Saturday, February 19, 2011

Questions From a Worker Who Reads

Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished
Who raised it up so many times? In what houses
Of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?
Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished
Did the masons go? Great Rome
Is full of triumphal arches. Who erected them? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Had Byzantium, much praised in song
Only palaces for its inhabitants? Even in fabled Atlantis
The night the ocean engulfed it
The drowning still bawled for their slaves.

The young Alexander conquered India.
Was he alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Did he not have even a cook with him?
Philip of Spain wept when his armada
Went down. Was he the only one to weep?
Frederick the Second won the Seven Year's War. Who
Else won it?

Every page a victory.
Who cooked the feast for the victors?
Every ten years a great man?
Who paid the bill?

So many reports.
So many questions.

("Fragen eines lesenden Arbeiters" - translated by M. Hamburger in Bertolt Brecht, Poems 1913-1956, Methuen, N.Y., London, 1976)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ecological mosquito killer

As you already know, I also have a huge fascination of the order Araneae, spiders, small and large. A friend, also a hobby enthusiast, told me about this very interesting thing, combaning arachnology, environmentalism and human health in a low risk, low investment and natural way.

The thing is about malaria. The ecological mosquito killer; a jumping spider from Kenya and Uganda, Evarcha culicivora. They kill up to 20 mosquitoes in rapid succession. Scientist now knows that this spider likes the smell of sweaty socks, meaning good news for malaria areas. Call for it with your smelly footwear and then.. let it work in your home.
Read the article from yesterday's BBC news here; Mosquito-eating spider likes smelly socks

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

What environmentalists do- for real

It seems many times, as people think environmental issues is just another problem in the world. My questions to those people is then; what would man be without his environment? Proved by this statement, everything man does are environmental issues.

An environmentalist is then, someone who cares about environment, but as much as environment, also about man's happiness and ability to continue to have a decent life.

Checklist for an environmentalist's action would be;

  • food which is low-resource produced as organic, vegan, rich in nutrients, locally produced and seasonal food
  • a lifestyle which is low-resource produced as buying clothes and things which is long-lasting and often good quality, use things as long as it is possible, second-hand shop, borrow things which is not needed daily, and share
  • ethic shopping as fairtrade, no animal testing, no endangered species, no pollution, no waste of water
  • activities which does not require so much resources; cultural, art, historical, theater, music, most sports and outdoor activities and handcraft
  • transportations mostly by walk and bike or longer with train
All these things can be hard, when this society does not help us too well to make those choices. We need to think all the time in every situation, how to deal with it.

Some call it voluntary simplicity, a choice to live a life with less needs, a more free life. But is it? And can we say that it is free to choice anything out there, like a shopoholic? We all have our ideals, and groups we would like to be identified with. Our surroundings says so. People says so. Environment says so.

People around the planet dream to live like we do, but they can't. They never will. We are out of resources before that.

To be an environmentalist is to have a dream for a better place. The mission for the environmentalist is to find the way there.

Read more
Environmental awareness: attitude or action?
Ecological modernization vs Ecocities
What's wrong with the human society?
Making the consistency of ideas
The perfect society
Creations of groups and exclusion of others

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Chris Jordan pictures some shocking stats | Video on

Chirs Jordan shows with photography how scale can make a different on small choices.

See more from Chris Jordan, especially the exibition Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption  (2003 - 2005) and a distinguishing exhibit of another way of seeing things in the Year of the Tiger, 2010 in the exhibition of Running the Numbers II: Portraits of global mass culture (2009 - 2011).