Thursday, 2 May 2013

In a holding pattern...

I'm not in a very charitable mood today, as it's my Dad's funeral tomorrow.

I've gone out and bought a new suit (I haven't needed a suit for decades until now, so didn't have one), I've got a decent shirt, I found my old regimental tie (buried at the back of the sock drawer, of all places: how the hell it got there I'll never figure out), I've polished my shoes to the highest shine they've had in years, and now I'm sitting around with naff all to do except wait.

So, I hit the news feeds.

And found that Friends Of The Earth were at it again the other day.

Now, don't get me wrong: They can do wonderful and much needed things, but they do tend to bleat on about a hell of a lot of things that they've a snowballs chance in hell of doing anything about, either by choosing the wrong target, or by choosing the wrong audience. Or both.

Take their latest "campaign". It's about the tin used in  - amongst other things - mobile phones. Apparently, they were in Croydon last Saturday, getting in the way of Joe Subject on this. Thank the stars I was in the West Country, depressurising with my other half or, with me in the upset mood that I was in earlier this week, there may have been a protester with a clip board stuffed sideways up his backside. Messy would not have been the word to use, trust me.

Here's the link to the story in the Croydon Guardian newspaper:
'Your mobiles are destroying lives': Croydon phone shops told by Friends of the Earth campaigners

These days, with everyone and their dog having a phone (or two, or three), and with them being used all the time for both work and leisure, and in a recession as well, where jobs are well and truly on the line, Friends Of The Earth trying to bang on at the ordinary Joe Subject in the street is a sucker move, writ large. Frankly, they're so way off target it's amazing they even thought it possible to have a chance at making a change.

Let's look at a few things. Gold, Silver, Lead, Aluminium, Nickel, Chromium, Carbon, Copper, Gallium Arsenide, Mylar, Silicon, Polystyrene, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Polyvinylchlorate (PVC), Antimony, Bismuth, Cobalt, Fluorite, Garnet, and Magnesium, are just a general selection of typical materials used in modern consumer electronics, not just mobile telephones. And Friends Of The Earth're going after tin? I would have thought the Chinese open-cast mines would be a better target for their ire, but hey, tin's an easier target, I guess. Less chance of being arrested by over-zealous Chinese Ministry of State Security goons with sticks as well, as well, come to that.

Here's the thing: Tin is used (most often in combination with lead) in something called solder, which once heated and applied, then allowed to cool and solidify in place, holds the components in a both solid physical and electrically-conductive join on the circuit-boards of pretty-much ALL consumer electronics, not just phones. Try getting the vast membership of the population of this country to stop using their kettles, Fridge/Freezers, and microwave ovens for example: you've got no chance.

So, until Friends Of The Earth - or, perhaps, a scientist would be a better choice in this endeavour - can come up with a viable, cost-effective, and ecologically-friendly alternative to tin/lead solder, I suggest Friends Of The Earth stop their ranting at ordinary people, and redirect their verbal bleeding to the people failing to finance the primary research into suitable alternatives.

That'd be the politicians, by the way.

Who, in a double-dip recession, aren't likely to say anything favourable - or charitable - to FOtE, in all likelihood.

Which is probably why they were bleating on at the poor sods in Croydon, as they knew that they were s*** out of luck with anyone else.

And I'm still sitting here, waiting for one of the worst months in my life to be over.

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