Tag Archives: china

Art of Brinkmanship

Brinkmanship is best avoided unless you are prepared to go all the way.

A small event can lead lead to a chain of larger consequences.

A small event can lead to a chain of larger consequences.

The thing about nature is that it displays all the warning signals to tell you to keep away as an energy conservation strategy, but will use the nuclear option of biting or stinging you if you ignore the signals.  Human beings however play to different rules, often based on the idea of playing chicken, as in two cars speeding towards each other, who will chicken out and leave the road first?

I play a different game to humanity, I will play the way nature plays, I will bite or sting if the warning signals are ignored, it makes me a dangerous opponent to play chicken with.  A council played chicken with a disabled person who it discriminated against a few years ago, they miscalculated thinking the disabled person had no funds to finance the court case, their brinkmanship backfired when I secretly underwrote the court case for the disabled person in which the council humiliatingly lost.

North Korea is in recent weeks playing chicken.  For many North Korea is like the boy who cries wolf, many, especially in South Korea ignore the daily threats of North Korea with indifference, a boy who cried wolf too many times.  I am unsure at this moment which direction the events in North Korea are turning.  In political terms the ruler of North Korea is an impulsive boy who recently it is claimed survived an assassination attempt.  South Korea makes it clear they will hit back if North Korea hits them.  USA supports South Korea with a tough in your face display of political rhetoric and military power.  China is now on high alert with their military massing on the Korean borders.  North Korea have in two weeks played a fast and high stakes game that has caught the world’s attention.  On the back of this North Korea is playing a high stakes game in a time critical window with planting season about to start when their soldiers need to return to the fields or risk starvation, with 30 days of fuel for a war, and a no-win situation in a might-is-right fight with USA and allies.

A hundred years ago a Serbian activist assassinated a nation’s leader, a supposedly small event that resulted in an equally insignificant invasion of Serbia.  These small events triggered the First World War that killed millions and destroyed five empires.  North Korea in world terms is insignificant, its posturings eccentric political tantrums, however lurking in the shadows is a larger potential to draw in USA and China into direct conflict with each other, which would have implications for everyone.

Global weather turns hostile

2013 likely will be worse than 2012 for extremes of weather.

Two glowing eyes in the clouds promises a harsh global experience in 2013.

Two glowing eyes in the clouds promises a harsh global weather experience in 2013.

A few days ago I was bouncing around Colchester happy as a bee as the mild spring brought pleasant weather after the floods of rain during December.  The winter in Britain depresses me for its cold and darkness, so I have been liking the mild temperatures this winter, with few frosts, tons of rain and one day of snow.

The blossoms are on the trees; foraging bees were out gathering food; the birds singing their hearts out, creating their territories and finding a mate; the first flowers of spring, including snowdrops were blooming.  At the back of my mind I warned myself to be wary of my optimism, for the British weather is a temperamental animal, which can turn nasty in an instant.  Today temperatures dropped more than ten degrees Celsius on the previous day, something that has an impact of a sledgehammer on the human body, which dislikes sudden temperature changes.  The savage frosts were back and a warning of snow was being made all over the internet.  Damn!

The observant can over time spot trends, which includes weather.  The news of the first ten days of 2013 is grim.  The Middle East has been hammered by the worst storms in ten years, heavy rains and snow; a sense of disbelief that Jerusalem is at a standstill due to heavy snowfall.  In the northern provinces of China winter fell like a hungry beast trapping more than a thousand ships in sea ice, and plunging temperatures deep below freezing point.  In the USA, suffering the continuing drought, winter storms dumped tons of snow on suffering Americans.  New Zealand is in drought, their rivers at the lowest point in years.  Record killer heat waves in Australia and Tasmania resulted in vast wild fires that destroyed homes, took lives and wiped out large swathes of forest and innumerable numbers of wildlife.  Distressed whales that usually visit in summer appeared in winter in Canada, and are a cause of concern being trapped under ice with a diminishing gap in the ice providing them with air.

My prediction is that the weather in 2013 is going to give humanity a worse kicking than it did in 2012.


Sustainability Action 10: I signed up to a sustainability seminar in Colchester.

Knowledge is power, for knowledge provides the keys to open doors to success.  My progress to be a sustainable individual is hampered by the limits on my knowledge; it is through education that I can increase my knowledge, thus to be a better sustainable individual.  I today signed up to a one day seminar on sustainability at Essex University in Colchester for next week.

I shall learn about how to involve other people in a cooperative atmosphere to design and follow a sustainable process that benefits society, business and the environment.  Currently the world follows unsustainable processes that will lead to human extinction; those processes need to be changed, and it requires all individuals to make those changes together if humanity is to survive.