Tagged with environment

Silence and Pollution

Here’s s short paper on soundscapes in nature and how they seem to have declined as a result of human activity. It’s fascinating because sound is a sense we tend to neglect, but when I read accounts of the large number of birds that used to be in the Eglish countryside, then think that the … Continue reading

Our Oldest Companion

Tuberculosis, or TB,  has been around for centuries, is widely viewed as a disease of overcrowding and malnutrition today about 1.4 million people still die of TB. Tuberculosis is still the biggest single infectious killer, beaten only by HIV/AIDS, with 95% of cases in low income countries. Some victims of TB contract it as a result … Continue reading

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

Fracking Farce

Further to my blog that fracking has started in Britain – well, it hasn’t. It seems that the village of Balcombe where people have been very noisily protesting and telling the drilling company to frack off has got it wrong. They are just drilling for oil that is there in the shale deposits. Not ony … 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 the fact … 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

Penguins in Lavender

Penguins in Lavender

This is a rather strange and sad story from London zoo – over the past sumer some 6 penguins have died of malaria. It’s strange because penguins are from a cold climate, and malaria is from the tropics. Or that is what I thought. But malaria is spread by mosquitoes who breed in swamps, and … Continue reading