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"Doing my bit" for climate change: why bother?


parmenides3

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Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    I just wrote this for my blog, and it occurred to me that somebody on NW might find it useful. It's also an important question and I hope will stimulate some response:

    ]“Doing my bit” for the climate; why bother?

    Let’s keep it simple to start with: you’ll be richer, have more friends, be happier and get more sex.

    You’ll be richer because you’ll be paying less in energy bills around your home, spending less filling your car up with fuel (if you take the diesel or hi-efficiency option), wasting less on inefficient and unnecessary consumer goods (or cheap tat, as we call it here) and paying less for the local council to take away your rubbish or clear up the streets. There are other financial benefits if you run a company, including increased profitability through efficiency gains, lower BTL costs and greater client sympathy.

    You’ll have more friends, especially if you are a young adult or someone in the prime of their life, as for the first, the idealism of being serious about the environment as a whole and the climate is now more usual than being sceptical about it. You’ll have something in common to discuss with people, making you more interesting, and you won’t sound like a cynical g*t, which is increasingly becoming the fate of people who pooh-pooh climate change or demonstrate innate scepticism.

    You’ll be happier because you’ll know that, even if it did turn out to be less of a problem than most scientists seem to think, you won’t at least have made the world a worse place for your presence. Right or wrong, you’ll feel as if some of the decisions you make about your life have a basis in moral purpose, which implies your desire to be a good person, which in turn makes you feel good about yourself. You’ll also be aware that you are being altruistic in an enlightened-self-interested sort of way, especially if you have children or grandchildren, as you’ll be doing something for someone else. Even if it involves minimal effort and costs you next to nothing (see above), you’ll still feel good about caring about the fate of others and being unselfish. This extends further if you look at the places where climate change is really going to be a problem. You’ll also enjoy the countryside more, being aware that you are interacting with it positively, which may help prevent that nagging feeling that you’d better enjoy it now, before it all goes to hell, that ennui which so often accompanies being out and about in pleasant places.

    You’ll get more sex because all of the above will make you inherently more attractive to others. Some of these others will respond in a way which may lead you to satisfy your carnal cravings, should that be your desire. Though it is true that some people find self-important, cynical, self-centred g*ts attractive in a perverse way, more people are attracted to happy, caring people who have a bit of spare cash to spend as circumstances offer. More contentment in yourself easily extends into a confidence and ease which is often compellingly attractive.

    Slightly more seriously, by actually doing something to contribute to reducing our energy consumption or increasing our efficiency, you’ll be sending a clear signal to government that you care enough about the issue to do something yourself, so they’d better get off their a*ses and do something, otherwise they won’t get elected next time.

    Why “do your bit”? Everyone wins, especially you. Nobody gets hurt. Political commitment becomes more likely. The world becomes a better place.

    A much, much more difficult question to answer would be: “why not?”.

    Any thoughts?

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
    I just wrote this for my blog, and it occurred to me that somebody on NW might find it useful. It's also an important question and I hope will stimulate some response:

    Any thoughts?

    Hi P3,

    I think many people will need more of a 'jolt' in there lives to have them really adopt the ways we know and live. At the moment I percieve it is only on the back of some environmental incident that 'climate chatter' peaks amongst all ages. I hope it isn't one of the 'biggies' that finally convinces them of the need to be different in there living.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    I agree that we often need to be 'shocked' out of our tendency to stick to the stauts quo (what a band!). But I am concerned that waiting for the stuff to hit the fan in this case is not a genuine option. There are good reasons to avoid driving the wrong way up a one-way street before you are involved in a crash. Likewise, there are good reasons why personal action is the thing to do, now.

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Dorset
  • Location: Dorset

    You might remember 7 months ago I did a talk/presentation on this topic at work and got some great help from people on here.

    It's still worth plugging away on individuals and the public, it's important to have them on board, but I agree with GW they won't take serious action until the "Jolt" happens, I am begining to think that even then they might be numb to it unless it effects them. i.e the arctic is vanishing before there eyes and people are remarkably unfazed. This isn't to say they don't care and don't want to stop it a paradox I know.

    It will be upto businesses and governments to show the way, if they are brave enough !.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    One of the most frustrating things here is that most of the people I know are very defensive of the idea that as adults, they make decisions for themselves, and are never influenced by external social factors (e.g. maintenance of the status quo, peer pressure, social norms), which is complete twaddle. This provides another barrier to change- the whole social system we're in won't be tackled anytime soon if people are insistent that social factors are a non-issue for anyone above the age of eighteen!

    The fact is, whether we like it or not, all of us accept things without question, though some of us more than others, and do things because they're the done thing. Social inertia applies in governments and businesses as well, and I think they're as much to blame, collectively speaking, as the general public are- there needs to be effort on all sides. Sometimes business practices and government measures can actually make it harder for people to be individuals and do their bit.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    You might remember 7 months ago I did a talk/presentation on this topic at work and got some great help from people on here.

    It's still worth plugging away on individuals and the public, it's important to have them on board, but I agree with GW they won't take serious action until the "Jolt" happens, I am begining to think that even then they might be numb to it unless it effects them. i.e the arctic is vanishing before there eyes and people are remarkably unfazed. This isn't to say they don't care and don't want to stop it a paradox I know.

    It will be upto businesses and governments to show the way, if they are brave enough !.

    Have you got any material you can link us to, Iceberg?

    What you describe is well illustrated in a recent poll by IPSOS MORI, which showed a high level of awareness and a similarly high level of inertia.

    For a person who things CC is an issue, this is one of the challenges for the coming years.

    TWS: indeed, there is a great deal of discussion about freedom and the right to choose, and so forth, as well as regular claims that one's own decisions are to be respected however rational or irrational they are. I have opinions about some of these ideas. :rolleyes:

    Off for a walk now. HAND.

    :)P

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    Society is selfish these days, a lot of people just don't care, and convincing them to lessen their impact on the environment is probably a lost cause. Other people just aren't well educated on the matter. Others believe that it wont affect them.

    I myself am not convinced that global warming will be a bad thing overall. It will have bad effects indeed but also huge benefits. I live I would say quite a green lifestyle, but it's not due to my fears over global warming, it's just how I like things. I don't like wasting energy, I see cars as noisy, dangerous, filthy things so I don't have one, I like buying locally if possible to support the local area and so on. I'm concerned about the environment, yes, but not regarding climate, rather in the numerous other ways we damage the natural world. I think they are more serious and perhaps all the hysteria over global warming is taking attention away from the real threats by man on our environment.

    For example, say the planet warms 5 degrees. It won't actually harm the environment whatsoever. Things will be warmer, but the wilderness will still be here. Changed yes, but not what I would regard as "destroyed". No doubt the warming will create many other spectacular natural spectacles that aren't here now. Perhaps the great praries of Western Europe, the Australian rain forests. Who knows.

    I myself find all this change interesting, climate wise. Climate change (not the cause just a changing climate whatever the cause) is natural and has happened countless of times in the past. Us chopping down forests, hunting animals to extinction, polluting rivers and seas etc... they have never happened before.

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    Posted
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl

    We're doomed anyway.

    In 20 yrs or less, 5 billion Indians & Chinese will have cars & fridges. So whether i put my papers in my blue bin or not makes zero difference as far as I'm concerned.

    Recycling is all about easing your conscience & jumping on the latest fad.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
    We're doomed anyway.

    In 20 yrs or less, 5 billion Indians & Chinese will have cars & fridges. So whether i put my papers in my blue bin or not makes zero difference as far as I'm concerned.

    Recycling is all about easing your conscience & jumping on the latest fad.

    Fatalistic stuff.

    Do you chuck litter down on the ground because you've no conscience? Throw fags end out of the car? Fly tip? That the road you're on.

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    Posted
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Lots of snow, lots of hot sun
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
    We're doomed anyway.

    In 20 yrs or less, 5 billion Indians & Chinese will have cars & fridges. So whether i put my papers in my blue bin or not makes zero difference as far as I'm concerned.

    Recycling is all about easing your conscience & jumping on the latest fad.

    Did you not take in P3s main points - its nothing to do with conscience, fadism, bandwagon jumping or anything like that. How can I put this so you will get it - the types of human behaviour which P3 is describing are just more likely to result in you having a happier more pleasing and generally more fulfilling life. The fact that these behaviours may be linked to possible helpful activities in terms of environmental impact is almost a byproduct. It's just about being a nice thoughtful considerate person, and the benefits that is likely to bring :rolleyes:

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    I'd Agree Pennine, no matter how much we pretend we 'don't care/won't care' we all do (unless we're some kind of Asberger type or just plain psychopathic) and I'd rather not clutter my life up with guilt I then have to try to hide from/escape from to feel good again.

    Jethro had a pop at my preaching ,but it is sadly who/how I am so I'll keep it short.

    Save your own minds by doing what you know is right (for you). Heaven and Hell are the 'here and now' and so you will inevitably choose which state to exist in. Remember that the only person you can guarantee going to bed with for the rest of your life is you so you better be able to sleep easy with yourself or you are doomed.......

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    I tend to agree; the sort of changes P3 is suggesting would require few if any sacrifices and would have large environmental and social benefits- there are certainly things we can do that are for the greater good. I've long agreed with the general ethos of this thread; I actually reckon that it's important to reduce emissions even if it turns out that human activity is having a negligible effect on global climate.

    One problem is that when the environmentalists campaign for people to change their ways, they seem to focus mainly on methods that require big sacrifices. I mean, some environmentalists consider it anti-social even to travel as a passenger in a car, let alone drive one.

    I think the fatalistic bandwagon is a dangerous road to go down. It may be that there's some element of pre-determination via 'fate' in life (I don't have a strong view either way) but I strongly believe that accepting 'fate' as an absolute tends to result in maintenance of the 'status quo', i.e. we're doomed anyway so why try to solve any of the problems we see in the world. Society still has plenty of scope to advance, and in all probability, it needs to. The globe could easily cope with a 5C warming of global temperature- climate would probably re-correct itself over thousands of years- but could humans? That's more tricky.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    Nice to get a range of responses. Does anyone have an asnwer for the second question: why not?

    I'd be interested to know if there are any sound reasons why not doing our bit is better, either for ourselves, or for others. You can eliminate profit, status, pleasure and sex, unless you can show that inaction can or will offer you more of this than action. Seriously; any reason at all?

    :)P

    Side note: Magpie, of course you are right, that in one form or another earth and at least some of its life forms will persist long after we are all gone. Only thing is, I'm quite attached to humanity, perversely, and would rather see us survive and prosper than suffer and die. Even if you take the view that 'Nature is greater and more important than man, is there anything in failing to act which will harm nature, or is there anything in acting which will prevent harm?

    All the best,

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackdown Hills - Devon
  • Location: Blackdown Hills - Devon
    I just wrote this for my blog, and it occurred to me that somebody on NW might find it useful. It's also an important question and I hope will stimulate some response:

    Any thoughts?

    :)P

    Hi P3

    Yes, lots of thoughts ..... but the main one is what a sad disillusioned person you must be. I am not going to argue with you because .... I am guessing ....... that you are the sort of person that wouldn't listen if I did.

    However .,… I take no offence ……. take good care, and no doubt ….. you will continue to gamble with the future of this beautiful planet and those who are due to take over after we have left it.

    I sincerely hope you are right and I am wrong because if I am ….. no problem …… but if you are?

    dl

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    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
    I just wrote this for my blog, and it occurred to me that somebody on NW might find it useful. It's also an important question and I hope will stimulate some response:

    Any thoughts?

    :)P

    You are slowly losing it?

    No disrespect mate but....

    Sex? ... B) .. wot's that then?

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
    Hi P3

    Yes, lots of thoughts ..... but the main one is what a sad disillusioned person you must be. I am not going to argue with you because .... I am guessing ....... that you are the sort of person that wouldn't listen if I did.

    What on earth justifies that kind of personal attack?

    However .,… I take no offence ……. take good care, and no doubt ….. you will continue to gamble with the future of this beautiful planet and those who are due to take over after we have left it.

    What? In what way is he 'gambling'?

    I sincerely hope you are right and I am wrong because if I am ….. no problem …… but if you are?

    dl

    Again, what are you on about?

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    Hi P3

    Yes, lots of thoughts ..... but the main one is what a sad disillusioned person you must be. I am not going to argue with you because .... I am guessing ....... that you are the sort of person that wouldn't listen if I did.

    However .,… I take no offence ……. take good care, and no doubt ….. you will continue to gamble with the future of this beautiful planet and those who are due to take over after we have left it.

    I sincerely hope you are right and I am wrong because if I am ….. no problem …… but if you are?

    dl

    Good morning, dl. Please explain yourself, at least. Unles you can, I will be tempted to conclude that person who indulges in insults and offers no substantial comment is themselves rather sad and disiluusioned, and that such a person is not going to argue becsuse they couldn't construct an argument in the first place, and wouldn't listen to another's point of view anyway. I trust the members of NW are sufficiently intelligent to decide for themselves whether I am a fair dealer and a listener, and will treat your inane post aprropriately.

    Perhaps at least you could explain why you think my post indicates that I have any desire to gamble with the planet?

    I suspect you may have misinterpreted the intention of my post, but I can't tell, because you haven't said anything about it yet.

    You can get into a fight if you want to dl, but you'll get what you give and a bit more besides. Cut the drivel, say something meaningful, or go away. It's your choice, now.

    :)P

    Edit: potty prof; I lost it years ago. make a point, please...

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
    A much, much more difficult question to answer would be: “why not?”.

    Because, like most people in the Western world I have far more money than I know what to do with, so I need to waste resources in order to get rid of the money, and I can buy influence and friends more easily than earning it.

    And why should I do something when I can pay someone else to do it for me (hence I happily drop litter in the streets and pay more council tax so that someone can be employed to clean up after me)

    I'm a human, selected by 9 out of 10 sentient lifeforms as the most ignorant, foolish, self-centred, arrogant and useless of all species inhabiting any planet in this sector of the galaxy*

    * as determined by a telepath poll of 25.6 trillion people on 981 planets within 10 million parsec radius of the solar system

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    Posted
  • Location: frogmore south devon
  • Location: frogmore south devon
    * as determined by a telepath poll of 25.6 trillion people on 981 planets within 10 million parsec radius of the solar system

    you asked the thinkers what about the drinkers ;)

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    Posted
  • Location: Selsey, West Sussex
  • Location: Selsey, West Sussex

    Dear All,

    Interesting discussion - a small point regarding Gray Wolf's comment re people with Asperger's Syndrome - hopefully quoted below

    I'd Agree Pennine, no matter how much we pretend we 'don't care/won't care' we all do (unless we're some kind of Asberger type or just plain psychopathic) and I'd rather not clutter my life up with guilt I then have to try to hide from/escape from to feel good again.

    People with Asperger's are not necessarily less likely to care about the environment or anything else for that matter, but are more likely to have difficulties understanding social communication and social relationships, some people with Aspergers may not wish to be involved in social aspects others will want to desperately but not be able to understand how to make friends etc. and it is not helpful or accurate to link Asperger's with psychopathy.

    Best wishes,

    Gil

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    Hi P3

    Yes, lots of thoughts ..... but the main one is what a sad disillusioned person you must be. I am not going to argue with you because .... I am guessing ....... that you are the sort of person that wouldn't listen if I did.

    However .,… I take no offence ……. take good care, and no doubt ….. you will continue to gamble with the future of this beautiful planet and those who are due to take over after we have left it.

    I sincerely hope you are right and I am wrong because if I am ….. no problem …… but if you are?

    dl

    Hi devon lad,

    I'm going to jump in here to P3's defence (even though he and others are quite capable of doing it themselves, and have done...!)

    I disagree with P3's viewpoint on AGW - that is no secret! - and I have debated endlessly on here over the last few months with him (and others, of course). I have always found P3 to be articulate, intelligent and well-meaning. Sometimes he may come across as being somewhat disillusioned, but I think that disillusionment is with society as a whole (to make a sweeping generalisation). I think that most people on these boards have a certain degree of disillusionment of one form or another - that's what encourages us to debate on these boards. Hell, I'm one of the most cynical and disillusioned people I know! ;)

    But the main thing that struck me with the above post is the line "I am not going to argue with you because .... I am guessing ....... that you are the sort of person that wouldn't listen if I did." Despite all of our arguing, I have always found P3 to be one of the best listeners on here. On a few occasions, P3 and I have both agreed that a subject needs more study - or whatever - and have dropped particular lines of reasoning on the basis of insufficient grounds for argument. P3 doesn't just plough on with an argument which he feels is right but which is demonstrably wrong - he is a very considerate debater (by which I mean that he actually considers the argument and doesn't just ignore contrary evidence).

    And if anything P3 is hedging his bets, not gambling. He's absolutely right, of course, that there is no good reason not to do "your bit" for the environment. Take energy-saving lightbulbs, for example: even if you ignore the potential environmental impacts of using standard bulbs, energy-saving bulbs save energy, so they save electricity, which means they save you money. Surely saving money is a good thing? Fuel efficient cars don't spew out so much gumpf into the atmosphere, but they also use less fuel and are, therefore, cheaper to run. In fact, many of the changes we can make in our day-to-day lives have the main benefit of saving money. (Yikes! Money really does make the world go round! ;) )

    Anyway, that's enough of my babbling - I'm off to tidy up. (Maybe I'll put some stuff in the recycling bin!)

    ;)

    CB

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    Posted
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
  • Location: Rochester, Kent

    Devils advocate bit, here

    (which means I don't subscribe to that which follows. I must add that it is an excellent exercise to do - that is suspend what you think and try and form and argument justifying actions which you don't believe in)

    Why bother?

    Information is fed to the majority of us through a managed (and edited) media. Sure, one can search the journals and read the source material, but exactly how many actually have the ability to digest such a terse set of documents? So we're faced with information which most of know has been dilated, embellished, and spun until it no longer represents what it should.

    Part of that information is our government telling us to cut emmissions, recycle and the whole caboodle. But what are they doing about? If it were such a serious issue then 'stand-by' buttons would now be illegal for all new televisions sets. If it were such a serious issue then solar heating would be required for new house builds before planning consent was given. If it were a serious problem companies CO2 would be measured and appropriately taxed. The list, as I am sure you are aware, goes on.

    So, knowing that the information fed our way is almost certainly not representative, we must rely on what we see from those who are supposed to be 'in the know' and discern some element of truth and impending doom. These people, those that make up our governments, have children, some(!!) are alturistic, and some care about the future welfare of our biosphere. These people are talking the talk, but they are not walking the walk.

    They want people to follow their example? Well: people are.

    They are doing nothing.

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackdown Hills - Devon
  • Location: Blackdown Hills - Devon
    Good morning, dl. Please explain yourself, at least. Unles you can, I will be tempted to conclude that person who indulges in insults and offers no substantial comment is themselves rather sad and disiluusioned, and that such a person is not going to argue becsuse they couldn't construct an argument in the first place, and wouldn't listen to another's point of view anyway. I trust the members of NW are sufficiently intelligent to decide for themselves whether I am a fair dealer and a listener, and will treat your inane post aprropriately.

    Perhaps at least you could explain why you think my post indicates that I have any desire to gamble with the planet?

    I suspect you may have misinterpreted the intention of my post, but I can't tell, because you haven't said anything about it yet.

    You can get into a fight if you want to dl, but you'll get what you give and a bit more besides. Cut the drivel, say something meaningful, or go away. It's your choice, now.

    :)P

    Edit: potty prof; I lost it years ago. make a point, please...

    :)P

    Good evening P3

    Your initial post reveals that you intended to 'stimulate some response' and you may be upset that you did!

    I will gladly enter into a dialogue with you (not a fight .... it's not my style) but due to commitments it won't be for a few days. Of course it is possible that I may have 'misinterpreted the intention of your post' as you point out .... and if that's the case then I will have no hesitation in apologising.

    Take care.

    dl

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    Posted
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Lots of snow, lots of hot sun
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
    Good evening P3

    Your initial post reveals that you intended to 'stimulate some response' and you may be upset that you did!

    I will gladly enter into a dialogue with you (not a fight .... it's not my style) but due to commitments it won't be for a few days. Of course it is possible that I may have 'misinterpreted the intention of your post' as you point out .... and if that's the case then I will have no hesitation in apologising.

    Take care.

    dl

    I've just read your initial response and I just don't understand. Your post simply doesn't fit P3s original post as a reply, it's like shouting at someone for suggesting an interesting topic of discussion. At first I thought you must have replied to the wrong post, but your post above appears to disprove that, so now I'm just plain confused - how could anyone take any kind of umbrage, or feel the need to make comments such as yours in response to such mild (borderline humerous) suggestions ???

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackdown Hills - Devon
  • Location: Blackdown Hills - Devon
    I've just read your initial response and I just don't understand. Your post simply doesn't fit P3s original post as a reply, it's like shouting at someone for suggesting an interesting topic of discussion. At first I thought you must have replied to the wrong post, but your post above appears to disprove that, so now I'm just plain confused - how could anyone take any kind of umbrage, or feel the need to make comments such as yours in response to such mild (borderline humerous) suggestions ???

    Hi PTFD

    You have obviously read my post this evening to P3s response ...... in fact you have quoted it. As I said ....... when I get more time to look at whether I got it all wrong (and the majority of replies seem to suggest that I may have) then I will send a full response.

    I have also said that if have misinterpreted P3s post then I will apologise. Matter closed.

    dl

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