There's no such thing as simplicity. For a start, take Corporations. It is very simple to paint all Corporations as bad, as psychopathic institutions led by madmen. "FIRST", the company that owns Transpennine Express makes such simplified generalizations easy. But I have to mention that even though I believe that all national transportation systems should be nationalized, I should compliment Virgin Trains, and National Express for their excellent services to London in the last week. It even appears that FIRST are on the brink of being punished for their crimes against commuters. FIRST also run another franchise on the British Rail networks,a franchise line called Great Western. This service operates in the South West of the country, and it's regulars have been terrorized by First to an even greater degree than us Northerners are. Regular readers may remember the blogs that Great Western Commuters have started.
It appears their campaign may be close to bearing fruit:
So there may be justice after all. Also, it is simply not true to say that all entrepreneurs are egomaniacal sociopaths. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, has demonstrated again and again that businessmen, like babies, should not necessarily all be thrown out with the bathwater.
The story is about Branson's plan to power aircraft with biofuels. Also welcome is that Branson does not claim to have all the answers, or an instant fix, but if you read the story, his company is putting it's money where it's mouth is.
Environmental activists are, needless to say, skeptical, and I have often shared their skepticism of business, especially the growing trend to claim "green-ness", which has reached new heights of stupidity with Formula One Motor Racing claiming to be Carbon Neutral and one leading bank advertising it's 'Green' Insurance Policies. Branson though, seems to have it right. Despite the perspectives of the Unibomber, Mennonites and Jared Diamond, humans are simply not going to go quietly into a new Stone Age. There is just not the enthusiasm for bad teeth, back-breaking agrarian labour and truly dreadful clothes that these people seem to encourage.
The answer to the problems of disappearing species, greenhouse effects and growing population therefore, has to be technological - genetic manipulation, alternative power sources and global computer aided planning. Contemporary humans are in the unique position where we actually have the knowledge and the technology to have a influence on our own evolution, and on the Planet's future. I think Branson is right to try. I do'nt say this simply because I want to preserve Gaia. I also want to stop feeling guilty about planning a trip to Barcelona. This in itself is sufficient argument for genetically manipulating future generations. As well as the possibility that scientists could produce a male who did'nt suddenly start sprouting nose and ear hair at 42 yrs age, one of the genetic manipulations I want to see most is the elimination of Catholic guilt.