It started just like anything else. Small. Just a few scattered voices thrown into the void. Nobody knew then how it would grow like a vine chokes a tree. It was a death by creeping inches rather than the suddenness of an axe blow. The gentle caress of a promised truth was much harder to resist than a shouted lie. While the seed of doubt sprouted in people’s minds we were powerless to offer resistance. Even when we did it only pushed more people into their embrace. As we watched they grew in numbers and those quiet whispers began to grow louder. It was inevitable that these malcontents would eventually search each other out. Behind closed doors they spread their poison, inducted new members and continued to thrive out of sight, out of mind.
Meetings became protests and protests became riots. Revolution. The people cried out for it, they fought for it, they died for it and yet they never truly achieved it. Freedom. How many crimes have been done in your name? How many people have been oppressed? The great lie. We who replace one cage with another and claim to be free because we cannot see the bars of our cell.
You used to build me castles,
And we’d watch as the tides surged,
Around the bastions piled high,
Throwing down the walls and flooding in,
The sun would set, the wind blow,
And the ruins would remain to mark,
The place where we made our stand,
Against the sea, against the sky.
I live on an island with a thriving local fishing industry so seafood makes up a large part of my diet. I am naturally concerned by any information that seems to suggest that the consumption of seafood may become a dangerous habit. The growing weight of evidence to suggest that some species of fish may contain potentially harmful levels of organic mercury is almost enough to put me off my dinner. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) believe that around 1 billion people rely on fish as their primary source of animal protein. In 2010, fish provided more than 2.9 billion people with almost 20% of their animal protein.
So, how does mercury find its way into fish?
Rather than a photo, today I’m posting a piece of writing a friend submitted to me about a car journey home.
She drives a Micra. Red. I don’t drive. Not because I don’t want to but because I’ve never needed to. Some people were born to drive and others to read the map. Some people know when they’re in the right place whilst others concentrate on getting there. She is the former and I am the latter.
I’m going to assume that at some point in your life you have seen one in a multitude of Hollywood disaster movies charting the mass extinction of species on the planet. These range from Deep Impact in 1998, War of The Worlds in 1953 to the extreme environmental changes posed in 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow. These films show what I would call traditional perceptions of mass extinctions as a large scale event takes place very quickly i.e. the Asteroid in Deep Impact or the dramatic climate swing in The Day After Tomorrow, but the so called 6th Mass extinction isn’t anything so flashy. This new potential mass extinction has been going on quietly ever since humanity started spreading across the globe with extinction rates increasing through time as a direct response of human activities. Just by taking a look at the IUCN Species Red List and the number of endangered species it is enough to realise that something big is underway. When I had a look today there were 5919 species on the endangered list most of which are plants (2655) and occur most in Forest biomes (2595).
Food is more than a necessity it’s a language that binds all the peoples of the world together at their basest level. Food gives us the opportunity to get together, to exchange ideas, to experience the pleasure of company. Yet, our current food system is under siege from environmental degradation, urban expansion and a growing population demanding ever more from ever less. This situation, however grim it sounds in the media, is not without the potential to change our habits to lessen our impacts.
The tragic shooting of the Western Lowland Gorilla Harambe at Cincinnati Zoo has sparked a media sensation. Whilst the decision to shoot Harambe after a young boy fell into his enclosure is bound to remain controversial there is a lot we can learn about people from their reactions on the Internet. I’ve listed these into 5 handy points, but before you read on be aware that this post is based on opinion rather than objective facts.