Category Archives: government

Populist Trump and global warming

Will the seriousness of our situation ever be realised while we elect people who were not educated in the happenings of the real world and who have done a proper job?

A serious problem with populist utterances (of which Donald Trump is the best example, maybe ever) is that they tend to over-simplify answers to complex problems.  I refer specifically to climate change. What Trump does is appeal to the masses about protection of jobs and, in the short run, he may have a point, especially if he chooses to ignore the jobs being created in renewable energy. (In the USA, there are now more jobs in solar than in coal production.)  If Mr Trump and others want a quick fix for climate change, recycling waste to farm and forestry land and locking up the Carbon as organic matter would be a good start. If the UK Environment Agency could also revert to previous regulation on composting which would allow a farm to start composting without spending £ hundreds of thousands on concrete, that would help the environment, too. (Concrete takes a lot of energy to manufacture and put in place and with good practice, concrete is not actually necessary for large scale composting.  However, it will allow faster work with heavier equipment and a wider range of input materials.)

For more on “Only farmers can do this”, see “Survival”.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 14th February 2018

Brexit game theory

Credit for the current issue of New Scientist for the following;

“Some of the losses on the UK side are already beginning to manifest: several businesses are relocating their activities, anticipating that the negotiations will break down completely and result in a no-deal Brexit. In short, the damages of Brexit are already becoming a reality, at a time when neither of the players in the game seems to be prepared to give any ground in the negotiations – and indeed at a time when both parties claim to be advancing no-deal planning. So why did the UK government and the EU agree yesterday to fresh talks later this month? The answer could lie in both parties’ desire not to take the blame for what appear likely to be formidable economic losses. As things stand, history will probably record Brexit as a mutually damaging divorce between the UK and EU. But we don’t yet know who will take most (or all) of the blame.

In game theoretic terms, the two players are engaged in a war of attrition (or a dynamic game of chicken) where both flex their muscles attempting to convince their opponent to give in first, while both sustain short-term costs as long as the issue remains unresolved.”

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 8th February 2019

“Behaviours Frameworks”

Readers will be aware of the frustrations of regulation which I sometimes refer to in this blog and, of course, of their own experience.  However, I came across an new one (to me at least) this morning; my local County Council’s “Behaviours framework” – all 12 pages of it, plus several other similar sites for the same Council.

I am sad for my nation; we have come to an over-regulated, uninformed bureaucracy, consuming enormous manpower and resources with avoiding making a mistake or being thought to have made a mistake, this producing less “bangs for our bucks”.  The words “respect” and “common sense” appear to have been lost in education by parents and schools.  If each and every one of use began to practice these two words in what we do every day towards actually doing something productive, we, individually and nationally, would not only have a sense of direction and be much more productive, we would all be happier and better off.  Allowing lawyers to advertise was a disaster.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd  9th January 2019

National Debt bigger than education Budget!

The national debt (what successive government have borrowed to buy our votes) is now £1.8 trillion.  The interest, we heard on the BBC News this evening (4th Oct 18) is greater than the entire education budget. That is insane. The people we borrow off (Chinese, Arab countries, etc) ) will not kill us off completely, they will almost do that but not quite, just milk us forever.  That is the nature of debt. We need to balance the books.  The only thing big enough is shale gas. Stop importing energy when we are sitting on a vast reservoir.  by the way, we can do it safely.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 4 October 18