Archive for the 'bbc' Category

Global Warming is Happening – If We Act Now, Maybe it isn’t Too Late.

January 20, 2007

They have been talking about climate change for as long as I can remember. I remember them talking about Global Warming in grade school and that has to be at least 10 years ago. While I lived in America I never saw a great deal of talk about the environment, nothing much after 9/11 but local and national news and speculation about 9/11.

It seems to be the top of the news agenda that climate change is happening and will continue. It is a scary thought for those of us who are old enough now to understand what is going on behind and in front of the curtain. The BBC did a study that talked about climate change and it will affect us in the future. The extreme weather of late is just the beginning. They talked about major flooding and because England is an island nation this is a serious issue.

Talks about saving the environment are common place, everyone has to recycle and use their cars less. The scary part about all of this is it seems that we are taking action too late. The damage to the Ozone layer of the atmosphere has been growing for years. The efforts of England and other European countries to save the environment will not go far without the biggest user and abuser of energy, the United States taking some serious action to curb its energy use.

I spoke to my mother last night about these issues as I just could not seem to relax before going to sleep, too many worries piling up. She said that the way that the world is going, if she were a young woman now she would seriously consider not having children as what will be around for them is unknown. I know that the BBC study about the long term climate change was targeted at the year 2080 and by then I will be 80 years old, but as much as is being done at this time to save the environment, it still isn’t enough.

It seems to me that it will not be the residents of these countries using the most fossil fuels, electricity and all the other things we are running out of, it is the businesses. Many years ago McDonalds stopped using Styrofoam in their packaging to prevent the leaking of CFC’s into the atmosphere. Styrofoam takes hundreds of years to decompose and it is just one nail in the coffin of our environment.

We recycle in this household, but it is very difficult. They do not collect anything but paper, but we are required to recycle paper, bottles, tin, everything we can. We have to take that stuff to a recycling centre which is not on the doorstep and to do that we have to drive. They should provide residents with bin like the one we have for trash that is partitioned inside for bottles, paper etc, and collect it from us. That would at least have less cars on the road trying to save the environment by recycling while polluting the atmosphere. Not to mention we have to hold the garbage for recycling in the house before we can go, so it is highly inconvenient.

So yes, I am scared about the future. What will my children, should I have them, have to use in their lifetimes? Will people be taking their containers back to the supermarket to have them refilled rather than just getting a new plastic, non-decomposing bottle each week? Will the government make it easier for people to buy fuel efficient or electric cars? Will it ever be made just illegal to drive an SUV unless you have a good reason to do so?

These are the questions that I am asking as I see the climate change outside the window in front of me. The extreme windy weather of late is testament to changing conditions, not to mention that there are times outside that you don’t even need a jacket in January?

ITV have produced a documentary about the Antarctic melting… People get it is happening now. Are we going to see some more aggressive action before the world self destructs?

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An Event of the Highest International Urgency

January 19, 2007

The recent destruction of a Chinese weather satellite should be a cause of serious concern to those of us in the West. It has the potential to destabilise the balance of power that exists between the East and the West. Hours following the event, America’s media had already decided that it was China that had destroyed its own satellite. The BBC continues to maintain and stress that it is unconfirmed that China is responsible as they have made no comment. CNN has reported that the missile appears to have been “launched from or near the Xichang Space Center.”

Not only did this action cause the governments of the US, UK and other NATO members to launch full scale diplomatic protests, CNN reported that “this is viewed as an action taken by China to directly affect the United States”. President Kennedy said something very similar to the citizens in a broadcasted address to the American people during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962, as follows:

“…It shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.” – President John F. Kennedy

The political climate that is developing between the governments of the United States and China at the moment has similarities to the one that existed during the cold war of the 1960s. The unexpected development of surface to space weapons by the Chinese government that could destroy the US and other countries’ surveillance and GPS satellites is an obvious escalation in what has so far been a very quiet cold war between the United States and China. The role of Russia, then the USSR, in the sixties has been assumed by China. A significant mitigating factor that was not present in the 60s is the strong economic relationship now tying western countries to China.

We all remember the Strategic Defense Initiative or Star Wars project championed by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s which called for weapons to be placed in orbit. These weapons would have been capable of destroying nuclear missiles launched from Russia directed at the United States. It was said at the time that once this technology was developed it should be shared with the USSR. In a 1985 issue of Peace Magazine, Andrew Pakula proposed that “Possibly the Soviets, faced with the reality or the perception of being at a disadvantage, of losing the deterrent power of their arsenals, might feel compelled to take the dangerous course of destroying the ‘Star Wars’ equipment.

Continuing to compare the cold war of the sixties with that of today, has China taken on the role of the former Soviet Union? It appears that China has destroyed its own satellite. This action was not an experiment “just to see if they could do it” but an announcement to the rest of the world that they have the power to disable some of the most important tools in modern warfare, specifically our strategic orbiting satellite systems. Apparently, the West has been caught off guard by this event.

The question has to be posed: If China did not launch this missile then who did and if it was some other country why have seen no reaction from China?

In the film, “The Sum of All Fears”, a secret organization detonates a nuclear device in the American city of Baltimore. The United States, believes that the Russian government is responsible for the attack. After intense negotiations fail, the United States and Russia attack each other but refrain from using nuclear weapons. Subsequently, we learn that the secret organization wanted to get the US and Russia to fight each other rather than for it to engage them individually.

How close to reality could this film be? Could it be possible that someone might really try to instigate a conflict between such powerful nations as the US and China. There is, of course, no evidence to suggest any validity to these speculations. There is, however, cause for concern that the United States and its allies measure their response accurately and appropriately. The last thing that we need is another war or skirmish especially with a military might of the size and power of that of China.

Those involved need to take a deep breath and figure out who, if not China, might have fired that missile.  In the words of Dean Acheson, a close advisor to President Kennedy, “Let us hope that cooler heads prevail before we reach the next step…  In the future, will our children be able to look back on the decisions of our leaders today and believe that they showed wisdom, prudence and discretion?

 

Beginning of November ‘06 Update – SebRT.com

November 4, 2006

PodcastVoicesYou haven’t heard from me for a couple of weeks but I certainly haven’t been up to nothing. I had the great pleasure of speaking with Andy Evans of PodcastVoices the night before last and then earlier yesterday speaking with the production director. PodcastVoices is an awesome company with fresh new ideas to work with the new media both in audio and video blogs and podcasts. Although at the moment Podcast Voices is mostly a virtual company with employees spread throughout the UK, it shares the “head office” with a sister company in London.

As many know who read this blog know I am somewhat of a content producer I obviously write but I also produce both audio (podcasting) and video (the videos I either compile and edit or shoot) I was contacting PodcastVoices about doing some production for them when I first got in contact with Andy the other day. I look forward to some possible work with this awesome emerging company in the near future.

I am seriously considering this “green” thing…

With the media services like BBC and ITV banging on about the sudden legitimate cause for concern about conserving our environment and the release of the Stern report yesterday I do not need to tell you to be concerned about the environment.

It has been talked about for years, this whole “going green” business. My mother has been telling me now for about 2 years that she would like to get a green car, what they call a hybrid or half gasoline and half electric. I have always poo-pooed the idea as bullshit. I have said that so we as a family change, great, what about the 50 quadrillion other people around us who don’t bother? Is it worth the inconvenience we are causing ourselves if no one else conforms?

This whole new notion got me to thinking, and when I think as most who read this blog regularly will know, I think about how to write about it! Then it dawned on me. What I need to do is create a blog, a community here on WordPress where users and unite and educate themselves about the environment and learn ways they can assist in conservation efforts. Stay tuned to SebRT.com for the release of this new site ! If you are an environmentalist / green advocate and you wish to become involved in a new online community with that focus AND you wish to help spear head a new site and jettison it to the Internet community send me an email!

That’s a change of tune! I hear you cry. Yes, it is. I have decided that this bullshit about the environment should be taken a little bit more seriously, maybe even very seriously. With threats of pricing the average motorist out of the petrol buying market, and recycling becoming completely mainstream, I believe we are entering a new age. The age of conservation, which is an age where many have been dwelling for many years and being poo-pooed by skeptics like me.

Other than that…

Stay tuned for some cool interviews coming up. I have been in contact with OddCast Sitepal. You may remember I reviewed the service of Sitepal a few months ago. They were very kind to offer me a free subscription to their service. More on the Sitepal at a later date.

For now you can look forward to one of “the businesse’s” most recognizable voices as an interview on SebRT.com – Mike Hurley a man of a thousand voices will be joining me this Monday for an interview. There are also some rumblings that I may be starting a new podcast soon, no official information about any of it at this time, but it is something to look forward to if it happens!

Stay Tuned.