Showing posts from August, 2020

Can we be bothered?

  I wonder if this is it. All this interminable rain - is it climate change or just some inclement weather? I have no idea whether we are experiencing more rain than normal for this time of year. I don't even know what normal is. I do know that one of the predicted consequences of climate change is more extremes of weather and they do seem to be happening. The highest temperature ever recorded on earth - since humans have been measuring it anyway -   happened just recently in California - that's an extreme. Sea levels are, in fact, rising. Stories of storms and tempests across the globe seem to be ever more frequent on the news. But are they? It certainly seems that they are, but we can't be 100% certain unless we count them and compare the statistics with past figures. This is why we need science. Scientists count and measure things, and then, using knowledge and expertise gained through years of study and research, they attempt to draw conclusions from the information th

Keeping us in the dark.

  Having dropped the kids off at school this morning, I found myself behind a milk delivery truck. On the back of it was a big picture of a milk carton along with some joyous text promoting the new 'triple layer light proof' milk bottle. Of course I share their enthusiasm: Before I gave up drinking milk I would regularly eat my cornflakes in the pantry, where it was nice and dark. It just tasted better than milk by daylight. Have you ever noticed what lovely teeth vampires have? Must be all that calcium by night. Then I would begin my daily fitness regime followed by my dental health routine, beauty, mental well-being, and spiritual awareness. I don't know where I would have ended up were it not for the jojoba and aloe vera scrubs and the many and varied potions and supplements each containing just enough 'real authentic genuine' something to be able to use the name of it.  When I was an under-nourished musician somewhere in the nineties I saw an ad on TV telling

Food farms: Good for the planet?

  Let's peer into the future for a moment, but before we do, let's look at some recent events. Over the past  few years there have been a few stories in the news about houses in certain parts of the developed world selling for ridiculously low prices, and I have just seen another one today. In some cases the local authority will practically give you a house if you agree to spend a certain amount of money doing it up - and then undertake to live in it for a certain period of time. Of course the problem is that the newly welcomed residents then have to find gainful employment in their new, often a bit isolated, community. But it's the lack of economic activity, and therefore employment, which has caused the situation in the first place. There have been stories in the news about food technology, and how food may very well be 'grown' in factories to an almost limitless array of specifications. Management will be able to dial up a run of steak, or flour, or milk to na

Examining the greenness.

What a day. It started at home in Cambridge. I had to go to work for an hour, and then pack up the car and the family and drive south, and now I am sitting in a cabin in the holiday park at Foxton beach.   Something I have been aware of for some time has been brought into stark relief in the last couple of days: I am constantly evaluating the 'greenness of things'.  Last night two young men visited our house; one is an apprentice diesel mechanic and the other is embarking on a career in the dairy industry. A quick, involuntary evaluation yielded the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that in twenty years time both of those industries will be niche, if at all. I feel almost traitorous for thinking it, but to my mind it seems inevitable. As we left Cambridge I was evaluating the ethical and environmental justification for going on this trip at all. I am afraid to say that the outing is ecologically indefensible. We are down here to collect a new puppy for my daughter, and not a CO2