s clothes from the line.

Two crazy aid worker friends drive down from compound on hill,
to see how bad things are in the town;
Stopped and were told of two Landies taken.

Get out, get out of the vehicle or I shoot!
Soldier points gun mounted grenade launcher.
I’m getting out, but if you shoot that you won’t have a vehicle.
Soldiers race vehicle away – ex-pat lungs in shock, full of road dust.

An Englishman, an Irishman and an Australian,
were left standing in the road,
The English man says, would you like a cup of coffee?
The Irishman says, Coffee? after that we need whisky!
Terribly sorry, but Anglican church here does not allow alcohol.
Cawfee it is then mate! said the Australian.

Kind bishop drives crazy friends home up the hill;
for them, one vehicle gone, five remaining.
Evening comes, Army helicopter passes low overhead,
Bishop yells at English colleague shooting photos.

Such a noisy night!
Deserted barracks full of materiel, collected by locals,
time to finish old grievances between neighbours and clans,
Guns and mortars – surround sound, the whole long night.
Under the bed safer? on top more comfortable.

Morning comes with relative calm,
But daylight offers different opportunities:
Kids playing with mortars which … ‘played’ back;
Report of diesel Landy found abandoned,
no wheels, no brakes, no cylinder head;

Women pass by, carrying on backs,
bundled guns, for their men,
like so much firewood
– for future cattle raids perhaps.

Teenage soldier returns from the front – to protect, he says;
But, high on local brew, fires indiscriminately at shadows;

Joint action with tall black priest to take boy’s set-down gun,
which Whitey picks up, gingerly pointing upwards,
as priest and boy fall in rugby tackle on hard road;

Enough delay to reach empty police station,
Pass to barracks where drunken sergeant accepts offered gun,
Cocked ready to shoot, his colleague said.
Said the Bishop: You should have got a receipt!

Pecking order for departure of foreigners from rural war zones:
Aid agencies: immediately (if not before),
no expense spared – most likely by plane,
Land, load and off, avoid local officials if poss,
Debrief in capital, off for unplanned coastal holiday.

Anglicans: first fumble, discuss, pray, um and ahh,
Eventually they trickle out, by plane or by road, depending on
resources;

Roman Catholics, mostly Italian, they never leave it’s said –
maybe that’s why they get so many converts?

Six days on, cadge lift in Catholic vehicle,
to Kenya, via the back escarpment road,
built in 40s by Italian POWs.
Travelling, relaxing, visiting friends.

Then, Feb 16, ’86, preparing soon to return:
walk last seven miles up to the crater of Mount Elgon,
4000 metres high, and seven miles back.

Welsh Bishop arrives that evening –
passing Kenyans calling on the way:
Don’t leave now, they need you more!

If in Uganda, would not so quickly have received
news of mother’s death in England that night.
Take a month off, said the bishop.

© Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Homosexual issues in Africa with reference to the situation in Uganda

I’m sticking my neck out like a giraffe here, but in my opinion, there is a resounding silence on aspects to which I shall refer.  Forgive me if I appear to generalise about Africa as a whole (a dangerous thing to do): my personal knowledge comes from East Africa, Uganda in particular, though I also refer to elsewhere on the continent. I use the term “Euro-American” as a coverall for what others call “the West”, “the North”, “the (more) developed world” – I find all of these more confusing than the one I have chosen, though this still fails to cover Australia and New Zealand (and Japan, though I am referring principally to cultures with majority European origins).

When we hear about gay rights in Africa the reports we receive are mostly from the big cities, and sometimes from smaller towns. Many Men who have Sex with Men (MSMs) and Women who have Sex with Women (WSWs) who live in the cities, have embraced the Euro-American approach to homosexual rights, ie the gay movement and all or most of that which goes with it. I suggest there is a relationship here between urban cultures which are tending to become more ‘westernised’ (ie Euro-American), and the embrace of the gay sub-cultures from the same sources. I believe (and have observed to some extent) that  MSMs and WSWs in African towns and villages may know nothing about Euro-american ‘gay’ sub-culture and, if they do, would find it unattractive and that it has too many attitudes and practices which do not ‘rhyme’ with their own cultures. This would hold true of some in the cities too. Ask some MSMs or WSWs if they are ‘gay’ and they will deny it, even to someone whom they know is aware of their activities.

Whilst it is nonsense to suggest that homosexual activity was imported into Africa by Europeans (or anyone else – some of the Indians building the East African railway were no strangers to it from some accounts), a case could be made that the modern gay movement has been imported and may not always fit well into African cultures, particularly in rural areas. Given the tendency of large cities around the world to become homogenised, this is probably inevitable.

Despite the denials, there is significant evidence to show that homosexual practices existed in pre-colonial Africa, though not always accepted; often a kindly blind eye was turned while some cultures did have a tradition of accepting different behaviours and some found a special place for it. The classic work on this is Boy-Wives and Female-Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities by Will Roscoe and Stephen Murray.

I am not saying the situations were ideal; but we could try to understand the fact that people-groups fighting for survival against outsiders, disease, etc. would push extremely hard for reproductive relationships. Less than a hundred years ago in sub-Saharan Africa, it was very common for half the children in a family to die before reaching adulthood; since then at times such a state of affairs has continued. So to not make babies at all would be seen as threatening the survival of the tribe/nation, and construed as the equivalent of treason in such situations, and such attitudes continue in the psyche of some people-groups today. Therefore, exclusive homosexual behaviour would be unusual.

It is in more recent times that rural African peoples have tended to oppose any homosexual behaviour whatsoever; as noted elsewhere homophobia was imported during European colonialism and, sadly, has taken root. I mention this here partly to give some credence to and explanation of the notion expressed in a recent article by a BBC journalist that it is not a simple matter to start talking about the Bahati “kill the gays” bill in rural areas of Uganda. See http://bbc.in/aNRZo6Homophobia has taken root in ignorance (no insult intended) in my opinion, and has now been stirred up by the likes of Pastor Sempa, supported by right-wing, often Christian homophobes (principally from USA) into an un-African hatred. I fear that the ease with which this has been done is partly because of the concept of ‘modern’ (read Euro-American) homosexuality, as illustrated in the gay movement.  It is going to take a lot of persuasion to bring people around – a genuine change of hearts and minds is needed, after a century of the wrong kind of persuasion. The gay movement will have to work hard to show that many of the excesses attributed to it are in fact either not true, not mainstream ‘gay’ or by no means exclusively gay; this as well as standing and working for freedom of behaviour, privacy – human rights in fact.

I have noticed at times a tendency in the modern gay movement to fail to recognise the wealth of diversity within people’s lives, to recognise that ‘gay’ life will be lived differently in different cultures, in different times, by different people. Cultures are, after all, works in progress, just as individuals are. Categorisation of MSMs and WSWs as ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’, ‘bi-sexual’ etc.when they may not identify with those categories can also lead to individuals suffering greatly in feeling that they are different and rejected by the very people to whom they should be able to turn, just as any person attracted to the same sex may feel in any less tolerant society.

One African said that … being called gay is very silly and he hates the categorising that we as people put ourselves through. And he went on by saying that asking him about his sexual orientation, is like asking him how big his dick is; and who does he sleeps with, and how he does it in bed? This is from an interesting article published by “Behind the Mask”, a South African LGBT organisation, sparked by a review of a book about teenage boys in Swaziland looking after their cattle and engaging in sexual activity with each other; some of them continued with it later though married to women. This was all regarded as normal, there is a word for it in the Swazi language, siSwati. But when western influences became stronger and gave different names, meanings and categories to these practices, the practice was gradually stopped (at least openly) as it came to be regarded as something related to outside influences.  Available at http://www.mask.org.za/article.php?cat=&id=579.

Obviously, good laws are part of the necessary change. But in Europe, North America and doubtless other places of which I know less, we know that changing the law is just a beginning, albeit essential; changing the law does not change the attitudes of most people. In Euro-american cultures we have moved on, for better or worse, from the traditional ways and have some understanding of what individual human rights are about and how it is wrong to withhold these from certain sections of society; but I am sure that the average, community-based, rural African will not understand the plea for gay rights in these terms for some years to come, even if the best of laws were to be in place. And they cannot be forced to change: they need to be persuaded and be able to see the situation elsewhere – not easy given the poor communications and hand-to-mouth existence in which many of them live. Clearly we need to do all we can to stop proposed laws, like the Bahati bill in Uganda, from coming to the statute books as well as working to get existing anti-homosexual bills removed. But to expect to quickly change understanding and prejudice in Africa when we are still struggling to do so in our own countries may be a bridge too far. But of course we must still work towards the fulfilment of those goals world-wide.

Constructive comments in the spirit of a common struggle to understand the world are welcome. In particular I would be very happy to hear from Africans – MSMs, WSWs and others.

© Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com, 2010/2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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A poem for speaking

I lost my public-poetry-performance-virginity last night at “Poetica” here in Bangor with a poem I wrote at the time. Audience were encouraged to write something about their summer, loosely titled “back to school” – it is a university city.

Really it is for speaking but here it is, words as performed:

Uganda in summer
(Isn’t it always?)
A place which is Other
to our crazy ways.

(though some of them like to copy).

A capital of riches,
of vices and glitches;
no stockmarket crashed
… but Gays are bashed.

But then:

50 tribes of wonderful people,
Old friends, new friends, more friends;
son lost and found – ran him aground;
family in need – poverty indeed.

Hot dusty roads, women with loads;
volcanic plugs, plenty of bugs.
Child soldier returned – forgiveness earned?
Your ears I do bend, but must come to an end:

I can’t write poetry without cut-and-paste on my computer.

© Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Getting Warm

As I understand it, there is evidence that the earth is getting warmer at a slower rate than before:

World’s climate could cool first, warm later

But also

Global Analysis – August 2009

Leaving aside automaton conspiracy theorists and paranoid anti-conspiracy theorists, are there any scientists out there willing to look at all sides of the picture and take a balanced view? I tend very much towards caring for this earth but I am finding it increasingly hard to get a balanced view. One might be tempted to think that scientists’ findings (on both sides of the climate change argument) are influenced by who writes their pay-cheques.

Mojib Latif, who figures in the first link above, is a scientist who may be trying to tell the truth as he finds it: if so, doubtless he will please no one.

No disrespect intended, but my view is that science is full of theories which may be correct, or not.

It is clear to me that we humans, late-comers to this planet, have affected its systems out of all proportion, and that this has an effect on climate change. On the other hand, doubtless there are cyclical weather and/or climate patterns which interact. Even if the urgency of looking after our planet better than we have been is reducing, I am of the opinion that we still need to do it, unless we wish the planet to shrug us off in the (perhaps not so distant) future.

We also need to do more to combat the EFFECTS of climate change, whatever the cause. People in equatorial regions – sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian sub-continent for instance – are already having a lot more difficulty in growing crops than they were 30 or 40 years ago. The very existence of some Pacific island nations is under threat from rising sea-levels.

Peak Oil will inevitably cause us to change our lifestyles as oil availability goes down, and prices go up. We should prepare for this too. A lot of interesting stuff can be found here:

Transitionculture.org

More later, discussion welcome.

© Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas Robert Jewitt and nickjewitt.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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