We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Union Jack Flies in Hong Kong Protests
Without question the Chinese everywhere are loyal to the idea of
China as are most to their own. What they are not shy about is that
loyalty does not extend to those in power. Thus waving the union
jack is a clear way to get that message across. It is also strong
enough that those in power will find it impossible to ignore.
The present Chinese reality is that the Chinese people are actively
using mass protest to confront corrupt officials all through China in
an ongoing struggle to assert the primacy of the people over a number
of core issues. As usual this discomforts said corrupt officials who
would rather suppress or create conflict elsewhere.
The problem everywhere is shifting political power downstream to the
people. What is happening is that the people are asserting power
over their own lives and step by step wringing it out of the corrupt
cadres. This is obviously a slow process but it works.
Sixteen years after
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule, public discontent with Beijing is
swelling and protesters have been rallying around an unexpected
symbol -- the British colonial flag.
Tens of thousands have
taken to the streets in recent months in marches against Chief
Executive Leung Chun-ying, who took over from Donald Tsang last July
after being elected by a 1,200-strong pro-Beijing committee.
On several occasions
the old blue flag, which incorporates the Union Flag, has been flown
by protesters on the streets of what is becoming an increasingly
divided Hong Kong, both embarrassing and infuriating Beijing.
supporters say he is tackling pressing social issues such as
affordable housing and the strain on public services, his critics see
him as a stooge for Beijing and are angry over a widening poverty
In September, he
backed down from a plan to introduce Chinese patriotism classes in
schools, which had incited mass protests and was viewed as an attempt
to brainwash children into accepting doctrines taught on the
The founder of a group
mobilising Hong Kongers to fly colonial flags said it did so
because the city was worse off after 16 years of "encroachment"
by Beijing, stressing it was not because of any desire to see
Britain rule again.
"Our freedom and
everything else has gone downhill since (the handover)" said
26-year-old Danny Chan from the "We're Hong Kongese, not
Chinese" Facebook group, which has been "liked" by
nearly 30,000 people.
semi-autonomous status enshrines civil liberties not seen on the
mainland, including the right to protest, until 2047 under the
"One country, two systems" handover agreement.
Chan cited housing
prices that stubbornly remained among the world's highest and the
widening income gap between the rich and the poor as factors driving
the increasingly frequent protests in the city.
Many Hong Kongers
blame increased immigration from the mainland for high house prices
and overcrowding in local hospitals.
Chan said that the
flags symbolised anger and the perceived erosion of the rule of law
in Hong Kong since 1997.
"Hong Kong's core
values and the rule of law have been gradually destroyed until there
is almost nothing left," argued the computer engineer, who waved
the flag at a mass rally on January 1 to demand Leung step down.
Dixon Sing, political
analyst at Hong Kong's University of Science and Technology, said the
protesters "believe the Chinese Communist Party has been
undermining those core values and reneging on the promise of giving
Hong Kong 'two systems'".
visibility of the old emblem has sparked tensions, at a time when
China is ushering in a new batch of leaders who yearn for order and
stability in the Asian financial hub.
The British Council,
which promotes cultural and educational ties overseas, unwittingly
became embroiled in the controversy recently when advertisements for
an education fair bearing the Union Jack became the centre of
Comments such as
"Great Britain built Great Hong Kong!" were posted on the
British consulate's Facebook page and linked to the posters.
were hastily removed due to the possibility of "misinterpretation",
a British Council spokeswoman said.
The waving of the old
flag has drawn criticism from Chen Zuoer, the former No.2 mainland
Chinese official in Hong Kong, who reportedly said last year that it
"should be sent to history museums".
including those from the city's pro-democracy political camp, said
any "good old days" notion is largely misguided, as
corruption and malpractice were once widespread before a major
clean-up in the 1970s.
times, there was no freedom and our rights were denied but in the
late 1980s, the government won people's trust and it was seen as
clean," said Avery Ng from maverick lawmaker "Long Hair"
Leung Kwok-hung's League of Social Democrats party.
The party has called
for full democracy in Hong Kong to replace the current system.
"I understand the
current sentiment but this is very sad for Hong Kong that people
would rather look back at colonial times."