Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guest post from Krista Peterson (USA)

Krista Peterson is a recent graduate from the University of Florida. She has passion for for environmental issues and green living. A short while ago she asked if she could compose a guest post. Her piece serves a reminder to all of us about a green lifestyle.

Krista says, "I have a passion for the wellness of others in our community and for the environment. I use my writings to spread awareness of such issues to encourage others to live the healthiest and most eco-friendly life possible."

Health Benefits of a Green Lifestyle

Living a green lifestyle is not only doing wonders in helping people to become energy efficient and improving the planet, but almost just as importantly, living this type of lifestyle is helping improve overall health, as well as helping in different cases of terminal illness. With a high number of illnesses being brought on by the environment, the benefit of pursuing a more organic, holistic approach to everyday life is becoming more and more apparent. Patients of these illnesses are helping to extend their life expectancy through health improvements, as well as seeing some of the other benefits of the lifestyle such as being more financially and energy efficient.

By not using a car for short trips, saving gas and money is a benefit, but that will also help improve physical condition through cardio activity. Whether it be a short walk or a long bike ride, any type of small cardio activity is always great for health and the heart. This type of exercise will help to reduce the chance of diseases and help to prevent certain symptoms of mesothelioma, or other types of cancer symptoms such as fatigue, irregular heartbeat, or inexplicable shortness of breath.

Speaking of shortness of breath, another way a green lifestyle can be particularly beneficial is within the lower amount of toxins being taken in. Whether it’s through household items such as cleaners or hardware items like paint, there are green alternatives to everyday items that will be more beneficial to the body. This will also help to prevent things like irregular heartbeat or shortness of breath, two common mesothelioma symptoms.

When taking a holistic and organic approach, the consumption and fashion of using water is an important factor in the lifestyle. By getting rid of bottled water, you can eliminate the chance of contamination from the chemicals that are used to develop these bottles, which are largely derived from petroleum. Using tap water with the proper filtering system will always make for the healthiest option for drinking water.

A healthier diet is one of the major reasons that living a green lifestyle can be beneficial. Eating less red meat is a general positive for almost anybody’s general health, while a green lifestyle will also include fresh and organically grown produce. Consumption of organic food is particularly important when it comes to not only general physical health, but in disease prevention and treatment. As mentioned earlier, many cancer patients alike are using a holistic, organic approach to the fighting of their diseases. This type of lifestyle can be particularly important towards a positive outlook in different cases of cancer and mesothelioma life expectancy.

Another way to ensure the use of fresh and organically grown produce is to garden them yourselves. By doing this you not only ensure the food is free of chemicals, but you will add to your physical activity by providing yourself with a consistent routine of being outside to work in the garden.

By going green and using healthier lighting in the house, overall health can also improve. Not only will using natural light during the day cost less financially and save some energy, it can also help the body. A little more exposure to sunlight through the lighting can help the body’s production of Vitamin D. The natural light can also improve overall mood, specifically in the winter time.

All of these aspects of a green lifestyle continue to show why living this way can improve a number of facets within people’s lives, but is also helping patients of terminal illnesses improve their own outlook. These examples also help to show why living this type of lifestyle can be very beneficial to one’s long term overall health.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The March for the Alternative on Saturday.

Croydon Greens will be meeting at 10.45am at East Croydon station.

I've just heard that Ed Miliband is the only politician speaking at the rally on Saturday. This is a very clannish decision by Brendan Barber and his cohorts. Caroline Lucas should be on the bill. I'll be emailing Mr Barber, I urge others do the same: bbarber@tuc.org.uk


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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thoughts on the 'No Fly Zone' by Ian Dixon

The introduction of a 'no fly zone' over Libya has led to plenty of debate within our local party. Ian Dixon our candidate in Kenley ward has composed the following piece. Ian is the Chair of Peace News and Housmans Bookshop. In 1960 he was a founding member the British anti-war group the Committee of 100.

We all know that the US military/corporate complex sticks its snout only into areas where there is a pay off in terms of strategic military power or loot from oil, lucrative contracts etc. It is not a question of cynicism it is a realistic assessment of the nature of power. We all know that dictators are only bad when they threaten our governments’ interests. If they are aligned with “us” then they can slaughter as many of the people as they think fit – usually with our assistance.

Who sold Gadaffi the arms in the first place? – Western governments. Are we now asking these same govts to intervene in some altruistic way to save the Libyan people? These are the, merchants of death we are talking about – the guys who gladly sell arms to both sides in a conflict, and when the country is smashed to pieces they send in contractors to earn fortunes at the expense of the local people.

Do you really trust them to limit operations to preventative flights to stop Gadaffi strafing his own people.

To me this beggars belief. Yes Libya has oil and the US and Europe will do anything, kill anyone to get it cheap.

If the No Fly zone happens the powers that be will then say that they need to hit Gadaffi’s air power at source on the airfields , then in the industrial targets. Before we know it we will have a third (or is it fourth) war on our hands with all the pseudo patriotic and military claptrap propaganda that we have been enduring over recent years. At the end there will be another devastated country that needs “US expertise and personnel” to rebuild, and one that has another puppet government warmly supportive of the Nato and the US.

Yes, of course, we need to support the Libyan people, directly where we can but also by campaigning more intensely against the arms trade and by exposing the true nature our aggressive governments.

Sorry if the language is intemperate but as I get older I find my patience with the view that somehow we live in a humane society where nice uncompromised UN guys with lovely blue berets gently restrain the nasty people. This failure to address the real nature of power is, in my view, one of the biggest psychological barriers to real social change.

If I can draw a final comparison which is relevant I wonder how many are familiar with the story of the Peasants’ Revolt. After the Black Death the labour force was decimated and through scarcity acquired real bargaining power. Under watt Tyler’s leadership a peasant army cornered the King in London and demanded freedoms that were totally revolutionary. The rebellion, however, was subject to a fatal ideological flaw. Watt and his mates thought the King was a nice guy who was surrounded by a bunch of less chivalrous barons and knights who were the bad guys who day to day enforced the supremacy of the ruling class. So when the King said he accepted the demands and shouted to the crowd to join him in Clerkenwell (or was it Camberwell?) they followed him only to find when they got there that it was not to sign a new charter or Rights but to be surrounded by the King’s formidable bowmen and surrender.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Reminder: Census Alert

Back in 2008 I joined the Census Alert Facebook group started by Sian Berry.
The idea was to try and stop American arms company Lockheed Martin running the UK census. Three years on and the census is now days away. Lockheed Martin secured the contract for £150m but the concerns about data security have not gone away. There is now a campaign of what can be best described as census disobedience - a local member highlighted this at our last party meeting. The priority is now to ensure Lockheed Martin do not profit from the census. Instructions can be found here.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Weatherill Lecture


will be given by

Robert Wilson OBE

latterly Clerk to the Select Committees of Parliament

who will speak on

Citizenship and integrity in public life and the place of The Speaker

and then take questions from his audience

The lecture will take place at

Croydon Parish Church

(soon to be Croydon Minster)

At 1pm on

Thursday 17th March 2011

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Friday, March 04, 2011

Listen to: The City of London and its Tax Haven Empire

The love of money is the root of all evil

I must thank Muriel Passmore, our candidate in Croham, for advising me about this podcast. This is the most enlightening podcast I've heard for many a year.

Its on the LSE web site. Look down the list of February 2011 - its the one at the bottom

The City of London and its Tax Haven Empire

Speakers: Dr Maurice Glasman, Nicholas Shaxson
Chair: Dr Ian Roxan

This event was recorded on 1 February 2011 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

The City of London is an offshore island inside the British nation state, floating partly free from the democratic rules and restraints that bind the rest of us and fed by a network of tax havens around the world. Nicholas Shaxson and Maurice Glasman look at how this secretive network emerged and came to underpin the City's fearsome political and economic powers today. Maurice Glasman, recently appointed Labour Peer and Reader in Political Theory at London Metropolitan University. He is the author of Unnecessary Suffering. Nicholas Shaxson is the author of Treasure Islands: tax havens and the men who stole the world (Bodley Head) and Poisoned Wells, the Dirty Politics of African Oil, an associate fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and an experienced journalist. Dr Ian Roxan is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the Department of Law at LSE.

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Letter on hypocrisy in the Croydon Guardian

Following the rubbish reply regarding waste incineration from Cllr Thomas, I sent in this letter to the papers.


Dear Editor,

Those of us who were in the packed public gallery at the latest full council meeting were treated to another selection of unbridled hypocrisy. Labour councillors made speeches calling on the Tory council to listen to the people and also, unbelievably, to Tory MP Gavin Barwell (Save Shirley Library’s latest recruit), before slashing the number of libraries in the borough. These calls were batted away by the Tory cabinet who reminded the chamber that the Labour controlled council in Lewisham are closing libraries as well. What they omitted to mention is that Conservatives in that borough oppose library cuts!

When I asked the council, from the public gallery, to explain why the Chancellor George Osborne is the first signatory to a 25,000 strong petition to stop an incinerator on the edge of his Tatton constituency, the Tory council was equally hypocritical with its response, “the Chancellor is doing what any good constituency MP does.” Yet, this Tory council seems to be adopting a cavalier approach to building an incinerator on the edge of Croydon. Meanwhile the Tories in Sutton oppose this scheme.

What a tangled web! Voters are unsure what these grey parties stand for. They say the right things in opposition, but once in power they go back on their words. I would not be surprised if those in the public gallery left the chamber scratching their heads in confusion.

Would it not be better if we could vote for politicians with principles, and parties with clearly identifiable values?

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan

Croydon Green Party

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Standing up for what matters