FROG SYNDROME - METAPHOR
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- Study of the
of Longitude reveals more than just the story of an
institution. It shows how economic interests influenced the
political and scientific activities of a state.
The reasons for this were changes within the "scientific landscape" of the United Kingdom and the concomitant struggle for supremacy in influencing the distribution of state support for the science of astronomy and other related scientific projects, the proof of which is that all the surviving papers come from the archives of the Royal Astronomers and their successors, as if John Harrison's solution was perceived as a threat to their dominance of science. John Harrison was thought of as a maverick, who was grudgingly provided financial support, instead of being generously funded to accelerate development.
We should always then look at the appointment of committees and the interests of their members, that should perhaps be recorded in a book declaring such interests such as to avoid potential conflicts. But there is no point in having such a book if there is no effective policing of the corruption that is inevitable where many can be made from technology for those in positions of trust.
Poor old John Harrison was caught up in this mire of subterfuge. But do not think for one minute, that it is any different today.
POLITICAL BLOCKERS - In Britain in 1865, the legislative response to the increasing introduction of self-propelled vehicles on our roads was the Locomotive Act (sometimes known as the Red Flag Act). Amongst a number of provisions, it stipulated that self-propelled vehicles needed to be proceeded with a man walking 60 yards ahead carrying a red flag to warn other road users of the vehicles approach. The objective of powerful stakeholders was to hinder progress to protect their investments in horses, carriages and trains.
OUR (SUGGESTED) SIX STEPS TOWARD A COOLER PLANET
1. TRANSPORT: Phase out polluting vehicles. Governments aim to end the sale of new petrol, and diesel vehicles by 2040 but have no infrastructure plan to support such ambition. Such infrastructure should exceed the performance of fossil fuel filling stations, prolong EV battery life and provide power grids with a measure of load leveling. Any such system should seek to obviate the provision of millions of fast charge points where implementation could prove to be a logistical nightmare. This may involve international agreement as to energy storage format and statute to steer car makers to collaborate in part in a world of competition.
Marine transport can be carbon neutral given the right policies, with phased transition in specific stages such as not to unduly penalize present investment in LNG shipping and other recent MARPOL compliant IC powered vessels. Future cargo vessel should be at least in part powered by renewable energy, on the road to zero carbon, making allowances for technology catchup.
Air travel powered by kerosene should attract hefty mitigation offset, where low carbon alternatives should be encouraged.
2. RENEWABLES: Renewable energy should replace carbon-based fuels (coal, oil and gas) in our electricity for homes, factories, heating and transport. Coal and nuclear power plants should be phased out.
3. HOUSING: On site micro or macro generation is the best option, starting with new build homes that are both affordable and sustainable by design to replace crumbling housing stocks. Encourage building in timber to provide carbon lock from a renewable natural resource.
4. AGRICULTURE: We need to grow more trees to absorb carbon emissions from a growing population, air travel, and to build new homes. We should promote reductions in food waste and eating of foods that use less energy to produce. Educate children on these matters in schools and via campaigns such as no meat Mondays, should be part of ordinary study.
5. INDUSTRY: Factories should be aiming for solar heating and onsite renewable energy generation. EV parking and even service facilities should be part of new industrial estates as part of any building permissions.
6. POLITICS: - National governing bodies need to adopt rules to eliminate administrative wastages, to include scaling down spending on war machines, increasing spend on educating the public and supporting sustainable social policies that mesh with other cultures. This includes fostering policies and making funds available to close links in the technology chain to make up for lost time. Kleptocratic empire building must cease in the search for natural equilibrium.
SUSTAINABILITY BEGINS AT HOME
What happens on your doorstep is what is happening all over the world. Everyone is empire building, over fishing and dumping waste in our oceans in the belief that a little bit more indulgence won't matter. Yes it will!!
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