NHS: Yet Another Serious Threat.

If it is not one outrage then it is another. Again the National Health Service here in the UK is under threat as the government consider a proposal to cap the number of GP visits. It could not get much worse could it? Well yes it could, if we do not stand against this the latest threat to our health care system then we could find that we have no free health care as bit by bit, little by little this callous inhumane and unelected government destroys our NHS.

Here’s what the chair of the Royal College of GPs Dr Clare Gerada said about these proposals: “This was obviously written by someone who has never been unwell, or has never met people who work in the health service.”

Frankly the callousness of this proposal is staggering. Few people have the financial means to consult a private practitioner should their appointment allocation run out. What will happen to the chronically ill? The disabled? Indeed anyone at any time may need to see a GP more frequently than is usual. People who are chronically ill or disabled are unlikely to have the means at their disposal to go private. Even more so when you consider the drastic and deeply unfair welfare reforms instigated by this government of millionaires for whom this proposal will of course not present a problem.

Take Urgent action

This is a serious issue, please continue reading the information below from 38 degrees and sign their petition.

“The Conservatives are floating plans to cap the number of times we are allowed to visit our GP.  If we run out of visits – because we’ve got a sickly child or long-term health condition, for example – we could be forced to pay to go elsewhere.

At the moment it’s just a proposal. But if the Conservatives don’t see a big public backlash, it could soon be a grim reality. So let’s raise an outcry as quickly as possible and push them to drop the idea immediately.

Please sign the urgent petition now: tell health minister Jeremy Hunt to rule out limiting our access to NHS GPs”
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/dont-cap-GP-visits

More information from a recent 38 degrees e-mail I received recently

“Jeremy Hunt will be watching the public’s reaction carefully. He is an ambitious politician with an eye on his own popularity. If he sees a huge petition growing fast, he’ll realise this is damaging his ratings. So if enough of us sign, we could play a key role in getting this idea dropped.

Being able to visit the family doctor when we need it is a bedrock of a decent health system. GPs are often our first port of call when we’re ill.  Limiting access to GPs could mean a dangerous illness is left undetected until it’s too late – unless of course you’ve got private medical insurance…

But this isn’t just about GPs. This is about a principle at the heart of our battle to protect the NHS. Since the NHS was created, everyone in Britain has been able to rely on visiting a doctor as often as we need to. Limiting access would undermine the NHS at its very foundations. So let’s send the Conservatives a strong message: drop this terrible idea.”

You could also write a letter to Jeremy Hunt and express you concern
http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/constituencies/south-west-surrey

The above proposal is contained in a “Conservative Policy Forum” paper on NHS policy, you can read it here:
http://www.conservativepolicyforum.com/policy/local-health

This proposal is very worrying. People with chronic illness may need to see their GP more often than the general population and people with chronic illness may be less likely to afford an alternative. More people could die as a result of this irresponsible scheme. What is happening to this country.  The Tory’s are destroying our NHS, a system of free health care for everyone which was once the envy of the world. The social progress of the last sixty years is being systematically destroyed setting the clock back to times that most people did not expect to see again. Capping GP visits is the most outrageous proposal imaginable short of a full privatisation of the NHS which I fear will be the end result .In the last two years or so the progress of sixty years has been severely undermined as they chip away at our NHS, our welfare system and everything that once made this country a good place in which to live, where those who needed medical care received it and those who needed help because of illness, disability or unemployment were financially supported in their time of need, even if that need lasted a lifetime. Free medical care and the support of those who cannot support themselves are marks of any civilised society and are a basic human right.

Links to more information

“A cap on the number of times patients can visit their GP in a year is being considered by the Conservative Party, it emerged yesterday.A Tory consultation document on local health provision asks activists whether they agree or disagree with the idea of an annual limit on GP appointments. The paper also asks whether evening and weekend appointments with GPs and consultants are a “luxury the country cannot afford”.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/cap-on-number-of-gp-visits-being-considered-by-tories-8632396.html

Labour health spokesman Jamie Reed told the Independent on Sunday: ‘This paper, hidden away on their website, reveals the Tories’ true agenda for the NHS. After throwing the NHS open to ever more privatisation with a wasteful and damaging reorganisation, it seems the Tories want to go even further.


‘It’s shocking that they are considering limiting the number of times patients can see their GP – changing the fundamental principle in the NHS constitution that access to the NHS is based on clinical need.
‘The Tories have already wasted £3bn on a top-down reorganisation of the NHS and overseen a crisis in A&E – now they are consulting their members on opening up the NHS to even more competition, and making it harder for patients to see GPs in the evenings and at weekends.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2331068/Fury-Tories-look-limit-number-times-GP-year.html#ixzz2UkvUWPOM
Consider for example this campaign on the importance of going to see your GP early if you could have symptoms of bowel cancer:

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Colonandrectum/Symptomsdiagnosis/Symptoms.aspx

Noise Noise Noise

Three days in a city now and I’m quite flipped. There’s too much noise. I just can’t do with it.
Lou Harrison

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
Max Ehrman

Noise noise noise today it seems that there is no escape from it.

Superfluous noise is the bane of my life. Here in the UK it seems to be spreading like a virulent disease; there is no sanctuary and no respite or peace from the relentless intrusion of noise. I am particularly disturbed by the noise of machinery and music, and I use the word music very loosely here as most of the mindless racket which emanates from just about every public building is in my option anything but music. At one time the only place you would get to hear music was at a concert, a disco, a nightclub and perhaps occasionally in a trendy fashion shop.

Now you cannot enter any public building without your senses being assaulted with the blare of music; it is not simply in the background. Our local supermarket ASDA is more like a night club than a shopping facility as is the
co-operative supermarket. The screeching of some popular singer and the constant interruption of advertising and colleague announcements makes shopping a nightmare from some hell realm for those of us who are sensitive to loud intrusive music. I do not give a dam if the oranges are on special offer at the front of the store, or so and so shampoo is priced at three for two, or that Mrs Smith is required to come to customer services as a customer is waiting; all I want is peace to do my shopping. You even get these announcements in the toilet at Sainsbury’s though thankfully so far there is no music in this store.

I do not want to be greeted by loud classical music when calling in at the
CAB (citizen’s advice bureau) as happened the last time I went there for help and advice, particularly if my problem is causing me stress or is of a sensitive nature. I do not want to be distracted by music in a bookshop when I need to concentrate to select a book. I certainly do not want loud music in the chemist when filling my prescription as is the case in Boots pharmacy; I am certainly not interested in what’s on offer in other parts of the store all I want is to get my prescription filled and return home. Well wouldn’t you if you were ill. How can I speak with the pharmacist for advice about my medication to address issues about which I may have concern accompanied by a screeching pop singer in the background?

I cannot walk into such places without becoming agitated, stressed out and angry, my concentration deserts me.

A couple of decades ago I cannot imagine what would have been said had there been the drone of a radio, or even worse a TV, in the doctor’s waiting room, in a nurses or a dentist’s consulting room. In hospital a couple of decades ago you would have to have gone into the patient’s lounge to watch TV if there was indeed a TV to watch . About years ago when my brother-in-law was seriously ill in hospital in a four patient ward the TV was switched on all day, most of the patients could not see it but the drone continued hour after hour. Nowadays whenever you go to an outpatient’s clinic instead of the coffee table and magazines there is the babble of a TV.

Please Please all I want is some peace. Not everyone wishes to be inundated with the constant babble of TVs, radios and stereo systems everywhere they go, there are appropriate places for such entertainment, public facilities such as shops, hospitals, waiting rooms, offices conducting business – the HSBC and Lloyds banks have music now – are not among them.

If the day arrives when there is music in the library well than I will most certainly complain. Perhaps you cannot imagine that happening, but I could not imagine it happening in a quality book shop such as Boarders, which has now closed down, yet it did, there was background music of an intrusive nature in this particular store. On one occasion I walked out complaining loudly – well you have to otherwise you would not have been heard over the racket. Libraries are in any case not the quiet places they once were as the background babble can be significant at times. When I was a child you would never consider speaking in a library, and would immediately be met with a ssshhhhhh if you did so. Now everyone natters away, there is no attempt whatsoever to maintain an environment of quiet conducive to those wishing to study. In our local library they even hold some kind of kindergarten, children singing, laughing, screeching and playing. All of which is very nice of course, but in the right place in a separate room for the purpose not in the same room as the library.

Noise is the bane of many people’s lives in industrial countries and most governments and even environmental groups do little or nothing about it. Only China and Hong Kong have undertaken programmes of any significance to reduce noise

Did you know that some 450 million people are exposed to levels of noise that are considered unacceptable by the World Health Organisation (WHO)? Around half a million people move home to escape from unwanted noise. A staggering 12 million are disturbed by traffic while 3.5 million are disturbed by aircraft noise and 11 million by the noise from their neighbours. Low frequency noise is also a significant problem about which has produced an increase in the number of noise related complaints.

More information please read:

Noise pollution: why the silence?

By Geoffrey Lean

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/8870228/Noise-pollution-why-the-silence.html

Noise is a detriment to our health

Noise may damage both physiological and psychological health

The WHO cites several health problems that may result from noise pollution these include sleep disturbance; cardiovascular effects; damage to work and school performance; hearing impairment including tinnitus.
More information:

http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/environment-and-health/noise/facts-and-figures

Also see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_from_noise

People have become so desensitised to noise that they do not notice it, nonetheless damage by the huge amount of noise in our environment continues to have a detrimental effect.

Noise not only disturbs humans it disturbs wildlife

In the oceans it is estimated that noise levels have increased by as much as one hundred percent during each decade of the past fifty years. Animals use sound to communicate, for example whales and dolphins communicate with similar frequencies as those which result from the noise of sonar used by navies. On land our noise pollution detrimentally effects ecosystems as sounds produced by human activities interfere with the way animals communicate, mate and prey on one another.

There are four factors involved in the way animals are adversely affected by noise pollution and include

· hearing loss, resulting from noise levels of 85 db or greater;

· masking, which is the inability to hear important environmental cues and animal signals;

· non-auditory physiological effects, such as increased heart rate and respiration and general stress reaction; and

· behavioral effects, which vary greatly between species and noise characteristics, resulting in, for example, abandonment of territory and lost reproduction.

http://www.naturesounds.org/conservENW.html

Also see

http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8305000/8305320.stm

Conservation Emergency: Save the Sumatran Rainforest

When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
Cree prophecy

orangutan

We need to act fast to save the Sumatran rainforest and the species that depends on this habitat for their survival.

Please art now to prevent the destruction of 1. 2 million hectares of some of the most bio diverse rainforest in the world, replacing them with gold mines, oil palm plantations, logging, and roads.

It is more  shocking then you can imagine as a local Sumatran Governor “…wants to let mining and palm oil companies move in to decimate areas the size of a million football fields!”

Astounding as this may seem in our more environmentally aware society the national Forestry Ministry of Sumatra may allow this to happen.

The forests under threat  are the only place on Earth where orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos co-exist – and all are critically endangered. If these plans go ahead it is predicted that in ten to twenty years these species will be extinct.

Before reading further please sign the petition below and pass on by social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, websites, forums and so on. Include on your blog as I have done here.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/the_plan_to_kill_orangutans_cb1

Click the link below for more information and to see a map of how the proposal will effect the area

http://www.orangutans-sos.org/campaigns/save_aceh

The greed of the few will destroy the many.  The only way to save this pristine forest is if we act now. Please sign the petition 

More Action to Stop the Badger Slaughter

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
Edmund Burke political philosopher 1729-1727

Make a note in your dairies for Saturday June 1st

On this day there will be a National March Against The Badger Cull which will take place in Central London.

Badger(UO)

The culling or rather the massacre of thousands of badgers is imminent, set to go ahead in Somerset, Gloucestershire and possibly Dorset. We must act to prevent this atrocity against defenceless animals. With total disregard to the democratic process and scientific opposition the government intend to go ahead with their plans to kill thousands of badgers beginning on June 1st 2013.

On the same day there will be a demonstration in opposition to the governments’ plans to slaughter this icon of our British countryside. This will be a peaceful family friendly demonstration.

http://www.londonagainstthecull.org.uk/

If you cannot attend the demo there are other actions you can take.

Recently I received the following from the International Fund For Animal Welfare IFAW  listing three actions you may participate in including the above demonstration:

June 1 could be a sad day for us – and a deadly day for badgers.

In a bid to tackle the issue of Bovine TB, the Government has decided to undertake badger cull trials in pilot areas in England. Scientific studies have shown that culling would be of little help in reducing the disease. It could actually make things worse in some areas.

The proposed culls would result in the cruel and needless slaughter of thousands of British badgers.

Despite clear opposition from most of the independent scientific community, the public and MPs, the Government does not seem to be listening. The pilot badger culls in one area of Gloucestershire and another in Somerset, or now perhaps also in Dorset, seem set to go ahead.

The killing could begin as soon as June 1. Even worse, if the Government continues to ignore the scientific evidence, these pilot culls may be the prelude to a wider cull that could be extended to other areas of the country.

We need the public to express their absolute opposition to the cull so that even if the current pilot culls take place, at least we can stop them spreading to other areas.

There are three ways people can express their opposition.

On June 1 a peaceful “National Anti-Badger Cull March” has been organised by “http://links.mkt4012.com/ctt?kn=5&ms=NjE1NjcwNgS2&r=MTA1MzI1MTEzNjAS1&b=0&j=NzM2ODk1MzMS1&mt=1&rt=0”, and they would like this to be attended by as many people as possible from all over the country. Participants will assemble at noon at Millbank (close to the Tate Britain in London), SW1P 4RG, to walk a route that will go through Parliament Square and finish at Tothill Street. Click the link for further details. The organisers have asked people to wear black and white clothes to show support for the badgers.

· Other events may be organised in London and elsewhere. Check the http://links.mkt4012.com/ctt?kn=20&ms=NjE1NjcwNgS2&r=MTA1MzI1MTEzNjAS1&b=0&j=NzM2ODk1MzMS1&mt=1&rt=0 for more information.

· Members of the public can sign the http://links.mkt4012.com/ctt?kn=3&ms=NjE1NjcwNgS2&r=MTA1MzI1MTEzNjAS1&b=0&j=NzM2ODk1MzMS1&mt=1&rt=0 set up by Dr. Brian May, which has already collected more than 210,000 signatures. If it exceeds 260,000 signatures, it will be a record for this type of petition.”

You could also write to your MP even if you have done so previously:
http://www.parliament.uk/about/contacting/mp/

We have to keep up the pressure on the government to abandon this plan, which is a crime against wildlife, against nature and against these defenceless sentient creatures who have as much right to their lives as you or I. We do not have the right to wantonly take the lives of other creatures simply because they are deemed to interfere with the constant manipulation of our environment and the exploitation of other animals, in this case cows, which man exploits to provide him with a food that is not natural and to provide the meat industry with huge profits. After all said and done at the end of the day this is all it is about: profit. The government do not care about the farmers or about the cattle who themselves will eventually be slaughtered.

TB can be controlled by vaccination and this is the only intervention that the government should embark upon. Frankly I believe that killing badgers is wrong under any circumstances. What right have the government to kill other creatures with whom we share this world, it is their world too. It is as simple as that.

Read this delightful story of orphaned badgers

Orphaned baby badger follows animal lover and his dog to safety

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/orphaned-baby-badger-follows-animal-3863693

Thankfully there are still caring people in the world who want to see an end to the destruction of our wildlife, the exploitation of animals and the environment.

If you are one such person please take the actions above to stop the cull.

You can find information about Badgers, their behaviours, habitats and so on included in this delightful and interesting blog:
Tales from the Wood – The Diary of a Badger Watching Man
Personal experiences of a (very) amateur naturalist

http://badgerwatcher.com/about-badgers/

 More information about the Campaign to stop the Cull:

“Badgers do not belong to anyone. They share this land with all of us. No one single organisation has the right to decide the fate of badgers – time and time again, we’ve seen where that leads us! It’s time for everyone to work together to make sure that we never ever find ourselves in this situation again.”
http://www.savethebadger.com/

“Vaccination has already been a proven success in Wales, where well over 1,400 badgers have already been protected against bovine TB as part of a five year programme of work to eradicate TB completely.”

The Welsh initiative reflects the constructive alternative to culling that the League, along with Team Badger, is calling for. It also demonstrates the co-operation that is possible between the farming industry and government in taking swift, positive and decisive action against the spread of Bovine TB.”
http://www.league.org.uk/content/643/Badger-Cull?gclid=COrakcbpobcCFWXJtAodc2oAtA

“Badger culling will not help TB in British cattle

Culling badgers could make the problem of cattle TB worse

No country has successfully tackled TB in cattle through killing wildlife

Vaccination is the only way to tackle TB in any species

Owen Paterson is ignoring Defra’s own scientific research “

To read more including videos

http://www.teambadger.org.uk/

Credits:

Photo: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Badger(UO).jpg

Enough Food If: Support the Biggest Campaign Against World Hunger Since 2005.

This is the first generation in all of recorded history that can do something about the scourge of poverty. We have the means to do it. We can banish hunger from the face of the earth.
Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey Hunger is a political condition.
Enough Food If  is a massive campaign to bring about the end of mass starvation and the loss of life for millions of people world-wide.To be a part in consigning hunger to history please read more and take as many actions as you can.
Read more about the campaign from Enough Food IF website:
“The world produces enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food.We can change this in 2013. IF we act together, we can make this year the beginning of the end for global hunger.”

Over 100 organisations are giving their support to the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign. These organisations include Oxfam, Comic Relief, The vegan Society, The Islamic Society of Britain, Unicef, Christian Aid, Save the children…

http://enoughfoodif.org/who-we-are

If you read nothing else please commit to this campaign by clicking the links below to take action:

Please add your voice today in support of the biggest ever campaign to bring an end to world hunger by clicking on the link below:

http://enoughfoodif.org/home - To add your name click the Join Us Now! button

Also click the More News Button for more information and action you can take

“Use your voice to spread our message. Together, we can make so much noise that world leaders won’t be able to ignore us.

Share via Facebook, Websites, blogs, Twitter, forums and so on.

Here is a suggested Tweet from Enough Food If:

#IF the world has enough food for everyone, why are people dying of hunger? Join our campaign to change the future: http://enoughfoodif.org/home

Please Tweet this message now.

Write to David Cameron, the leader of this year’s G8 Summit

You may write to David Cameron:

http://www.number10.gov.uk/contact-us/  Who will be hosting the G8 Summit

Send e-mail or a letter, postal letters can less easily be overlooked, lost or ignored.

For more information and other actions you can take please continue reading and click the links below

“Hunger Summit, June 2013

“Did you know that David Cameron’s planning a Hunger Summit to coincide with the G8 conference? We’ll be on his back, making sure leaders tackle our four big issues. Watch this space!”

UK G8 Summit, 17-18 June 2013

David Cameron will be hosting the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland, and aid, tax, land and transparency are all on the agenda. With the world’s media in town, we want thousands of people to take to the streets and show world leaders that we won’t stop until everyone has access to enough food.”

More information about the above and other matters and further ideas for action you can take:

http://enoughfoodif.org/get-involved/whats-happening-when

Attend a Rally

Make a note in your dairies, there is to be Huge rally in Hyde Park 17th June

You can sign up here or just turn up:

http://bigiflondon-actionaid.eventbrite.co.uk/#

Some details of the rally from an e-mail I received recently

“On the 17th of June leaders of the G8 – some of the most powerful countries of the world, will meet in right here in the UK. This is our chance to push for real change and demand they take action to stop almost one billion going hungry every day.

Thousands of people will be travelling to London from across the UK for a rally in Hyde Park on Saturday 8th June to send David Cameron off with our demands ringing in his ears.

We must make sure the G8 leaders end tax havens that costs developing countries billions and stop food being burnt as fuel. You can help make it happen.

The event will run from 2-5pm, and is open to you and as many of your friends and family as you’d like to bring. It promises to be a truly exciting day with a range of inspiring speakers and performances from people across the globe – there really will be something for everyone. Now, all we need is you.”

Jenny Ricks

Head of Campaigns

ActionAid UK

P.S. We’re also holding an event in Northern Ireland on the eve of the summit. We’ll keep you posted”

Up Date!  The event in Northern Ireland is 15th June

More information about these events: http://enoughfoodif.org/latest/bigif

Disseminate Rally details by Facebook, Websites, blogs, Twitter, forums and so on, even good old fashion word of mouth such as at your school, place of employment, social club and church or similar

Hunger in this world of plenty is the greatest scandal in our day and age. According to the United Nations about 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes. . This is one person every three and a half seconds: http://www.poverty.com/

Want to know more about world hunger and related issues

Hunger in this world of plenty is the greatest scandal in our day and age. Today over 25,000 people died of hunger. While each year more than 15 million children die because of malnutrition 1153 billionaires in the world today live in luxury with more money than they can spend in a lifetime! According to calculations by an American think-tank their combined wealth is now worth more than the annual incomes of at least half the world’s population.

Here is a list of the world’s Billionaires

http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/list

Is it right that these and other rich people accrue wealth beyond the wildest imagining’s of the vast majority of people who inhabit this planet. Sadly few question this outrageous social injustice

In June of this year the many of the world’s most powerful leaders will meet in the UK. They have the power to and must change the future for millions of people who live with the day-to-day struggle against hunger. But that will only happen IF we get together and make them act.

This must be the year that ends hunger for the one in eight people on our planet who are malnourished.

Enough food is produced to feed every man women and child, yet millions are malnourished, millions die for want of food. Each year millions of children die because of malnutrition. We can and we must change this.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:

“I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for the minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”

This is not an impossible dream, this could be reality if we all stood firm in solidarity to make hunger history.

The world produces enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food

This just isn’t right. This is avoidable. The fact that over 800 million people are malnourished is an outrage that seems never to end. In the harried rush of life preoccupied with our own worries fears and insecurities as a result of the difficulties we all encounter compounded by the misery of the so-called financial crisis, we need to spare time and focus our attention on those who struggle without the basics of life as 870 million people in the world do not have enough to eat.  Moreover,  increasingly now there are many people in western countries most notably the USA and the UK were people do not have enough to eat and are malnourished. Obviously not to the extent of the so-called developing nations but nonetheless increasingly more people in these countries struggle to find enough money to buy food

Get some perspective:

In 2011 there were over 62,million  people living in the United Kingdom, 8OO million people worldwide are malnourished, this means the number of people who do not have enough to eat in the world are just over 13 times more than the UK population,  that is 13 people to one British person are malnourished. This is just a rough estimate and the numbers are rising and will continue to rise if nothing is done.

You can read more of my comments and other information further down including the source of the above statistics.

Anne Frank wrote:

“It is an obscenity How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Indeed we need wait no longer, we must act now

My Comments:

Please support this campaign as it has the power to bring about change. We have to demand an end to the deaths of over 15 million children each year, and the malnutrition of 800 million of our fellow human beings, one third of the world’s population are starving , that is about 936 million who do not have enough to eat.

The above is based on the Research Date: 10.8.2012 statistics below

Total number of children that die every year from hunger 15 million

Percent of world population considered to be starving 33%

Time between deaths of people who die from hunger 3.6 seconds

Total number of people in the world who suffer from hunger and malnutrition 800 million

Total number of people who do not have enough to eat 936 million people

Total percentage who do not have enough to eat who live in developing countries 98%

Total percentage of world’s hungry that live in 7 countries 65%

Number of people who died of hunger today 20,864

Total number of people who will die of hunger this year 2,073,588

Total percentage of U.S. households that are at risk of hunger 11%

Source of information

http://www.statisticbrain.com/world-hunger-statistics/

Hunger is the world’s number one health risk. It kills more people every year than AIDs , Malaria and tuberculosis combined

http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats?gclid=CNaR3pKBhrUCFW_KtAodMQ8A7g

More perspectives

For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years

Nearly one in four people, 1.3 billion – a majority of humanity – live on less than $1 per day, while the world’s 358 billionaires have assets exceeding the combined annual incomes of countries with 45 percent of the world’s people. UNICEF

3 billion people in the world today struggle to survive on US$2/day.

To satisfy the world’s sanitation and food requirements would cost only US$13 billion- what the people of the United States and the European Union spend on perfume each year.

The assets of the world’s three richest men are more than the combined GNP of all the least developed countries on the planet.

African-American infants die at nearly twice the rate of white infants.

Source of information

http://library.thinkquest.org/C002291/high/present/stats.htm

According to some estimates, 13 billion dollars would be needed annually to eliminate hunger, while the United States spends approximately 600 billion dollars annually on the military.

Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, has confirmed that the rate of malnutrition among Iraqi children in 2005 had doubled since the beginning of the invasion of Iraq and the victory over Saddam Hussein in 2003. “The silent daily massacre by hunger is a form of murder,” stated Ziegler.

Year upon year, the UN’s Food and Agriculture organization states in its report, that approximately 6 million children under five years of age are dying from hunger annually. Meanwhile, Forbes’ annual list of billionaires shows that the 300 richest families in the world possess over 50% of the world’s wealth.

Source of information

http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/1393

More on world hunger

Problems concerning the cause of world hunger.

Capitalism

“Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life. We were taught under the old ethic that man’s business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked; ”Am I my brother’s keeper?” That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. Yes, I am my brother’s keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death.”

Eugene V. Debs

Hunger results from greed and exploitation, the insatiable urge to acquire more and more material comfort at the expense of other people and the environment. Hunger is a result of our economic system; capitalism, an economy that breeds selfishness and exploitation. While this economy exists it will be difficult to eradicate hunger and poverty.

World hunger is not the result of shortages of food, but how food is unequally distributed.

http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/1393

The Production of meat

“Many things made me become a vegetarian, among them, the higher food yield as a solution to world hunger.”

John Denver

A problem often overlooked concerning world hunger is the production of meat.

We need to end the rearing and slaughter of the other sentient beings with whom we share this world not only because it benefits these creatures and it is ethical, the right thing to do towards the progression to a truly civilised society, but we have to end the consumption of meat for the sake of our own species. In addition to crops being grown to “feed” cars crops are grown to feed animals to sate the appetite of the rich man in the west who because of his insatiable desire for a food he does not need, is unnatural and destroys his health he deprives others of nutrition. End animal farming you not only end animal abuse but also world hunger.

http://viva.org.uk/guides/feedtheworld.htm

World debt cancellation

Fifty-two of the world’s poorest countries (of which 37 are in Africa) owe a total of $376 billion in debt. The repayments for this huge amount of money take up a very large portion of each country’s income to, leaving them with little left to help themselves and solve their hunger problems.

Campaigners protesting to ‘Drop the debt’. The areas where chronic persistent hunger occurs need capital and resources to develop and implement schemes to help solve their problems. Cancelling world debt would provide these countries with the ability to help themselves, such as being able to develop their economy in order to safeguard against future hunger problems, develop and import technologies to begin and increase the amount of output from their arable land or help fund imports of food from abroad, helping to solve the redistribution problem.

http://library.thinkquest.org/C002291/high/future/debt.htm

Fair distribution of worlds resources

“We know that a peaceful world cannot long exist, one-third rich and two-thirds hungry.”

Jimmy Carter

Nearly one in four people, 1.3 billion – a majority of humanity – live on less than $1 per day, while the world’s 358 billionaires have assets exceeding the combined annual incomes of countries with 45 percent of the world’s people. UNICEF

To my way of thinking unless there’s drastic change to how the world’s resources are distributed hunger will continue to be a problem.

However such a profound change is likely to happen quickly, though thankfully more and more people are waking up to the unfairness, corruption and blatant immorality of capitalism, the exploitative economy of greed. But it will be a slow process and in the meantime initiatives such as the Enough Food If  campaign are important steps forward in helping to alleviate world hunger and are worth supporting.

So please add your support if you have not already done so.

“When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.
Archbishop Dom Helder Camara of Brazil

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The war against hunger is truly mankind’s war of liberation.”
John F. Kennedy

More information and action you can take

WORLD HUNGER: 800 million can’t afford capitalism

“The world has never produced so much food, there is no overall shortage and food has seldom been so cheap — yet some 800 million people are hungry today. That’s the stark reality registered at the second World Food Summit held in Rome, June 10-13.200”

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/27242

Link Between Capitalism And Hunger

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/link-between-capitalism-and-hunger/431988.html

If you haven’t take action please add your name now

http://www.one.org/c/international/actnow/4571/?akid=3644.1611343.S7jmda&rd=1&t=5

Get noisy

Use your voice to spread our message. Together, we can make so much noise that world leaders won’t be able to ignore us.

Here is a suggested Tweet from enough Food if:

#IF the world has enough food for everyone, why are people dying of hunger? Join our campaign to change the future:
http://enoughfoodif.org

Tweet this message now

Please now take the time to read the information below if you have not already done so
http://enoughfoodif.org/home

So please do not hesitate, include your support by signing the above.

Our Plastic Footprint

Our modern industrial economy takes a mountain covered with trees, lakes, running streams and transforms it into a mountain of junk, garbage, slime pits, and debris.
Edward Abbey

Litter garbage, rubbish, and trash, whatever you wish to call it, of late we are inundated with it. Here in the Northeast it is as though no one knows the purpose of a wastebasket, litter bin or a dustbin. Perhaps it’s the same everywhere; I believe there is even litter on the summit of Everest! Litter is in our streets, along our roads and motorways, even in our unspoiled wild places. Although unspoiled is now perhaps no longer an apt description of some of these more remote and scenic areas designated as National parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty of which we have many right across the north including: the Lake district, The Yorkshire Dales and moors, the Durham Dales and Teesdale, the Northumbrian national park and coastline. Strewn with litter they are most certainly spoiled.

discarded litter
Litter discarded near the Yorkshire Dales, notice the roll of carpet deliberately dumped.

When my husband, son and I first came to live in the northeast we were shocked at the amount of litter everywhere, but now in recent months it is even more prolific, nothing short of a disgrace. The northeast is often neglected when it comes to tourism which is unfortunate as it is an area of exceptional scenic beauty with some remote and peaceful places steeped in history. Attempts are being made to encourage more tourism in the region. However the shocking state of our towns and particularly highways when it comes to litter really gives an undesirable impression to say the least. Travelling along the A 19, particularly as you head north you are likely to encounter trash which may make you think you have taken a wrong turn and you are heading towards the council’s refuse dump.


litter Embankment A19
Litter strewn on the embankments of the A 19.

On this major road and others in the vicinity, litter is scattered throughout, for mile after mile, on the embankments, festooned in trees, in the hedgerows, scattered in the undergrowth, anywhere, everywhere you can possibly imagine. Plastic bags billow in the wind, a hazard to wildlife and motorists alike; reams of plastic trail like banners flapping in the breeze caught in the branches of tees, a detriment to the environment and an eyesore. Discarded fast food packaging, empty boxes, empty beer cans, plastic bottles, rolls of carpet, even a mop and bucket all carelessly thrown away or deliberately dumped by idle inconsiderate people who have no regard to either the cost to the environment or to the council tax payers who have to pay for the trash to be cleared away, which all too sadly occurs with increasing infrequency.

So many people it seems care little for the environment, it is not just the young and so called drunken yobs whom it seems where blamed in one article recently, but people of every age have some part in this dreadful neglectful, antisocial, uncouth and irresponsible behaviour. Recently in a supermarket car park an elderly lady deliberately discarded her litter, too lazy to put it in her pocket or bag to take home, it was only a tiny piece but it will join countless other carelessly discarded litter. In a city centre a student rummaging in her bag is too idle to chase after the litter that blows away in the breeze from her grasp, she evens stops to watch it drift away. An irresponsible slothful couple dumps their old settee in the ditch near the side of a road in the countryside, marring the splendid array of wild flowers growing there beside the hedgerows rather than take it to the council tip just one mile further along the road. The hill and fell walker discards his empty plastic water bottle amongst a growing pile as others have done at the very same style, too lazy to carry it home, spoiling the beauty of the very environment which has attracted him to walk here.

In addition to this wilful neglect and thoughtlessness or even deliberate behaviour this problem is accentuated by the way no one cares, it’s shocking; it’s never anyone’s responsibility it seems even when litter is dumped on their property or land. The lazy farmer in a field nearby has made no attempt to remove a huge piece of plastic which I can clearly see from our bedroom window, it is a detriment, an eyesore. The neighbour at the end of the village has had litter in his field where his sheep and ponies graze for months and has made no attempt to pick it up. Amid pots of flowers in the local pub there is litter discarded by thoughtless passersby or thrown out of car windows, yet no one removes it. Having gone to great effort to create this impressive floral arrangement it amazes me that no one removes the litter, which surely detracts and mars this display. Apathy it seems holds sway, or is it laziness or are people so used to litter that they no longer notice it or have they simply given up overwhelmed by an increasing avalanche of other people’s rubbish.

It appears to me that few people notice the encroachment of rubbish that is marring our cities, towns, villages and countryside, floating in our rivers and streams, coming in with the tide making our beaches look like a trash heap. Yet to me it is overwhelming, something I notice whenever I am out. I see it just now looking from my bedroom window, there right on the grass verge , an empty cigarette pack, an empty can of beer, a bit of blue paper, a sweet or other wrapping. And this is perhaps one of the cleanest village‘s in the area, at least in comparison.

Why do I hate litter?

Firstly it is simply unsightly, ugly and an eye sore. It is depressing; it makes your environment seem deprived, dilapidated, it makes you think apathy and despair. When areas are constantly littered they are prone to become increasingly more littered as though litter generates more litter, breeding increased apathy and neglect. It devalues your property; ask yourself who wants to live in a dirty littered neighbourhood? I don’t that’s for sure, I don’t even want to drive through one. It discourages tourism, again who wants to spend a holiday in a rubbish dump.

Secondly litter affects your mood. Imagine walking down the street, all you can see is trash, plastic bags, discarded cigarette ends, empty cans, plastic bottles, piles of dog droppings, (although here in the north east I am pleased to say this is far less of a problem than in the south east where we used to live, when I used to dread walking through our village because of the mounds of dog mess) how does that make you feel, not good I would imagine. Now Imagine that instead you walk down a tree lined lane, there are flowers growing in the grass verges, the grass is cut, it is litter free, imagine the difference this has on your mood. In our village the residents association has raised funds to provide containers of plants for the grass verges, a pretty and inexpensive way to liven up a dreary village on a busy road. Yet this attempt to enhance the environment is often spoiled by rubbish carelessly dropped by residents perhaps, but mostly by thoughtless motorists passing through.

Most importantly however rubbish is a hazard to wildlife, animals get trapped in discarded rubbish, field mice can get stuck in bottles or poisoned by its contents and when garbage ends up in rivers and other waterways it pollutes the water supply making it a hazard for aquatic life. Plastic six pack rings entrap fish in the rivers, the oceans and also animals on land; they get caught up in them and cannot free themselves. For example if a bird gets his head or bill trapped he cannot feed, if his feet or wings become ensnared, tangled he cannot free himself and struggles until exhausted he dies or becomes an easy prey for predators. This also applies to discarded fishing tackle as you can read about here on this website: http://www.chad.co.uk/news/local/warning_of_fishing_line_hazard_to_mansfield_and_ashfield_s_wildlife_1_4244910

Broken glass can wound small animals such as foxes, hedgehogs and yes your dog or cat. The rings that open cans of drink can trap a bird’s beak, he cannot free himself nor open his mouth, he starves to death. Cattle, goats, sheep and other grazing animals, after consuming bits of plastic that get mixed up in the grass they eat, can choke and suffocate. Animals both on land and in our waterways are at risk from ingesting or choking on plastic. Turtles sometimes mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, ingest the plastic bag and then suffocate.

turtle_bag_small
Plastic is nonbiodegradable it takes decades to break down and when it does it becomes a part of the soil, it pollutes the soil most likely for generations to come with the possibility of effecting food supply. A similar situation occurs at sea where plastic breaks down even more slowly.

“The amount of plastic in the marine environment is not known and nobody knows how long plastic stays in the environment. Experts in plastic deterioration research maintain it could be hundreds of years. An ordinary plastic six-pack ring, for example, could last 450 years. Because plastic is so slow to break down, especially at sea, the amount floating around in our oceans is continuously increasing.
 
Save Our Sea Life;
http://sacoast.ioisa.org.za/education/envirofacts/plasticpollution3.asp

The scourge of Plastic bags

Shocking fact: According to the EU, the average European citizen uses around 500 plastic carrier bags annually, most of which are used only once.

In particular for the reasons cited above I loath plastic bags. In a recent breakfast news segment the question proposed was what can be done to discourage people from using plastic bags. One of the remedies was to make the use of such unfashionable. This however takes time and who wants to leave such an important issue to the fickle whims of fashion. The simple solution is to ban them altogether. Replace them with cloth shopping bags, which are right now very reasonably priced. Shops should not be allowed to issue them. Sales staff at many supermarkets are all too ready to hand them out. Yesterday while shopping the sales assistant made some comment about our bringing our own cloth shopping bag, “what a good idea!” he exclaimed with some surprise. Apparently this was new to him, seemingly in this particular shop everyone too readily accepts these free plastic carrier bags with no thought or hesitation. He did think it a good idea but the fact that this seemed new to him was unsettling. Still there are it seems a significant number of people totally oblivious to the scourge of the plastic bag.

The city of San Francisco has banned plastic bags and the city of York here in the UK is considering similar action. Hopefully more towns and cities will follow suit.

Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us.
Henrik Tikkanen

We have all heard recently the term carbon footprint but what about our plastic foot print. The damage to the environment resulting from the indiscriminate use and improper disposal of plastic is a significant threat. Perhaps as damaging as global warming in its own way; because plastic is non biodegradable it slowly breaks down over decades, and some think as much as 1000 years, for example as already mentioned plastic 6 pack holders takes 450 years to break down, it disintegrates into tiny pieces and as a result will become incorporated within the soil. Rather disturbing don’t you think?

When I was a child everyone had shopping bags. My parents owned a corner shop, which sold groceries and green groceries. There were no carrier bags given to customers, no one expected it, there was none available. Not even for vegetables, most people brought with them an old bag especially for vegetables such as potatoes which were weighed and placed directly into the customer’s bag, there were no repacked vegetables. Brown and white paper bags where given to people who bought cheese, cold meat, cakes and so on, which did not come, wrapped in plastic. The only time you got a carrier bag was if you brought clothing or bed linen and similar items and more often than not the carrier bag was made of paper. Yes of course the indiscriminate unnecessary use of paper brings its own problems which need to be addressed but from the perspective of being biodegradable they are less hazardous to the environment; although if you can manage without it is better to do so. Sometimes it is just habit, we purchase something we expect to receive it wrapped in a bag of some sort. Surely within reason it is easy enough to put any item into a cloth shopping bag. Why do we need a bag when we for instance buy a book, a CD or clothing? Yes it would seem odd at first, old habits die hard but they do die and they need to die if we are to maintain a healthy environment for ourselves, future generations and the other myriad creatures with whom we share this planet.

I wrote this article a few years ago now and little really has changed.

However there is strong possibility that the EU are about to ban the free distribution of plastic bags right across Europe

Free plastic bags may be banned right across Europe:
 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/20/europe-plastic-bag-ban

San Francisco Bans Plastic Bags

“San Francisco led the way in 2007 with the first plastic bag ban in the country, eliminating plastic bags at large grocery storesSince then, several Bay Area cities have adopted stronger policies that ban plastic bags at all types of stores.  Not to be outdone, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted in February to expand the city’s ban to cover all stores and restaurants as well.  On October 1st, plastic bags will be a thing of the past at San Francisco stores and by October 2013, they’ll be gone from restaurants.”

Read More:

Plastic bags are history in San Francisco on October 1st, 2012!
http://www.savesfbay.org/plastic-bags-are-history-san-francisco

Canadian Faces Imminent Execution in Iran: Please Help Hamid Ghassemi Shall

Please take part in Amnesty International’s campaign to save Hamid Ghassemi Shall from immanent execution by signing petitions, writing letters and other actions.

Hamid Ghassemi Shall is a Canadian citizen who was arrested along with his brother in 2009 while he was visiting his mother in Iran. For eighteen months he was detained  in solitary confinement charged with espionage.

Legal proceedings leading to his conviction were unfair and did not provide an opportunity for him to defend himself. Lawyers who have reviewed the case concluded that there was no basis for Hamid’s arrest or subsequent detention.

For more details and information:

http://www.e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1770&ea.campaign.id=17326

Please take as much of the suggested actions as you can and share widely. Information how to do so is included in the above link.

There is also a petition at care 2: Stop the Imminent Execution of a Canadian in Iran

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/569/558/127/

Again spread widely in the usual way via social media Twitter, blogs e-mail and so on.

Important

When writing letters, including e-mail of course, and signing petitions please be polite , angry abusive correspondence rarely gets read let lone considered.

Personally I am opposed to the death penalty for any reason and most certainly if there is any doubt whatsoever about the guilt of the convicted person, most particulary when there is no loss of life involved. So please take as many of the above suggested actions you can.

It should be noted of course that countries such as Iran and China – see post https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/please-take-urgent-action-to-save-li-yan-from-execution/  –  are not alone in the use of the death penalty.  In 2012 the USA executed  43 inmates  and 3,146 were on death Row.

Death penalty statistics, country by country:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/29/death-penalty-countries-world