First published in 1909, ‘The Machine Stops’ is a short science fiction story written by E.M.Forster, better known for novels like ‘A Passage to India’. In it he describes a world run for pleasure by a machine. Through the generations, people rely more & more on the machine until they do nothing without it. They don’t even try to do anything not provided by it. The machine becomes almost a new religion. Then, although the people don’t understand this, the machine starts to break. During its collapse & before the machine does break completely, the people keep making excuses for the machine’s behavior. When the machine does stop, civilization totally collapses & the human race becomes virtually extinct.
Vivienne has picked up on this story as the exact metaphor for our own situation today. One example of this is our complete reliance on fossil fuel energy which is imminently going to kill most of us through climate change.
Last July whilst I was interviewing Jordan for this blog she told me that I should look into what her nephew Alwyn Craven was doing with the family farm they owned in North Yorkshire. Rather than continuing to farm on the land he had instead decided to convert it back into a natural environment for wildlife, bees, trees & flowers. Continue reading →
In line with last week’s post about switching your electricity & gas to a green supplier, this week’s post is to introduce the new Green Grass Gas t-shirt & explain what it means.
Through a process called anaerobic digestion, methane gas can be produced from organic matter, in this case from cut grass.
Ecotricity founder Dale Vince has been promoting this technology & planning permission has just been granted for them to build their first Mill at Sparsholt College in Hampshire.
It is estimated that Britain could produce 66% of domestic and commercial gas demand from grass on marginal farmland by 2035.
Producing gas from grass is a carbon neutral process because the gas released has only recently been absorbed from the atmosphere by the grass, whereas the gas in fossil fuels has been absorbed from the atmosphere millions of years ago, & then stored.
By re-introducing a system of crop rotation on our farmland whereby land is left unused for a period of time, enough grass can be produced. This has other benefits as well. A habitat for wildflowers & wildlife is provided. The soil naturally regains its fertility & chemical fertilizers are not needed. In fact, the left over waste produced from the gas making process is a great natural fertilizer.
Kind of a win, win situation.
Green Grass Gas is also a great alternative to Fracking & hopefully it will supplant that dangerously, toxic technique.
We at Westwood support Ecotricity & the Green Grass Gas project.
The t-shirt comes in 5 sizes, is in 100% organic cotton & comes in one colour, grey.
The t-shirt is exclusive to Worlds End shop.
Ray Noir kindly models for us again.
More information on Green Grass Gas here.
This week’s post is about a very serious & effective political act that any of us can make, right now.
No need to wait for the next general election, you can enforce your vote immediately.
Do you believe in Climate Change?
Are you against Fracking?
Do you want cheaper energy?
Do you want the UK to be energy independent?
Do you want to do something about this?
We have an amazing chance right now. In 1996 the EU began deregulating the gas and electricity markets, to open them to competition & since then we have had the choice to choose what company we get our personal supply of energy from.
Rather than just looking for the cheapest fossil fuel supplier, the energy from which gradually gets more & more expensive, there are now more & more green energy suppliers who put all their profit into green energy research & projects, energy that is virtually free after the initial investment.
Watch the video where green energy company Ecotricity founder Dale Vince explains to Vivienne how this works.
Imagine the whole country switched tonight (it only takes 5 minutes)?
We would wake tomorrow with a completely different national energy policy & the government & their fossil fuel backers would be bypassed!
(We at Westwood have made it our aim to get 50% of the population to switch by the end of 2017)
On this episode of Watching the Hawks, Tabetha Wallace sits down with Vivienne Westwood and Joe Corre, who are famous for their punk world exploits in London, to talk about the dangers of fracking and the future of the movement to halt the spread of this dangerous process.
A couple of weeks ago Vivienne left a page torn out of The Week magazine on my desk. It was an obituary for one of the three founders of OZ magazine, Richard Neville who died on the 4th September this year. I asked her if she had any connection with him & she told me that she hadn’t, just that she liked him & thought that it might be interesting for this blog. Continue reading →