Tagged with climate

British Deforestation

We tend to think that cutting down trees and destroying forests is a recent part of human history, so it is surprising how long it has been going on in these islands. The largest phase of clearing woodlands in the British Isles was in the late Bronze Age, some 3,000 years ago, and continued through … Continue reading

Misnamed Office

Today’s headline comes from the horrifically misnamed Office For Budget Responsibility which claims Britain needs millions of new immigrants. Where does this idea come from? The notion that they are needed to pay for pensions of the aging population. On one level – a very limited one – this makes sense, but it ignores┬áthe fact … Continue reading

Hard Times for Gin Drinkers

Bad news in the wake of the long, soggy winter – there is a desperate shortage of juniper berries for making gin this year. It is partly the result of animals eating them, and of a new fungus damaging the trees on a large scale. How many more trees are we losing? The home brew … Continue reading


The BBC recently did a programme on the lives of domestic cats. They concentrated on the village of Shamley Green because it had a high level of cat ownership, but it also had access to the countryside so the beasts could be investigated in domestic and wild circumstances. The cats were fitted with GPS monitoring,and … Continue reading

The Village At the end of the World

This is one of the best documentaries ever, shown as part of the Green film Festival. It is about a village, Niaqornat, in Northern Greenland of about 50 people, whose fish processing factory has closed, and is, like many other isolated towns, facing closure by the government as it is not sustainable. the population is … Continue reading

After the Storm, a Phoenix

This is again from Erik Larson’s book ‘Isaac’s Storm…. This piece shows that some good can come out of disasters, not just for those who endured them. “The storm which devastated Galveston in 1900 was so huge no infrastructure, even today, could have survived, but the storm made it clear that proper local government would … Continue reading

Huricane and Charity

In 18th century England, churches regularly took up collections for victims of natural and unnatural disasters, such as Caribbean hurricanes, the earthquake in Lisbon, and a whole range of floods, fires and earthquakes. The tradition continued on both sides of the Atlantic, all long before Live aid and international rescues and charities. This is from … Continue reading

The Speed of Water

We in the UK are becoming used to water. It rains, and often we get floods. It’s usually that simple. But that is only (?) surface water. When I was researching the history of the City of Bath, I read that nobody knew where their water comes from, which I find rather odd, as there … Continue reading

Old Gas

So many things in history are not new, and so it is with greenhouse gases. Research by Celia Sapart of Utrecht University has shown that greenhouse gases rose over a 200 year period during the Roman Empire and China’s Han Dynasty. Atmospheric gas trapped in Greenland’s ice shows that the main greenhouse gas, methane, rose … Continue reading

Women in Education

This issue is getting a lot of attention at the moment, with a campaign to increase access to education for girls and of course the 14 year old girl on her way to Britain for medical treatment following her shooting by the Taliban. Educating women has often been seen as a luxury, but in a … Continue reading