Reeth flood (continued); veganism; Greta Thunberg (etc.)

My cunning plan isn’t working: that XR could be positive instead of breaking the law. As with Greta Thunberg, I must guess what silence means from an assumed ally.

The Northern Echo, the newspaper for the Darlington and district have not responded to my proposal for a coach load of Leeds XR volunteers to help the  clear-up in Swaledale. Perhaps they think we shouldn’t be using a local disaster to preach our message? If I ever do get into the media, I shall explain, as per this blog post.

But there was another difficulty, so I cannot appeal to the Northern Echo until I have answered it to the satisfaction of objectors. The farmer whose video poleaxed me raises beef. At least he used to. Many XR activists are vegans.

I was surprised when we went swarming – disrupting traffic – how many for whom we were a damn nuisance disrupting their normal lives actually approved of what we were doing. That shows how quickly paradigms – wholesale mind shifts – can change.

Motorists do not think of themselves as doing anything wrong. A surprising number have already had second thoughts. Until 30th July this farmer thought of himself as grafting hard making a precarious living providing an innocent product somebody wanted.

The first priority is to restore normality,  The basic income (UBI) will make a massive difference not just in the event of sudden loss, but for any enterprise with wide fluctuations in income: a piggy bank in lean times, pay more in taxes when profits are handsome.

If the UBI had been a mainstream idea when I first mooted it (1973), the measures now being screamed as urgent – including veganism – would have seemed obvious when ecological limits started gradually impinging on daily lives a decade or so later. Demand for this farmer’s products would have gradually reduced. Yes his industry is a part of the climate breakdown problem, but when rescuing survivors from a sinking ship, we do not ask questions.

I understand several other farms were also devastated on 30th July. I have yet to explore whether any of them grew crops, but my priority is spreading XR’s extremely urgent message: increasing greenhouse gases mean that extreme events become more energetic. I make no apology for using any peg I can on which to hang that.

There is evidence that there has been a spike in methane in the atmosphere. (Fracking is the 4th item in the link as I write). It is often said that as methane (CH4) does not stay in the atmosphere for long (9.1 years on average) it is a mere 28 times as powerful a greenhouse gas “over a 100 year time frame”. But its effect molecule for molecule is over 100 times that of CO2. A source quoted by Wikipedia estimates that in 2011 CH4 was responsible for 17% of the total atmospheric energy increase from pre industrial levels. Its concentration has increased, and is continuing to do so.

There seems little chance of fracking being halted before the economic collapse it will cause, but even if that did happen, that alone would cause a serious contraction in economic activity. Fracking needs to be the first casualty, but any industry which produces greenhouse gases will contract, either in a planned recession, or a slightly later unplanned collapse.

The UBI will help the former option, and even the crisis if it comes to that.

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