Blow baby blow

I hope you enjoyed a blissful long weekend, soaking up some of last of the autumn sun before winter strikes. We all know that sun in moderation is good for us, and new research suggests a link between inadequate Vitamin D levels (we form Vitamin D upon exposure to sunlight) and diabetes. Not that I’m suggesting your weekend tan will allow you to start mainlining sugar like you were a patron of my high school tuckshop…

Drill baby drill
The Exxon Valdez oil spill was one of the most devastating in history. In 1989 the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground, and 40 million litres of oil poured into the surrounding sea. Up to a quarter of a million seabirds died, as well as eagles, orcas, otters and seals. But memory fades, the dead fish rot away, and times change. Still, it’s surprising that in spite of the trauma this event caused to Alaska, the territory still produces politicians with the slogan drill baby drill.

The rest of the country is infected too, with even the US president approving more offshore oil drilling as the frenzy to cash in on the rising oil prices continues.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is different. Caused by a sunken oil rig rather than a tanker, oil is pouring out of a leak 5000 feet below the surface, and the spill is threatening to become even more devastating than Exxon Valdez’s. The coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are all potentially in danger – Louisiana alone contains 40% of the threatened wetlands in the entire US. BP, the company responsible for the spill, has proven unable to do much besides speculate as to why their safety valve didn’t work, and the US military is now involved as the potential scale and threat of the spill becomes known.

In a ray of light, BP will be forced to pay for the cleanup, and perhaps this will put a oil rig in their plans to dredge up the Arctic for more oil. Also, the current Florida senator, Charlie Grist, previously a supporter of offshore oil drilling, has reversed his stance, and other prominent “drill baby drill” supporters are also reconsidering their stance.

Blow baby blow
At the same time as the oil spill is going on, the first offshore wind farm in the US has been given approval. Many believe offshore wind is a better bet than land-based windfarms, as, although they’re initially more expensive, windspeeds are higher and more consistent than over the land, and there’s less difficulty with landowners not wanting it in their back yard.

While the first US offshore windfarm has only been granted approval, Germany’s first offshore windfarm went online this week. Many European countries are taking strides to cutting their reliance on coal and combustion in general, though Germany is unusual in that it’s also cutting its reliance on nuclear power, thanks in part to a brief stint in government by the German Green Party. Germany is a world leader in solar power, although it’s likely to generate more energy from wind in the future with advanced plans to quickly roll out more offshore windfarms.

Perhaps this will herald the emergence of new class of populist politicians, the phrase “blow baby blow” their trademark?

It’s Amaizin
We have the Amaizin organic corn chips back in stock this week. I have a reputation for devouring these in huge quantities – totally undeserved I assure you. The 40 bags I was once delivered was all a horrible misunderstanding. Even without my contribution, they fly off the shelves, so you may want to get your order in quickly!

Price cuts
We have a record number of items on the site this week, but while you’re deciding between goji snacktubs, black sesame and psyllium husks, you may notice that we’ve managed to cut prices on quite a few lines, in some cases substantially. You’ll find the Pro-Nature non-toxic paints, many of the body and home care lines from Bloublommetjies, and selected herbs and spices from Good Life in particular are now much more attractively priced.

Why is nobody listening?
Have you been sending mails and not getting a response? While some suggest there’s a black hole at the centre of the universe, we’ve had our very own black hole in the email system, and some mails have gone missing. If you’re waiting for a response and starting to feel it’s in vain, please send it through again – especially if its a compliment!

No fly zone
We don’t fly in any of our products, and of all our fresh produce is local. At least we that’s what we thought. Thanks to an eagle-eyed customer (whose email did get through) we discovered to our horror that two of our mushroom lines were being flown in from China. We should have spotted this ourselves, but this shows again that, as long as things are transparent, the eyes of many are always better than the eyes of a few. We’ve now dropped the lines.

So, keep as vigilant as ever, posting your comments on the blog (where they can’t get lost and everyone can see!), and help us keep www.ethical.org.za the best source of authentic and ethical produce.

Have a wonderful week,
Ian and the Ethical Co-op team

Comment ( 1 )

  1. Renee

    Bravo Ian! A truly entertaining read this morning. Eloquent, witty and informative. Well done!