CRISIS – OCEANS

Many people in the world have never seen the life blood of our planet. Out of sight, out of mind may apply to them, but the importance of our oceans is a rather neglected aspect of our global environment. CO2 content of the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect grab the headlines. But p17 of the Guardian reports the sixth consecutive year of hottest temperatures for oceans. Should be Front page of all papers as the Partygate thing will be forgotten by summer.

COVID INFECTION RISK

A study by Bristol Uni has shown that mask wearing and distance are the best protection. The virus loses its potency as it dries out. Thus high humidity increases the risk of infection. In dry offices it can lose 50% of infectivity in 5 seconds. After 20 minutes the virus infectivity has dropped to 10%.

FARMING

I suspect that most farmers voted Brexit seeing the onerous task of form filling as too much. We are now more than 5 years since the referendum and yet have not come up with anything more than a wish list to replace CAP. CAP was perhaps the area of the EU that I personally thought needed most reform. £3 billion paid mainly to big farms (= rich farmers?). Many of the rules were eminently sensible regarding wildlife, but seem to have not made the majors impacts needed.

WEATHER

Oh so warm – but temperatures will drop into the new year to the average for the time of year. Some possibility of frost in the last third of the month. A New Years wish is for better weather for our wildlife, especially butterflies and insects; and favourable winds for migrating birds like the swifts and swallows and martins which seem to need a bumper breeding season.

PLASTIC

Can we make 2022 the year we finally reduce our use of plastic. I was a very grateful recipient of Fresh-Lock Lids which can replace cling-film and tin-foil. The packaging says they stretch to 3 times their original size which I have got no where near – but I will never buy cling-film again. I suspect these are still plastic but can be used thousands of times. Single use plastic needs to be phased out asap.

We have wheelie bins for waste – but why put everything in a black plastic bag first? Food waste also has to be put in bags first.

All my clothes are now bamboo. Toothbrushes wooden and bamboo. Razor bamboo – but with metal!!!

CLIMATE CHANGE – A PLEA

There are many scientists and others studying climate change. Can we have a monthly bulletin with statistics – I am not sure people understand them but they are influenced by them. Sea level rise, global temperatures, renewable energy generation, electric car sales, butterfly counts, etc. just keep the topic at the forefront of peoples minds.

James Webb

The $10bn James Webb telescope has left Earth on its mission to show the first stars to light up the Universe. Amongst the dark days of winter clouded by covid it is a beacon of light. Human beings have the potential to make the world a better place. Happy Xmas.