A for average, in nature, is rare! Photo by me.
The word average has an interesting etymology. It originally seems to have been derived from an Arabic word, ‘awariya, ” meaning damaged merchandise.
Since the Middle Ages, the shipping and insurance industries adopted the term, I guess due to the high risks of damage from voyages on the high seas. If a ship were in trouble, and cargo, or ships masts, or other material goods, perhaps even crew or living cargo (human or not), were thrown overboard in order to save the vessel, then losses were calculated by producing a mean ‘cost’ for each claimant for Insurance purposes. … Read more
The Emergent Urgent, Photo by me.
I think it’s time we looked at time scales in terms of ‘doing’. The reality is the need for immediate change. Today. That everyone is not participating today is complex, but there’s real truth in urgency.
The use of the word ’emergency’ has been severely compromised. I have read on Twitter a defense of using the phrase ‘long emergency.’ A long emergency is about as useful as a flying brick, a nonviable dialectic – AN OXYMORON. People need to understand the urgency, in mitigation and adaptation.
Western techno-industrial values, competition, fear, consequential life-styles and the general global devaluation of life for markets, that lead to habitat loss, emissions, poverty, racism, failing democracy, dictatorship, xenophobia, North-South divides, nationalism ~ please feel free to add more ~ are failing all living beings. … Read more
Sepia light seeps into my consciousness.
Monday morning came and went. I expected wind-lash Ophelia to clip us hard here in Cardiff and I battened down in readiness. Instead, thick clouds loomed and a strange sepia tone infiltrated every corner of my being. In my eyes, across my forearms, inside my head.
I looked up at white exterior walls, knowing them to be white, yet they were not. The uncanniness altered my mental state. There was an ominousness to all and yet I felt excited. I looked out across the rooftops and towards the hills and felt disrupted, deeply distracted. I couldn’t work so observed the birds as they too observed the skies. … Read more
Statue of Sir Peter Scott, London Wetland Centre, by Ginny Battson © 2014
“The world has gone mad.”
I am hearing this often in my particular sprachraum (the Anglosphere, at least), off-line and on-line, an almost daily occurrence from one quarter or another. Along with a sharply rising global temperature mean, record breaking norm-shattering meteorology and ice-melt across consecutive months, we are witnessing regressive steps in socio-political relationships; intolerance and prejudice gaining traction as some kind of reactive protest against uneven wealth distribution and increasing migration of the dispossessed. The far right have their heads up for the main-chance. This is deeply worrying to those with a conscience. … Read more
Around 55.8 million years ago, huge quantities of carbon dioxide were suddenly released into the atmosphere, and temperatures climbed around 5°C. No-one knows exactly why. Vulcanism, wildfires, & feedback loops of methane on the sea-floor released & CO2 from melting permafrost on top? Extinctions quadrupled, global migrations exploded and intense storms raged.
This period is known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum and has been the most rapid rise in CO2 release, ocean acidification and global temperature range ever recorded in science…. until now.
We’re beating it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ … Read more
Wave, Isle of Barra © 2012 Ginny Battson
Poles are cold and the tropics are hot; continents and oceans absorb the sun’s energy at differing rates. The atmosphere is pulled hither and thither, and winds begin to form and swirl around our magnificent planet. A ripple appears far out in the surface tension of a millpond ocean and energy is rapidly transferred from the sky to water. The ripple becomes a wind wave, a heave of energy travelling across the water until it collides, reflects, rebounds and turns into other forms of energy, like sound. I love the sound of its energy crashing along the coast. … Read more
I am at Monknash SSSI on the South Wales coast, protected for its abundance of special geology and rare species. A handful of humans and our canine companions are wandering the beach towards Cwm Marcross, beneath magnificent Liassic cliffs just West of Nash Point. We are all separate in our own worlds, though sharing the common experience of listening to the cackling of fulmars on narrow ledges and tracing our way along the shore. The steep, stratified layers of the cliffs are a rhythmic repetition of limestone and mudstone, and formed as a late Triassic desert was inundated by ocean. Molluscan faunas found here by paleontologists have provided a surprisingly detailed record of environmental history, particularly in rarer tufa limestone deposits. … Read more
A few thoughts on people/nature conflict resolution, exposed to the elements, hounded by storms and, perhaps, to be scoured by a flood of anthropocentrism.
“Nature OR Agriculture” “Birds OR People” “Rural OR Urban”
I’m certainly hearing these demands more frequently over the airwaves. Career politicians, wrapped in the perpetual maelstrom of an adversarial system, appear hellbent on continuing to present financial and moral arguments based on A versus B. Of course, they never clearly define A or B, but intentionally reenforce prejudice and encourage division amongst the populous for their own gain, even if simply for a first-past-the-post vote.
Emissions, biodiversity loss and lack of natural resilience, all contributing to the problem and action is overdue, but it is now crucial that knee-jerk decisions should not be made in exchange for short-termism. … Read more