Earth hour will kill us all! 3 – Entertainment

What should you do this earth hour? You can’t watch TV, or read this blog, that would use electricity. You can’t work on the car by candlelight, you might cause a nasty explosion. So here are a few suggestions:

Don’t go to a concert. There is an “Earth Hour Unplugged” concert in Christchurch, there are probably other events on elsewhere. But to get there you’d probably use a car, or a bus. That one trip could melt a glacier. And they’ll probably have big amplifiers using thousands of watts of coal-fired electricity. And as you switched off the burglar alarm to save electricity, and everyone’s lights are off so criminals can easily work undetected. you may get home and find your furniture has disappeared.

Only go to a concert if your sole purpose is to switch off the amplifiers for the sake of the planet so everyone can sit in perfect silence straining their ears to hear the peaceful twanging of the electric guitar strings. Otherwise stay at home.

But what to do at home? You can’t read a book, or play a board game, you’d need to light candles for that, and that could cause immense ecological destruction. You could play “blind mans bluff” in the dark, but may trip over and break all the furniture you stayed home to protect. Or break an arm, requiring the consumption of toxic petrol to take you to the hospital.

No, you’ll just have to go to bed early. But DON’T be tempted to curl up under the covers in your cold unheated bedroom and snuggle with the wife. Population growth will destroy the planet. Keep your hand-knitted hemp underpants on.

To be safe, one of you had better sleep on the couch.

Lie in the cold, dark lounge, on the couch, listening to the hum of the fridge (which you should have left turned on) and contemplate that:

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialised civilisations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the United Nations Environment Programme. (via Micky’s Muses)

Get used to sleeping in the cold and the dark, it sounds like this won’t be the first night. And then one day, as you cough yourself to death from smoke inhalation (candles), hypothermia and botulism (you did turn the fridge off after all, didn’t you?), at the age of 40, with no children to remember your name, you may feel glad that at least by your sacrifice you may have saved the life of a snail, somewhere. Possibly.

See also:
Earth hour will kill us all! 1 – Lighting
Earth hour will kill us all! 2 – Appliances

Child dropped from bridge – blame politicians

A man has dropped his 4 year old daughter to her death from a bridge in Australia. So who do people blame?

The roading authorities. Because there weren’t any safety barriers stopping him.

That is ridiculous. If someone is wicked enough to want to kill their daughter, they’ll figure out a way to do it. If there are barriers on that bridge they’ll just do it somewhere else. You can’t expect the government to prevent every problem. Why do people have to find someone other than the perpetrator to blame whenever something like this happens?

No, this girl died because her father is a sick idiot. That is all.

You could be dead tonight

On Tuesday night a car crashed outside our house. I was the first on the scene.

The driver had crashed a virtually brand new BMW convertible, doing at least 100kmh, into a concrete powerpole, snapping the powerpole and putting the lines into the hedge (cutting power to a very wide area). The car was a completely crumpled mess, even the wheels were shattered.

But when I arrived the driver was standing by the roadside flagging me down. She had only suffered a nasty cut to the head. The fact that she walked away is a miracle, the last two crashes on this stretch have been fatalities.

The car went sideways into the pole, hitting it just behind the drivers door. One foot further and the driver would have been dead instantly. Incidentally, despite it being such a snazzy car the airbags didn’t even go off – you can’t rely on safety mechanisms.

Remember, this earthly life is fleeting. One little slip (not necessarily by you), and you’re dead. The fact that you can even read this today is a blessing – don’t take it lightly.

If you were to die tonight, where would you go? Are you prepared to find out?

All you ever wanted to know about Christianity
Seven reasons you should not become a Christian (and one reason you should)

Why so many civilian deaths in Gaza?

Very simple. The illustration speaks for itself.

palestinian_whyHat tip: Say Hello to my Little Friend

Note: The Israeli flag is blue on white, the Palestinian is red, green etc.

Law requiring fencing of farm ponds

Following the tragic death of Summer Frank in a farm effluent pond, do we need legislation requiring the fencing of such ponds? (Note first that in this case there was actually a fence between the house and the ponds, it just wasn’t child-proof and the gate may have been left open.)

As soon as this girl died the media were all talking about needing a new law to stop it happening in future. And I even heard Summer’s grandfather say on TV last night that we should have a law because he doesn’t want her death to be “in vain”.

The problem with this logic is that to follow it to its conclusion would mean that for every death that was not of natural causes we would need a new law against however that person died. How many people die of unnatural causes each year? How many new laws would that be? Eventually this just gets ridiculous. And accidents will still keep happening.

Summer Frank’s death was a tragedy. Would making a new law make her death not “in vain”? Of course not. Maybe her death will influence some parents watching the news to be more careful with their own children, which could be good, but you can’t make her death “ok” through legislation. It will always be a pointless tragedy.

Would a new law have prevented this death? Probably not. It was already a condition of Mr Frank’s sharemilking contract that a fence needed to be put up (according to TV3 news). Mr Frank had agreed to live in that house without a childproof fence for now, as he had not required the fence before he moved in, nor had he put up a fence himself. It was a lower priority for both him and the farm owner than other farm work before Summer’s death, because most people don’t expect their children to drown. That is human nature. Now it is a high priority for him, but unfortunately it is too late. Mr Frank has said himself:

“I was going to fence these ponds but they were made bigger and there was piles of dirt put up around them. I wished now that I’d just done it.”

Even with a law against it, people will still willingly choose to live in situations that are not perfectly safe, because that is often practical. They will be busy with other farm work and intend to put up the fence to satisfy the legal requirement when they have time – just as in this situation. A new law would be unlikely to change things much. But it would be an extra regulatory burden for all farmers in the country, even those who have no children living in their houses.

Federated Farmers have spoken a lot of sense on this issue:

Federated Farmers president Peter Adamski said it was nigh-on impossible to fence all farm ponds.

“The cost is prohibitive,” he said.

“It’s just part of the rural environment – there is water everywhere. Water troughs, ponds, and kids just go for it.

“You have to give them their boundaries and keep an eye on them.”

As has the farm owner:

[Mr Mullan] says the focus has shifted from Summer’s death and on to who is to blame for the death.

“All they are doing is trying to blame everything else but themselves.

“The whole thing has shifted away from the little girl’s death and it’s now all about trying to make the Mullans pay.

“You ask any farmers. They will have caravans and safely fenced-in areas in their cow shed so they know where their kids are when they are milking.

“We had it for our kids. You are responsible for your own kids to keep them safe on the farm.”

You can’t expect the government to fix everything. Ultimately you must take personal responsibility for your own life. Sometimes that can be very hard to come to grips with, as in this tragic situation.

Please keep the Frank family in your prayers.

“Unfenced” pond actually fenced

The recent death of Summer Frank in a farm effluent pond is a tragedy. I do not wish to make light of that at all. However I must point out a little-known fact that most of the media has ignored (I certainly haven’t seen it on the TV news).

Mr Mullan [the farm owner] is upset that a seven-wire fence around the paddock containing the effluent pond has not been mentioned until now.

“It was human error why the kid drowned. The fence is there, the gate was open.”

He says the gate separating the pond from the house was left open most of the time and Summer and Brodie found their way to the pond.

Mr Frank’s perspective (Summer’s father):

Asked what he thought had happened to cause the tragedy, Mr Frank said “I don’t know, those kids are just so quick.

“The house is in a separate paddock from the ponds. I built the fence between the house and tanker track and ponds, a seven-wire fence with four hot wires, but it’s a dairy farm fence, the kids can get underneath.

Also note:

But it took only a couple of minutes for them to toddle nearly 200m to the pond.

So the house was nearly 200m from the effluent pond (a fact concealed by the careful angle of shots taken for TV3 news last night, which made it look like the pond was just at the end of the lawn). And they are separated by a seven-wire fence with four hot wires (ie a very good fence for a dairy farm, given that 1-2 hot wires is perfectly sufficient for dairy cows in most circumstances), and a track.

Note that although the children could get through the fence, children can get through any farm fence, even sheep netting – children can get anywhere if you take your eyes off them for a second or two. No fence is totally reliable, especially (as Mr Mullan alleges) if you leave the gate open.

Just as in Gaza, the true situation is not necessarily what the media initially portray, you need to wait for the full facts before making a judgement. And the facts emerging in this case are quite interesting.

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