& Bobs Page
after the last tree has been cut down
after the last green field has been turned to desert
after the last river has been poisoned
after the last fish has been caught
then will you find that money cannot be eaten
Translation from a North American Indian book of wisdom
pages are where I can let off a bit of steam, It will let
you know a little bit about what makes me tick, why we do
the job we do, and what I feel about the environment and
the frustration because of the way that Governments allow
some to abuse our wonderful world. The complete Injustice
in the way that a few are allowed to reap a massive harvest
from the sea for their own personal profit, and stuff everyone
else. Some African Nations have sold the fishing rights
to their own waters to foreign trawlers with no thought
to their own people who cannot survive without being able
to catch fish. We do not own this world, we are just custodians
of it for our short lifetimes. We should be looking after
it for our children and grandchildren. To take everything
you can, just because you can, is not good enough, the worlds
resources should benefit every one, not just the ones who
feel they deserve more than the rest, or are able to afford
to take more than the rest. We are a very greedy race, and
we are destroying our Planet at an alarming rate, it has
got to stop. I don't know how. Governments don't seem to
be able to get to grips with any of it, I don't know how
anyone can, given the way the big companies are allowed
to rape the World for profit, and the way the Worlds population
is growing, needing ever more. What I do know, is that an
answer has got to be found, soon, before its all gone. We
have seen a steady decline in the fish stocks and other
wildlife over the last 20 years or so on our little bit
of coast, but its not all gone, yet. The job that we do,
allows us to experience a little of the beauty our natural
World still contains, and to share this with some of the
people we take out on the African Queen. My attitude is
that having the money to buy an expensive fishing boat does
not give you the right to plunder what is a finite resource
in our seas, no more than having the money to buy a chainsaw
gives you the right to cut down the forests of the World.
This Guy should be President of the World (and i'd like to go for a beer with him)
It's a common grumble that politicians' lifestyles are far removed from those of their electorate. Not so in Uruguay, their president lives on a ramshackle farm and gives away most of his pay.
Laundry is strung outside the house. The water comes from a well in a yard overgrown with weeds. Only two police officers and Manuela, a three-legged dog, keep watch outside.
This is the residence of the president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, whose lifestyle clearly differs sharply from that of most other world leaders.
President Mujica has shunned the luxurious house that the Uruguayan state provides for its leaders and opted to stay at his farmhouse, off a dirt road outside the capital, Montevideo.
The president and his wife work the land themselves, growing flowers. This austere lifestyle - and the fact that Mujica donates about 90% of his monthly salary, equivalent to $12,000 (£7,500), to charity - has led him to be labelled the poorest president in the world.
"I've lived like this most of my life," he says, sitting on an old chair in his garden, using a cushion favoured by Manuela the dog. "I can live well with what I have."
His charitable donations - which benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs - mean his salary is roughly in line with the average Uruguayan income of $775 (£485) a month.
I'm called 'the poorest president', but I don't feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more," he says. "This is a matter of freedom. If you don't have many possessions then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself," he says. "I may appear to be an eccentric old man... But this is a free choice."
The Uruguayan leader made a similar point when he addressed the Rio + 20 summit in June this year: "We've been talking all afternoon about sustainable development to get the masses out of poverty. But what are we thinking? Do we want the model of development and consumption of the rich countries? I ask you now: what would happen to this planet if Indians would have the same proportion of cars per household as Germans? How much oxygen would we have left? Does this planet have enough resources so seven or eight billion can have the same level of consumption and waste that today is seen in rich societies? It is this level of hyper-consumption that is harming our planet."
Mujica accuses most world leaders of having a "blind obsession to achieve growth with consumption, as if the contrary would mean the end of the world".