Book cover

Book cover
There are some 'clues' if you wish to find them!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Alpha to Omega: a time of change

At the end of my last post, I briefly referred to the fact that the rich and powerful - according to recent research - tend to be more greedy and less caring than the rest of the population. This is not some quick value judgement, it's the result of six years work. Through various experiments, some of them quite mundane, the researcher concluded they are not a particularly nice group.

The truth is, they are totally out of touch with the lives and problems of the rest of us. Now maybe it didn't need six years of methodical research to come to this conclusion - but at least the 'haves' cannot now accuse people of being jealous, biased, ill-informed or whatever stock phrases they roll out when faced with criticism. This is objective research.

"I know what it's like to lose your job", says the disgraced multi-millionaire banker or the politician who loses an election. Oh no you don't! Technically, maybe; but not the harsh reality. Having to go cap in hand for benefits; scrimping and saving just to be able to pay for the weekly shopping; wondering if you car breaks down whether you will be able to afford the repairs - and the list goes on.

And apparently it's not just those who are firmly entrenched at the top. The children born to the rich or famous, generally develop a view of themselves as being 'special'. They get access to education and jobs either because of money, connections or both. They may also believe they can lie, cheat or break the law; in the knowledge that money or influence will bail them out if they get caught. Drug and alcohol abuse are nothing to them; the money is there time after time to send them to an expensive clinic. The parents of a child from a poor family, can only hope, pray or vainly try to persuade.

Those, however, who have 'risen through the ranks', so to speak, also have a tendency to become greedy and less caring. The tough years seem to be soon forgotten, or at least lodged away in a safe place. Their new wealth or status creates a barrier that stops them from truly understanding (or perhaps even caring about) those who are less fortunate.

Going to a 'posh charity do' or donating money which may be tax deductible anyway, is their salve. And being seen to do it or getting your publicist to get media coverage, just adds to your status. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all this philanthropy was anonymous; even better if the giver genuinely had to forego something ( a second or third home, annual holiday, their prized sports car etc) or sell a precious possession in order to make the gift or donation.

The theme of a number of my posts and running through Alpha to Omega is change. Not only that which is overdue, but that which is inevitable. Change that is not only to do with our planet, but with our way of life.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Heading towards 2013

Those of you who have already read Alpha to Omega (or even taken note of the cover) will know that 2013 figures largely. You will also know, if you read these posts, that I have previously referred to a 'tipping point'. This term has often been used in the past in respect of climate change; I see it in a wider context - of which climate change is just one part.

Since completing Alpha to Omega last year, I have become increasingly aware of the pace of change beginning to quicken. If you don't believe me, sit down quietly for 10 minutes with pencil and paper and start to make your own list of significant issues that have already or are likely to bring about major changes in the near future. I'll give you a few of my own, just for starters. Even if they at first seem to be focussed on the UK, I would argue that the ramifications extend well beyond these shores or similar events can be found worldwide.

Each quarter seems to bring some new major misdemeanour to light in the banking world; resulting in massive fines and management resignations. There are plenty more 'surpises' in the pipeline! This effects everyone and massive restructuring is inevitable. In the UK, the roots of the problem can be traced back to the 1970s and the chickens are now coming home to roost.

The Eurozone crisis (arising out of deception and lies) sends a chill through the global economy. Even China (the powerhouse of the world economy in the past few years) is beginning to feel the effects. There are obvious consequences, but it is the less obvious - such as civil unrest - that we should really take notice of.

Destabilisation of countries, through uprisings and civil wars, also brings its own problems. While we might cheer heartily for those who have or will defeat oppressive regimes, we also have to recognise that it creates its own problems. What, for example, will happen to Syria's substatial stocks of chemical weapons? These are not largely mythical (as with Iraq), they are universally known to exist. As happened with the old soviet bloc countries, sudden change creates opportunities for weapons of mass destruction to fall into the wrong hands. As yet, few have been used; but that will change.

My final one for this 'starter' list is the environment. Those of us living in the UK have been experiencing prolonged spells of wet weather in recent months, as a consequence of the jet stream being further south than is usual. We also discovered this week that the oceans are continuing to warm up. We can, of course, argue about the causes of this, but the consequences are inevitable. Firstly, water evaporates faster from the oceans, resulting in more rain. Where it falls, will depend on what is happening to the 'conveyors' that move our weather around. Warmer waters also mean ice thaws more rapidly. That melting ice upsets the salinity of the oceans, which in turns influences the currents which circulate around the globe. In the UK, for example, that would impact on the Gulf Stream; which has traditionally helped to give us a mild and temperate climate.

And finally, an extended piece of research has come to the conclusion that the rich and powerful (bankers, politicians and other 'leaders') tend to be more greedy and less caring than the rest of the population. That could explain quite a lot, don't you think? It's a topic I may come back to.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Alpha to Omega review on BookLore

A bit earlier in the week, I discovered a new review by a reader of Alpha to Omega. Unless you know they are going to happen, you often only stumble upon them by chance. This one is on a book review site called BookLore. If anyone is interested in reading it, the site is
The review is by someone named Norma. If it is the Norma who follows my blog, thank you. If it's another Norma, thank you still applies!