Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tainted Green

A friend of mine recently posted on his colorful and witty blog a little reflection about using vegetal oil instead of gasoil in diesel engines, which triggered some thoughts and lead to what you are currently reading.

Let me introduce you to the French ecologist political party named Les Verts. With the increasing environmental issues (lack of water, extreme weather events) and the energy crisis (need for alternate source of power), you could imagine that those guys would be booming.

Let me give you the big no-no: they are not. They are divided and wishy-washy, thus weak and useless. To be more accurate, they made the single biggest mistake an environmentalist party could make: they decided not to be politically neutral and took side for leftist parties. Therefore from truly green they turned pink, if not red.

This tragic mistake made ecology a left-side concern, when it should have been a truly independent and impartial business ; a third power with the mission of issuing warnings and suggesting new paths about how to run the country in an environment-friendly way.

I think that people are readier to pay attention to ecologists: everyone knows how harsh we scorch the Earth and how bad she gets mad at us ; everyone knows how our oil-based energy system is unsustainable both politically and ecologically ; everyone knows that it is time for a change unless we want to impotently watch the upcoming disaster.

Can tainted green be turned back to its original color?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Blue Oyster Wisdom

Airplanes make strangers of us all
Give us distance

Much too easily

Blue Oyster Cult, Mirrors, In Thee

Oh boy, what a summer! Airplanes in the news almost every day, and not for good reasons: the birds keep falling down, claiming the lives of hundred of passengers and crew members, leaving us with sadness and doubts.

Is flying so benign after all?

As a (currently grounded) pilot, my answer will be of course: no. Flying is a very involving activity, where the most critical part of the job (landing) is performed when the pilot is the most tired (after hours of flight) and where there is no easy way out like parking on the side of the road for a little break...

But, as a very distracted driver, famous for increasing the chaos level of highway traffic (dubbed as "D-Factor" by my friends), I will remind you that flying remains the safest way of transportation! The shocking thing about a plane crash is that it takes many lives at a time, while it will take more car crashes to reach the same death toll.

Anyway, this blog was not about travel safety, it was about another side effect of airplanes. Nowadays, you can work and meet people all around the world and then, just after you started to have feelings for them, you fly back home.

Your cherished ones will expatriate to some remote land where you will pay visit to them from time to time, but soon it will, again, be time to fly back home.

Home is known to be where your heart is, but, because of these airplanes, your heart will be in so many different locations, so where will your home be?

The heck to such hollow concepts as "global village", this hurts! Even BOC knew it and this was in good old 1979...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Land of Possibilities

I am just back from my usual summer trip to the US and I have to say that, more than ten years after I started to roam this country, I am still very impressed.

Not only by the awesome landscapes I had the opportunity to discover in Utah and Arizona, but also by the spirit of the people. Let me detail a little.

There are many places in the world that you would like be emptied of the locals prior visiting: yep, I am thinking of France! Just imagine France without the French! As far as I am concerned, this does not apply to the US: Americans are really interesting people to meet and discover how they live.

The main driver I have discovered in the different places I have visited and people I have met is that things are possible there.

Roads are too narrow and create the heck of traffic jams? Let's widen them, let's build new ones! How about car pool lanes to encourage car-sharing? Ever dreamt of drive-in banks? It is there. Ordering Wendy's while refilling the tank? Piece of cake... Want a new job in a field where you do not hold a diploma? Who cares? Work hard, perform and you're in!

This country is a place where will in action produces results in order to make things reality, not any land but a true land of possibilities.