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Thursday, 24 May 2007

Roller coaster


From: treaclemine2004 Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 06:14:22
To:GreenBirmingham@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Means and Ends
Greetings ... What could ever make it politically acceptable for close monitoring, detailed tracking and surveillance of the movements of the general population? How can such an intrusive and authoritarian means be right when our ends are supposed to be socially and environmentally just? There are good, just, simple and fair ways to do this. GPS isn't one. Thank you, Amanda

Dear Amanda. I’m not just talking of restricting other's freedoms, but of winning support for new laws that will affect my family, pushing us towards sustainable ways to make a living and enjoy life. I may provide an imperfect example but unless governments move to a war footing I cannot see changes in behaviour being adopted.
To add to the depth of my inconsistency (not hypocricy - I don't see myself as better) we have a home in Greece to which we occasionally fly though I prefer slower travel by rail and ferry.
I’m part of a network of relatives who treat my concern about reducing carbon footprints with affectionate tolerance. I enjoy them too much to rain on a family parade.They fly the world. They use phone conferencing more than they did, but they rely on cars. Several are in businesses that thrive on consumerism. The most liberal approve a congestion charge. It clears the roads for driving. We're on a runaway rollercoaster. It’s scary when I look around but my fellow passengers - people I love - are enjoying a longer ride for their money. I join in - yelling and laughing with the rest. Looking down I glimpse people still on the ground. They stare upwards – not resenting our fecklessness, nor relieved at avoiding our fate or anxious they might be hit by the debris of our fall – but gazing at our rushing progress to disaster with looks of admiring envy.

The Greater Spotted Woodpecker actually came to the nuts outside our kitchen window just now but Jackdaws are my favourite birds. Of all the crows they seem to rejoice in flight as well as getting into conversation with humans. Jim was a great uncaged companion. Until he flew off to mate he was my mate. I found him as a fledgling fallen from his nest unable to fly and he stayed around with me for about 6 months in 1951. My mum took the picture on a visiting weekend at my boarding school in Sussex. Jackdaws enjoy playing with shiny objects and other small household items, which gives them a reputation as thieves. My impression is that they are actually always checking out whether this or that trifle might be suitable for a nest. Konrad Lorenz' sketches, in 'King Solomon's Ring', where he has a chapter on the birds, capture what I noted in Jim better than any photos I've seen. The Jackdaw mentality in humans refers to a tendency to collect trivia in the fruitless hope that all may come together to explain the meaning of life.

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