Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Invading the icebox

Photo: http://www.synthstuff.com/

The above picture is taken from the USS Honolulu, a Los Angeles Class, Fast Attack Submarine. The pictures reportedly were taken approximately 280 miles from the North Pole. This is another example of human insistence on exploring all the uninhabitable parts of our planet. This is possible thanks to incredible technologies. Many people are hoping that technologies will also provide solutions to our increasing energy and food supply problems. But as some technologies get us into trouble with our environment (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/climate/) it is hoped others will save us. Are we running simply to stand still?

For a more philosophical debate on the impacts of technology read the lecture by Professor David Newland of Cambridge University, 'Technology-saviour or servant?' at http://www2.eng.cam.ac.uk/~den/CHRIST_AND_THE_COSMOS.pdf .

Sunday, January 29, 2006

What price for oil?

Photo: IsraelAloja


It has been reported by Reuters Thursday that the Nigerian army has moved extra troops into the Niger Delta to try and counter recent attacks by militia on foreign oil companies. The most recent was on the headquarters of Italian oil company Agip where nine locals were killed. A five week campaign by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has included sabotage and kidnapping, helping to push oil prices to a four month high.

Such militia have many reasons for doing what they do. Overall, they are tired of having their people walked over by their government and foreigners, all for sake of oil. One tribe that is affected by oil exploration within the delta are the Urhobo people. There is plenty of information about their culture and history at http://www.waado.org/Contents.html . Here you can find their 'environment' link, which documents various environmental disasters caused by oil exploration and a reckless disregard for the local peoples.

As we fill up at the local petrol/gas station we need to be far more aware of how our oil purchase is affecting other peoples and their environments. We are not innocent.