“Please think about the environment before printing this email.” It’s a request many of us are probably familiar with. It seems reasonable, but it also implies that an email, and by association the web, is a green medium. Sadly, this isn’t exactly true. What if I told you that the Internet is the largest coal-fired machine in the world?
Before going any further here, I want to make it clear that I’m well aware of the shortcomings of carbon offsetting, wonderfully satirised by the folks behind Cheat Neutral. However, carbon offsetting is undeniably better than doing nothing. And as sustainable as you might try to be, it probably isn’t enough. The World Resources Institute have calculated that we should be aiming for a maximum limit of two tons of CO₂ emissions per person, per year. And yet it is calculated that the average EU citizen incurs 9.1 tons of CO₂ emissions. The average US citizen emits about twice as much as this.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been living in the French ski resort Flaine. It’s a bit different to most ski resorts. Whereas the general aesthetic of a ski resort is picturesque wooden chalets with smoking chimneys, Flaine is a brutalist concrete paradise. The Barbican of the Alps.
About two years ago, I decided that I wanted to “take back control”1 of my data. I had been mulling over the idea for some time, conscious of arguments that had been raised by web celebs like Jeremy Keith and Jeffrey Zeldman. I became aware of a growing movement known as POSSE – Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.
The man in the middle of the photo below (in the baseball cap) is Thomas Muir. Thomas was a member of Britain First, and last year he murdered Jo Cox MP while shouting the name of this organisation.
In France, a road has been named after Jo Cox in honour of her life and in memory of her horrific and untimely death.
Yesterday Donald Trump, the so-called President of the United States of America, retweeted three anti-Islamic videos – at least one of which is proven to be bogus – from the deputy leader of Britain First, a convicted racist and fascist.
Theresa May issued a statement saying that Donald Trump shouldn’t have done this.
Donald Trump’s response was to use his little hands to tell Theresa May via Twitter to focus on problems with terror in the UK. And that the US is doing “just fine”… (Actually, prior to this he told someone called Theresa Scrivener the same, before realising she wasn’t Theresa May – demonstrating that he lacks the mental faculties required even to use Twitter responsibly.) Theresa May is currently on a tour of the Middle East and has just become the first major foreign leader to visit Iraq since the fall of Mosul.
I’m not exactly a fan of Theresa May, but here I am sort of defending her.
What really troubles me is I don’t know where we go from here. Donald Trump has passed down through every threshold to now represent the deepest dregs of civilisation. There are no more words left to describe what he is or what he’s doing.
(Update: It turns out she also didn’t bother to actually write a letter to me either, see the bottom of the post.)
For a multitude of reasons, I support proportional representation (PR) systems of voting. The UK currently operates a first-past-the-post (FPTP) system of voting. This means that almost every Government in power in the UK rules without the majority of the country’s support (in fact, far from it).
During “the final” last night, I stumbled upon a tweet from Julia Hartley-Brewer. If you haven’t heard of her, and it’s understandable that you wouldn’t have, she’s one of these “journalists” who presents a talk radio show and pops up on current affairs programmes like Question Time and The Andrew Marr Show. Here’s the tweet:
What's really amazing about this Portuguese team is that they are the only young people with jobs in the whole of Portugal. #justsaying
— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) July 10, 2016
In the last 36 hours, many people I know have passed through the various stages of the Kübler-Ross model of grief (denial, anger, bargaining etc.) in the wake of the EU referendum. Most of them now seem to be reaching stage five, acceptance: “I’m not happy with the result of this referendum, but the people have spoken, that’s democracy, I respect and I accept it.”
Depressing yet fascinating article by George Monbiot on the Cumbrian floods:
Just as I was dosing off a few weeks back, my brother mentioned that Robb Wolf (messiah of the paleo diet’s disciples) had tweeted about how vegan diets were linked to mental disorders.1
He read the tweet out to me. At first, I wasn’t particularly concerned about the actual link. I’m very sceptical of the technique used by so many newspapers and link-bait websites whereby a study has arisen about how x gives you cancer, or why you should start drinking more of y because it means you won’t get Alzheimer’s. The reasons for being sceptical are outlined beautifully in the article, broccoli is bad for you.