Monday, 28 September 2009

Terraforming Terra

So, we're probably going to get a 4 degree rise by 2060? Far from going out and terraforming other parts of our solar system, looks like we've got a little problem to deal with at home first.

However, what would happen if an interstellar mission, from the planet, Kula, looking for Kulaforming opportunities, happens across our small, slightly-used, blue-green planet? On the bridge of the starship "Nordic Social Model" (this is the nearest meaningful translation), the science officer speaks up.

"Captain, this planet could provide the perfect environment for sub-galactic living, if it wasn't for one of the native species running amock, and ruining the climatic equilibrium."

The crew might discuss solutions ranging from polite suggestions to the inhabitants, to bringing in the team from Planetary Rentokill, but lets just imagine what would happen if they just decided to land their tremendously-powerful spaceship, and sort things out.

In its first week the new planetary goverment would probably:
  • Ban any chopping down of trees, without written permission from the Kulan forestry agency, (100 light years away), in triplicate
  • Give people 30 days to decide where they hell they want to be, and then ban flying, on pain of vapourisation
  • Fund walking, fanning and knitting lessons for North Americans
  • Allow the removal of oil/coal/gas from the ground, only with a tree-planting receipt for each barrel/ton/large bag-full
  • Circulate the simplified designs for the fusion reactor their species developed several thousand years ago.
  • Start covering the Sahara with aluminium foil (or something like that...)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

An advertising ban, why not? We won't tell Trevor.

Yeterday's proposal by the British Medical Association to ban alcohol advertising is a logical next step from the existing ban on tobacco advertising in the UK. The logical next step after that is to ban advertising all together.

No, think about it. Don't we all hate advertising, possibly except for those who happen to work in that industry? The advertising industry itself is totally geared towards persuading us to buy, do and use stuff we don't really need, probably the greatest environmental crime of all.

The cash from advertising artificially sustains various media channels we could happily do with out - free sheets, Sunday supplements, ITV. When's the last time anything really good was shown on ITV? The cash from sponsorship helps inflate the ridiculously huge fees paid to those who happen to be good at knocking a ball around.

Without the crutch of advertising revenue, our media would have to pass on the full costs of production in cover prices or subscription fees; and yes, some might fall by the wayside. Do I hear a cry of anguish from the British public...? Urrr, no! Even the Murdoch group can see the writing on the wall.

It wouldn't be hard to do, it would be simplicity itself. Simply copy the existing tobacco legislation, replace any phrase specifying tobacco products with the word "anything", and then watch it sail through the Houses of Parliament.

If we don't do this, you just know we are going to end-up enacting separate bans on advertising:
  • other things that are bad to put in your body
  • things that are bad for the environment, like driving and flying
  • things that are good for terrorists, like flying
It could all happen tomorrow, or next year at least; although in deference to one our nations great figures, perhaps we should wait until Sir Trevor McDonald announces his complete retirement. I'll drink to that.