Sunday, 22 August 2021

Tragedy

   The whole world at present seems enveloped in tragedy of one kind or another.   It is easy to lose heart to such an extent that one gives up hope of things ever getting any better.   As individuals we can do so little.

I have been reading in yesterday's Times about Global Warming and this year's wild fires.   It does not make for easy reading.

Yakutia is a province in North Eastern Siberia and its capital is Yakutsk.   Yakutia is as big as India but its population is only a million.   The capital is    three thousand miles from Moscow so that fighting the fire with planes is impossible.  This means that whole areas of the Taiga (forests which form a belt around the world basically) have been left to their fate and have therefore been destroyed.  Greenpeace reports that the blaze is most likely the largest ever reported on the Planet.  It is without a doubt larger than all the other fires this year put together.

In 1989 my first husband, Malcolm, and I travelled this area through the Taiga on the trans-Siberian express (I know Rachel has done this journey more recently) and apart from a couple of stops, where elderly Russian ladies, cloaked and headscarved, stood on platforms selling hot jacket potatoes (delicious) there was no sign of human habitation.

We alighted at Irkutsk (I think Rachel went all the way to Moscow on the train) and there the houses - mostly like sturdy log cabins - had triple glazing to keep out the extreme cold of winter and already in August had mountains of logs in store.   In other words extremes of temperature were an annual expeerience.   This year their Summer has meant fires hanging over the place all Summer.   The area has seen over 800 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide since the beginning of June.

Yes - they expect fires every year but this year that amount since June is more than usually emitted by Germany (Euope's largest polluter) in a whole year.  And that in an area  not much larger than Portugal.

I do remember being staggered by the mile upon mile of taiga - such beautiful forest (much of it now destroyed along with much of its wildlife) it is more than we can imagine - and this is in one summer.   The fires are still burning.

If only all countries could work together rather than spend their time fighting over ideologies maybe together we could begin to do something about it.

In the meantime it is really a case of Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

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37 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

It always amazes me the extent that some people worry about and upset themselves over, worldwide events that they have no control over. Perhaps I'm the odd one out, my main worries concern what's happening to me, the people that I know and the habitat that I live in locally. After that I might worry about what's happening in just this country.
My main concern at the moment is the fact that another 800 migrants landed on Kent beaches yesterday, making a total of 11,500 this year so far in Kent and now we look like having another multi thousand from Afghanistan brought here. Whose going to pay to support all these people and how many will eventually contribute to the good of this country.

Rachel Phillips said...

In that there has been no loss of life or destruction of houses I would guess that the fires are in very remote spots of Siberia which is unimaginably large area beyond most people's comprehension. I saw the towns and the people of Siberia along the railtrack and stopped at a few of these places for two or three days before rejoining the train. I do not envisage that these views of the forest from the train or the towns are being affected by the fires. It is difficult to get a fair and balanced view from the mass media.

thelma said...

I have heard of this Pat, it is one natural catastrophe after another, and yet we do not respond to it. I suspect the whole world will wake up one day to find that our way of human life on the earth is heading for a terrible shock and that we should not be putting our heads in the sand (as always).
But if you want some optimism, media news is always bad, that is what it thrives on.

Heather said...

How lucky we are in this country not to have such horrific extremes of weather to cope with. I can only watch the news headlines at present as there is so much distressing coverage of global events.
I really hope that the Climate Summit meetings bring some sign of co-operation between countries in an attempt to avert the disaster we all seem to be hurtling toward.

Carruthers said...

Regarding ideologies, the trouble is, the ideology of those who control the world puts economic growth at the top of the agenda. To effectively tackle climate change will require an ideology that doesn't.

Capitalism like fossil fuels, car use, air travel, etc., is a part of the problem that has to be changed.

Tasker Dunham said...

I've heard it argued that all who accept that climate change is taking place, and recognise the consequences, but do not change their behaviour, are just as culpable as those who deny it is happening.

Tom Stephenson said...

There are rumours that China and Russia (I'm not sure about India) are beginning to acknowledge the fossil fuel problems, but it maybe just talk. Having already gone through our own industrial revolution, it is difficult to pontificate to others who have only just begun. I think that India should spend less on its space program and more on its people and their environment though.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Regarding what you say Derek. If I lived in one of the countries where there are such problems then for the sake of my family I would try to leave to find them a better life. But sadly it is not how it works. There is no answer that I can see. It is the plight of the children which distrewwae me.

The Weaver of Grass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EM Griffith said...

It may not give much comfort right now, but in the burn areas, however vast they are, there will be new growth in time. And after many more years, a healthy forest. I've read the Taiga has a long history of burning. This fire is huge, but records of fires in that area are limited. I'm sure global warming plays a role. How much and in what ways are questions that can't be easily answered. News media isn't a great scientific source.

There's an excellent book, "Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn't, and Why it Matters", written by Steven E. Koonin, former Undersecretary For Science during the Obama Administration. It's an all-science, non-political, expert perspective that's very informative.

Debby said...

I really find myself grieving about a lot of world events. Actually grieving. There's no other word for it. People are so desperate and instead of helping them, too many respond with: but what about the economy.

We need to change from fossil fuels (but the cry comes back: what about the economy?)

We need to raise minimum wage because people can't live on it (...but what about the economy?)

Whatever the problem is, the answer comes back: what about the economy? You know what? Our selfishness is our undoing.

Rachel Phillips said...

Yes, the taiga burns somewhere in Siberia every year. It rejuvenates and over time it grows back. Global warming stories like this do the trick, they worry you as they have worried you this weekend. They sell papers. It is all a total load of rubbish and the world won't end. You can't trust the media stories, you can't trust the scientists to tell you the truth, they will tell you what governments will pay them for. Climates change naturally and always have done and always will,

Derek Faulkner said...

It's all very well people jumping on the sympathy bandwagon Pat, it no doubts eases their consciences and they can hide behind words that are cheap. But what do they actually do to help these people, do they go to the beaches to help these people ashore, do they go to the airports to welcome those people here, do they donate decent sums of money, do they offer a spare bedroom in their house - no that part's harder, words are easier, and in the end they offer little more than I do - nothing.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Although the media would have us believe otherwise the world is a much better place now than at any time in the past. However there is a huge problem looming as you rightly point out. Even those who still deny the existence of global warming must surely admit that some things we're doing are at least unwise and could become catastrophic.
- It can not be sensible to use the world's finite resources in a wasteful way.
- It can't be right to keep fouling our nest by polluting the atmosphere, the oceans or our lands.
- Fighting with each other is not going to solve anything.

Debby said...

The bottom line is not the economy.

Yes. I have three spare bedrooms fully furnished and could put together two more in a hurry. Would I take these people into my home? In a heartbeat. But that is not how it works, Derek. Your protests are false. There are a great many people attempting to help these poor souls. One such site raised over 6 million dollars in 24 hours.

The protest continues: "But...but...but...the economy."

CharlotteP said...

It's hard to believe there are still people who don't want to believe the world's climate is being disastrously impacted by human activity. John By Stargoose summarises the world situation well.

Red said...

yOUR HEADLINE HAD ME WORRIED. wHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE WEAVER NOW? Yes there are many very destructive fires.

Derek Faulkner said...

Like I said, Debbie, words are easy. You would take people in "in a heartbeat" but then come up with an "ah but" get out statement and in the end you don't actually do anything. If you really wanted to offer five bedrooms you'd find a way.

Debby said...

I wonder about your life that it has left you so totally devoid of compassion, Derek. I used to feel sorry for you. I'm finding it harder to do.

Derek Faulkner said...

Well if you wonder hard enough Debbie, you might come up with an accurate assessment. Not sure why you felt you had to feel sorry for me - strange.

DUTA said...

It starts with the burning of forests, and then gets to earth and people. Islands, , and not only the tiny ones, are said to get swallowed up by the waters of the melting ice.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I seem to have stirred up a can of worms but hardly surprising I suppose. But I hope it has given us all food for thought at the very least

Traveller said...

A good can of worms I think.

I am not quite sure when things changed and people’s “research” trumped experts opinions. The overwhelming percentage of scientists who specialities in climate change agree the current change is man made. To me, it makes sense and passes the smell test.

Then we have those whose “research” Leeds them to conclude that “a THEY” are trying to frighten everyone to get JABBED - and this is all a plot to control us all. So throwaway your phones and only pay by cash?

As for not being concerned about world wide events and only being concerned by events that touch you - such as 800 people landing! 800! Fancy that.

A great can of worms.

Debby said...

I apologize for my part in it.

Anonymous said...

As always Pat, you've got a lively group here...often see you at the head of the table of a great discussion, views are bound to diversify occasionally, and you get everyone thinking.- Pam.

The Furry Gnome said...

Sadly I think you're right.

Joanne Noragon said...

The last to the party, again. I was watching a talk show today and wished this Afghanistan "evacuation" were over. My understanding is our diplomats are gone, as many Americans as bothered to register to be gone are gone, thousands of "operatives" are gone, and now citizens who think they should be gone are rushing planes and generally looking bad to the world. This is their country they didn't bother to take charge of, and now they want to leave it instead of improving it.

RunNRose said...

Maybe those who want to leave are feeling the futility of changing the status quo. Kind of like I feel about living in Texas where those in charge are determined to undermine democracy by limiting the number of people who can vote. One person in charge of the Senate was able to decide who sits on the "Supreme Court" that decides what is legal. Things like "a corporation" is a person! We have not arrived at a full dictatorship yet, but, seems to me, we are headed that way. How many times lately I've read blog posts and comments about how "I can't do a thing about" whatever. Those citizens in Afghanistan likely feel the same about their world. And, if I lived there, I would want to leave!



Cro Magnon said...

I sometimes feel as if I'm watching a pressure cooker that's about to explode!

Rachel Phillips said...

Perhaps Debby would like to comment on Joanne's comment. That would be of interest with her knowledge of Afghanistan and would help our understanding of what is going on from the ground.

Kay said...

We all sympathise and think we'd like to help but do nothing. That includes me.

I visit blogs as an interlude in my busy day, to relax. Posts like this one might be enlightening but once again it has become political.

I've been visiting here for a long time, I'm not a commenter but have been entertained by writings about your day, the places you go, the books you read, the meals you eat, your garden, all ordinary "a day in the life of Weaver" posts.

However sadly I'm now leaving here, too many posts are in a similar vein and I already get such information from other sources, at a time when I want to read about worldwide events and politics.

I wish you well Weaver and long may your blog continue for those who continue to read it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Kay I am so sorry you feel like that - I had already decided to keep away from the big issues - it distresses me and obviously after reaing your reply it distresses you too. Please keep calling - I intend to lighten up a bit and now is probably a good time to do it. I do hope you still pop in to get an idea of what life is like for an almost ninety year old trying hard to keep young at heart.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Subject closed please.

If I mention it again Rachel/Tom/Cro - have sharp words with me. This ancient old crone with a mole on the end of her nose now(!!) promises to lighten up and brighten your days as well as her own.

Debby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Phillips said...

You can rely on me Weave!

Rachel Phillips said...

Debby, I just wondered what your thoughts were on Joanne's comment as you interjected on my queries on Afghans at the airport on Tom's blog so I was genuinely interested in your views. I am aware of your source of information that you asked Weave to pass on to me because you have mentioned it on blogs. My email address is freely available on my blog so it is easily possible to email me. Thank you. By the way, re. your comment to Derek, many people in the UK are registering rooms to help refugees so I am sure there are ways you could do this in the US, through official channels.

Rachel Phillips said...

I am sorry you were troubled by Debby over this Weave. I note my email is just as accessible as yours so why you were used as a go between to email me I cannot say.