Saturday, 24 January 2015

It doesn't sound bad enough

My complete thanks go to the Now Show (BBC R4, 23 January 2015) for this post.

Global warming and climate change don't, to many people, sound that bad, said Nish Kumar. Too true. In the middle of the damp, cold, bone-biting, and joint-aching January, a bit of warmth doesn't sound like all too bad a thing. A changing climate is neither here nor there. We're surrounded by change all the time.

We need some alternatives, and here are a few of Nish's suggestions:

"Kicked in the weather-balls"

And, for the CEOs of major corporations, whose major concerns at Davos were regulation and taxation:

"Increased regulation and taxation of ...oxygen"

(Listen online for the next 29 days, go on, do:

Time to think of some more emotive, urgent synonyms for global warming and climate change. And while we're at it, green. It doesn't make sense, really. How can a colour be a solution to a weather-based issue?. What words do we use to make it sound worse? Perhaps we need to be more concrete: drought, flood, fire. Hunger, famine, war. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Land ethic

What's changed in the last 60 years?

In 1949, the American forester and writer, Aldo Leopold wrote in his Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There, that what we lack is a system of ethics.

There is as yet no ethic dealing with man's relation to land and to the animals and plants which grow upon it. Land, like Odysseus' slave girls, is still property. The land-relation is still strickly economic, entailing privileges but not obligations...

And, later on in the same work:

We have no land ethic yet, but we have at least drawn nearer to the point of admitting that birds should continue as a matter of biotic right, regardless of the presence or absence of economic advantage to us.

Sixty years on, have we got the ethics we needed? Or is our relationship to the land limited to economic terms?