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.