Posted in Journal

Filling Time in Lockdown

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Throughout history outbreaks of Bubonic Plague had only the fleas carried by rats, traveling upon merchant ships to spread the disease. Now the whole world fits in the pocket of each and every one of us, enabling a pandemic to quickly take hold since the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Wuhan, China back in November 2019.

The public were asked to self-isolate only if they or their family had symptoms of the virus. Panic buying quickly gripped the nation. Mothers without formula to feed their babies. And scrupulous opportunists on the internet, making a quick buck from their hoard of daily essentials. The poor begging the wealthy to leave stock on the shelves. Amid the faceless selfishness were acts of kindness: an Indian takeaway leaving free food at the doors of the quarantined.

One by one countries close their international doorways. Confirmed cases and fatalities rise daily. Unessential businesses are forced to close and almost overnight the population are temporarily made redundant. The world is going into lockdown. Leaving home is only permitted for supplies of food, medicine, exercise and work. Now what better time to write a book, when society has locked its doors. My characters are coming together nicely and a plot is developing. The hardest part is no change of scenery to stroll through and organise my thoughts. Instead I am reading plenty, knitting, cleaning, cooking, baking and researching the internet.

None of us know when life will return to normal and what normal will have become. For now we should stay calm, keep busy and productively fulfil our dreams.

Posted in Social Issues

Going Green

Image by ejaugsburg from Pixabay

Sorry I have been away so long folks. The pressures of modern day life have had me a little green around the gills. Global political turmoil hasn’t helped. Brexit. Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, the opposition handing him the leadership on a plate. For months I refused to watch, listen, or talk politics choosing not to vote, tearing my polling card up in the trash. But I am back. And green is here to stay.

I was in primary school when whispers of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions started to float around. Stop using aerosol cans and recycle your plastic, glass and paper. Eco warriors as they were known, climbed trees in an effort to save them. It became trendy to carry plastic bags filled with bottles, clothes and paper to the recycling bins that cropped up in supermarket car parks. And there was a surge on sales of roll on and pump action deodorant, products declaring they did not test on animals. But it was a fad a self indulgence, chance to pass the book to someone else. Families continued to strive towards two or more cars on the drive, filling the tanks and heating their homes with depleting fossil fuels. Taking flights became as simple as strolling through the park. The eco warriors were ignored even laughed at, with their cornrows and recycled patchwork clothing. Life continued much as before, only with more throw away goods: paper coffee cups, plastic water bottles, wipes and disposable nappies, plastic bags and straws, disposable razors, and layer after layer of plastic wrapping for our groceries upon supermarket shelves (flown in from far away lands to feed our appetite for a taste of the exotic).

Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Now I am 41. The whisper of climate change has become a desperate scream for help. Britain spends a majority of the year under water. Australia spent the summer on fire. Last week houses on the shore of Lake Erie, New York resembled a scene out of frozen, when high winds and freezing temperatures encased homes in thick ice. While southern states are braced for heavy rain and flooding. Volcanoes, earth quakes and tsunamis are becoming more frequent and catastrophic.

It is no secret the oceans are rising due to increasing temperatures and melting glaciers and ice sheets. But a new crisis is emerging. The Artic permafrost is thawing. And fast. Much faster than scientists anticipated. This premature big thaw, can best be described as opening Pandora’s freezer. Releasing vast swathes of carbon from the partially decomposed plants and grazers, buried beneath layers of silt and melting muddy permafrost. Scientists now suspect for every Degree Celsius rise in the earths core temperature, melting permafrost will release up to six years worth of coal, oil and natural gas emissions. Up to three times the amount researchers predicted only a few years previous. Thawing permafrost could become as big a source of CO2 emissions as China, currently the worlds leader in greenhouse gas emissions. Humans need to end their reliance on carbon to fuel their economies. Not in the next century, decade, or year. But now, if there is any chance of reversing the damage caused by climate change.

I have quit goodwill gestures regarding climate change, my only regret is not doing so sooner. Please join hands in support of our climate emergency.