Is it time to rethink Britain’s green belt? The Guardian thinks so.

There’s a really detailed article in today’s Guardian (or is it Observer since it’s a Sunday?) – discussing whether we should reduce the green belt to enable well-planned development and housing nearer cities.

 England’s green belts. Graphic by Pete Guest for the Observer New ReviewIt’s interesting to just look at the size of the green belt visually (or belts, since it surrounds many cities, not just London). London’s is the most non-sensical, as it covers a large proportion of the home counties. It’s clear it needs updating.

On the positive side, it has kept a lot of the countryside near the cities green – but what has been the cost of this? It’s generated a good proportion of the millions of commuters that travel into London (and other cities) every day. It’s also kept house prices high as well as contributing to the smallest homes in Europe, as house developers try to fit as many dwellings into the remaining space as they can.

Read the article and consider the real price of opposing that housing development round the corner.

Is it time to rethink Britain’s green belt? | Politics | The Guardian

Also, if you want to see some commuting eye-candy, have a look at this fascinating visualisation of travel in and out of London over one day in 2013:


We need a pollution revolution – Chain Reaction (1996)

We’re running out of time.
We have polluted and peopled this planet to the brink of extinction.
We are destroying our world at a suicidal pace.
We need a pollution revolution.

And it’s not going to be easy because the world is addicted to petroleum.
We have limited resources and we go to war to protect them.
We need a new technology and this technology can’t be sold.
It must be given away to everyone.

We are in sight of a dream.
There is a solution.
The answer is all around us… right here.
Water. H2O.

– Dr. Alistair Barkley (played by Nicholas Rudall)

I was talking about this film recently whilst discussing electric cars and sci-fi with a colleague – it made me want to watch it again.

The film is almost 20 years old, but the topic of global warming and chasing the silver bullet of nuclear fusion is still intangibly far away from our grasp. The quote remains the dream that many are waiting to fix the worlds energy problems, rather than the incremental fixes I think we’re resigned to.

MV5BMTU5NTQ2NTUzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDg1OTgxMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_AL_Back to the film anyway – there are some solid but predicable performances from Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman and a manhunt around a frozen Chicago reminiscent of The Fugitive (which isn’t surprising as Andrew Davis directed both films).

It makes me daydream about going to the US in the winter (possibly for a spot of skiing) rather than try to make sense of the plot.

Whilst the winter skiing holidays are a few years off, at least I can drive an electric car today.


Website, we need to talk

Dear website,
We’ve been together for so long, but I need a change. A fresh view. A new perspective.

You see, when you’ve been working long hours like me, commuting most days, spending time with your family – there isn’t enough time in the day to keep you up-to-date and relevant.

I’ve always wanted a simple place for people to follow me if they are interested in me, what I do and my interests for a while now. I’ve even flirted with other platforms – sometimes Twitter, occasionally Facebook (never Google+, except as a great cross-posting platform) – but it should be my own website. The burden of wanting everything to be ‘just right’ on my website has held me back.

Putting my thoughts about work on here has been difficult (always a tightrope to balance) but I feel I can now talk about my work life and personal life together. Although don’t ask me when I’m going to make it to the gym and lose some weight; or learn not to check my work email in the evenings for that matter.

So ironically, I’ve decided to go back to an old friend (WordPress and a lovely theme, Fictive). It’s not you Statamic – it’s me.
You see, no-one really cares if you’ve hand-coded your website anymore. We’re all time-poor, digital natives that migrate from one platform to another without a real concern for who builds what nowadays.

Hopefully you’ll understand – and people will remember where to find me again. Right here.