Author of stories for children, Scientist and Philosopher organic cotton products, comments on life, the universe and everything, photography. Conservationist, Environmentalist. Lives on the pale blue dot. Humanity must tread more lightly on the world
Finding the remains of other human species is reasonably rare and of other species that have come and gone. H. sapiens have scarred the planet far more deeply than others so it would presumably take a lot longer to bury all trace or most of the traces of our existence should we by dumb enough to aid ourselves in going extinct. If it happened tomorrow imagine intelligent aliens arriving one hundred years from now or a thousand, ten thousand or one hundred thousand. Would any of what we have done be left poking out of the surface? I took this photo in the overgrown cemetery at Brompton in London near the Chelsea football stadium. You can see how quickly the plants, then bushes and then trees take over the untended graves. The arch in the picture would take longer but eventually plant life would gain a hold in small crevices and eventually it would come tumbling down. We forget that we exist on a dynamic changing planet and we often ignore that we are here because of the way it works. Currently we are doing our best to break it and this may well indeed lead to our extinction if we are not too careful. We must therefore as a species learn to tread more carefully upon it.
I posted this in April last year and since then we’ve lost so much more forest and other habitat. In many cases it’s as if as a species we are ignorant or stupid.
27th April 2021
A fallen giant and one that is probably one of the few that fell naturally due to its age and size in 2021. Think of what the Earth must have been like before us? Before we the modern primate discovered fire and tools for bringing the natural life of great trees to an early unnatural end. There would have been the occasional crash of a titan in a forest rather than the chainsaw desecration to grow palm oil or coffee or to give some pretentious executive a truly non environmentally friendly office. Trees are part of that important system of maintaining the Earth in some sort of habitable balance for all life forms to carry on living, passing on their genes and allowing evolution to take place. Most humans though just see them as an obstacle to growth and to what we primates laughingly call progress. A progress that is probably increasing the likelihood of our own species extinction. Extinction is the norm and our current mindset is that we take nature for granted. We shouldn’t unless we want to learn a very hard lesson for not giving it the respect that it deserves.
I posted this in 2021 when we broke through 420ppm CO2 in the atmosphere. In 2022 this happened even earlier in the year. We are in big trouble. It might not seem like it to you at the moment but we are.
7th April 2021
It was going to happen before the end of May that was pretty much certain but here we are on April the 3rd and we’ve passed the 420ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere for the first time in probably over three million years. Aren’t we clever? Perhaps not. Despite a La Niña event we are seeing large high and low temperature records being broken and a very disturbed polar vortex. 2021 is shaping up well for some extreme weather events, snow, rain, droughts with perhaps some killer heat waves, forest fires and perhaps some price increasing crop failures thrown in for good measure. Welcome to the real scary amusement park of fossil fuel burning where the ride seems to be for free. Only your kids and grand-kids are going to have to foot the very, very expensive bill.
I posted this at the end of March last year. The tiny plastic particles from these cards are out there causing havoc in the environment and they may even have devastating consequences for human health. So if you a looking to buy a card for any occasion remember to avoid any that have tiny plastic particles on them.
30th March 2021
Take a look at this Christmas card and the small specks on the table. That’s glitter, it’s plastic, it’s pollution. It’s from the oil industry. Those small specks and countless billions like them are out there in the environment on the highest mountains and in the deepest ocean trenches and they are in you and I. They were found in the placenta of women having given birth in Rome. That means ladies that if you haven’t had children yet you’ll be passing on the microplastic in you to your future kids with all the potential adverse effects on their endocrine systems and other functions. There’s also the possibility that nanoplastic and microplastic particles could be able to pass the blood brain barrier. We really have messed up this planet big time and we therefore need to change. Don’t believe me, just do a search. Or perhaps you would rather not know and pretend everything is fine when it’s not. If that’s the case you are abdicating your responsibility to future generations and the environment.
I first posted this at the end of March 2021. I guess we are still burning fossil fuels to transport air and cut up potatoes around the world. This might be good for brands and business it’s disastrous for the planet and possibly for the future of humans. We need system and economics change.
29th March 2021
In the next couple of months we will almost certainly break through that little round number of 420ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. It’s just a number and it will increase but we ought to remember why that number is so high because its consequences are going to be far reaching. Part of the reason is the humble potato, not the potato itself but the snack food crisps derived from them. It would make sense to ship potatoes where they are needed but to cut them up, fry them, put them in a plastic bag full of air, put a number of plastic air filled bags in a box and ship a large number of boxes to wherever may make monetary sense but it’s an environmental disaster. Crisps, like many other products need to be made locally, sold locally and consumed locally. Economics must not be allowed to destroy the environment and our shared future. (Yes, this was in an airport, Geneva and it was me with a packet of British crisps which I’m sure the Swiss are equally capable of making.)
I posted this at the end of March 2021. How many people are anymore the wiser in knowing what pollutants are in their houses?
28th March 2021
With a title borrowed from Talking Heads this article is in French unfortunately for those that are not French speakers but it highlights the environmental poisoning that our dream houses are doing to the natural world. While it might seem normal for you or I in our tiny life bubbles imagine the house scaled up for 7.8 billion people. That’s a lot of pollution.
First blogged on the 19th of March 2021 forests are still being destroyed to grow cocoa to make sugar laden chocolate and those addicted to it fat.
19th March 2021
Pile it high chocolate representing a destroyed rain forest somewhere on the planet with probable economic slavery thrown in of the growers paid far below what first world workers would earn so Westerners can stuff themselves with sugar laden products that make them obese and ill. Economics if not the dirtiest game then certainly one of the most dirty games that humans play. 15th of September 2018.
Basil really enjoys a day out at the Château de Versailles just outside of Paris.
Brown Bear’s Big Day Out is a story about a bear in a zoo that puts on a disguise so that he can escape and visit a funfair called Dizzyland. It’s about looking at people in depth and not being afraid because they look different from you. So Basil looks like a man when disguised but is still the same friendly and hero bear in this case once his disguise slips.
The story contains illustrations throughout the text. These are then repeated at the back of the printed book so that younger children can colour them in. One of them can be seen below.
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