"The priority for our communities, movements, and decision-makers must now be to end the era of fossil fuels and transform our societies and economies towards sustainable systems designed to address peoples’ needs, safety and wellbeing, not profit and greed."

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sunday thoughts - a hypocrites view

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race.  Rachel Carson.

A name to remember, her 'Silent Spring' is slowly unfolding across the Earth.  The other day when I took back some magazines to R and J, they asked me to explain what magazines I read.  Well there is 'Permaculture', 'Resurgence' and the 'Newstateman' I answered and gave a not very good answer as to how the word permaculture is used.  I sometimes think that I am ashamed of my reading, certainly socialist, very green and completely at odds with the people around me.  What for instance would you think of me as I decried the useless journeys by air to far away places so that we could just 'see' the scenic environment? Firstly you would justify the journey to me and yourself, and call it a lot of nonsense about 'Climate Emergency', the term  that the Guardian uses.

But your viewpoint is just a drop of water in a large lake, it has no significance, neither does mine.  But slowly out there in the wider world there is an awakening that nature is in itself a force to be reckoned with, may even have legal rights but how would that play out against the destructive forces such as large oil and mining companies to reduce it to a sink hole of commodities.  Certainly the likes of Donald Trump are exacerbating that.

So where am I going you may well ask.  Well I looked up at a tree that borders our property yesterday evening, it was beautiful in the setting sun, Autumn tones of leaf, bare skeleton of branches, a painting, not deliberate but beautiful in its composition.  The mind's eye snapping the moment.

And then this morning I read Robert Macfarlane's 'Should this tree have the same rights as you?' essay in the Review section of the Guardian.  It brings the thought closer, though we can see that litigation is a complicated affair and only lines the pockets of the lawyers.  There is a growing movement amongst novelists to see the land as something 'other' a living being, animistic.  Often expressed through states of belief in 'Gaia' or 'Mother Earth'.  The Goddess Earth,* sometimes seen in glimpses from past beliefs, in the shape of mountains and lakes.  All that wonderful folklore endowing the Earth with  significant forces of good and evil.  Something we are finding now of course is the destructive elements of the earth, fire and water.  We are  experiencing for instance the melting of glaciers, (they even blessed one in Switzerland, it had died when it melted.)

Western world is not too worried, their lands are not being drowned by rising seas at the moment, though fires rage in different parts of the world with a ferocity that is still to be understood.  The human 'self' reigns supreme, though probably sadly to be overtaken by AI and the robot in future time, wonder where that will take us.  As I type they are gustily singing hymns on the radio.  Habits of a lifetime are not easily broken, though the Church fears for its presence in today's society.

So to leave with words that come from someone who experiences the vitality of life that throbs on our Earth, - The Spell of the Sensuous',  David Abrams.  Find him out in quotes, worth much more than a thousand photos. In this instance in another book...

 “Such reciprocity is the very structure of perception. We experience the sensuous world only by rendering ourselves vulnerable to that world. Sensory perception is this ongoing interweavement: the terrain enters into us only to the extent that we allow ourselves to be taken up within that terrain.”
― David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology

And have you ever met The Cailleach?


  1. Yes, my recent journey left a large carbon footprint, but those planes would have flown without me. Also, planes are far more efficient in energy use for the same route than cars. Trains are better, but they do not always have the route one wants. This from an article in the Smithsonian: "Let’s do more math: Jet fuel produces 21 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per gallon burned. (How is that possible, you ask, if a gallon of fuel weighs less than seven pounds? When hydrocarbon molecules separate through combustion, the carbon atoms recombine with two clunky oxygen atoms each, accounting for substantial weight gain.) And gasoline produces almost 20 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per gallon burned. About the same for each, meaning that we get more emissions globally from cars than we do from airplanes."

    I also strongly believe that meeting people from around the world and seeing how they work and life is immensely important to the peace and understanding of our world.

    But, I agree that we all contribute in many ways to this climate change and must find better ways of slowing that down.

  2. I have a friend who has just flown to Japan for the rugby final, flown back and the next day flown to India for a fortnight's holiday. Many thousands flew out to Japan for the final - it was easily and more comfortably watched from one's own settee.


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