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Sticks of wood and taking care of the planet.
I was going to reply to this in the Camping Equipment and all Clothing thread where it resides. But once I got going I decided that would be wrong so I offer my reply here instead. My ideas started and never stopped, so here goes.....
goodwoodweirdo shares info on this brilliant new stove.
The Biolite Stove
Yes, I like that a lot....... a very neat idea...... Thanks for sharing it.
But a BIG BUT......
You recharge your phone, ipod, GPS......
Using sticks of wood.......
BUT, WHERE do all the rare and precious metals and minerals come from that are needed to make your phone/ipod/GPS in the first place, and the twig-powered CHARGER? (Plus the bike's engine-management-computer and electronic ignition not to mention petroleum products so we won't mention them).
WHAT continent and WHICH countries?
WHAT happens to the people who are pushed off of their lands/out of their homes when the mining companies come?
WHAT happens to the LAND???
HOW MUCH do the local people earn who are "LUCKY" enough to WORK in the mines???
Is it REALLY better to use sticks of wood to recharge this stuff???? Yet more MINES are needed to make the charger - what DIFFERENCE does it make????
OR, better NOT to have all this stuff in the first place, like we didn't, not very long ago?????
I WISH I knew.....
I worry - is OVERLANDING, living in the BACKWOODS in a tent with all the latest electronic GIZMOS and HI-TECH equipment and personal transport, just ANOTHER manifestation of the rampant CONSUMERISM that seems, to me, to be destroying the planet where people live, some places faster than others????? (Yes, political corruption and greed, mainly in the west, makes that destruction even worse than need be but that's a whole other discussion).
I ask this as someone who worked a career in high-tech consumable products and services, did what little I could to make it accessible and affordable for everyone, and now look back to see the demands that have been created for more and yet more exotic materials that have to come out of someone's land. Not my land - yet. But those demands grow relentlessly at ever faster rates.
Where to now??
Here on the HUB I read of adventurers tackling the ever-changing situations of routes and access in central Africa. Unrest moving from area to area, politics in turmoil, changing the overlanding landscape all the time. Certain parts of Asia the same.
And yet, from the research I've done, most if not all the unrest in most of central Africa is caused by mining rights, appropriation of land by western interests, and the security of that land and those mines, to feed the very gizmos and services that us travellers carry around with us while crossing the continent.
Where to now??
To my Horlicks - I need some......
TTR250 - London to Cape Town
The smiling students laugh and joke.
Their skinny jeans
with the fat of freedom.
Lizard green t shirts
scream the slogan.
STOP LAND GRABS NOW.
And they hand out leaflets
land is grabbed.
And they seal off the city square
and confused zeal.
as it happens.
Are where companies take land from local farmers and push them off it
because subsistence farmers make little profit.
With leaflets about this happening
they patrol their little bit of land
dressed Nike and Burberry,
mobile phones in hand.
Their leaflet has a bar code on it,
to scan in to your blackberry
and they continue to stroll
and sing their little sonnet.
STOP LAND GRABS NOW.
As their conga line of high held banners
wanders in and out the picket
if they wonder in what manner
they got their shiny toys and gadgets;
Labour doesn’t put itself to work.
Land doesn’t volunteer
its very minerals and sand.
And they continue their giggling chanting.
Under the Union Jack over the city square
an old mans cock in the limpid air.
Athletes dance and pop stars scream
on the twenty foot screen
flashing behind their incanting.
I wonder if the children of the LRA
will see the heroes of 2012
above the sights of their rusting rifles.
Plastic tape can’t hold back the future.
A conga never changed the world.
People lift the boundary and walk on by.
The students don’t care,
they’ve done their bit.
While in the dust
Ugandan children die.
Underneath the CocaCola sign stands a man.
In his suit of silken armour.
Idiot lit deep sea fish neon
illuminates his upheld shield
of tailormade sweatshop ignorance,
and he speaks on a new phone.
Like his old one.
While a line drew through him
through our rotting core
skewers a black heart, caged in the fishbone ribs
of a child picking through shit for corn.
A woman weighs out fruit
one step closer to her death.
A housewife decides pink is so much more her
as a teenage conscript grips his bloodied knife grinning
severed genitals held aloft, his trophy
and a homemaker takes her purchases to the till.
A dog toy, though he’d be ecstatic with a stick.
A set of tablemats,
to match the new chairs.
A decoupage sylvan scene,
a plastic doorwedge, shaped like a mouse.
all the way from China.
A Chinese mouse no less.
and a woman cries raped in the dark
for her murdered husband and son
an Iraqi boy bleeds
while shelves are stacked
with things that noone needs.
Hard hats holding men anchor horizons with steel and glass
to hold more people
and have space
If they find the time,
after saving for Chinese mice
and mobile upgrades
and paying debt on money they never borrowed
and a Kenyan man cries as his skinny cows die in the dust.
If something can be made into a commodity, marketed and made a profit out of - it probably will be.
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