We suggest you visit Cointelpro
Start looking for a better way:State of California project:
VOXNYC: "Alternative Energy"
FYI "Research" well not really
[ fuel cell used as artificial pancreas]
Another half baked Notion from CM3
FW: <nettime> Viridian Note 00377: Viridian >
----------From: Bruce Sterling <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Bruce Sterling <email@example.com>Date: 7 Aug 2003 02:43:29 -0000
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: <nettime> Viridian Note 00377: Viridian Commentary
Key concepts: Reader commentary, record-setting heat waves, massive forest fires, droughts,
climate change,beetles, nuclear power plants, fish death
Attention Conservation Notice: Lengthy accounts by various interested Viridian parties on the morale-
denting mayhem of weather violence. Almost 2,500 words.
Viridian Gizmo Extravaganza!
The blood-glucose battery == sugar into voltage.
These gizmos will likely catch on big-time once people realize that that they cause weight-loss.
[Better yet why not fuel+cell+used+as+artificial+pancreas ED]
Simputers on the market.
If you find a place to buy one, tell me.Bruce Sterling <email@example.com>
The handheld DNA detector.
DoCoMo's fuel-cell cell-phone.
Homeland Security now pitifully scared of these gadgets, plus all others.
From: Peter Miller peter*perpetualocean.com
"Here in Australia, we are seeing the warmest winter temperatures on record. Which offers us pathetic images of
daft tv weathermen gurgling about the 'wonderful warm sunny days'. I keep screaming at the television (to my
wife's dismay) 'It's WINTER you morons. It's supposed to be cold!'
"And the country-wide drought continues.
"I can't wait for summer here. 37 degrees C? Cakewalk."
From: Dethe Elza <DaddyGravity*livingcode.ca> Date: Tue Aug 05, 2003 10:57:31 AM US/Central
To: Bruce Sterling <bruces*well.com> Subject: Re: Viridian Note 00376: Europe Burns
"You forgot Canada (almost part of Europe). British Columbia, which was a rainforest until a couple of years ago,
is combating some 337 forest fires at the moment.
"This is coupled with the out-of-control pine weevil infestation which is devastating the northern BC forests
(the weevil used to be killed off in winter, back when it was cold in the Arctic). Things aren't looking good for
Ma Nature up here in the thawing North, but the Vancouver Sun still has good powers of investigative journalism:
Apparently Canadian porn magazines are holding their own against invaders such as Hustler Canada, even though
Hustler (*gasp*) doesn't use real Canadian girls, just repackages 'Tara from Lousiana' to be 'Tara from Alberta.'
"It's good to see someone out there is still pursuing hard-hitting journalism. I just wonder where the paper to
print it on is going to come from."
From: Alexander Schuth of the Viridian Curia <Alexander_Schuth?gmx.net> Date: Tue Aug 05, 2003 04:42:27 AM
US/Central To: Bruce Sterling <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"European Heat Wave
"Dear Bruce, dear beloved fellow members of the Viridian Curia, dear Viridians ==
"Yes, this is Europe, and it is hot here. Germany's North Sea and Baltic beaches deliver an nice and tasty 25-
27 degrees Celsius, but anywhere else, it is hell melting over. And that's not just news of this week == the whole
year was a bit different.
"When we went kayaking in our folding boats
"on North-Hessian river Fulda during Easter Weekend, we already encountered summer-like low water levels. Not
much surprise after over 4 weeks in Spring without any rain. We even had to walk in the river bed alongside our
boats a couple times == and that in a river described as navigable for kayaks 12 out of 12 months a year. The first
rain in over a month came on day two of our tour (of course).
"A month later, river Rhine seemed to be lower than might be expected in May. The groins and wave breakers
hadn't risen right out of the water, no, they don't do that == it's just the river was lower, so they were more
"In Spring, Germany already had about 20 forest fires == nothing really big, nothing like British Columbia,
Australia or California, but still == forest fires in Central Europe's usually green, dripping-wet Spring time!
"During the last few weeks, farmers had to haul in their wheat harvest prematurely. After a lot of drought,
the grains weren't ripe and well-matured, they were small. However, leaving them on the field would only
mean that the grains would fall to the ground, resulting in even greater losses. So the farmers took what
they could get, which wasn't a lot.
"Ah, what do I care about a bad harvest? It's easy - I eat bread. The math behind this is easy, too: Bad
harvest equals rising food prices, and that in a country with a severe economic crisis and over 4 million
unemployed folks in a population of 80 million. On one hand, everybody haggles to get taxes and health
insurance rates lowered and tries to free up budget for jumpstarting the economy, on the other hand all
those macro economic effects are simply sucked up by a single bad harvest.
"Meanwhile in Stuttgart Zoo's 'Wilhelmina', an elderly elephant, gets cold water showers every couple
hours to drag her through this summer.
"For this week == tomorrow or Thursday == the mercury has been forecasted to climb to 40 degrees Celsius
(for all you Fahrenheiters out there: At 0 degrees C water freezes, at 100 degrees C water boils and turns to vapor)
in my state of Hesse. Mind you == this is not the Baleares or some Greek island, or Iraq, where a British soldier
tried to dodge the local 58 degrees Celsius (didn't someone say 'We'll all be out and gone by Summer', or does
my memory play tricks on me and that was the last time?) by taking a nap in a big food freezer and was pulled
out hours later hypothermic and asleep, no: this is Rhein-Main area, this is the land around Frankfurt, this is right
in the middle of Central Europe, where the grass stays green all year round without being watered and needs
"Good thing for all who commute by public transport: Deutsche Bahn AG has some nice airconditioned trains
serving as RE (Regional Express). Bad news: Expect the engines of the locomotives to go funky in this heat,
leaving trains stranded in the middle of nowhere. Or: You're in a train with AC, and one generator fails. In
order to keep the arrival time so everybody catches their next train, they switch off AC to reroute the power for
speed. And in those trains, you can't open any windows...
"River Elbe, running from Czech Republic through Germany to the North Sea (and scene of last years
disastrous and deadly August flood) == is nearly dried up. Passenger ferries have stopped running.
"The undergrowth and paths in the forest are dry, and public fire warnings have been given. Open fires in forests
are forbidden. Already some forest fires have been extinguished here in Germany in the last couple days.
"But we Germans are not the only folks who have it hot. River Danube, the beautiful blue Danube which flows
from Germany through Austria, Hungaria and on down to the Black Sea, has reached yesterday the lowest
level since 115 years, according to ARD's Tagesschau.
"They showed pictures of Danube in Serbia == restaurant ships that were moored to the shore now sit on
dry land. But they wouldn't be able to serve their traditional fish specialties anyway == barely anything
gets caught now. The Danube fishermen say this loss in fish population will still be felt several years from now.
(Q: What if another coincidental freak-heatwave hits the fish-population before it recovers to pre-2003 levels?
And then another? And another?).
"Water-powered electricity plants were shut down to preserve water for providing a shipping lane. So much for
reliability of water-power in a greenhouse == soon, all we will be able to rely on will be hot, dusty storms. Only
partially-loaded freighters can still navigate Danube == and they only centimeters of water under their keels.
"Forgotten history comes back to light. The remains of the German Black Sea Flotilla, sunk after the end of
World War I into the Danube, are normally all covered by water. At the Danube's 'usual low levels' these shipwrecks
become a shipping hazard, but now the wrecks are so dry that the cabins are visible, and in some parts even the
decks. A local explained that he had never seen them before, only some tips of the ships during a severe
drought when he was a little boy, but never as exposed as now, and then he went climbing onto the deck of one of
those former warships.
"Bruce, you mentioned French nuclear powerplants overheating. I heard a feature on radio HR1
"yesterday about the nuclear reactors on river Loire. Most nuclear reactors in France seem to line this single
waterway ("like a pearl necklace" == some kind of pearls they got there!), and this summer their need of cooling
is immensely greater than ever before. So they draw more water from Loire and return it with higher temperature
levels than usual == which led to a 5 degree Celsius increase in the Loire's water temperature compared to the
summer average of the last 25 years!
"Nice hot bathing water, one might say. Well, perhaps == but anybody who is experienced with fish knows that
they unfortunately do need oxygen to live. The warmer the water, the lower the oxygen levels in the water (also
diverse algae start to grow, some of which lead to poisoning the water, etc. ...). Lower oxygen levels mean
lots of dead fish drifting down the river == just a change of a few degrees Celsius in the average water temperature
is enough to give the residents in any given water the final eviction note. Sure, you could introduce better
suited fish there later == and I guess French fishermen are already looking forward to catch some nice and funky
tropical fish soon, but until then, the base of their income will be destroyed.
The whole thing was commented by a chap from Darmstadt's Oeko-Institut, so if anybody feels like
following up on this story, give them a call.
"And in the evening news, we were all presented with real and true footage of French nuclear powerplant
Fessenheim on river Rhine being cooled with EXTERNAL SPRINKLERS == which supposedly lowered the
plant's temperature by 5 degrees Celsius, back into 'a safe range'. Good for Fessenheim, good for everybody l
iving downstream. This was something very spectacular, something that everybody can understand == and
right in Alsace, on our own border. (Second thought: many people didn't understand Chernobyl == it was
'over there, where they have all this commie mismanagement', and now this reactor was 'in France, where
they 'ave laissez-faire', so a reactor disaster obviously couldn't happen here, or there, or there, or in your country,
or...) Where can I get a poster of that?
"Anybody really worried or surprised about the forest fires in Southern Europe? Not me! For decades, folks there
did good business with arson == the guy who lights the fire gets nice money, the guy who loses a forest gets nice
insurance cash and then sells this efficiently de-forested land to a developer for more nice money. This is
supposedly how a lot of the hotel districts all around the Meditarranean got set up. One week, a protected forest;
next week ashes; another week, construction site.
"In France, suspected arsonists already have been arrested this season. Tourists are sleeping in school
gyms, with their holiday homes and trailers turned to cinders. Lots of French, British and German tourists
cancel their trips, creating serious economic damage == maybe this arson-based business model needs a new
approach, like including fire-insurance payoffs for the tourists, so they may also be winners.
"But that's all small fish (or no fish at all, for that matter). What really worries me is one thing:
Remember the deadly Chicago heat wave of 1995 in the US? There was a sentence in one Viridian Note,
basically saying: Well, why are Chicagoans dying in conditions that give Texans only a yawn? Because
they aren't used to it == homes, clothing, habits and infrastructure are not adapted to the climate.
"This sounds like stark Darwinism to me, unfriendly and cruel. As cruel as the byline in the news yesterday:
Besides suffering from headline-grabbing forest fires in the Iberian Peninsula (for the geographically challenged -
that's Portugal and Spain, between Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea, that's right where German and British
sunworshipers go for generations to get their skin cancers updated), now people there are dying from heat-related
causes. YESDATZRITE! These places were ALWAYS flaming hot since El Cid's days, since Hannibal's days, and
since before that. Those folks lived there forever. The Spanish and Portuguese know how to 'cope' with summer
and serious heat, they have cool, massive stone houses that don't need air conditioning, they have siesta and
they live the good live and have good food and wine and merry songs and a jolly party every night (and no, they
don't wear sombreros) == and now they die in their own country from heat-related' causes! Just like any
Chicagoan! Or German! Or Brit!
"That, dear Bruce, beloved Viridians, that is what really scares me: Now those people who == together with
the Greek and the Sicilians == represent Europe's best and time proven hot weather survival strategies are starting
to die from heat like any other guy.
"Dear friends, this is my report from Central Europe, soon a scorching, efficiently de-populated steppe.
"With best wishes from Germany,
"P.S.: Last year's Czech and German floods, by the way, were an extremely local phenomenon. As we
were baking in Cologne during Popkomm around 15th-20th of August, not a single drop of rain fell.
Meanwhile, other regions on the South-East of Germany and in Czech Republic got torrents of water.
This may still come again == and then it may be considered handy that the levels of all rivers have been
lowered in advance."
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
WELL, AT LEAST
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
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LONDON'S COMINGS AND GOINGS
AUGUST 7TH 2003
More foreigners than ever are coming to
London, and more Britons are leaving
THE scene is so familiar as to be unremarkable: two businessmen of different nationalities in
a London restaurant being served by a waiter from a third country, all of them speaking English.
But such encounters illustrate a remarkable change going on in London. Foreigners are moving
in, and Britons are moving out, faster than at any time on record. The consequences are being
felt across the country.
Before the second world war, London's population grew steadily, along
with that of most other British cities. After the war, along with that of most
other British cities, it shrank--first because of the policy of shifting people
out of the slums into new towns, and second because of the decline of the
heavy industries which had brought people to the cities in the first place.
In the 1990s, other cities went on shrinking. Manchester's population dropped by 10% in 1991-
2001, Liverpool's by 8%, Newcastle's by 6% and Birmingham's by 3%. London grew by 4.8%
over the period, partly because it has a high birth rate, but mostly because the foreigners started
Britain's previous big wave of migration, in the 1960s and 1970s, shipped in south Asian
workers, many of them to man the textile mills of the north. But these days, the jobs are in the south,
so that's where the immigrants go. According to Migration Watch, a lobby group, two-thirds of the
immigrants who have turned up in Britain since the mid-1990s have come to London. London's net
gain of foreigners, after taking into account those who left as well as those who came, was
120,000 in 2000. And that's just the legal ones.
This has helped keep London's economy buzzing. According to Experian Business Strategies, a consultancy, the city's average annual growth rate in 1995-2002 was 3.3%, compared with 2.5% for the country as a whole. That's not just because London's population has grown a mite faster than Britain's.
Employers say the workforce has changed. "I canget much better quality these days," says Hari Salem,
a hairdresser in South Kensington. "These foreign kids do everything before you ask them to.
They show up the others' laziness. They make them get off their bottoms."
Who are these people? The mix has changed since the 1970s brought mostly Indians, Pakistanis
and Bangladeshis. These days, they come from everywhere--though, according to a Home Office
report published in 2002, the proportion from high-income countries (as defined by the World Bank)
is relatively high. While 67% of new immigrants to Britain come from high-income countries, 30%
of those into Germany and 24% of those into France do. And Britain has more top foreign bosses
(see article) than Germany, France or America.
There's something in the standard picture of the American banker and the Somali cleaner.
Immigrants are economically polarised. Compared with the locals, more have degrees, but
more have no qualifications at all (though that is partly explained by the fact that so many
of them are students). On average, they earn 19% more than locals, but that disguises some
sharp variations. White immigrants, by and large, earn quite a bit more than locals. Brown
and black ones earn less.
Immigrants work more in growing businesses--such as health--than locals do, and less in shrinking
ones--such as manufacturing. They are more self-employed than locals--at the top of the scale, 25%
of Middle Easterners and 19% of Eastern Europeans are self-employed, compared with 11% of British-
The foreigners' arrival has changed London visibly. New ethnic villages have sprung up all over the place. The
Arabs have long been in Bayswater, the West Indians in Brixton, the Punjabis in Southall and the Bangladeshis
in Tower Hamlets. Now the Poles are in Lambeth and Southwark, the Algerians and Moroccans are in Finsbury
Park, the Kosovans and Albanians are in Enfield and Newham, the Iraqis in Barnet and the Congolese in Croydon.
The Europeans and Americans are all over central London. Foreign accents have long been as common as local
ones in Mayfair; now that is true in large parts of Kensington, Chelsea, Holland Park and Notting Hill. Indigenous
professionals, who would have lived in those areas in the 1970s and 1980s, have been forced to colonise dodgier
boroughs such as Hackney and Lambeth.
The foreigners have helped drive London property prices further above those of the rest of the country. Over
the past decade, according to figures from the Nationwide Building Society, prices in London have risen more
than half as fast again as those in the rest of Britain.
Rising property prices hurt those struggling to get on to the ladder. But for those already on it, they have been
a boon. Home-owning Londoners have found themselves sitting on large piles of cash. That has allowed them
to do what Londoners, traditionally, long to do: move out.
The British have always been romantic about the countryside. While the great
Dutch portraits are of dour-looking burghers and the French ones of half-clad
ladies in luxurious interiors, Gainsborough painted gentlemen and their wives
complacently surveying their rolling acres. The great French 19th-century novels-
-Flaubert and Balzac, for instance--are resolutely bourgeois. The great British
19th- century novels are either rural-- Austen and Eliot--or they are about how
horrible towns are--Dickens and Mrs Gaskell.
While prosperous French merchants built grand townhouses, 19th-century British industrialists aped the
aristocracy and settled in the country. Poorer people have long shared the rural romance too. In an opinion
poll in 1939, 61% said that they would like to live in the countryside. According to a Gallup survey in 1997,
54% would like to live in the countryside or a village, well over twice the number (24%) who currently do.
Adding on the number who would like to live in a small town, 72% would like to live outside a city. "Quietness",
"escape from the rat-race", "fewer non-white people" were some of the reasons given in a survey in 1994.
For those who find London's ethnic mix threatening, high levels of immigration have given them reason as
well as opportunity to move out. They have increased pressure on London's stretched public services, too.
More immigrants mean more children with a poor command of English.
They struggle at school and make life difficult for teachers. In Inner London, 38% of children get five or more
good GCSEs; in England as a whole, 48% do. Rising property prices have made it harder to recruit teachers
and nurses. In London, 12% of teachers are unqualified or temporary. In England as a whole, the figure is 6%.
Rich people, as a result, feel condemned to send their children to expensive private schools (fees around
GBP10,000 a year at secondary level): 16% of secondary school children go to independent schools in London,
compared with 8% across England as a whole.
While the drawbacks to living in London have increased, so those to living in the countryside have diminished.
"Not only does the countryside have the best schools and hospitals," points out Tony Travers, head of the
Greater London Group at the London School of Economics, "but it also has universal provision of services,
like post offices and buses, mandated by central government. Broadband is now available almost everywhere.
And these days, as shops have improved, you're never very far from a sun-dried tomato."
So, fleeing poor public services, crime and congestion, and armed with the cash they have liberated from their
homes, Londoners have been heading for the countryside in ever-larger numbers. The exodus, according to
Tony Champion of Newcastle University, has always been made up of three groups: retired people, long-
distance commuters, and those who have found jobs in the countryside. But these days, distance working--mobile phones,
internet connections--and more flexible retirement ages have blurred the distinctions between the three groups.
People often move out to commute in to their City job, then wind the job down but turn themselves into consultants
and work from home.
Where are the townies moving to? Not just, as might be expected, to the home counties. Property in Surrey,
Hampshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire is as expensive as in rich London, and councils are reluctant to
let developers build. So areas farther afield have beegrowing faster recently (see chart). Farming's decline has
helped the townies. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, nearly half the people who
bought farms in the second quarter of this year were non-farmers.
Unexpected places are booming. Ely, not so long ago a sad little East Anglian town whose disproportionately
large cathedral symbolised the area's centuries-old decline, has been the fastest-growing district outside the
City of London over the past decade. "If you had lived here ten years ago, you wouldn't recognise it," says Ray
Harding, who runs community services at the East Cambridgeshire District Council. The town centre, which
looked as though it was dying in the mid-1990s, has been revived by cafes, bookshops and art galleries. The
downside, he says, is that you can't get a place in the station car park after 7.30 in the morning or a seat on
the train home from London in the evening.
The influx from London is helping the rural economy. Townies who buy in to the countryside are an
important source of growth. According to a report published by the Countryside Agency in March 2003,
incomers (most of them former city-dwellers) are responsible for two-thirds of the new businesses formed
in the countryside. And each of those businesses creates, on average, 1.7 jobs.
The outflow also sharpens the difference between London and the rest of the country. London is more
foreign than the rest of Britain; more ethnically diverse; more economically polarised; faster-breeding;
younger--and getting more so. The countryside, meanwhile, is as white as ever, and getting older. The
divide between London and the rest of the country is also causing tensions--over London's disproportionate
contribution to taxes, for instance, while public services in the capital are so bad.
And this process is likely to go on. London's financial services industry may have slowed down,
but next year will bring a further boost to foreign immigration, when ten new countries join the EU.
The other big EU countries will not give the Union's new citizens the right to work straight away;
they intend to phase it in. Britain, in contrast, will give the newcomers free access to the labour
market from the start. The Home Office reckons that will mean 5,000-13,000 extra net migrants
a year, but since 20,000 people from those countries tried and failed to get into Britain in 2001,
that seems likely to be an underestimate.
That is unlikely to trouble the government. Immigration may be politically sensitive, but the government
understands how migration has driven London's economy, and London has driven Britain's. It wants the
motor to keep on running.
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