The Green New Deal

Posted by: on Nov 29, 2008 | No Comments

The Green New Deal is about putting a lot of money – although relatively small in comparison to the huge corporate bail outs going on – into training and tooling up a large workforce to improve the energy efficiency of EVERY house in the UK. This is a win-win-win-win situation.

It stimulates the economy nationally and locally (one would hope a condition would be to use UK-sourced materials), creates jobs, gives training, and massively reduces our country’s dependency on foreign energy sources. Oh AND it means lower fuel bills for everybody in the country, forever (relative to those bills without the efficiency improvements of course).

What a vote winner that would be. It is probably only a matter of time before this kind of policy is adopted by the mainstream parties – after all it is a rare prospect that of a truly tangible benefit to everybody in the country in hard times. There’s large scale unemployment around the corner, and manufacturing needs a boost. Obviously there will have to be a plan to transition these skills and services into new lines of business as the process unfolds – but its going to take a fair few years to cover every one of the 26 million or so households in the UK. Of course the skills will transfer in some ways to the commercial sector too.

It makes perfect sense to stimulate a war-time style effort to create solar heating panels, small scale wind generators (hmm not on houses…) and locally-produced insulation solutions. Can Warmcel style insulation be made locally from waste paper, can we make thermafleece locally? Can we grow enough hemp for hemp insulation?

You can download the full Green New Deal proposal PDF. Why not mail the link to everyone you know who is fed up with the increasing per-capita national debt as a result of failing economic systems? Oh sorry, that’s pretty much everyone. Give it a go eh? It’s not about voting green (although I’ve now decided that I will – every little does help) its about getting behind the concept.

Whichever party does it, we will all be thankful.

Interesting presentation on solving US oil dependency

Posted by: on Nov 26, 2008 | No Comments

Short, sweet, and on the surface it seems pretty smart. Notwithstanding George Monbiot’s recent blog post indicating that the oil requirement for green energy ramp-up may tip us over the precipice even quicker, this former oil man may be onto something for the US (and hence the world).

US Voting system – broken!

Posted by: on Nov 3, 2008 | 2 Comments

The other day, thanks to Garr Reynolds’ always useful Presentation Zen blog, I watch this video of Seth Godin talking about how things are so often “broken” and how people are complicit in creating the breakage or ignoring it, or not complaining about it.

Now it’s a very amusing and quite thought-provoking talk. I now look at things even more critically than I used to, and annoy my wife by telling her how broken something is.

Anyway, the US voting system is broken. Ignore the problems with ballot papers, dodgy voting machines, and the whole lack of security in the electronic voting machines…

The US voting system is broken, I can tell, because all I hear on the news is how people are voting EARLY and yet it is taking them 3-4 hours in many cases, from entering the building to casting their vote.

This is utterly utterly broken, and you have to wonder if it is broken intentionally (one of Seth Godin’s 7 or so reasons for being broken is deliberately broken by the maker).

After all, a long delay to vote is rather a good way of filtering out certain kinds of voters – those with low paid jobs and unhelpful bosses – those who are carers – those who are young and have something better to do with their four hours. Could voting delays alone be the single nascent reason behind the Republican presence in the White House for so long?

Can you imagine the outcry if it took people 4 hours to vote in the UK!?

For your information, last time I voted in the UK it took 5 minutes.