About


I am a campaigner, writer, and researcher. My big project, book Plane Truth: Aviation's Real Impact on People and the Environment was published in October 2013. See the book website for:
  • Articles and reports
  • Resources - aviation books, NGO reports, industry organisations
  • Campaign groups around the world
  • Praise and reviews
  • Contents and synopsis

Plane Truth book website


You can read and download the Introduction to the book here:


Links to some of my reports and articles are posted here. I have been involved in campaigns against unsustainable aviation expansion in the UK for several years and wrote a report on air freight. Before that I worked on developing local food supply chains, as a consultant to government organisations, charities, NGOs and businesses. Some information on this work is on the first website I set up. I also worked on Local Agenda 21 and environmental policy, in London and Kirklees, Yorkshire.

Now the book is finished I've got the time and headspace to blog and write articles again! Photos of me sitting at a computer typing would be rally dull, but here I am doing some cooking demonstrations.

cooking demo in Keighly in sub-zero temperatures




Washing up after a cooking demo


About this website

So much of the advice for starting a blog, or website, says to choose a niche, and stick to it. But that is not how writing, and building a website, work. Many websites begin when people are in a transition. Writing helps to clarify this and help you take a new direction, so the site evolves into something very different than was initially intended. You don't know what you are writing until you have written it. With a website you could be building up many pieces of writing over a long period of time. If you choose a 'niche' when you start out, you might back yourself into a corner, restricting your originality, constraining your contribution to topics which are already well documented. Best to write the posts you are burning to write, later down the line other themes may emerge. One of the joys of building a website is that it is incremental, and you can change it, so why constrain yourself when you begin?

And a website does not have to have one single topic. Content management systems make it easier to organise and navigate a multitude of topics. You may start out writing about the field in which you have most expertise, but chances are that you one of the reasons you are blogging is to help you change your career or life path. Its not so much that we 'write what we know', more that we write what we want to find out. The process of writing helps you find your way.

So besides aviation, the theme of my book, other themes have emerged. Nutrition is one of these. What qualifies me to write about nutrition? Nothing, I base my views on a common sense belief that fresh food is better than processed. The economic crisis which began shortly before I started the website, at the end of 2008, drags on, so that crops up. Global supply chains are an underlying preoccupation. All kinds of resources and products are transported further and faster around the world. The processes by which these goods eventually reach the end customer become ever more complex. The infrastructure - the mines, farms, factories, transportation networks, logistics complexes and warehouses becomes bigger and uglier. Yet the existence and effects of the supply chains are more effectively hidden. For those of us fortunate to live at the consumption end we just see a cornucopia of things to buy. Its like being permanently subsumed in the contrived fairground atmosphere of a shopping mall.



 



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