The Chinese paddlefish had lived as a species for 200,000,000 years, long before nations such as China or any other human named piece of the planet’s surface existed, but that was before this last interglacial period in which the human primate population went through the roof and they invented agriculture, the wheel, dams etc and with them caused the demise of so many species. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/chinese-paddlefish-one-of-largest-fish-extinct
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I’m indelibly stamped British. I grew up and I was fortunate to grow up in a country that had at the time a free health care system that was a world leader. My schooling despite some wonderful teachers left something to be desired but I continued to learn and still do through my adult life. Although the country has been involved in wars, many unnecessarily so, I have not had to take part. Do I know what it means to be British? Not particularly. You could point to a map and say roughly what Britain is but then you would find places like the Falklands that controversially are part of Britain. Do I know what it means to be human? I think I know more about that than I do about being a person of a particular country that involves drawing imaginary lines on the planet’s surface.
I’m one of those followers of Recent African Origin where my ancestors like those of everyone else, walked out of Africa and therefore we have a common human origin. On that basis I treat everyone the same with the caveat that if you look down on other humans as being lesser than you then you are no friend of mine. It’s my personal belief that I’m a human first and a British national for the sake of convenience second. I also believe that if we are to solve the great problems of the world that we need to teach people that being human is more important than their nationality. The physical processes that govern the planet do not recognise our imaginary lines of division. The big bad wolf of climate change is going to come knocking at your door no matter on which part of the planet you live.
So where am I going with this? Well it’s about joining the dots again. In the 366 days of 2020 the Earth’s population grew by the equivalent of ten Switzerlands, 80,000,000 people. How anyone can still think that the equivalent population size of Switzerland can be added every five weeks or so without destroying our life support systems is beyond me. Knowing this look at this story where at the same time the nation of South Korea is worried about not enough births and here lies the problem for me of nationalism. A good friend of mine, English, married a South Korean girl but it is still not the done thing apparently. So when are we going to get past this ridiculous limitation? South Korean men and women should be free to marry who they want but for that to happen we need everyone to recognise our humanity first and our nationality second, if at all. Here’s the article, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55526450.
This is the scene created by Alice Wright for my story Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow where all the creatures from Old Oak Meadow come together to do battle with the housing developers. The story is about some clever bees that disguise themselves in the hope that people will think that they are a rare and endangered species and therefore the meadow will not be built over.
The story is available on Amazon, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Busy-Endangered-Meadow-Paul-No%C3%ABl/dp/198320384X/, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Busy-Endangered-Meadow-Paul-No%C3%ABl/dp/B08BW5Y3CS/.
In the UK we have lost 97% of the countries meadows since the middle of the 20th century because we have a planning system based around owning a car and living in a little box. So much of our farmland has also been built over that the country is less able to feed itself than it was before ad has to rely more on food imports. This model has helped the CO2 atmospheric concentration reach a high of 417ppm million in May 2020. When climate change really kicks in those countries that currently export food to the UK may want to keep it for themselves.
This is an illustration from the first Busy Bee story, Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow. To stop the meadow being built over Bea and her friends disguise themselves with the pollen of a red plant to make them look like a rare and endangered species of bee. Here, the local bee expert comes to the meadow to see if he can capture one of them. Bea and her team are far too quick for him. The follow up book is called Busy Bee and the Silent Spring and they are both available from Amazon in ebook and printed form. The printed form of Endangered Meadow comes in two print sizes, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Busy-Endangered-Meadow-Paul-No%C3%ABl/dp/198320384X/. Here’s the link to the second story, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Busy-Silent-Spring-Paul-No%C3%ABl/dp/B088JFN1ZV/.
We are so used to thinking of species loss as something that only happens to larger creatures but the loss of a lot our bugs could prove even more disastrous for the Earth and ourselves in the future.