How many days have I got left?

Wasting my life away, one day at a time...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Global warming is your fault

I read something in a blog today that got me thinking about the population-resource crisis, and why over-population isn't one of those "buzz words" that are popping up over the place like others seem to be. I think this is partly because the huge boom in world population isn't the major reason why the planet is being stripped of its resources at such an alarming rate. If you look at it simply, it is a major factor - more people therefore more consumption of resources, however, most of us know that the lifestyle of people around the globe is by no means uniform. People in developing countries consume nowhere near as much as those in the west, and I think the extent of the divide is well illustrated by the fact that just 8 countries, which account for 14% of the world's population, are responsible for roughly half of total carbon emissions. If you aren't able to imagine it already, that and other similar figures are pretty powerful in highlighting who is doing the over-consuming here. It isn't a clear cut case of too many people. The populations in these 8 countries are fairly stable, and it's in poorer or industrialising countries where living standards have only just started to improve where the real problem concerning population growth is.

However, is it actually a problem? It depends how you look at this context it is, but to these countries, where they're finally getting access to things that we have had in the west for a long time, it's an achievement. Yes, China are responsible for pumping out millions (or billions?) of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but is it right to blame them for wanting to better their economy and achieve a better quality of life for their people? I'm not really sure where I stand on the issue - I do care very much about the environment, but I'm not satisfied with taking on the short sighted view that quickly developing countries like India and China are simply the problem. WE demand goods which are manufactured in these countries. It's OUR problem. I mean, if I look around my room, the vast majority of what I own is probably highly unsustainable, and if I think about it, it bothers me, but I feel like there's not much I can do but at least try to acknowledge this, and hope to make those sort of changes later in my life when I'm in a better position to do so.

When looking at global problems, there are many different angles, and it's hard to take them all into account. What I think I find most difficult is the fact that MY lifestyle is contributing to the problem. The country I live in is one of the huge consumers, and it's our fault that there are people on the other side of the Earth who are starving. I have enough money to buy food which has been imported from these countries, and yet the people there can't even afford to feed themselves. And yes, I do buy these foods, as does everyone many people in Ghana are actually able to eat chocolate on a regular basis? Or ever? It would be absurd if I said I was going to give up using electricity, gas, modern plumbing, plastic goods...if everyone did this, I'm pretty sure the world "crisis" (or crises) would be solved, but saying that I'd pretty much hate my life if it was stripped of all the western luxuries that I'm used to is not an exaggeration.

Honestly, think about it...isn't it a depressing realisation? I think that "GLOBAL WARMING IS YOUR FAULT" sticker I've seen on lamp posts around Clifton isn't such a radical statement after all.I also did a carbon footprint test thing at the festival of nature, and mine turned out to be a gigantic red one. This was because of the long haul flight I'm taking this summer, and if it wasn't for that, I think it'd be green. I don't really know how to react to that. It didn't make me want to cancel my trip, but made me a bit scornful of the fact that all the plastic bag refusal, recycling and energy saving won't do shit against my flight halfway across the world. This too is depressing, although, at least I can be comforted by the fact that I actually CARE. Unlike some -- "when I was booking my plane ticket the other day, they asked me if I wanted to pay £20 to offset my carbon emissions..erm, NO, do I care?". I'm astounded that young, educated people actually continue to make these sort of comments. Hopefully she's in the minority. On a side note, the people that know full well the implications of climate change and continue to have such an attitude towards it are often those who won't actually feel the extent of its effects..the most they'll probably suffer from is the blow when they discover that fuel prices have risen again next time they visit the petrol station, let alone crop shortages, drought, famine or floods. Where's the justice in that?


Any comments? Anyone even reading this? No, I didn't think so...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hello strangers...

I was sitting on the bus today, coming home from school and thinking about things, when I remembered my blog! Well, actually, I remembered taking a picture of the sky the day before I got my results and writing an entry which made it sound like it was going to be the day of reckoning... The reason I thought about that was because I was coming back from Latymer after collecting my A level results!!!

Everything turned out well. I got 3 As. I am still in shock. Are my short sentences conveying shock?

Anyway, I don't quite know why I'm bothering with this post, because I highly doubt anybody reads this, but if you happen to be a person who randomly stumbled upon this webpage...hi. And er, feel free to read all the crap I wrote last year. Actually, not all of it's crap - I recall making quite an insightful list of annoying things once (and I'm now curious to see if I still agree with them).

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Still alive

I can't believe I neglected this blog for such a long time. It's sad really. I missed my one year blogging anniversary AND 100 hits :(

I did, however, decide to check the photoblog I updated for a very small amount of time, and someone left me a comment about my childhood diary scans, which made me giggle uncontrollably:
I don't really think these are of you childhood i've printed ot you journal had the scanned and examined the hand writtin is of a person bettween the ages of 34-56 you have some real issues if you think you slick

Hear that? I'm slick.

I'm wondering why I'm listening to this Streets CD. I don't particularly like The Streets, and this CD is crap. Why did I borrow it from the library?

Maybe I'll start blogging here again one day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Ok, so I didn't have time to write another blog has been hectic. But I'm just dropping in quickly to wish everone a very Merry Christmas! I hope you all have an excellent time, have lots of fun, and aren't forced to eat any Christmas pudding.

I'm back from Cornwall after boxing day.

Waffley x

Monday, December 19, 2005

Pyjama morning

Today is the first official day of my Christmas holidays...and how wonderful it is! There was such a build up of hard work in the second half of Autumn term that it's so great to just have time to relax. And the best part? No homework! I seriously have no homework, apart from reading for English, which isn't exactly a chore (and will hopefully be enjoyable rather than boring). As expected, I am feeling much less melancholy about Christmas, and presents, and chocolate...hell, I'm even embracing the lights, providing they aren't too OTT. The Christmas crap they've got playing on all the music channels is rather annoying, and sometimes I get the urge to strangle Wham, Slade, Band Aid, Mariah Carey (plus any other christmas hit singers I missed out). But since I'm no longer in the6th form common room with it blasting out from all angles, I'm free to change the channel whenever I like.

The only Christmas song which I don't hate is Fairytale of New York, by the Pogues (and Kirsty MacColl). They were playing it at the start of assembly at school, but stopped the music before it got to the best part:

You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag,
you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last
The last week of school was generally ok; I handed in my English coursework with a sigh of relief that I'd never have to read Coleridge again, and didn't fail my Chemsistry test either. There was quite a jolly final assembly, with amazing singing and an alternative nativity. The head gave an extremely boring speech at the end, but then everybody tried to silence him with 3 minutes of continuous clapping "for the staff" until the bell went and he had to cut it short. I finished at 10:50 am on the Friday, but waited around for my friends to finish their lessons, and then we went off to walk around Camden market. I didn't eat any food there-ever since I bit into a huge lump of chicken that tasted like it had been coated in a whole jar of salt, I've been put off the chinese/vietnamese/japanese Camden food for life. I watched my friend eat some 'sweet and sour chicken though', which actually wasn't at all sour, and she said was likely to be covered in liquid toffee.

I got told stories about a man man who runs a shop on the high of my friends is banned from there, because she tried on a t-shirt and decided she didn't want to buy it. Another got grabbed by the hood of her coat and had to escape from the shop. I've made a mental note to steer well clear. As we walked further into the market, indentical things became cheaper and cheaper, where eventually there was a £6 price difference on a pair of ear muffs (not that I'd want any) depending on where they were being sold. Some people are being majorly ripped off out of reluctance to walk a bit further.

So...I could write lots more about that, but it's getting kinda late, and I'm meant to be going to visit my old school at lunctime. I'll be cool to see people, and tease them that I've already started my Christmas holiday. Afterwards I'm going to see King Kong, which is exciting, as I've been told it's really good. Hopefully I'll remember to write one more blog entry before I leave for Cornwall on Wednesday...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Melancholy Christmas

I saw a house with a plastic "merry Christmas" wreath on the front door today. How depressing.

Usually I'm really upbeat and excited by the time Christmas comes around, but this year I'm feeling rather lethargic. All I can think of is how Christmas time equals rushing around in the cold trying to desperately buy presents, some of which are for people you really don't want to give them to. Oh, and lots and lots of work being smushed into the tail end of the Autumn term.

The fact that it's getting dark later and later really seems to drain my energy at the end of the day too. Yesterday, something incredibly strange happened when I was on the bus home. I could feel myself getting dangerously close to falling asleep, and I needed to get off in a few stops, so I made myself open my eyes and try to be alert. Then the next thing I know, I'm standing at the (wrong) bus stop, and the bus is driving off...I didn't remember anything in between sitting down and standing on the pavement, and I don't know why the hell I got off the bus where I did, because I had to walk the rest of the journey.

Talking of buses, this morning a group of kids got on, and I swear, one of the girls had a laugh which was practically identical to that of Janice (from Friends). During the first minute of her laughing, it was funny. After 10 minutes, her uncontrollable shrill cackling was really starting to grate on me. I was trying to do some reading for English, but I ended up getting distracted and listening to their conversation about the girl colliding with a man on the pavement. No one actually changed the subject-they were talking (well, shouting and laughing) about this thing from Bruce Grove until Edmonton Green. Which is quite a while. I found the whole thing very odd.

Apart from that, nothing much else has been happening. I'm going to Essex this weekend to visit my grandparents, which will hopefully be nice. I started off really wishing it would snow (after hearing about the snow that is supposed to hit parts of the UK this week), because they live in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by loads of fields. So that would be fun. But then I thought about it more, and remembered that I'm getting the train there, and trains and snow don't usually get on very well.

Finally, I know it's really late, but here are some pictures from Bonfire Night. I have the Flickr link in the sidebar anyway, but I thought some people may like to look at them. I also know that my blog hasn't been very active recently, but at the time of writing, I have 972 hits. Only 28 more to go until 1000! Since I've set the counter to ignore my IP address (it's only fair), feel free to refresh the page a few times. Y'know, just to help things along.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wilted paper poppies

I went to my old school yesterday to visit. I hadn't been back since collecting my results, and whilst walking home in the evening, I realised something which made me happy - even I have the ability to make a good decision once in a while! Because, seriously, I'm so glad I decided to go somewhere else for 6th form rather than stay on there. Actually, I think I'll take this opportunity to have a bit of a moan...

It was just a really disappointing reception that I received from almost all the teachers I saw. They were very...well, cold towards me. In fact, I even got totally ignored by one of the deputy heads, who as he was walking down the corridor and made eye contact with me. So as I say hello to him, he gives me a look as if to say "oh, it's you. I'm sure I know you from somewhere, but you're not important enough to bother with" and then carries on walking. The stupid thing is, I KNOW that he knew who I was, after being a student at that school for five years. But anyway, I shouldn't worry about it, because that guy is renowned for being a prize twat, as I'm sure one of my blog readers will agree ;)

Apart from that, the general crapiness that enveloped the place still stands. The 6th form have a miniscule common room, with nothing in it but 2 tables, a few dozen chairs and a coffee machine, because, y'know, everyone LOVES a nice steaming cup of foul tasting liquid for lunch. Oh, and the tracksuit loving hat maniacs which inhabit the common room. I honestly don't think I saw one boy who didn't have a hat planted on to his head (complete with price label, of course). It probably sounds like I'm being really snooty, and that my new school has moulded me into some kind of intolerant idiot, but that isn't the case. I knew the 6th form would be like that, and I just needed to and confirm my suspicions that there were lots of places to go that are so much better.

I do miss the friends that I left behind there, but we keep in contact. Plus, I think it was a good move for me to have a change of environment, meet new people, and do new things. It's still school, but school is so much better when it isn't tied with feeling depressed about stuff. I'll be back there (to school, not depression) next Thursday for this award presentation where I'll get my exam certificates, and some kind of award for English. One person got an award for each subject, and apparently I got the highest mark in the year group for English Lit (which I didn't even get told about until I heard it from someone else who had hounded teachers for all this valuable information). This year's AQA English Literature papers were appallingly marked-loads of people in my new school got remarks, and some went up by 2 grades! I also know someone who got marked up from a D to an A, so that's just an indication of the kind of morons they've got marking exam essays, which aren't just straight forward "right or wrong" questions.

Also, tomorrow is Remembrance Day (link there to the Poppy Appeal website, for anyone who isn't familiar with what I'm on about). Basically, the 11th of November marks when the first world war ended (at 11:11am), but remembrance day extends to other wars which have happened since then. We had this completely over the top, pretentious assembly at school today, where some war veterans who were former students came in to be given some wreaths. The whole of the 6th form had to "dress smartly" for the day, which was totally ridiculous, because aside from the fact that these visitors were coming in for 40 minutes of the day, the hall is huge, and they were probably too blind to even catch a glimpse of everyone sitting on the balcony. Everybody was given a programme, which included the words to 'God Save the Queen' and some other hymn. I refused to sing either of them though, and lots of people (you know the type-"I'm an atheist") were up in arms over how bits of religion had been incorporated into their Thursday morning.

Oh well, at least it'll be another year until I have to go through all that standing up and sitting down again.