Currently in Bangor, N. Wales studying for an MSc in Agroforestry.



11 thoughts on “About

  1. Modernization as the road to salvation

    Hi-tech camp V’s low-tech camp.
    Surely we are beyond such a polarised conversation now. Our history is littered with polarised viewpoints which do nothing to bring benefit to the person and its environment.
    In terms of solutions, I think it is fair to say that we will never have solutions. If there are, well then I guess we have stumbled across the Garden of Eden.
    No, the challenges ahead of us can only be managed. The bigger the challenge the harder it will be to manage, trying to involve all stakeholders and predetermining all possible eventualities (impossible?).
    Hi- tech absolutely has a place with us, or more to the point, has evolved with us. The beauty about that is that poor technology solutions are quickly superseded and replaced. But not with out a cost, which seems to grow with each evolutionary step (and diminishing marginal utility?).
    Also there is the element of caution. Are the Corporations who we rely on (to deliver hi-tech) geared towards bettering the life of man and his environment (rather than just the customer/stakeholder)? Can they be trusted to not to ‘externalise the costs’ on other nations with more relaxed antrocentric and environmental safeguards?

    I think all sides of the argument have a solid contribution to the conversation. Perhaps an agrarian lifestyle will be suitable in some instances, while not in others
    And indeed, one size will not fit all so a diverise toolkit will be required to manage the Anthropocene.

    But I think I will leave Einstein sum it up; “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

  2. – Good on you mate. I describe myself as having come out of a green tunnel myself and an ex-greenie for about 15 years. And to me it’s more like the green movement left me rather than I left it. I released people were not applying critical thinking, but rather accepting at face value every story, which confirmed their mates dogma : bio -D, Fukuoka , anti-GM and entering a fantasy world of supposed miracles.

  3. I enjoy your blog. I am not well trained in science, unfortunately, but I do believe we should trust the public scientists. I would much rather accept their opinion on GE than a bunch of hysterical people who think they are sophisticated, but are actually anti-science. Many of the same people are also against vaccinations. I have always been a countercultural type of person, also, but there seems to be a huge void in which people are falling, trying to find the most countercultural position of all. It’s like a race to learn which paranoid conspiracy theory is the newest and most shocking…so they can be the first to hold it. I left organized religion and Christianity when I was a teenager, but stayed in the fairy realms of alternative spirituality for far too long. Then one day, it was like a switch flipped. I became an atheist. When that happened, I started to just try to exercise my skepticism muscles. I do my best. I have Fibromyalgia, and really explored alternative medicine in good faith, about 10 years ago. I came to the conclusion that alternative medicine is bullhockey. Like Tim Minchin says, if it were medicine….they’d simply call it….medicine. I am vegan, but I started getting skeptical of the organic bandwagon a number of years ago. Sure, I’d rather eat produce that has never been sprayed with insecticide…but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that conventional growing methods are harmful. I am poor. I am learning to grow my own food, and I buy from farmer’s markets. But I will eat conventional produce…it’s food. Not everyone can afford to be elitist about food. We all need it to live. Anyway, thanks for your work here. I have signed up for email notifications. I am in West Virginia, USA, BTW.

  4. Thanks for your blog on the UCC Fracking session, the blog was an excellent representation of the fracking industry’s approach:

    It was highly dismissive, rather than engaging with (ever more) valid concerns;

    It distorted everything it reported on;

    It systematically avoided reporting anything that in any way requires a serious answer.

    This is why engineers and scientists such as ourselves have to fill in the gaps.

    Happy St Patricks Day!
    (Remenber, he banned all snakes from Ireland; or don’t you believe that either? :))

  5. I have referred back to this piece several times, as it contains so much
    “food for thought.” I thought you might be interested to know that
    i invoked your name and linked to this article on a comment thread over at Grist. http://disqus.com/pages/dashboard/#home/discussion/grist/crop_flops_gmos_lead_ag_down_the_wrong_path

  6. Regarding the above reference, scroll down to the 11th comment, by Deanna, and respond to her and link to your article.

  7. […] Strouts blogs and tweets under the name Skepteco. His about page starts with radical environmentalism:  “I grew up in the south of England and studied […]

  8. How refreshing. I grew up with an alternative world view (read hippy) and was drawn towards eco movements. Later after starting my own business I realised that something just did not chime with my world view. The politics of these groups was unswervingly left wing bordering on marxist. Exactly why anything to do with saving our planet must be twinned with left wing politics I have no idea and it is annoying to see legitimate eco concerns dismissed as rubbish by those who have become jaded by the banner waving conspiracy promoting doom mongers. Its refreshing to see the subject discussed devoid of any political bias.

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