Archive for June, 2011
“Economics – and macro-economics in particular – is ecologically illiterate”
Tim Jackson: Prosperity Without Growth
For international readers: Dr Rowan Williams is the Archbishop of Canterburyand thus the biggest cheese in the Church of England. The good doctor has been in hot water recently because he was openly critical of the government’s slash’n’burn approach to the welfare state. Not only that, but he made the entirely reasonable point that most of what they’re doing was absent from the pre-election posturing – sorry, campaigning.
Dr Williams (see also Quote of the Week 8.2.10) thus gains a sought-after place in my Episcopal pantheon. Here are some other preferred primates:
- Archbishop Oscár Romero of El Salvador, assassinated at the altar in 1980. Why? For sticking up for the poor in opposition to the military junta. His most famous quote: “Stop the repression!”
- Archbishop Hélder Câmara of Brazil. Most famous quote: “When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist”
- Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury during the darkest days of Thatcherism. He managed to get well up Mrs T’s nose on a number of occasions, thus endearing himself to millions of others.
- Desmond Tutu. For obvious reasons.
Thanks for the recent contributions, though am unsure how the word ‘elderly’ crept in, in reference to my good self!? Hopefully in jest…
On a more serious note, the late lamented Gil Scott-Heron has made his first appearance on these pages thanks to James. For anyone unfamiliar with Gil’s oeuvre, his all-time classic ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ is strongly recommended. It did cause me to reflect that time has caught up with Gil in several ways. This very day there is a rather messy revolution taking place across the Middle East. I’m not the first to point out that, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it is being televised! If only the footage were more cheerful……
Eating one steak has typically the same carbon footprint as eating 25 bananas!
Source: How Bad Are Bananas? by Mike Berners-Lee
“When the IMF arrives in a country, they are interested in only one thing. How do we make sure the banks and financial institutions are paid?… It is the IMF that keeps the [financial] speculators in business. They’re not interested in development, or what helps a country to get out of poverty.”
Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-Winning Economist
OK, so I’m a few days late. Sure his Bobness will forgive me. I’m not about to claim him, with his carbon-heavy lifestyle, as One of Us (though rumour has it he is a veggie: if anyone is in the know, do share) He may not have stayed long on the Civil rights barricade, but he left some classic songs there. And shared the platform with Martin Luther King that one time …something about a dream, was it?
On the occasion of his 70th birthday, here’s my pick of Dylan songs for Greens:
- A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall. An eerily contemporary eco-anthem, somehow.
- I Shall Be Released; a very handy little anthem for Amnesty International.
- The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll. Forget the voice – it’s not about the voice – and listen to the words. Poor Hattie, but what a fantastic elegy!
- Only A Pawn In Their Game; history showed his facts to be awry on this version of the murder of Medgar Evers, but I love that he avoids the usual fallen hero riff to focus on the nasty workings of the Klan.
- Blowin’ In The Wind: not my personal favourite, but it did pretty much invent a new genre of songwriting.
- Who Killed Davey Moore? Bet you don’t know this one! As with Hattie, the deceptively simple format is used for complex arguments – in this case a surprising anti-boxing rant. From the early 60s too.
- Señor (Tales of Yankee Power): a critique of US policy inCentral America.
- The Times They Are A-Changin’. He sang this in the White House for the Obamas. If you want to annoy a Tory, quote this lyric!
- With God On Our Side: reasonably accurate history this time. And scarily more topical than when it was written.
- Masters of War: An actual hate song – not normally my thing, but I can always make an exception. Lately I think of Dick Cheney when I hear this.