28 Dec 2008

Welcome Carnival goers!

Yes a very warm welcome to Carnival bloggers to this blog from Stroud in the Cotswolds, England - it was some 15 months ago I enrolled with the Carnival of the Green - which is basically a weekly summary of the green blogosphere hosted by a different green blog each week. Last week’s edition was hosted by Lighter Footstep next week it will be from the US with The Tao of Change.

Anyhow it is now my turn to host the Carnival - the 160th edition - and I am in bed with a particularly nasty dose of flu...indeed all around seem to have the flu and even the entire green blogosphere maybe struck down or in some post-Christmas slump as uncharacteristically not a single Carnival email has arrived recommending a submission to this blog. Ah well it is all up to me and I hope to introduce a few new blogs of interest and apologise for missing the many great posts that I may well have included had I been feeling more well....

First up is a post of my own, here on Ruscombe Green: an appeal for more 'Nature Playgrounds' rather than the standardised sterile play equipment which is so regular and safe that some now claim it doesn't help children develop the skills they need. Maybe we can't restore the ‘free-range childhoods’ enjoyed by earlier generations, but we can at least push for more 'Nature Playgrounds' with mounds, ditches, logs, boulders and more - that perhaps unsurprisingly are also more popular with children.

Photos: local view from Ruscombe and below taken just before Christmas in Standish Woods

What next? Well I had thought there might be a few predictions for 2009 but we are perhaps a little early - however Casaubon's Book already has her predictions - all the more worrying reading as her analysis of her 2008 predictions shows she was pretty spot on. It looks like things will be getting harder - and for more insight into the Credit Crunch browse fellow Stroud blogger Gaian Economics for a much-needed and mostly easy to understand green fun look at economics. And while we are on this, if you are after part of the solution then read more on the Green New Deal which seems to have been covered on most green political blogs in recent months - Rupert's Read spells out the Green party position while more details can be found at the nef triple crunch blog.

Cartoon: one of my favorites from local artist Russ who has kindly submitted various topical cartoons throughout the last year - a big thanks!

The Greenpeace blog (which is alot more than just reports of what they get up to) has a piece about the direct action they have been taking in Indonesia to stop the palm oil companies burning the rainforests. While Barkingside 21 looks more at what is direct action - for me it is clear that peaceful direct actions when other routes are blocked are crucial - indeed even Al Gore has called for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and storage. But hey that carbon capture is a dangerous distraction - Governments and businesses need to reduce their emissions not search for excuses to keep burning coal.

Before finishing with a new years resolution here are a few more blogs I spotted:

Another Green World covers the death of the extraordinary Harold Pinter.

Details of the campaign in the US to Save Handmade Toys comes from Miss Malaprop.

And don't miss Eco Joe's look at the Thai temple made out of recycled glass bottles?

And Fake Plastic Fish visits the world's 'greenest museum'.

Gloucestershire blog My Zero Waste covers a families journey to cutting their waste - all the more topical at this time of year.

Mabingogiblog looks at the shocking events in Gaza.

My Tiny Plot has 10 jobs for the garden in December - none of which I've managed yet but hopefully if this sunny weather holds and my flu improves...

Update 8pm (GMT): some late submissions to the Carnival for this week just in:

- Veggie Revolution discusses the great conservation value of the world's annual Christmas Bird Count.
- The Digerati Life with their latest tips to live more frugally.
- Fake Plastic Fish is giving away Skoy cloths as a green alternative to other sponges, cloths, and paper towels.

So a New Years resolution? Well the blogs are pretty empty on this so here's one of my own...the challenges ahead are scary. Indeed, one could argue that if you don’t find them scary, you haven’t really understood them. Yet we cannot let fear paralyse or stop us from taking actions. We need to find room to digest the realities and also to see that despite the horrors there are signs of hope. Doom scenarios and scaring people will not bring about the changes we need. Let us share more of the optimism and enthusiasm for the many ways that are making a difference. We have already done very hard things - often the hardest part is to convince ourselves of the possibilities. As Barbara Kingsolver said: "If you run out of hope at the end of the day, rise in the morning and put it on again with your shoes."

So my resolution? Acknowledge the realities and fear but even more trust the possibilities for change - and spend more time in the garden.

Wishing all the seasons greetings as the days start to get longer here - and all the very best for 2009. Thanks for your visit.


Anonymous said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the mention of our blog. I really must keep up with the carnival of the Green; I miss the submissions date virtually every month!

I hope you are feeling better and I just wanted to say that I love your last couple of paragraphs. Your words shot straight into my heart with a great resonance of your thoughts on this issue.

enjoy the garden :)

Rae (Mrs Green)

Anonymous said...

Hi Philip
Well done on hosting the carnival and sorry you're not feeling too well - hope you feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

You've done a great job in spite of feeling terrible. Thanks! I recommend hot water and lots of it! Got me through pneumonia this year in record time.