A view from the West

Featuring food, fuel and the future in Jersey

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les miyeurs souhaits pour la nouvelle année

I am not keen on New Year resolutions. Several factors contribute to this.  Once a year is  far too infrequent a period to reflect on ones life and changes that might be made. This time of year is also a poor one for making resolutions - low light levels and dull weather do not contributre to a feeling of well being and positiveness that makes resolutions so much easier to maintain. I would suggest just before taking a holiday is the best time - the change in circumstances and surroundings makes a change of pattern much easier, and your state of mind is likely to be so much more receptive too.  My final reason for not doing New Year resolutions is that there is really nothing significant about the date change.  The calendar is an human device superimposed of the natural world. It has no more meaning than that.  Giving it more value is as futile as those debates about changing  the clocks - another human device superimposed on the natural world. No amount of tinkering with clocks or calendars changes the underlying physical facts of the number of hours daylight, or days in a year.

I am also not going to try to make any prediction about the coming year. Fun as it is to conjecture about what may happen, I have real reservations about doing so in the face of such irrational and unstable times.  I shall however give you a few current signposts to the way things are. 

Wheat prices today are over $300 per tonne - more than twice what they were in June.

Oil price are over $90 per barrel, up from a sub £50 dollar price in November 2008.

As of November 30, 2010, the US "Total public debt outstanding" was $13.9 trillion and was approximately 97% of 2010's fiscal year-end annual  GDP of $14.4 trillion.

From figures published September 2010, UK public sector net debt was £952.8 billion. (or 64.6% of National GDP).

As at 2009 the cost to the UK of the bank bail out was £850 billion

Stern estimated the costs of  C02 reduction to international treaty levels is 2% of GDP. For the UK that is currently just under £30billion a year. Put another way we could have had 30 years of effective C02 reductions for the price of bailing out the banks. Almost enough to get us to the 2050  target.

Lets just say things do not look rosy, not even pallid pink.

So here are a few quotes from some great thinkers in different fields that might help you put into perspective what I suspect will happen in Jersey and the wider world in the coming years. They may even help you in formulating those resolutions.

A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.
Victory belongs to the most persevering.

In politics stupidity is not a handicap.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.

A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

Be the change that you want to see in the world.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

"I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus or Ghandi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie.

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.

À bétôt


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