Please Help to Stop the Slaughter of Badgers

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.

I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”
Mohandas Gandhi

The Slaughter of Badgers has begun. The total target is 5,000 badgers.

Badger_action_form

The public are opposed to the killing of badgers as evidenced by the largest number of signatories on the official government e-petition, other petitions and letter writing campaigns, protests and so on. However despite this and also scientific evidence that the cull will make no difference to bovine TB the coalition government intend to go ahead anyway.

I am shocked that despite such strong opposition this slaughter is to take place, though really I should not be surprised as this government it seems listen to no one hell-bent as they are on doing whatsoever they choose to do. As a vegan I of course do not condone the killing of any creature and deplore man’s interference in the lives of the other beings with whom we share this world. Furthermore I am shocked that the government not only considers it ethical to kill wild animals, including badgers which are a protected species, – http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/wildlife/laws/badgers
but also to go ahead regardless of overwhelming public and expert opposition in the matter. Sadly here in the UK it appears that democracy is dead and what the electorate want is of no consequence.

Please read the following request for urgent action which I received in my e-mail box this morning from the International Fund for Animal Welfare IFAW and take the suggested actions:

 It is with deep regret that I have to tell you that licensed gunmen started killing badgers in Somerset last night. Culling is scheduled to begin in Gloucestershire later this week. The total target: 5,000 badgers.

Along with a coalition of over 30 charities, the backing of eminent scientists and the work of supporters like you, IFAW argued that not only is this killing unlikely to significantly reduce bovine TB in cattle, but it could even increase it. David Cameron’s coalition Government seemed determined not to listen to us and seemingly only had ears for the National Farmers’ Union.

And so the shooting has begun.

Tell your MP that you’re opposed to badger culls.

The Government say that the pilot culls are intended to check that this kind of shooting can be done humanely. However they have so far refused to explain how this will be measured. There is already talk of the cull being “rolled out” to the rest of the country – which makes me worry that the results are a foregone conclusion.

IFAW and our partner charities in Team Badger believe that it is extremely important that the reasons for any further extension of the cull should be scrutinised by Parliament before going ahead. This is where you can help us once again.

Please write to your MP and ask that they sign Early Day Motion 299, which calls for full disclosure of the evidence gathered during the cull and for Members of Parliament to have the chance to study this and vote again on the issue before the cull is rolled out nationwide.

Also, if you haven’t already, sign the Government e-petition. It’s already the biggest ever and a further surge of signatures this week will redouble its impact.

The shooting in the pilot zones may have started, but the campaign to stop the roll out of this misguided and wanton cull has just begun. Please make your appeals to David Cameron measured. He needs to see that this cull is not in his interests, not in the interests of his Government, and that it is widely deplored by British people regardless of which party they vote for.

Many members of the public feel very strongly that badgers should be protected. Whether you are in England, where the cull is taking place, or anywhere else in the UK, you can still have your say on this issue and ask your MP to take action.

Please send the draft e-mail, adapt in your own words if you can but if you ‘re not able to do so just send as it is, do the best you can.

Other organisations with actions you can take to stop the slaughter

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

The League Against Cruel Sport:
http://www.league.org.uk/

Stop the Cull:
http://badger-killers.co.uk/badger-cull-begins/

The shooting of Badgers must stop now!. This is cruel, inhumane, barbaric and unnecessary. What right has anyone to kill these animals? The whole thing disgusts me. Badgers have as much right to life as you or I. Frankly the way human beings treat the other creatures with whom we share this world is appalling and it has to stop. The massacre of other animals is barbaric to the extreme and is not worthy of any ethical and socially progressive society.

The slaughter of all defenceless animals must stop now!!!!!! This includes the wanton slaughter of animals as a result of hunting.

Consider that people who can so easily kill another animal could just as easily kill another human being if they thought they could get away with it.

I am opposed to the killing of any creature and the thought that at this time of year it is open season for the mass slaughter of defenceless animals is depressing and frankly shocking. Last Wednesday  in the Yorkshire Dales hunters were out in force killing hundreds of tiny grouse. Shameful. Utterly shameful. We will never progress to be a fair and just society while we slaughter the other beings with whom we share this earth.

With regards to TB the answer is simple, stop eating meat. Go vegan. It’s not about the protection of cows or people or farmers is it? It’s all about profit and greed.

STOP KILLING BADGERS! STOP THE SLAUGHTER!

Please take the above actions

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Join No Dash for Gas’ March For a Frack Free Future August 18th

Join No Dash for Gas’ March For a Frack Free Future

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 ~

March

If you can make it join the March this Sunday August 18th. We cannot allow the insatiable greed of the few to destroy the lives of the many, our countryside , our wellbeing, the very air we breathe and the water we drink!.

And don’t forget this effects the other creatures who share our beautiful countryside.  Here is information about the effect of fracking on California’s wildlife:

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/california_fracking/wildlife.html

Similar will happen here to our wildlife

Here in the UK the RSPB  has joined with other wildlife and environment groups to call on the Government to rethink its shale gas policies.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/351702-rspb-raises-fracking-fears-for-wildlife-

Act now before it is too late. If the government are willing to hand over Balcombe in the Tory heartland they will not hesitate to frack elsewhere. Support the people of Balcombe.  Remember it will not stop there, solidarity is the key.

In fact licences for  two-thirds of the UK have been sold by the government to oil and gas companies,  our countryside will be turned into an industrial site.

“Fracking threatens our health, our communities, our environment, our climate and our future.
Working together in our communities we can defeat Cuadrilla and build a better future.

Join communities facing the threat of fracking, and residents of Balcombe, on a family friendly march to the Cuadrilla site. They will be carrying symbols of the sustainable future that they want to create in place of community threatening, climate changing, ecologically damaging fossil fuels.

Key info

Where: Balcombe
When: Sunday 18 August, 3pm”

Read more about this and other actions:

http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/get-involved/march-for-a-frack-free-future/

See also:

http://gasdrillinginbalcombe.wordpress.com/

Imagine a World Without Elephants

“But perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that there are no walls between humans and the elephants except those that we put up ourselves, and that until we allow not only elephants, but all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves.” 

Lawrence Anthony, The Elephant Whisperer

Every fifteen minutes a poacher kills an elephant. Unless something is done to stop poaching, elephants could become extinct  within twelve years!

7234335792_6e056a3946_h
Read More:
http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/12/12-years-until-elephants-are-all-wiped-out-as-one-dies-every-15-minutes-3919927/

The Bloody Trade in Ivory

The largest land mammal on earth, the African elephant, faces constant threat from poachers whose greed has decimated elephant populations despite attempts to control the trade in Ivory.

It is shocking when any animal is killed simply as a result of greed and exploitation. Though among the seemingly infinite cases of animal exploitation and cruelty there can be few more shocking examples of man’s barbarity than the killing of elephants for their tusks.

Elephants are amazing creatures who are highly intelligent, rather like us they form strong emotional family bonds, they mourn their dead and may even mourn humans with whom they have had a close association. One such remarkable case is the story of two herds of South African rogue elephants who travelled for twelve hours through the Zululand bush to attend the funeral of conservationist and author Lawrence Anthony who saved their lives. Just a few years previously these once violent elephants who were considered as pests and destined to be shot were rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony who was known as the “elephant whisperer”.

“A good man died suddenly , “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”

“If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”

Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D.
Read more about Antony and these amazing animals:
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2012/03/rescued-wild-elephant-herds-inexplicably-gather-to-mourn-lawrence-anthony-south-africas-elephant-whisperer.php#ixzz2FUu2Tw00

Even more astonishing then their grief for their rescuer was the fact that they knew Antony was dead. How did they know he had died?

See also the story in the Daily Mail:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1185624/The-elephant-whisperer-How-homing-violent-herd-start-unique-relationship-man-giant-beast.html

And
The elephant whisperer: Part 2- the elephants come to tea
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1189484/The-elephant-whisperer-Part-2-elephants-come-tea.html

As you see by this one example alone and there are many others elephants are amazing creatures, intelligent, self aware, aware of others not only of their own species but other species also.

Researchers writing about elephants speak freely of their loyalty, patience, devotion, courage, and cleverness, as well as their wrath:
http://advocacy.britannica.com/blog/advocacy/2008/01/the-lure-of-the-elephant/#sthash.FAXDeRee.dpuf

Even if these creatures were not possessed of such faculties their lives are important to them, all creatures wish to live. Intelligence, size, whether or not they interact with man or whatever criteria we humans place on animals which elevate their worth are irrelevant. Regardless of such qualities or lack thereof every animal which draws breath has a right to life, and furthermore a life free from abuse and exploitation by humans.

Time for an outright ban of the trade in Ivory

In just one decade as a result of poaching the elephant population in African was reduced to just 600,000 from a population of an estimated £1.3 million in 1979. Today the evil trade continues with shocking news such as the seizure last year of thousands of ivory tusks in  Hong Kong and Malaysia:

http://www.bornfree.org.uk/campaigns/further-activities/cites/cites-news/article/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1395

Statistics of the death toll  vary but are always shockingly high. According to the Wildlife Conservation society in 2012 poachers killed 35,000 African elephants for their tusks:

http://www.wcs.org/elephants/

Africa’s savannahs and forests have been turned into graveyards as contrary to what many people believe the bloody ivory trade continues .
http://www.bloodyivory.org/stop-the-ivory-trade

Elephants are still being killed in their thousands for no other reason than their tusks in the continuation of the bloody trade in Ivory. Thousands of elephants die as tons and tons of Illegal ivory, including the 24 tonne Malaysian consignment mentioned above,  is still being smuggled out of Africa.

Action you can take to save elephants

The greatest threats facing elephants today are poaching, conflict with humans, and habitat loss and degradation. Elephants across Africa and Asia are being poached for their ivory at increasing levels.
Read more and take action:

The World Wildlife Fund
http://worldwildlife.org/species/elephant Be sure to click the How You Can Help Button.

Sign a Petition to stop the bloody ivory trade
http://www.bloodyivory.org/petition

Please take the Wildlife Conservation Society’s suggested action to “Tell your members of Congress to support conservation programs that elephants depend on… before it’s too late” if you have not already done so

https://secure3.convio.net/wcs/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=559

Read more about SOS Elephants:
http://www.soselephants.org/about_elephants.html

World Elephant Day
August 12th was world elephant day. I didn’t know this until it was passed. More promotion for such is necessary if these events are to be effective.Having said this there are many suggestions for actions you can take that are of course helpful at any time and lots of useful information so please check out the link below:
http://worldelephantday.org/how-to-help-elephants

Links to more information

Scientists claim that elephants’ understanding of the need to co-operate shows that they belong in an “elite group” of intelligent, socially complex animals.

Read More
http://www.onekind.org/be_inspired/blog_article/elephants_cooperate_and_help_each_other

Hillary Clinton Joins Fight Against Elephant Poaching

30,000 elephants were killed illegally last year, with their tusks selling for as much as $1000 a pound.

Read More
http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/07/18/hillary-clinton-joins-fight-against-elephant-poaching/
Credit:

Photo Flickr user Benh LIEU SONG : Elephants Herd Amboseli

http://www.flickr.com/photos/Elephants/herd/Amboseli/

Under a creative commons License:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

Update on Baby Opossums

“We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves.”
César Chávez

Another reblog with an update about the baby opossums who were left to die after their mother and two siblings had been killed by a hit and run driver.

“Hit and run survivors…

The post about the slaying (accidental?) of a mother of nine can be read here. I went out to Wildcare recently to check on how the surviving baby opposums are doing. You’ll remember that there were originally nine babies, one was dead on the street and one was dead on arrival at Wildcare. Well now there are only four survivors. One died soon after arrival and then two more expired. They were very small and very vulnerable.

However, according to the staff there the four remaining seem to be doing well. I have only a few photos…and they aren’t good. I took the babies there on July 12th, so they’ve been there around 3 weeks.”

Continue reading, includes photos of the babies:

http://veganelder.blogspot.co.uk/?wref=bif

This is such an heart-warming post, It is refreshing to know that in this cold callous and seemingly uncaring world there are people who still care for animals. Animals’ lives are important to them and they wish to live as do you or I. Sadly a fact that so many people do not take into account.

“Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society.”
César Chávez

I hope for a time when the lives of all the beings with whom we share this world are considered  of equal vale

My first reblog and comments appeared here:

https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/reblog-headline-you-wont-see/

Please support animal sanctuaries and rescues who do such great work in helping injured or abandoned animals.

You may be surprised to know that here in the UK the RSPCA not only helps, rescues and rehomes domestic companion animals but will come to the aid of wild animals also.

I have called out the RSPCA to rescue rabbits and birds. Recently there was an incident where a wounded duck was injured at a local park and the person in charge refused to contact the RSPCA with the attitude that they would not come so why bother and besides the duck seems to manage okay. The poor creature could not even put his leg down to the ground! Such callous indifference to another living creature always shocks me though I have encountered it many times. The RSPCA readily agreed to come and rescue the injured duck. So even in situations like that do not hesitate to ring the RSPCA.

More inspirational quotes:

“Know that the same spark of life that is within you, is within all of our animal friends, the desire to live is the same within all of us…”
Rai Aren, Secret of the Sands

“The assumption that animals are without rights, and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion in the only guarantee of morality.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

“We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.”
Albert Schweitzer

“Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people. ”
César Chávez

Take Action to stop Fracking: Join No Dash For Gas’ Reclaim the Power Event

A reminder about No Dash For Gas’ Reclaim The Power event beginning Friday 16th August

Jais-image-2 (1)

More information:

http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/

http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/campinfo/

Support Balcombe if you can. Solidarity is the key to defeating this disastrous assault on our environment, our health and our wellbeing. This doesn’t stop at Balcombe, or Lancashire, any area of any part of the UK may become a fracking site.

Check out your area: http://frack-off.org.uk/locations/  This is only the beginning!

North or south nowhere will be exempt says energy minster Michael Fallon

“North or south, it will only be allowed if it is safe and poses no risk to the environment. If it’s approved by the council and they have the necessary permits then we need to explore the potential of shale.” –

See more at:
http://www.cityam.com/article/minister-says-all-uk-must-be-open-fracking#sthash.pdhGSj6i.dpuf

According to the first commenter of the above article not even AONB  (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) or National Parks are except:

“Cuadrilla are drilling in an AONB.  Also in Sussex Celtique are to apply for permission in an AONB in the South Downs National Park. We are not protected, as the recent government planning guidance pointed out. No area is safe.”

Well we all know it is not safe. Furthermore it will turn our landscape into an industrial eyesore. Fracking will not only be a serious detriment to humans of course, but animals also will be effected by noise, atmospheric pollution,  light pollution and the contamination of the water supply.

For more information concerning the serious consequences of fracking be sure to read this particularly disturbing account and watch the video:

http://frack-off.org.uk/dont-frack-our-future-doreens-story/

More information from Frack Off  Extreme Energy Action Network:

http://frack-off.org.uk/

Don’t be fooled by promises of cheaper energy, this is all about greed and profit for the few at the expense of the many including future generations. Even if fracking pulled the USA out of recession it has not done much for the ordinary person in the street who continues to suffer the deprivations of austerity, such as the 1 in 6 Americans who go hungry in the richest country in the world :
http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts.aspx

Remember the promises made about cheaper energy to justify privatisation? Well we all know the result of that empty promise as energy prices continue to soar along with the profits of the energy suppliers. The Renationalisation of our gas and elasticity would go along way to reducing our bills

I struggle to pay my energy bills and because of inadequate heating I have damp growing on my walls

Yes I am desperate for cheaper energy but not at the expense of the environment and our health!

However our bills will not be cheaper anyone who believes that is naive to the extreme and that is the politest way to put it!

Say No to fracking before it is too late

More action you can take.
Even if like me you are unable to attend due to health or other circumstance there are other actions you can take such as writing letters or signing petitions. For some ideas See previous blog entry:

https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/fracking-hell/

Why not write to your MP stating your protest against fracking:
http://www.parliament.uk/about/contacting/mp/

Fracking Hell!

‘Fracking poses a real threat to the local environment and causes more climate-wrecking pollution.

‘It’s little wonder communities across the country, including the Tory shires, are mobilising against it.’
Craig Bennett, of Friends of the Earth

Welcome to my blog from here in the “desolate North”, a reference to the idiotic remark made by Tory Lord Howell. Yes in the North East there are isolated wild places were few people live, they are usually referred to as National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty AONB and we do not want them ruined by fracking . So yes the North has large areas that are sparsely populated, other than that the definition of desolate does not apply. Besides what the hell is wrong with desolation? The beautiful desolation of virtually unspoilt nature. We need our wild remote countryside to get away  for a while from the nightmare of the largely unopposed insanity of unbridled greed that is destroying the UK and indeed the entire world as greed hungry people obsessed with accruing more wealth they can spend in a lifetime destroy our planet, not only for us and the other creatures with whom we share this world but for future generations.

The world is short of water, fracking takes millions of gallons of water creating shortages now and in the years to come. While in many parts of the world people die because of unclean water, here in the UK gallons of this precious resource will be used in the process of fracking, a process that is likely to contaminate supplies of a resource  that is so essential to life.

Fracking is a serious threat to the environment for the sake of profit for the few at the expense of the many. The promise of cheaper energy bills is unlikely, and even if this were true the cost to our health and our environment is simply not worth it.

Fracking is one of the more outrageous forms of insanity which will destroy our countryside, our environment and endanger our health.

Is there nothing this government will do to further the greed of the few.

The Tories’ promised to be the greenest party ever! Fracking is anything but green, yet another Tory promise broken. This millionaire coalition government are interested only in selling everything including our NHS, making money no matter what the ethical, social or environmental cost to the people of this nation, our wildlife and future generations. Time for the Tories to live up to their promises and concentrate on renewable energies.

“This will totally ruin the British landscape and turn the country into a dirty mining complex and leave huge grid type scars on our entire landscape. Fracking sites will be as common as pylons.”
Forum commentator

To get an idea of what our countryside may look like see the photo further down.

I am opposed to fracking anywhere in the UK , indeed anywhere on the planet.

If you read no further please at least click the following links and take the required action.

Action 1
Defend your neighbourhood from fracking

Did you know that your local council can refuse planning permission for fracking in your area, so email your councillors now.

Tell your counsellors to say no to fracking by clicking the following Link from Green Peace
https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/speakout/stop-fracking?source=em&subsource=frem01&utm_medium=email&utm_source=gpeace&utm_content=1+-+Email+your+local+councillors+and+tell+th&utm_campaign=fracking01

Act now don’t leave it until the tankers are rolling in destroying your neighbourhood as they are in Balcombeand and Lancashire

Action 2

You can join the protest in Sussex.  No Dash for Gas are holding a five-day camp in Balcombe from 16 August. Check their website for all the details.

 “‘Our event is called Reclaim thePower and that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to reclaim our energy system out of the hands of corporations that will frack our
countryside, crash our climate targets and send fuel bills through the
roof. We want democratically controlled, renewable energy. Our action
will echo the local community in showing Cuadrilla that fracking is
unwanted, unsafe and unnecessary.’

Sharon James of No Dash for Gas:
http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/uncategorized/no-dash-for-gas-announce-mass-swoop-on-cuadrilla/

At Balcombe the potential fracking site is near one of the main reservoirs for Sussex and close to the railway line between London and Brighton:
See more at: http://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2013/07/26/brighton-and-hove-protesters-join-fracking-blockade-in-balcombe/22764#sthash.bWSlylNP.dpuf

Action 3

Sign petitions

Urge the UK government to stop fracking:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/677/720/379/

More UK anti fracking petitions and anti fracking petitions world wide:

http://www.care2.com/find/site#r=petitions&q=fracking+UK

Not only are fracking  wells an eyesore, fracking is highly dangerous not only to the environment, including  biodiversity loss but also to public health in the form of water contamination and the release of dangerous chemicals into our environment, such as methane.

There have been methane leaks in Pennsylvania, USA, where residents have found  methane in their water, along with up to 27 other chemicals. In fact for such reasons fracking is of great concern to people in the USA, who like most people here vehemently oppose this destructive form of environmental damage.

Here the effects will be even worse because unlike the vastness of the USA  the UK is relatively small and compact. Therefore unlike the USA fracking here will inevitably take place much closer to communities or places of natural beauty such as national parks and so on. There are few wild or unspoiled and remote places here in the UK, we do not want them destroying as a result of fracking.

Here is an aeiral photo of a fracking in the USA:

fracking-in-Wyoming (The Equation, UCSUSA)

Fracking in Wyoming (USA).
Source:
http://instbioingecosist.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/fracking-for-shale-natural-gas-and-oil.html

This is shameful and an outrage, a crime against humanity and the other creatures with whom we share the earth and the very planet itself. In the name of greed the likes of Cuadrilla –  an oil and gas exploration and production company – destroy the earth for future generations.

What is Fracking?
Fracking – short for “hydraulic fracturing” – involves drilling deep under ground and releasing a high-pressure mix of water, sand and hundreds of chemicals to crack rocks and release gas stored inside.

Water companies are worried the process could contaminate drinking water aquifers that lie above shale gas reserves. But supporters of fracking say it is safe and essential to making the UK more energy self-sufficient.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23373618

Don’t let promises of cheaper energy fool you into condoning the destruction of our countryside, the contamination of our water and the pollution of our atmosphere .

I rather think its about making more profit rather than being self sufficient. Cuadrilla claims that Lancashire’s shale gas could have a market value of £136 billion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuadrilla_Resources

Brenda Pollack, regional campaigner for Friends of the Earth South East, has said:
“Shale gas and oil are not the solution to our energy challenges.

“They threaten local communities, pollute our atmosphere and there’s plenty of evidence they won’t bring down fuel prices.

“It’s time to end the nation’s costly addiction to dirty fossil fuels and build a clean future based on energy efficiency and harnessing the power of the wind, waves and sun.”

See more at: 

http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/climate/issues/fracking_background_information_33157.html

Here are the dangers of fracking:

http://www.dangersoffracking.com/

This is an American website, however the dangers of fracking are of course the same.

links

Information from Friends of the Earth

http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/climate/issues/fracking_background_information_33157.html

This is what Fracking Looks Like
http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2013/07/19/nina_berman_fractured_the_shale_play_looks_at_lives_affected_by_fracking.html

Lord Howells Desolate North comment

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23505723

fracking isn’t about gas – it is about destroying the ancient aquifers which contain the purest water on the planet. They are also the foundation of water for the entire planet.

So – get ready the explanations when your children ask for clean drinking water and there isn’t any.

You better wake up to what is happening here.

Forum commentator

 

Britain’s Shame

Food bank collection

My husband son and I often visit old churches for architectural and historical interest. In the last year or so in many churches here in the North there can be found boxes like the one above for the purpose of collecting donations for local food banks. Incidentally some of these are situated in areas that one would not generally consider deprived, such as Cartmel in the Lake district, though as my son remarked the food bank is probably in the nearby town of Ulverstan. Ullverstand however does not exactly spring to mind when you consider poverty. If people are struggling in such places what is it like in big cities I have to ask. A sad sign of the times, times we thought had been consigned to history as the present right wing government of the unelected and financially over privileged destroy our welfare system. During the last two years or so the government by means of vicious cuts to benefits have plunged the sick, disabled and the unemployed deeper and deeper into poverty with no recourse other than having to reply on the generosity of others. And one has to say such generosity is not as forthcoming as it might well have been as the government have so successfully poisoned the minds of those fortunate enough to be genuinely able to work and who have not been made unemployed, as is the case for an astonishing 2 million plus people.

Recently I received details of a campaign to ensure that children living in poverty are entitled to free school meals

The following campaign is aimed at Michael Grove  to make sure 700,000 children don’t go hungry on a daily basis:

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/free-school-meals#petition

Please take the recommend action and consider the following:

According to this report too many children in the UK are going hungry:

“Many studies have shown that hunger affects concentration, and that well-nourished children fare better at school. The government has agreed to allocate money to help schools in the poorest areas establish breakfast clubs. And it has promised to look at extending free school meal entitlement, to ensure that the children of the so-called ‘working poor’ do not go hungry at lunch.

We have also recommended that free school meals should be extended to all primary school children, starting with the most deprived areas. This is the only one of our recommendations that the government has not agreed to yet. We understand that the considerable cost and the need to involve other departments make it a big ask. But we are pleased that the Secretary of State agrees with us in principle and we would urge schools and councils to consider funding universal free school meals themselves.” http://www.schoolfoodplan.com/plan/

More information:

A report has recommended that all primary children should have free school meals

“The government should introduce free school meals for all primary school pupils, starting with the most deprived areas, a report for the government on school nutrition has recommended.

Extending free school meals beyond the poorest pupils will cost around £1bn but the education secretary, Michael Gove, is understood to be supportive of the move in principle.”

Read More:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/jul/12/primary-pupils-free-school-meals

Surely we have to question why children go hungry in twenty-first century Britain,  the 7th richest country in the world !

It is shameful that in a rich country people including of course their children are going hungry and food banks are under enormous pressure to provide people with the basics of life, namely food. The added disgrace of allowing children to go hungry is shocking.   Furthermore it is not only the “working poor” it is also people on benefits who have seen a sharp drop in their income which at a time of ever increasing price rises has left many people deprived and in poverty. I would here just like to point out the outrage of the term “working poor”,  two words that should not be used in the same sentence, no one who works should be poor, each and every person regardless of their type of work should be paid a living wage. Life is precious we should not be compelled to while away our lives scrimping and scrapping to get by on wages that are exploitative and do not provide a decent standard of living not only for essentials but to ensure that everyone has a quality of life beyond the basics. Working forty or more hours each week,  most people work considerably more,  for a pittance and needing to go to food banks is a moral outrage while employers are laughing all the way to the bank and living life styles far in access of their needs.

Moreover no one who needs benefits by reason of disability, sickness or unemployment should have to have their  already difficult lives made worse by impoverishment. Often we hear the phrase “make work pay”. People complain that those on benefits are better off than many who work. And as a solution many advocate a reduction in benefits. However this does not solve the problem of poor wages and instead plunges disadvantaged people into poverty. Think about it, if a person on a benefits has their income reduced how does this benefit the low paid? People on unliveable wages will not get any more money. Instead of thinking it right to reduce benefits to make work pay how about increasing wages to make work pay.  Sadly the fact that children are suffering the consequences of welfare reform and austerity measures seems to escape the notice of those who consider that reducing benefits is the right thing to do.

It is as though we are taking steps backwards to a time that many people thought had been consigned to history! The coming changes to benefits in the autumn is of great concern to those of us who consider that everyone should have enough money for life’s essentials. One of the greatest concerns is that such changes will hit poor children in Britain hard. The very idea that here in the UK a child will be at school hungry is beyond shocking, it is inhumane and not worthy of any country that wishes to be considered as moral and socially progressive.

Children, the unemployed, the low paid and the sick and disabled are not the only people hit by a drastic reduction in living standards, many retired people living on a basic pension find themselves with less disposable income than an eleven year Old!

“Shocking research has revealed that two million pensioners have less disposable income then the average 11-year-old. The report revealed that this group has an average state and private pension bringing in £154 a week, but average living costs of £146.90. It leaves them with less ‘pocket money’ than the average 11-year-old – who is given £8 a week by their parents.

And things are getting worse.”

Continue reading:

http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/06/27/pensioners-have-less-to-spend-than-an-11-year-old/

It is surely time to question the ethics of anyone in the 7th richest country in the world living in poverty while others have far more then they need.

Someone once said:

“I want to make sure that my Government always looks after the elderly, the frail, the poorest in our country.”

It may surprise you that that someone was David Cameron whom it now appears is hell bent on destroying our welfare system