Mixed bag

Deforestation. A terrible thing for many reasons. I have a little bit of forest here and I plan to keep it. I like trees. Especially trees that grow things I can eat. I don’t hug them, it makes them self conscious and embarrassed and the brambles laugh at them. Gooseberry bushes don’t like to be hugged. Try it and you’ll soon get the idea.

But… the ones who wail about deforestation are the same ones who want to reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere. It’s already a fraction of one percent of the atmosphere. Bill ‘I see the world through Windows’ Gates once claimed he wanted to reduce atmospheric CO2 to zero. Which would make current deforestation about as damaging as mowing your lawn.

Okay, cutting down trees is bad but the UK was once all forest. All the way, top to bottom and side to side. It would have been pretty but where do you put, say, Manchester? We have to clear a bit of space to live in. There’s a lot of world for the trees. There are bits we haven’t explored yet.

Also, if you really want the whole world to be vegetarian you need a lot of fields for crops, so goodbye forests. All of them. Goodbye all the wildlife in those forests. Exterminate the cows and sheep and pigs and rabbits and foxes and anything that might interfere with the Pure Veggie World.  Is global vegetarianism green or a mad ideology? Oh, I’ll let you decide. Meanwhile I’ll set out my plan for a vegan restaurant. We keep them out the back, choose the one you want and we’ll spit-roast him for you.

Plants use CO2 and sunlight to make sugars and in the process they throw out oxygen as a waste product. Yes, the stuff we depend on for breathing is actually plant shit. That should really give us our place in the scheme of life. We might think we are the top of the food chain but as far as the trees are concerned, we are shit eaters. Which is why they get so embarrassed if we hug them.

The other side of it is the sugars. Our brains especially, as well as our entire metabolism, runs on sugar. Specifically, glucose. There are many other sugars, but glucose is the one that we mainly use. Plants make it. Ruminants like cows and sheep get none from their diet, the bacteria and protozoa in the rumen make fatty acids that their liver then turns into glucose. Humans and other non-ruminants get the sugar direct from their diet.

No CO2, no plants. No plants, no oxygen and no sugar, Killing the food chain at its source. They really want to do that, you know.

We have two hormones regulating our blood sugar. Insulin and glucagon. When we’ve had enough to eat, the balance of those hormones tells us ‘enough’.

If you replace sugar with something that tastes sweet but isn’t sugar, those hormones ignore it. Stuff yourself with calories sweetened with artificial sweetener and your hormone system is ignoring the fake. It’s waiting for the real sugar. As far as it’s concerned you’re still hungry.

It’s not sugar that’s causing obesity. It’s the replacements. The fake sweetness. It makes us eat more than we would if the food had real sugar in it. Government response? Obviously we have to reduce sugar and use more fake sweeteners because the sweetener companies are paying the politicians to say it. Then shout at fat people. That keeps the anti-sugar mob in easy money for all time.

Just like the anti-smoking mob. They are currently trying to claim that steam is deadly so we don’t all switch to vaping. If we did, all at once, the tax take would go through the floor. Then they’d have to get a real job in which they actually do something. That’s way beyond their abilities.

In the UK, a few months ago I could get a pack of cheap and legal cigarettes for £5.99. Now there is no pack priced below £7.24. However, I have ordered tubing baccy which will make me cigs at a rate of about £3.50 for 20. The tubes are in the pound shops at £1 for 200 and the cig loading machines (Bull Brand) are likewise £1 each. And I have Electrofags too.

If you like the fancy smokes, they have those too.

Well, it could all change soon. Our departure from the EU is set to happen on March 29th. Coincidentally, the date my parents arrive for a week long visit. I will be in enforced sociability for the most significant event in my lifetime. Typical!

Maybe, one day, our government will be real again. Maybe, one day, British common sense will return.

I hope I live to see it.

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11 thoughts on “Mixed bag

  1. I do hope the gov, once we have left the EU, scraps VAT and comes up with a more affordable and lower (much lower) sales tax as such. Fags are far too expensive and so I expect smokers who can, will buy illegal imports. When will governments learn about supply and demand and that over taxing people is not only wrong but counter productive? My new brewery is going well and sales are increasing. great feedback. My beer at the Booze on the Ouse festival last week was the first to sell out! Goat Tosser. If you ever see it, drink it. ABV 4.4 and very more-ish.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “we’ll spit-roast him for you”. Erm…

    I do wonder why people think the nanny state will get better once we leave the EU. Our own government hates fags, booze, fat, salt, whatever, because they have their own little armies paid by the taxpayer to tell them to hate all that. The opposition parties (except UKIP) are the same.
    No, we’re quite capable of demonising sections of society that don’t meet the standard, without the EUs help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does isolate our Puritans from the rest of Europe. They don’t have the multi-nation clout any more.

      However, that could go either way. Ours are probably the shittiest ones so maybe Europe will be glad to see the back of them, and things here will get worse while European life gets better.

      Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Charles I and his rampant taxation and profligate spending, and how that turned out in the end 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Once they get cut off from the EU, they will probably enter a frenzied desperation and push for any and all things they can think of. Once Brexit is in place and we are cut off from EU nannying, the puritans will plug that as a coming national disaster in which we’re all going to die prematurely of stuff

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  3. It may have been covered in trees top to bottom at one stage, but the glaciers knackered the tree cover (and huge amounts of soil) in large parts of Scotland and trees never managed to get a grip on the high mountains.

    Then we had this great idea of building ships out of wood. Not just your coastal fishing boat, also them thar men o’ war – and that decimated the tree cover. Also they were always real keen to fell the tallest trees they could find for the the masts, but they didn’t take too much care where those landed (so pulping lots of little ones when they fell). You’ll probably be able to guess how long those masts lasted because a half decent storm would spit them, and in war it was the place the gunners were told to hit first, so in a war situation it was wholesale clearances of mature trees.

    So it wasn’t all about farming and towns and such. Most maybe, but helped enormously by the shipbuilders, our navy and our merchant navy.

    True story about this here university. The Oak beams in their ceiling had rotted out and the authorities had no clue how to replace them. Their gardener explained that when they cut down the trees to make the ceiling the university planted a grove of Oak trees for exactly that purpose!

    http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/oak-beams-new-college-oxford

    Now that’s what I call planning for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes, there are huge tracts of the UK that now grow nothing but grass. Not just Scotland either. It’s why turning the country vegetarian would be a disaster – grass feeds sheep and cows but turning those lands to arable is pointless. Nothing but grass grows there.

      Yeah, I had forgotten all the ships. Masts and keels needed very big trees. Half the UK’s forests are probably at the bottom of the ocean now…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I was told that most of the Greek Islands were once tree covered, but the Ancient Greeks chopped them all down to build triremes and such. Once the trees were gone, the rain washed all the topsoil into the sea. Which is why most Greek islands are dessicated lumps of rock with almost no vegetation.

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