Monday, July 31, 2006

It's not about the money - wind and sun power

Hopefully a few people will agree with this rant at least.... I keep hearing about why our governments, companies and householders shouldn't bother with renewable energy sources (wind/sun/tidal, etc.) because they don't make financial sense. What rubbish and how short sighted! When other energy sources are failing in 30 years time and electricity and gas are 10 times the current level, there are going to be billions of people regretting not investing (yes, INVESTING) in alternative energy sources NOW. What on earth are we going to run our civilisation on when the gas and oil and coal run out? All nuclear? Hope not.
Those dismissing renewable energy installations because their 'pay back' time is 20 years (at most) should realise that the 20 year figure is at current energy levels. Multiply your current fuel costs by four and then the payback time becomes an awful lot more attractive. Renewable energy is about investing in the future, not saving a few pennies or cents now....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sun worshippers

So I'm in the middle of the UK summer and a real 35 degree heatwave. As soon as you step out of your air-conditioned car or shady house, the heat hits you like a wall. Well, this is novel for the UK, at least. It physically hurts to be out in the direct sun in the middle of the day and you can almost feel the ultra-violet rays damaging your skin and kicking off all sort of mutations... Yeah, yeah, I know, an over-active imagination, but at least people all over the world are starting to realise that prolonged exposure to the sun for people with fair skin can be very dangerous.
So why oh why do a significant number of fair-skinned UK residents lie down in the full sunlight for hours at a time? If they don't use sun-cream they'll burn to a crisp. If they do, it'll take hours and hours to get any kind of a tan and the damage is still being done to their skin in any event. I was stopped by a market research lady a year or so ago and chatted to her for a few minutes. My attention was suddenly grabbed by what I thought was an unusual leather petticoat under her blouse - and then I realised that this was her skin. Tanned to the point of being cow-hide, this lady's skin, blasted by hundreds of hours of sun-lounging, had become something (to me) completely hideous.
Apologies if you're naturally tanned or with coloured skin and can venture out without protection - as for me, I'm sticking to the shade between 10am and 4pm this summer!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Trivial amounts on auction shows

Maybe it's a UK thing, but we have lots of TV shows where people dig up stuff from their attic and experts coo over them and then help them put them up for auction. Now, so far so good, it's marginally interesting to see what junk people have got and how much it's worth. BUT - then the auction starts and we see the highly paid presenter, arm round the shoulders of the featured contestant, going 'ooh, it's up to £15, wow, we made a £10 profit' and so on. Come on, this guy is being paid £20,000 an episode, I'm waiting for the programme where he (or she) says 'Stuff this, it's peanuts, couldn't you come up with anything more valuable in your loft?' and then walks off. Or maybe it's all just 'showbusiness'. It's certainly all rather false, anyway.