Autumn Migration

(or Fall, if you prefer)

Just a quick announcement to let everyone know, the website that used to host the Time’s Up! / A Matter of Scale is officially no more. The pages are still there if you have the full links, but it’s got too old and clunky to update or even keep maintained, so everything I could move has been moved, and all links have been tested and updated where necessary, so it’s all tickety-boo.

I’m sorry I could not migrate the full text of the book, but that would have meant adding a huge sub-menu and checking literally hundreds of links.

The official pages are now in the top-level menu:

TIME’S UP! is the page of the published book
A MATTER OF SCALE is the page of the online book
FURTHER READING has a book list and, eventually, an article list
PODCASTS links to all the original podcasts
MOVIES is a relinked page for relevant movies

Hope you enjoy visiting, and re-visiting the book.

Guest Essays – At Last A Page

Buried in the pages of Underminers are the words of many others, all of whom I respect and consider to be Underminers in their own special way.

From the very beginning, the book was meant to be a collaborative effort – something that somehow got lost when it went to print and which I have been remiss in not highlighting on the pages of this website. Now it changes; these wonderful people gave permission for their words to be re-printed and edited, and some even wrote especially for the book.

You can read more by going to the special page devoted to these essays, complete with anchor links directly to their words. Click HERE for the page, or follow the link at the top.

The Network is No More

Slightly heavy heart today, though considerably lighter shoulders; the Underminers Network – the discussion board, that is – is no more. I had a reminder from my domain provider today that network.underminers.org was due for renewal, which meant I had to make a decision: do I try and promote the Network more, or do I remove it? In fact I had made the decision a while ago. The lack of activity showed that people are unwilling to discuss undermining online, or at least in the dated forum format. There is lots going on elsewhere and, I would be willing to bet, a heck of a lot happening offline, a.k.a. The Real World.

And there was the matter of people trying to sell Nike shoes by registering and posting adverts.

So, just a short while ago, I went to the board to find that Zetaboards had decided to move everything over to Cloudflare (buggered if I know what this means IRL) killing off my domain redirection. In a fit of logic, I removed the subdomain, took off any links from other sites and deleted the board from Zetaboards. The Underminers Network is gone.

Long may people continue to undermine; I suspect something big is happening soon…

New Contact Page

Just a quick technical update to the Underminers web site – I have added a new contact page with a short biography and information about the potential for speaking engagements and suchlike. The page can be found via https://underminers.org/contact-invite/ or by using the menu at the top of the page. Unlike some writers, I don’t travel far, even by special engagement, but could be persuaded to Skype or speak over the telephone.

In fact I’m happy to speak to anyone who has interests similar to my own or is willing to be talked round. I have no interest in (a) trying to “convert” people or (b) helping businesses or governments “become greener”. Both are oxymorons, and I have better things to do with my time – like help my community become closer and stronger.

So, please get in touch if you wish. I don’t bite…unless you get on my wrong side.

Translations

I have gone through life with the sad knowledge that I will always be a monoglot. Languages, aside from my native tongue, do not come easy to me – I am trying my best to embrace Scots dialect, and have a sprinkling of French, but years of experiencing everyone around me absorb different languages with apparent ease (my younger child is a non-deaf user of British Sign Language, my wife can get by handily in German and French, and my brother-in-law is many-tongued) haven’t made my lack of proficiency any easier to bear. Then again, how many people in indigenous cultures would have chosen to speak a language alien to their common tongue? Moreso, language has, until very recently, been a means of protection against cultural dilution across the world, so I can claim some sort of moral position speaking only the language of my native land.

But at the moment, only speaking English doesn’t always help get messages across where they need to be heard. Therefore, I am hugely grateful to the Spanish correspondent who contacted me just two days ago, and has since delivered a perfect translation of the Introduction to Underminers. This is now on the relevant page, and is also going to be used to subtitle the Underminers video (as well as the English subtitles I’m going to add) as soon as I get the chance.

Anyone who fancies a similar challenge, in whatever language is welcome to contact me. I can’t pay you anything, but I can credit you and, of course, you will be doing a very important piece of work in defence of humanity and the wider natural environment.

The Odd Tweet Here And There

I’ve sort of embraced the world of the Twitterati. Ok, “embraced” is a relative term – I send about 4 or 5 tweets a day, all sitting at my computer (never mobile, I don’t have anything like a smartphone) and only ever when I think it’s worth it.

My publicity people asked me to set up a Twitter account so as to reach people who might not have heard about Underminers, but might like to – so I created the @UnderminersBook account, and it would be quite nice if, when people see anything resembling an act of Undermining, they can use the hashtag #underminers.

That is all. Try not to spend too much time online…

A New Earth Blog

After more than 6 years struggling with the horrible coding structure, advert frenzy and barrage of spam comments, I have finally had enough of Bravenet. As of now The Earth Blog is hosted on WordPress. For anyone who doesn’t know, I started The Earth Blog in 2006 as a place to put my thoughts, with an article called “A Call For Action, Please Read This”, which I still think is relevant:

Forget the views of the conservative environmentalist who tells us that all we have to do is change a few light bulbs and buy a more economical car and all will be well; to turn the climate around we are looking at a fundamental change in what we consider to be normal and acceptable levels of consumption.

If a billion people currently sit comfortably above the “poverty line” in the western world – a poverty line based on the acquisition of consumer goods – try imagining a further 2 billion people obtaining that level in the next 50 years. If climate change is a problem now, stacking this upon the ever increasing profligacy of the west is, by any reasonable calculation, going to lead to annihilation of one sort or another – catastrophic weather events causing mass deaths, global ecological shifts tipping the natural balance of life into a state that can no longer support us, positive feedback cycles pushing the climate into ever tighter loops of change or just the complete lack of oil, a substance that is so fundamental to our way of life that even this potentially positive outcome would cause hundreds of millions of deaths.

Any one of these will force an unsustainable (for humans) change in human activity at far more rapid a rate than the admittedly fast, but controlled and planned change that we currently need but which governments and especially the vested interests of commercial economic growth are refusing to look in the eye. Denial is the only response, denial and a wink to the acceptable conservative environmentalism which is just a way of making us feel better about ourselves whilst letting the problem slip like so much hot sand between our fingers.

Ok, maybe the idea of “planned change” altered between then and a few years later, but the point was clear – the fundamental issues weren’t being addressed, even (especially) by the Environmental Movement, and I had had enough. The Earth Blog turned out to be a place I could hone my writing and ideas, and was the gestation of, first, A Matter of Scale / Time’s Up! and then Underminers. So, I am determined to keep it alive and more accessible than ever, so people can understand where I, and an increasing number of people are coming from.

Using www.theearthblog.org (or clicking the link) will immediately take you there.

For reference, the blog address is http://originalearthblog.wordpress.com – it’s not ideal, but someone already used the better names, and The Earth Blog has been around for an awfully long time!

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