Tuesday, 24 July 2012

David Attenborough: "This awful summer? We've only ourselves to blame..."

There is an excellent interview with David Attenborough on The Independent site. The best quote has to be:
"There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it," he says. "I would be absolutely astounded if population growth and industrialisation and all the stuff we are pumping into the atmosphere hadn't changed the climatic balance. Of course it has. There is no valid argument for denial."
The question is: what are we going to do about it?

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Ban cars every Sunday to make way for bicycles

"Calls have been made for cars to be banned from streets around Britain every Sunday morning so that people are free to walk, cycle and play on the roads in safety. In a report on physical inactivity published in The Lancet, Gregory Heath, an expert in public health from the University of Tennessee, argues that closing streets in this way is a meaningful way to encourage urbanites to take more exercise." [Source]
An interesting idea supported by the Environmental Transport Association, a company which offers green breakdown cover, cycle insurance and green travel insurance. Unlike the RAC and AA, the ETA don't lobby for more road-building and car use.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Bronglais Hospital

Society should be aiming for reducing the need to travel long distances. This is even more important when people are ill - they should be able to be treated as close to where they live as possible. Unfortunately Hywel Dda Health Board have been considering downgrading Bronglais Hospital and forcing patients to travel to hospitals elsewhere for treatment.

Take a look at the map above, courtesy of the excellent Save Bronglais group. It should be clear which hospital covers the widest area. However, that is the one which is due to be downgraded, removing services! Already some specialist services have been cut, forcing patients to travel as far away as Swansea for treatment (see Cambrian News 22nd March 2012 - Hywel Dda Health Board forced a woman to travel from Aberystwyth to Swansea for a check for oral cancer which took three minutes once she got there). Latest news is that the Afallon Ward has been shut and patients have to travel up to 50 miles to Carmarthen. No wonder there are protests - unfortunately the Hywel Dda Health Board have refused to turn up to public meetings on these issues. Of course, perhaps there is a vital need to save money which means local services have to go? After all, unless money is saved from providing healthcare, how can the Hywel Dda Health Board afford to pay their executives self-voted salaries of over £170,000, or pay their friends £1,000 a day to do research?

If you want to know more see the Save Bronglais Hospital Facebook group or Save Bronglais website.