Sunday, July 28, 2013

Growth at any price.

Over the last six decades people have lived with the belief that the worlds resources are infinite, and there to be exploited, this belief has been encouraged by most western governments, after all if you can get the people to spend, spend, spend it must mean growth for the countries economies, but this idea has failed.
 The world resources are fast running out so the governments are now searching for yet more solutions.
 Fracking is one of them,  to obtained the oil or gas, millions of gallons of water have to be used, another resource that is not infinite, cement, for the pads for the rigs, the manufacturing of which is one of the most polluting processes. Only a very small amount of gas or oil is recoverable in any case. What is left behind is an industrial waste land. The UK government is going ahead with this unproven technology, without consultation with people who will be affected by this. They are also pushing ahead with new nuclear power generation.
 Our government is no better and seems to think that Fracking will solve all our problems as well. At no time do these powers that be look at ways of reducing the consumption of  power. Spain has addressed the problem to a certain degree, each house is given a certain amount of voltage, 2kva, which is not a lot, if you exceed your amount your electricity trips out. You can be upgraded to the next band, 3.5kva, but this costs considerably more and in fact several people that we knew who had upgraded found no difference in the amount of power coming into their homes.
Having lived for four years off the grid we soon found ways of reducing our consumption of both power and water. We had to transport our water from the nearest village which was four miles away, we found that we could live quite comfortably with 1000lt every ten days, water never got wasted, only full wash loads were ever done, and never at any higher temperature than 40c, this is plenty hot enough even for whites, we found that by using washing soda our whites were whiter than white and soft as well. All grey water got recycled for the garden, washing up done once a day, and taps never left running for teeth cleaning. Flushing of the loo only when  necessary.  Water used in the house requires electricity, either what you are producing yourself or if you are on  a mains system, by the water board. Maybe if governments would put a little more thought into reducing power and water usage the world would not find it's self in the position that it is now.
We grow all our own vegetables, plenty for us and enough to share with friends, we produce all our own poultry and eggs but are reliant on grains to feed the poultry, we no longer produce our own milk or butter as we are too old now to start over with larger live stock, but we make sure that we buy 'Irish'. We are now rain water harvesting by means of five 1000lt water containers, even if we have more droughts we should have sufficient to last us five weeks for all our household needs.
I came across some interesting statistics this week in the Smallholder magazine.
 70% of the worlds food is produced by smallholders. This would rather lead me to believe that it would be possible for all the worlds food to be produced by so called peasant cultures if they were to form co-op's,  surplus to share and sell, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they would be exploited by the corporations that control the worlds  food supply.
61 % of the UK farmers would grow GM crops, but only 15% would eat GM. Clearly corporate greed has taught them well.
Meanwhile, we continue to harvest, the first lot of onions have now dried and have been strung, we still have another crop to harvest.
The early potatoes are being dug as we need them and the main crop is looking great.
Broad beans are ready for picking and freezing and the garden peas are looking very good, again these will be frozen. The first lot of chickens are now in the freezer and the first ducklings are now ready for eating, weighing in at seven  pounds live weight.
We also   hatched four Muscovy ducklings today in the incubator, these are supposed to be one of the most difficult breeds to artificially hatch and we well believe it, we lost three that had pipped but did not progress, we should have intervened and helped them out, but we know what to do in the future.
The weather has now at last broken and we have comfortable temperatures again, there has been some fantastically coloured skies when the storms have been approaching.
The flowers in the garden are all looking good and very grateful for some rain. The sweet peas are again coming into their own as house flowers, the perfume is beautiful.


  1. Recent news in Spain is another electric rate hike, all the major parties voted against an independent audit of the electric companies to see why the deficit is so high, and, after cutting the subsidies to solar PV installations, they´re now going to slap them with an additional tax for grid maintenance.

    So it goes.

    Your garden looks fab and the ducklings are adorable.

  2. Read today that the Spanish govt has slapped a tax on solar solar panels. Disgraceful! It seems the whole world is being taken over by corporate greed...aided and abetted by our governments. They are hand in glove. People are no longer citizens just consumers to pump money into the hands of the so called elite.

  3. Great post - lots of anti-fracking demonstrations and leafleting here on the N Coast. Utter madness to cause so much devastation and pollution for short-term gains.