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if the experience of living downwind of a volcano is anything to go by, this is a terrible idea.

huge, by nature clumsy, techno-fixes should be left to sci-fi, imo.

kudos to nanne and gaianne for their pointing to the real issue: scaling back demand, thoroughly and fast.

this is a political problem, and when enough people are discomfited, bottom-up pressure from the public can change the future.

i fear waiting that long though, and am hoping against hope for an awakening of common sense and humility.

humility enters because i am so fed up with the sense of entitlement we in europe and america have to our 'lifestyles', which should be called 'deathstyles'.

we assume it's ok that 4/5ths of the world will never have a hundredth of the frivolous luxury we take for granted, and debate from that premise.

this is not to preach from some moral high horse, rather a cool(ish!)appraisal of the relative alienation our lifestyle comes packaged with.

solar panels, wifi and laptops are potentially brilliant global consolidators, and i wish for their spread, to foster connectivity (and collectivity).

i honour all the brilliance our cultures continue to offer the world, but  hopefully we can rein in our superiority complex, and especially act more respectfully to our neighbours.

for example the way putin's been treated by europe lately really makes us look callow and clueless.

sometimes i think the fact that america is so much worse at diplomacy lately. is letting europe seem genteely restrained in comparison.

we should not be excusing our own behaviour with this kind of relativism.

indeed we cannot afford to, and should realise that pronto.

out of the ashes of many failed empires, here in europe we are cobbling something special in world history together.

by reaching out the hand of friendship to poorer countries, we are building concordance, and investing in future conditions for lasting peace.

without getting too specific about ideology or the lack of it, there is a euro-model emerging, one that we could perhaps bless, but ONLY if we radically change our relationship with energy use.

art, culture, education, social frameworks are all to be proud of, but unless we leave the earth in a much more livable condition, they are all moot.

european women are reproducing 1.5 children, to 'break even', they need to produce 2.1, or there will be no support for the old folks.

italy's offering a one-off payment of €2,000 to have a child.

we are told it's good when affluent societies reduce their birth rate.

considering what it takes to raise a child, this is not even symbolic, unless of how little faith governments have in the worth of their future citizens.

perhaps if cities weren't so toxic, and the rural areas underserved, mothers would want to have more children.

perhaps if families were not being financially bled by the month to pay increasing utilities, they could afford to salt a little more away for their kids' future educations.

if there is another revolution, it won't be with guns.

it will be the streets and piazzas clogged with furious citizens waving sheaves of bills they can't pay!

bills asking for money that will be siphoned off to other countries to pollute more with.

and so it goes

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 12:17:15 PM EST

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