Monday, July 12, 2004

Taking a rest

Have you ever had something important to say only to find that you can't find the right words? I've been trying to come up with an eloquent way of putting this but I haven't come up with anything so I'm just going to say it.

I'm giving Clear Blue Skies a rest.

There. I've said it, now. That wasn't so hard, was it?

I said, two weeks ago, that I was cutting back a bit. That I would still be posting, if more erratically than before. Well, I simply can't do it. Not being able to post every day is putting pressure on me to post when I can and I don't like that. It's not as if I don't have any content - I had planned to be currently filling my backblog with my exploits as I travelled from New Orleans to San Francisco at this time five years ago. That, and the imminent saga of me having to relearn how to drive, would have have given me enough material to last through most of the summer.

No, to cut a long story short, I'm not enjoying it any more. What I do manage to write, I don't like, but I can't get myself to write anything better. It's starting to depress me so I'm going to stop.

I'm not going to get rid of Clear Blue Skies completely - I may find that I want to start writing again in a few months. Ever the optimist, eh? And there's no way I'm going to quit blogland altogether. I will still be reading (and commenting on) a few of the blogs I really enjoy.

But, for now at least, I'm going to shelve the ideas I've got for future blogevents, put my never-ending quest for MBWLA points on hold and let my first blogday pass unnoticed.

Starting now, Dave is officially on hiatus. See you around.

Monday, July 05, 2004


Talking of changing the way we treat the environment, there's quite a lot of discussion going on about these proposals to introduce special lanes on some parts of motorways for the exclusive use of cars with more than one person in them. This is an effort to get people to travel to and from work together and, if it can be made to work, could tremendously improve conditions on our most congested roads during rush hour. If congestion is reduced, then the amount of harmful gases released into the atmosphere by car exhausts would also reduce, which would be a fantastic outcome.

Now, I'm not going to write anything about the potential benefits/problems with this scheme beyond what I've said above. Instead, I'm going to start from the statement 'Car-sharing is a good thing and could help to reduce congestion (and, by extension, emissions)' and ask you how we can encourage people to do it more.

Could you give some sort of tax break to people who share journeys to work? Would a car-sharing scheme that could put people who live and work in the same area in contact help? If so, would you do it locally or nationally? Could companies be persuaded to set up schemes somehow?

Discussion of these and any other ideas is welcomed.

The Year After Next?

L and I went to see The Day After Tomorrow on Saturday afternoon. If you haven't seen it yet then I suggest you do before it leaves the big screen. Some of the effects are very good but would lose a lot of their impact if viewed on your average widescreen telly.

I really enjoyed it, not because of the special effects or the storylines of the characters in it, but because of the simplicity of the theme and the message that goes along with it. Quite simply, if we do not act now we could face catastrophic climate change.

The film depicts a worst-case scenario, where the shift is so sudden that most of the northern hemisphere is covered by ice within a couple of weeks. Critics have pointed this out and talked about scaremongering and in doing so seem to have completely missed the point. Anything less dramatic would not make people think any differently about the possible effects of climate change.

We need to start believing that change of this sort of magnitude is possible, even likely, if we continue to abuse the environment as we do now. It may not happen anywhere near as quickly as in the film (it wouldn't have been so dramatic if it had happened over a couple of years) but the key point is that once it starts to change, there would be very little we could do to stop and the civilised world would change beyond recognition.

It is possible that it is already too late for us to do anything about it but if we don't try to change our treatment of the environment, on both large and small scales, and waste whatever chance we may have then we will only have ourselves to blame.