I was in a supermarket the other day and was slightly annoyed by a hip and possibly cool young dude on his mobile whose conversation was being shared with many of the rest of us shoppers whether we liked it or not. What really really annoys me though is the lack of respect for the staff working in the supermarket. I saw this, let’s call him ignorant fellow for the sake of politeness, ordering cheese from the cheese counter whilst still carrying on his vacuous conversation. All people in our service industries should be able to say “I won’t be serving you unless you engage with me and get off your phone”. Mobile technology is wonderful, loss of being respectful is appalling. Every human deserves respect. And then I found this photo which I think says it in some way. It was taken in a small shop selling coffee and tea in Oxford, a great little place that had obviously been visited by the same sort of ignorant cool dude that I had had to suffer. RESPECT, it costs nothing. Copyright Paul Andrews and Caroline Schmutz, Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk
I took this photo the day after I had taken a short European flight. A beautiful early morning sky with most of the clouds being made up of contrails from flights having recently crossed overhead. Apparently, there could be up to 13,000 planes in the sky at any one time and 500,000 people. There is some controversial studies on the impact of these man made clouds on climate change. It is difficult for us to comprehend how anything that we do might might affect the planet that we live on. The planet for most people is so big and so solid that they have difficulty understanding human impact especially since our individual lives are so short. But do we really understand eccentricity, axial tilt and axial precession? Probably not. Do we know why the last series of ice ages started 2.5 million years or so ago? We can trace Homo Sapiens back about 200,000 years so we came about during an ice age but everything that we see and use has come about since the end of the last ice age and the start of the interglacial that we now live in that started about 12,000 years ago. In that time the estimated 5 million of us started farming and the industrial revolution so that within the relatively, in biological terms, short time frame we had become 1 billion people by around 1800. Just 200 years later we are well past 7 billion and rising fast and have invented cars, planes and smart phones but are we so smart? The bit of the sky that we live in is around 15Km thick, the channel that separates England and France is wider than that and you probably drive or travel further that that to go to work. And we expect this thin layer to absorb everything that we throw at it. Many people accumulate wealth and are so concerned with ensuring their offspring are financially secure but we all share the same small sky and these people don’t appear to realise that you can’t buy a clean piece of it no matter how many pounds, yen or dollars that you have. Save the planet, why, it isn’t necessary? We in all probability could make Earth uninhabitable for ourselves and could take many more species with us as we carry on with our own demise. Life will carry on with or without us and won’t even notice our passing as it re-configures the planet for yet another time. Copyright Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk
The UK media is full of the hot topic of immigration into the UK and it is causing many knee jerk reactions most of which are illogical. In the world globally there is the great drift towards the cities from the rural areas and although I don’t have any figures on this it seems to me that people in the middle latitudes of the planet are either moving north or south depending roughly on what side of the equator they are. But this must be similar to what humans have always done. Some 15,000 years ago the ice sheet that covered the island of Great Britain reached as far south as the Thames supposedly. With that being the case how many of the 60 million or so Britons can claim to be related to the first settlers of this land and what does that mean anyway. Whoever those first people were they were foreigners themselves and their blood has been mixed countless times with the waves of immigration that have occurred since the end of the last ice age. So people of the UK, look around you, none of you have any true claims to be a native, you have just been here a bit longer than some. Individual humans and humanity itself needs to get a grip on some maths and some logic in that nearly everything you see and know is dated within the last inter-glacial period. There is a far larger question to answer than local immigration and that is the ability of the planet to support the number of humans alive today with an acceptable standard of living.