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Monday, 25 February 2008

Led Astray By An Insect

An article at Environmental Graffiti "New Encyclopaedia Includes Every Living Thing on Earth", brought back feelings of nostalgia. The work is a catalogue of all known species of animal and plant.

Years ago I had the honour of being taught by one of the world’s most respected ecologists. Part of the work of the lab was the preparation of what are called dichotomous guides. Books for the identification of animal and plant species. Ours were for different kinds of freshwater macro invertebrates.

One morning coming into the lab I saw a small parcel addressed to the Prof, but with a return address of the University of Kiev. Interesting I thought, but it was soon forgotten as we were on something to do with DNA that day.

Lesson ended. "Are you free for a while Roger?" The Prof inquired.
"Would you be able to do me a favour and identify an insect species for me?" Asked the Prof.
"Yes, no problem." Was my stupid reply. Why one of the world’s leading experts on insects would want me to identify a species for him didn’t really register.

So I sat myself down with the creature in question under a binocular microscope.
5 minutes, 10 minutes. Straightaway I knew it was a Corixidae, a water boatman. Then I started using parts of the guide I had ever been before.

Every time I ended up with a species from the east side of a Loch in the Shetland Isles Northern Scotland. I didn’t even think it was that. Frustration and self doubt set in. 5 minutes was now 1 hour. Again and again I tried. Every time I ended up in a Loch in Northern Scotland. If that wasn’t remote enough, it was only the closest I could get. This little creature lying there under my microscope wasn’t even that species.

Finally in despair I gave up.

"Identified it then?" Asked the Prof.
"Well I thought it was a species from the Shetland Isles, well that’s the closest I can get. But I don’t think it is that. No I don’t know what it is. I give up, I don’t know."
"Good." Said the Prof, "It was sent from Kiev this morning. The Professor couldn’t identify it and thought it was a new species. Thought I’d give it to you to have a go. I’ll get back in touch and tell him he has got a new one."

Suckered by a Water Boatman At least 25 years on it’s in the new book.

When I read the Environmental Graffiti article I had a little panic about the number of species of animal and plant. They said 1.8 million known species. I had been using a generic "anything up to 60 million" when I wrote.

After a quick check around, such as this from Commondreams.org, Animal Extinction, there could be up to 100 million species.

So that’s a book over 50 times thicker than the Environmental Graffiti article, if we don’t make them extinct before we record them.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Democratic Primary Wisconsin

2.30ish am UK time. Just me and the dog. Like moon landings or Muhammad Ail fights I am a child again and have this urge to stay up to the early hours to watch the Democratic primaries. The speeches, live and uncut, before the media get to show them later with their edit and their spin.

Hillary is speaking and projected to lose Wisconsin. She is in full throw. Gone. Had she finished. Was she cut in mid sentence or even mid word. I missed the segue. Obama is only making his way on to the stage.

Flick with the remote Sky-BBC News 24. Both show the same image Barack Obama only arriving at the microphone. Have the media editors already made their judgement. Is Hillary Clinton now only the warm up, the time filler, the B movie to the main feature?

"Thank you Thank you". Eventually Obama gets into his stride. "Washington is a place where good ideas go to die". Barack Obama returns to a central theme. Change in the US political process. Again the power of the lobbyists is questioned.

Hillary’s "Is", her "when I am President", the "I wills" have disappeared. Obama likes the inclusive "we are, we will. We are a movement".

Can the movement effect change? Obama is definite. "Yes we can". As he speaks his arm is slightly raised, bent at the elbow with curling wrist movements. There is an air if familiarity, of deja vu.

Another challenge to be resolved, is it possible to overcome. "Yes we can". Surely the Democratic front runner is not quoting Bob the Builder. I wait in anticipation. Is he going to ask his audience "Can we fix it?" And exult them to reply, "Yes we can". He took me to the edge of anticipation and left me dangling.

Has Bob the Builder crossed the Atlantic, does Mr Obama have young children. Please I must know, is Bob the Builder a new force in American politics? Please next time Mr Obama, please please say "Can we fix it?".

The British national press won’t be able to cover the speech for another 24 hours. It will be this evening before the serious political assessment on the TV news. A prediction of what they may focus on.

Five words.

The Fierce Urgency of Now.

At least Dr King is familiar in context.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Talking With The Planet

Comment Placed on La Marguerite (not spell checked, not working at time of posting)
"The future is the most important commodity we all share. Without the future you would not be able to read this sentence after the last one. A concept so crucial but simple we forget at times how vital and central a sustainable future is to all our lives.

Climatic uncertainty and instability, the suffering and extinction of animals and plants, famine, war, pollution and disease are some of the challenges to that future".

The above is part of a submission to use the Millennium Dome London as a global environmental management centre in the 2001 competition.

This was the proposal the Government's own consultants wanted to back. It was a nearly a $100 billion per year project, that would have cost about $ 4 billion to initiate.

Unfortunately though it was short listed, it was thrown out at the 'market testing'. Had it gone through the financing was available. A project team was going to be supplied to me and one of the goals was to approach the large reinsurance companies, offsetting their future liabilities for the start up financing.

one of the tag lines was

"creating the future"

Though I didn't win, much of my work has been used by organisations which had access to the confidential (supposedly) entry. "Creating the future" is now being used by one of them. I am just a planetary engineer and project manager without the resources to do anything about it, yet.
Just because we have always believed the future would always be there, doesn't mean anymore, that is the case.

Now we have to be proactive in our actions to ensure we have a future-for ourselves, the planet and all the animals and plants which share it with us, which together create the planetary ecological life support systems on which our lives depend.

Had the UK Government gone for the environmental centre many of the disasters of recent years would not have been of the same magnitude.

In the SE Asia Tsunami, anyone outside of 45 minutes of the origin of the pressure wave- who had a mobile phone, within shouting distance of someone who had, or a radio or a computer- who were killed -would probably be alive today.

The business model for the Dome had global environmental monitoring linked in with a global communications network.

Sounds impressive, it just means if you were lying on a beach on a Boxing day morning, your mobile would have bleeped.

A text message would have said.

Suspected Tsunami (tidal wave) approaching. Please walk calmly inland for 15 minutes and advise others of the same. Thank you. MP2

Katrina. Same idea, different message.

All this climate change symtom/problem would more or less have now been resolved. The imminent collapse of the planet's ecological life support system sorted.

Tornados, fires, floods, terror, extinctions ets etc, as Yul Brinner once said.

It was decided to give to an American, Anshutz, to open another music venue and casino. Politicians don't really have their priorities right.

As you are aware though the UK Government didn't want the solution to the now unfolding global catastrophe, the threat was still there. So the agenda of the 2005 G8 climate change and Africa was placed in a UN report for the UK Government to read in 2002. Along with the now globally known assessment that climate change was a greater threat than terrorism.

A damage limitation exercise.

Listening to the planet is good. I like talking with the planet.

Which is a bit bizarre, as Green with a Gun pointed out. We are part of the planet.

So really we are just the planet talking with itself. We are her self-reflecting consciousness. She has been alone for 4.5 billion years evolving. Unable to see herself.

We are her mirror. Will we allow her to see herself in all her infinte beauty before we destroy her-and ourselves.
I like talking with the planet and I like creating the future.

Should Ecologists Call for Obama?

With Barack Obama taking an advantage in the Democratic nominations for the US Presidency, should the environmental consensus support him?
With speeches of passion and rhetoric, Mr Obama is running an inclusive campagn. Not with talk of when I will be President, but rather we are a movement of change.
Does this movement of change involve the US taking a lead in global sustainable ecological planetary mangement? There have been some comments that the US elections have not touched a great deal on environmental issues. Such as from La Marguerite. Mr Obama will probably admit himself that as a civil rights lawyer his campaign has been more socio centric than eco centric.
Despite only minimal talk on the environment Mr Obama has a bizarre relationship within the race to become the next president of the US. He was cosponsor of the Climate Change Stewardship and Innovation Act with Republican front runner John McCain and also Joe Lieberman.
Should the ecological movement call for Obama and become part of the movement for change?
Should Celtic Lion Ltd support Obama? Should Celtic Lion apply to Barack Obama to advise on his environmental campaign and strategy?
Celtic Lion has already made initial enquiries and we thank the number visitors to our site from Washington DC, Illinois and Chicago.
Celtic Lion has already successfully advised ex Prime Minister Tony Blair on the timing of the 2001 UK General Election when surrounded by the uncertainty of the Foot and Mouth epidemic.
President George W Bush came to the 2005 G8 in Scotland to discuss climate change and Africa, an agenda derived from our recommendations in a UN Environment and Development report commissioned by the UK Government. Ex Vice President Al Gore also uses our risk assessment, that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism.
Is there a more suitably qualified organisation to advise Barack Obama than Celtic Lion? Should we make him the offer?

Celtic Lion:The Same Difference

Celtic Lion Blog Post of 3rd January 2008

Alex Salmond's Celtic Lion: A Cultural Vision


See also Newstart 18th January 2008 Vol 10 No 417, a magazine for economic development professionals


The Scotsman 15th February 2008



The Scotsman 14th February 2008



Alex Salmond's speech


Celtic Lion keeping ahead of the pride

Monday, 4 February 2008

Africa: Political Instability, Wildlife and Climate Change

Just exchanging emails last night with another environmental consultant over the social unrest in Chad. Apart from the humanitarian and wildlife disasters in Africa, which was one reason why we recommended to the UK Government in 2002, Africa as a main focus of UK policy on the environment, becoming part of the agenda of the 2005 G8 summit. There was another underlying reason.

One of the big unknowns of climate modelling in the 80’s was the amount of CO2 stored as biomass in African grasslands. Breakdown of the African ecosystems could release large quantities of green house gases into the atmosphere.

Social, political and economic chaos in Africa could result in uncontrolled butchery of African wildlife. Breakdown of the ecosystems and carbon emissions. If CO2 is a driver of climate change this creates a potentially dangerous situation.

Social factors are not fully represented in the climate models. CO2 release from political and social collapse, destabilising ecosystems increases climate change over predicted trends.
Though more related to the to the Scottish dynamic, this article gives 34% of world CO2 stored in grasslands.

Though pleased the UK Government responded to our recommendation regarding Africa. Perhaps a more inclusive strategy with more emphasis on wildlife and ecology needs to be introduced, in addition to socio-economic and humanitarian efforts.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Never Say Green Again

In the early 80's there was a really good party in the UK called the Ecology Party I thought it was great.

Then as part of some pan-European standardisation it changed to the Green Party. I had spent from the age of a toddler completely fascinated about how this planet works, how it 'thinks', it's purpose. Whys, hows and whats. As an engineer it's cybernetic control function, homeostasis and response to change.

After 20 years everything I knew was suddenly branded 'Green'. I found it a personal insult but most of all an insult to the Earth.

If the party was still called ecology, then people would ask what's that. This would draw them in to the wonder and mystery of 4.5 billion years of planetary evolution and it's place in another 10 billion years of cosmic evolution before that. The excitement and desire of the understanding and the love of being at one with the planet.

Green came long and destroyed it all. Green is a field of cabbages or a coat of paint. It is demeaning to the infinite and eternal process of creation and life. It is a barrier to the understanding of the intricacy and complex beauty of this Earth.

Green is like when children start to learn to define words. You have to stop them at first using the word they are defining in the definition. They can nolonger be lazy, they have to think.
Green is an easy earned badge, that is a barrier to the understanding of the planet. That deep appreciation required to change human societies relationship with this planet for the better. Green does not require questioning. Without questioning there is not understanding. Without understanding there is not empathy.

Ban green from anything to do with the sustainable evolution of this Earth. Never ever use it. Never talk about it, never read anything about it. Ignore every single use of the word or concept of green.

Some got interested in sustainable planetary evolution and the protection of the Earth's ecological life support systems after watching Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

When Al Gore said the British Government say climate change is greater threat than terrorism. He should have said Roger Jardine Thomas said.....The UK Government didn't say it, or reference the original source.

At present I am setting up the Celtic Lion project. So have to do the rounds of business advisors, consultants, lawyers, bank managers etc. I have take my portfolio of work. They are amazed and shocked at the things I have done. They know of them, but never knew who it was who did them, until they met me.

Many people in the world with an interest in the environment know the agenda for the 2005 G8 was climate change and Africa. Most do not know that was my recommendation to the UK Government.

Many people know the climate change/ terrorism risk assessment. Many world leaders and environmental organisations use it. It is now a 21st century cliché. Most do not know I wrote it.

Hardly anyone knows both were from the same submission. And the later was the justification for the former. One of the largest corporate law firms in the UK looked at my work. Their view was on just that one piece of work alone, if I was to be described as one of the most globally influential people of the 21st century, it would be very difficult for anyone to challenge that.

If I hadn't done what would have been the agenda of the 2005 G8. War on insurgents in the Middle East? Global trade tariffs? What would have Al Gore have said when and even if he got a Nobel. There would have been no climate change agenda at the G8. No Live 8, no Stern Report.
I knocked it out between talking the dogs for a walk and having my tea. No spell check, no WP. Wham bam ratta tat tat straight off and hit the send.

It still may be one of the globally influential works of the 21st century. But I never ever used that awful word Green. Not using it made people think. Take notice and act. The rest was history or the future.

Here it is. Not a green in sight. (The email has changed)


Friday, 1 February 2008

Celtic Lion: Flooding and National Security

The UK Government’s Intelligence and Security Committee recently met to discuss the implications to national security of recent UK flooding.

Prior to this information had also been placed on the site of Paul Flynn MP.

Information had been available for many years that wide spread flooding would occur in the UK after December 2006. Some information is withheld in this post as it should form part of a criminal or otherwise inquiry. Evidence will show there were deliberate and intentional actions taken to ensure that models of predictions of UK flooding were not verified or prevention strategies implemented. Actions taken with full knowledge of the implications. Widespread flooding in the UK.

Other information has not been placed here.

This is the proposal that the Government’s consultants wanted to back as a use for the Millennium Dome. An environmental management centre. Both English Partnerships and Jones Lang LaSalle had information on flood predictions and prevention strategies. This was part of the business case which made the proposal attractive.

The UK's Chief Scientific Sir David King has confirmed that he was never consulted in the Millennium Dome competition process, when a short listed proposal that addressed flood management in the UK was being considered.

The agenda for the 2005 G8 Perthshire was climate change and Africa. Sir David King gave global publicity to the assessment that "climate change was a greater threat than terrorism".

This submission to a United Nations Environment and Development-UK report, commissioned by the UK Government, is the probable origin of both the above. This was written after being recommended to the UK Cabinet Office by DEFRA to advise on the sustainable development implications to Regulatory Impact Assessment, a datum for UK legislation. This work was refereed to in the UNED submission.

Part of those recommendations use sustainable flood management as an example. Based on the knowledge that flooding in the UK was imminent.

The opening of the competition for the Millennium Dome coincided with the outbreak of FMD in the UK. This report was sent to Prime Minister Tony Blair in March 2001, his thanks were sent by return of post. The section Land Use Scenarios refers briefly to flood prevention strategy. In the knowledge that widespread flooding in the UK was imminent if appropriate action was not taken.

When it was sent to First minister Alex Salmond in August 2007 a background preamble was requested.

A UK Chief Constable had access to predictions of UK flooding. Police officers deemed that the reason why prevention strategies could not be implemented was criminal not terrorist related. As it was criminal and the incidents were not in the area covered by their force, they could not take any action.

6 weeks later the pattern of UK flooding began. 4 days after the projections indicated they would happen. As far as I am aware that Chief Constable has not contacted any inquiry to report he had credible evidence of an environmental threat but decided not to respond as an operational decision based only on legal limitations was made. I now understand the officers who made the decision were not anti-terrorist officers.

Under US guidelines UK flooding would probably be considered a terrorist related incident. I have spoken to an officer from the Metropolitan police anti-terrorist branch. On the basis of what I have told him, he finds it credible that the UK flooding could be considered as a terrorist incident and an investigation should be carried out.

At present they do not want to be involved as they feel it should be up to regional authority in areas affected. As a specialist he may have access to similar guidelines. Regional services have up to now refused to open an investigation as, without looking at the evidence they do not consider it terrorist related. I consider it is, US guidelines consider it probable and Met anti-terrorist officers consider it plausible.

I was not called to give evidence at the recent inquiry. Why?

This is just part of appropriate evidence on flooding and national security