Reflections on our climate emergency #1

This mirrors my angst in many ways.

Abigail Hopewell

Whoever we are, whatever we do, and wherever we live, every single one of us will be increasingly affected by anthropogenic climate change and the world’s unfolding sixth mass extinction.

My wake-up call

I remember being concerned about the health and wellbeing of planet earth from a relatively young age. My first proper wake-up call occurred in the late 1980s; as a pre-teen I learned about the escalating worries about the effects of CFC gases on the ozone layer, I cared deeply about the plight of endangered animals, I felt upset by humanity’s cruel and destructive actions on the planet and her inhabitants. Resolute that I had to do something, I joined Friends of the Earth, became a vegetarian, and got into politics. So began an interest and passion for the environment and natural world that has never really gone away, albeit has ebbed and flowed over the years.


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Think before you post.

The Dark Psychology of Social Networks Why it feels like everything is going haywire Mark Pernice Story by Jonathan Haidt and Tobias Rose-Stockwell Suppose that the biblical story of Creation were true: God created the universe in six days, including all the laws of physics and all the physical constants that apply throughout the universe. [...]

The Seabird’s Cry

It is disturbing to read but essential to read and to act now!

I can't believe it!

the seabird cryI’ve always enjoyed time spent by the sea, and particularly Britain’s cliffs and the plethora of seabirds to be seen there. Beeston Cliffs, St Abbs Head, South Stack, Duncansby Head, Summer Isles, cliffs of the South West of England and Wales, and more… So many places. Until recently I never questioned if these great massings of seabirds would ever not be there. Yet they are in perilous decline and danger, as are seabird colonies the world over. Industrial fishing, pollution and climate breakdown are presenting insuperable problems to many species. The spectre of multiple extinctions looms.

In his magnificent and illustrated book The Seabird’s Cry, Adam Nicolson takes us through the glory of common species of seabirds, the threats they face and the effects on populations, mostly declining. It is a story at the same time beautifully told, yet almost impossible to bear.

A few of my notes will…

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We all know that we will die, so why do we struggle to believe it?

In the novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Leo Tolstoy presents a man who is shocked by suddenly realising that his death is inevitable. While we can easily appreciate that the diagnosis of a terminal illness came as an unpleasant surprise, how could he only then discover the fact of his mortality? But that [...]

The Bold, Inquisitive and Noisy Jay(1 image) – Let’s Change Our Hearts for Birds

Nothing better than the sounds of birds in the woods, thank you fro sharing.

Magical Elements Nature Photography

Birds are miraculous beings, they provide nature’s songs and are amazing to observe. Modern birds have inhabited the earth for over 100 million years, they deserve to be protected and be a part of our thought process in our daily lives through our conservation efforts and in whatever ways we can be kinder to the earth. Birds like all wildlife have a place in our ecosystem, let’s be the change they need to keep the earth alive and healthy.

Climate Vulnerability and the Stellar’s Jay:

From the National Audubon Society:The same climate change-driven threats that put wildlife and people at risk also effects birds.

Spring heat waves endanger young birds in the nest.

Summer brings fire weather, wildfires incinerate habitat, and if they burn repeatedly, prevent it from recovering.

Winter – Did you know that in winter, birds such as Stellar’s Jay have little to protect them from the cold?…

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Going totally dieselpunk with the Antarctic Snow Cruiser

A little history for today.

Matthew Wright

Picture the scene: you’re standing on an ice-shelf in Antaractica circa 1940 and suddenly spot a huge orange-red vehicle approaching on just four 10-foot high balloon tyres. It’s got a small aircraft on its back. And it’s absolutely enormous: 16 feet high, 20 feet wide and 55 feet long – a giant of a vehicle straight out of Flash Gordon.

This sounds like a bonkers dieselpunk fantasy – the sort of vehicle somebody might build in 1/72 scale and plop into an Antarctic diorama. We can imagine such a diorama would also feature the inevitable secret Nazi base. Except it isn’t. The Antarctic Snow Cruiser, aka Penguin 1, actually existed. The Nazis had a bit to do with it, to the extent that German interest in the Antarctic sub-continent was growing during the 1930s and, inevitably, the other major powers also felt they needed to get involved.

It was against…

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What do singing and baseball have in common?

Great article and very interesting comparing work and talent. I’m sure most of us know someone (maybe even ourselves?) who we think could have done so much more if they (we) had only committed and worked.

Robby Robin's Journey

If anyone had asked me that question a few weeks ago I just would have laughed. I love singing and I enjoy watching baseball on TV, but having anything in common, yeah, right! Until I attended a weekend choral workshop a few weeks ago and started thinking differently. OK, I didn’t start thinking they had much in common, but for advice on how to be the best you can be at your “game”, they have more in common than I would have thought.

Choral workshops, for those of you who might wonder what in heaven’s name that is, bring together lots of keen singers (90 from across our province in this case) to work on a well-regarded major piece (Mozart’s Requiem in this case) with a highly regarded guest conductor (the awesome Doug Dunsmore in this case) to spend the weekend practicing (and practicing and practicing) and learning techniques to…

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