While I potter around my book and to celebrate my 1000th like (or so the nice nerdy little algorithms at WordPress tell me), here are a couple of sonnets I wrote a while back on the subject of climate change (prompted by Willow, here). Nothing like a jolly start to Friday (and these are nothing like a jolly start…!)
Global Warming: The Future’s Hot
His skin is a sticky backed plastic,
One he made earlier. A white
Crust forms, pores oozing their oily mastic,
Like a shield displaying the toiler’s blight.
He bows his head against the drooping sun,
Leans into the teeth of the harsh solar wind;
Effortful tears round his farrowed eyes run,
Each suppurating drop leaving him blind,
False-stepping from trimmed field to tangled Web,
While arrogant man thinks he’s in control;
The future’s a desert, his life-waters ebb,
Jet-glazed, he continues his skills to extol.
For our children the tide will lap them with dust;
Our bequest will be fields we have covered with rust…
A Springless Future
Cold Jack, content and job well done, crept home
Allowing Spring her turn to warm the earth.
Crocus tongues pushed out through softening loam
As glass-eyed shepherds watched their flock give birth.
We, unplucked youth, prime cocked with urgent sap,
Felt the tug of Nature’s call to breed.
Like sheep, we followed Her bewitching map
To plant, in fertile earth, our febrile seed.
Yet somewhere Nature’s diverse scheme was lost;
Our black-fuelled lust seared seasons into one.
Our greed has neutered Jack; he’s become a ghost,
Sharp fingers culled by a remorseless sun.
Why would our lambs breed, given this breach of trust?
We’ve fried this once green Earth, turning it to dust.
We destroy our planet. Some people actually deny that, but we do. The industrial world has such a strong position and the lobbyists are doing a grand job of keeping the major polluters in business. So, in too many countries, the greed for money is stronger than the fact that we deliver to our children and grandchildren a planet in a deep ecological crisis.
As a wise man once said, “We have not inherited the earth, we are borrowing it from our children.”
There is so much to say about this issue and I could point fingers at specific countries. I will not do that. I will just present a very important link that a friend of mine sent me the other day. Please read and reflect on this article from the Global Footprint Network website.
Norway is the leading country when it comes to technology for developing and operating oil and gas fields offshore. No wonder when you take the harsh weather conditions into account and how close we are to the Arctic.
BUT, we are also one of the biggest producer and exporter of fish. Our ocean is one of the most fertile biotope for fish. Before we found oil, our greatest asset was fish. Fish is still a major part of our export. We sell fish to 153 countries worldwide.
One of the richest area for the fisheries is the Barents Sea, but it is also the most vulnerable biotope. It is way up North, in the Arctic.
So, what do we do? We drill for oil and gas in an area with the harshest climate imaginable and with one of the most important source for fishing.
What is this government thinking ? Statoil, the biggest oil/gas company in Norway, has found several very promising oil/gas fields much further south, so we have more than enough produce. AND, we are probably the richest country in the world. The so called oil fund is approaching 4000 billion NOK, and we are around 4.500 people in this country. You do the math……………
So, WHY are we taking the risk of destroying huge parts of the Arctic, including our own fisheries, by developing oil/gas fields in the Barents Sea? ONE large oil spill will be an utter disaster in that area, and because it is so far north, it may take 30, 40 or maybe 60 years to reestablish the biotope to normality. As a fisherman said some years ago: “We can eat fish but not oil”. Simple but true. We must not forget that pumping oil/gas will come to an end one day, but we will always have the fish, and we will be dependent on that simple fact. So, why destroy the most sustainable source of income for our country?
The responsibility for this destructive policy lies wholly in our government. The government consist of three parties: The biggest, the Social Democrats (Arbeiderpartiet), and two very small parties; the Socialist Party (SV) and Senterpartiet, earlier called The Farmers Party. Both SV and Senterpartiet are very conscious and focused on the environment. It was therefore quite a shock when the minister for Petroleum and Energy, Ola Borten Moe from Senterpartiet (!!) stated that we (Norway), will drill for oil and gas up to the North Pole.
What one minister say may not be that important. My main concern is the policy of this government. Drilling after oil and gas in the Arctic is utter madness.
I recently read a blog post about global warming by Archie Richards. This is my response to his ridicule of everybody who is worried about the way we destroy this planet.
The Vikings never grew grapes in Greenland or in Newfoundland. The temperature in the year 1000 was just slightly higher than 50 years ago. The ice in the Arctic is receding in a much higher speed then expected, which leaves the polar bears in that area in a dire situation. The ice on Greenland is also receding at a very dangerous speed. The ozone layer is getting thinner and even has holes in it, especially where I live. I could go on, but there is no doubt that man made pollution is the cause if these changes. —-
The worst polluters are the US and China, but despite this, they refuse to sign any international agreement to reduce the pollution. Many Americans argue that the effects of the pollution are NOT man made, but a “natural” part of a cycle. This has been disproved again and again, but America and China are continuing to spew out all the destructive gases that are so dangerous to all of us.
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Wow, Jan! What a reply. I expect, from, this you are as sceptical about what scientists tell us and, like me, wondered about climate change and the scare stories years back. I remember James Havelock (he of the Gaia theory) and we are all doomed as a teenager in the 70s. But when ones own eyes tell you something major and seemingly catastrophic is happening it’s bloody daft to believe the other ‘science’ that tells you not to worry. Like the guy I read about yesterday who claimed to have a homeopathic cure for Ebola! Thanks for giving a Scandanavian perspective. Same as mine and a lot of others here. We are all rich nations whose politicians work on such short time frames I fear this sort of long term planing is beyond them.
Well, I am a strange animal in this zoo. I worked in the oil&gas business for more than 20 years, the last 9 as a VP in the division responsible for designing and building platforms offshore. In the 90’s we were discussing drilling up north, and our engineers started calculations for platforms in the Barents sea.
I was appaled, and that started my journey out of that business.
Now I am a member of both national and international organizations fighting for the environment, but as you understand I am not impressed by any country or their politicians.
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Well done well done sir both sonnets to the future are lovely ! I have to admit I love the second one A Springless Future there is a wealth of verse in there!!
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While I may admire your poetry, I don’t fancy the future you paint. It is in our hands. We must do better.
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