They sat there, refusing to make eye contact, and spent most of their precious time rubbishing each others’ methods and ideologies.
But of course the reality is that Godzilla is just outside the playground, and we actually need both of them, and just about everybody else, to grow enough food in a world where population is booming, the soil is more and more depleted, and there’s no more oil to fertilise it.
The Soil Association has plenty of good ideas, but so do scientists – though it doesn’t help when they start bandying about words like (this apparently means however that we call all stop worrying about GM, which in fashion terms appears to be totally last year)
The truth about science is that the good ones are like – the ants that forage on the forest floor, camouflaged by their brown coats, quietly scavenging and saving and storing and having small good ideas, while the Siberian tigers and polar bears crash around melodramatically commiting suicide. In fact, we can do without the tigers and bears a lot more easily than the ants and earwigs. So this shock column is dedicated to the people with the unglamorous good ideas that might just save us all.
Or the (I think, unlike the Meret Oppenheim teacup, it wears the hairs on the inside) that saves energy using tiny filaments to disperse the heat into the water. There are people making car lubricants from – non toxic, and disappears harmlessly when disposed of, unless you recycle it to fry your chips.
There’s that needs 80% less energy to produce and cuts CO2 output by 90%, a powered by the heat from a cooking fire (so when is solar powered aircon going to arrive?, and a that uses a tiny fraction of the normal amount of water and energy, and leaves clothes dryer too.
Cooking, building, washing and kettles are everywhere. Making them work better really makes a difference. But it’s not stuff you can do by launching a website and recruiting celebrities, or even opening a It took scientists at Leeds University thirty years to come up with that. Think of it! They started in 1979, when most of use hadn’t even got into greed and consumerism, let alone out the other side. It needs long sight, consistent backing, and protection from the idiocies of fashion and political ambition.
So I might not personally make a bee line for an on ‘Influence on Wound Dressing Design – A Developer’s Perspective’ (thanks, Dr Bill Pigg from Johnson and Johnson Wound Management) but I sure am grateful that other people did.
On the other hand, science fertilized by massive military funding, unbridled by public scrutiny and well-aimed ridicule, can go seriously awry. What is the US Army’s response to the depletion of its fishing grounds – ie, the fact that there just don’t seem to be so many of the darned critters around as they should be? Do they lay off tuna burgers for a while and concentrate on replenishing the stocks? No, they spend millions of dollars training the few remaining fish to so they can be aggregated and scooped up more effectively.
There you go, Mr Obama. A useful place to start cutting the deficit, perhaps?