Philobiblon: Monday morning good news

Monday, March 06, 2006

Monday morning good news

It is so easy to keep reporting bad news on the environment, but I also look out for the good, like an entire village going green ...

In gently rolling countryside, not far from a tranquil lake, Chew Magna is the quintessential Somerset village. It has a well-kept cricket pitch, tidy gardens, three churches, two pubs and a row of quaint shops. A picturesque stream meanders by ancient houses - some of them mentioned in The Domesday Book - and a down-at-heel watermill. You could be forgiven for believing that Chew Magna was just another quiet corner of conservative rural England. But a flier stuck to a telegraph pole tells a different story. "Find out everything you've always wanted to know about domestic solar water-heating," it says, advertising a village talk. "Invest in energy-saving home improvements, save more money and significantly reduce your carbon dioxide emissions". The meeting is the latest in a string of discussions, proposals and projects that are rapidly turning Chew Magna into one of the greenest places in the UK.

And travel guides will carry warnings about "casual flying". There is an obvious contradiction there, but still it is a step in the right direction. And it is obviously impossible, and undesirable, to stop all air travel, which does let - at its best - people learn about other cultures, communicate with each other, and develop and grow.

Finally, peers might today cut the guts out of the government's ID scheme, by breaking the link with passports.
... expected to vote today to reject the Government's proposals obliging everyone renewing their passports to register on the database that will underpin the ID card scheme. ...
Most Tories and many crossbench peers are expected to support a move by Lord Phillips of Sudbury, a Liberal Democrat peer, to defeat the passport plan.
Lord Phillips said: "The ID cards scheme is grandiose and potentially dangerous. It has not been thought through and has not been properly costed.
"If it becomes compulsory for everyone obtaining or renewing a passport to join the ID cards register, it will further break down trust between the citizen and the state."

As I've said before, the world is becoming a funny place when you have to depend on Tories to defend civil liberties against an authoritarian Labour government. The Left/Right classification really has become meaningless.


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