2012 ended with the Mayan prophecy luckily unfulfilled; yet just a few weeks later a
meteorite the size of a double decker bus exploded above Siberia injuring hundreds. A few hours later and the spin of the Earth would have seen it strike Northern England causing much more damage as it’s a much heavier populated area. The next day an asteroid half the size of a football stadium missed the earth by just 17,000 miles.
For years governments have procrastinated about whether to invest just a few million quid in an early warning system to guard against strikes just like this latest one. Now finally ATLAS is being built in Hawaii costing the magnificent sum of $5 million. It will give one weeks warning of anything 45 metres across (which could wipe out a city) and 3 weeks for anything 150 metres across (which would wipe out a small country) though hard hats need to be worn until it’s finally ready in 2015.
Since 1997 the Kyoto Protocol has been in place to curb and reduce emissions; it’s been signed and ratified by 192 countries excepting Sudan and Afghanistan who have internal wars raging; plus Andorra and The Vatican who have a combined population of just 86,000 and with only observer status at the United Nations. The world’s biggest polluter the US is very much against signing and ratifying a mere document to save the world as its businesses may lose money.
With the internet and television it’s easier to expose wrong doing than ever before; people power stops corporations and politicians ruining the environment for their own selfish gains. Last week Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall protested with thousands of people outside Parliament because the UK Government reneged on its promise to create 127 safe havens for fish stocks around British shores instead watering it down to less than 20.
Hugh visited Vietnamese prawn farms exposing Tesco, Morrisons and the Co-op in the UK who buy prawns fed on illegally caught fish. ‘Meat is Murder’ is a well-known cry but seeing fishermen catch tiny fish just a few centimetres across was horrific. The heinous crimes being committed by businesses against the worlds finite resources just to sell a cheap prawn sandwich must stop. Mercadona and other Spanish supermarkets are no better as their prawns come from Ecuadorian fish farms. By buying sustainably caught cold water prawns this trade can be stopped. Just look at the packet – easy!
Human-kind walks blindly towards global catastrophe, most of us rarely questioning the provenance of the food we put in our mouths, European supermarkets sell Peruvian Asparagus that’s not only grown in one of the driest regions of the world but then it’s flown across the world for westerners to eat without question. Locally in Almeria scarce water resources are used to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and other water hungry crops to sell out of season across Europe. Its long term madness and completely unsustainable. Oranges too love the sunny climate but need to be irrigated and use huge amounts of water. Consider that when choosing what to drink at breakfast especially if reading these words in the UK as the oranges also have to be transported thousands of miles. Drinking apple or pear juice in the Uk not only is not only better for the environment but helps British farmers too
We can all make a difference, take a minute or two extra when shopping to read the labels and see if it’s local and sustainably sourced. Don’t cop out and say ‘what difference can I make?’ Consumer power really works as corporations will only produce things that we buy. In Morrisons in Gibraltar there’s a display proudly announcing its locally sourced fruit and vegetables; my arse, the wholesaler maybe local but the produce comes from the four corners of the globe.
Let’s all embrace the four seasons; eating our winter greens, spring vegetables, then summer salads followed by autumn fruit. This is how it used to be before the advent of global supply chains and huge supermarkets. Growing our own vegetables is not only a pleasure and healthy but brilliant and creating a bit of sustainability. Having a few chickens helps with recycling kitchen waste and they give eggs in return.
Adults and children alike discard litter without thinking of the damage caused. Recently a 4 minute film was released which should be watched by teveryone as it dramatically shows the effect littering ultimately has. Visit the Findmeahome Facebook page to watch it or type the following into a web browser as it graphically depicts the damage caused by humans on wildlife – similar footage was shown on BBC1 recently www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=37771452232736.
Late last year a 4.5 tonne Sperm Whale was washed up dead on the Granada coast; its stomach contained 17 kilos of plastic, all waste that originated from the Almerian greenhouses. The same greenhouse that are sending produce out of season to Britain and other northern climes. The news article can be read by clicking here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/08/spain-sperm-whale-death-swallowed-plastic
Another short cartoon thats brilliantly made, is desperately funny yet so sad from the first to last frame can be found via this link and is simply entitled MAN – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4140355102606
Keep looking up until 2015 lest the sky falls on our heads and best wear a hard hat!