Nature Thrives

In sunny early May in London the streets are pretty empty and there is little traffic noise. It is as though central London has paused. Most Londoners are hiding in their homes too frightened of catching COVID-19 to leave the safety of their surroundings. It has been six weeks now and the lockdown has been applied throughout these islands, even in places which have had no signs of the dreaded disease taking hold.

As a result of the emptiness of London, nature, which abhors a vacuum, has found that in these conditions birds and animals thrive, insects thrive.

Governments, who found it easy to create a lockdown now face a much harder task of deciding when and how to end it. It is going to be very difficult to end the lockdown because governments in many countries have so effectively scared the people. It was easy to get public support for the lockdown – “you are in danger because of this problem” was the message. I expect that most people will not willingly accept the end of the lockdown until the message becomes “you are no longer in danger we have solved the problem”.

a vixen with her cubs

In the meantime our native animals, apparently unaffected by the corona-virus, enjoy safety and freedom from intrusive humanity which they have not enjoyed for centuries.

The Nature of Compromises and Compromises with Nature

The talks about preventing global warming in Warsaw have ended with a compromise between the nations. Like all compromises the participants have given up some of what they want and agreed to some of what they do want. that is the nature of compromises.  Continue reading

Memories -the Bomb Sites of Poplar

When I lived in Poplar more than fifty years ago there were many places where the destruction of the bombing in the second world war could be seen. Poplar had a large community of dock workers – dockers, stevedores, lightermen who worked in the Port of London. The docks were a strategic target for enemy bombing and bombing is never a precise activity. As a result many buildings were damaged to destruction.  Continue reading

Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report has just been published. As is the way these days snippets have been released before publication and the headline is that the scientists say that they are 95% certain that climate change is mainly, or dominantly caused by human activity.  Continue reading

The Extent of Arctic Sea Ice 2013

We are approaching the time when Arctic sea ice is measured at its seasonal lowest extent. Some sources have inaccurately reported that sea ice concentration this year is the highest ever. It is not. The extent of sea ice is significantly below the average extent of sea ice from 1981 to 2010. Continue reading

The Snows of Yesteryear

The British weather is like a bad lover. She seduces only to disappoint. Perhaps in London we have had our summer, even though the nights are still getting longer for a few more days. Perhaps it is age, which remembers better summers through the tinted eyes that are now weary and less reliable. We live within our time and recall times past imperfectly through the prism of optimism, which distorts by showing too much. And as the night draw in with depressing inexorable ruthlessness and as winter’s cold wraps itself into our very bones shall we ask

Mais où sont les neiges d’antan!

A Depressing Achievement

We are nearly there. The Mauna Loa readings of atmospheric carbon dioxide at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Hawaiian northern subtropics recorded a mean average for May 2013 of 399.77 parts per million.   Continue reading