Monday, 6 December 2010

Sunday 5th December 10

Well, a good day, relaxing but got stuff done.  I enjoyed Country Tracks and then spent some time outside, visited Country Fresh and Freshways, and cleared a bit of compacted snow which was preventing the back gate closing. I helped make some soup.  I kept the stoves going, washed up, dried pineapple, kiwi and red pepper.

In the evening I became aware of an event which is due to take place on Thursday, an anti-tuition fees rise protest in York.  I support this 'cause' as I'd prefer that the Government got the billions it needs to deal with the deficit by getting the mega rich to pay their taxes properly.  However, the event centres around a helium balloon launch, and I believe that this is akin to littering.  The Marine Conservation Society has asked event organisers to not release balloons, as some of them end up in the sea, looking very similar to jellyfish... favourite prey of turtles, and balloons have been found in dead marine mammals, fish and birds.  So I spent quite a while contacting people, including the organiser, Councillor James Alexander, but he said he was going to do the balloon launch, and seemed to me to care more about the short-lived spectacle than the effect on the environment and wildlife.  I believe that the protest would be just as colourful and effective without letting the balloons go... and when they burst, the latex can easily be composted, recycled safely, rather than littering our oceans.

So I've organised a protest, and got busy contacting his colleagues, attendees of his protest, and the Press.  Even if the planned balloon launch goes ahead, the subject of marine pollution will be raised and maybe other event organisers will be less likely to get involved in this stupid form of littering. 

So, a very busy evening, wondering what the right thing to do is.  I've had some degree of support, but will have to do more lobbying tomorrow.

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