Friday, May 31, 2019

School strike for climate, Dublin edition.

I joined the school strike for climate in Dublin on 24th May. These young people make me feel like maybe we can sort it out.

IMG_2784 stop climate chaos

IMG_2783C school strike for climate

IMG_2786B change the system not the climate

IMG_2818 must be bad if the introverts are here.

Yes, it must be bad if the introverts are here.

IMG_2792B eco not ego

IMG_2814B speaker

IMG_2815 eleven years

IMG_2790B What if it's a hoax and we create a better world for nothing?

What if it's a hoax and we create a better world for nothing?

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

See what is there.

Street art and graffiti taught me to see. Yet often I don't read what is written in foot high letters right in front of me. Sometimes I feel exactly what it says.
Aches IMG_20190423_182133

Trepidation IMG_20190418_175519

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Youth strike for the climate.

I applaud the young people of the Climate Strike on 15th March 2019.

IMG_2375 Climate Strike in London

They were protesting worldwide. I saw hundreds of them marching in London.

IMG_2383 Climate Strike in London

Some had staged a sit down protest and blocked both lanes of traffic on Blackfriars Bridge. A little video of that is here:

MVI_2384 Video of Climate Strike in London

More images and video of the Climate Strike in London are here.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

What are we all breathing in.

On Monday I went to Dublin Airport to catch a flight to London. I was thinking about not thinking about the fact that I was taking a flight, the carbon emissions of that flight, the contribution to climate change. I did not succeed. I didn’t find a solution that enabled me to feel fully ok. Because there isn’t one. I stood at the bus stop, in the city, cars and lorries and trucks barreling past, and I wondered, what are we all breathing in.

There was a sign at the bus stop saying there had been an incident in the Port Tunnel and to expect delays. The bus driver didn’t know what had happened, or even that it had happened. I wondered what kind of incident it was. I imagined being inside the tunnel, under the water, when an ‘incident’ occurred, how frightening that might be, what might be happening, a fire, a crash. And if we were to be stuck in that tunnel for some time, I wondered, what would we all be breathing in.

I got a bus – not electric – to the airport, where I walked quite a long distance through the terminal, to get on another bus – not electric – which took me to another terminal-that-isn’t-a-terminal, the South Gates of the airport, where I got off the bus, went outside and then inside into another small building, exiting which would eventually allow me to get on the plane. I went out the gate, onto a small ramp outside the not-terminal, on the tarmac. Some of the other passengers and I stood for quite a long time on this ramp, in the sweltering sunshine of a February afternoon. I thought about how strange it was that it was so hot. I had taken off my coat and my hoodie, and I stood outside in just a t-shirt, in the afternoon, in February, in Dublin. I was still too hot. We stood outside for maybe 10 minutes, as planes taxiied back and forth on the tarmac ahead of us, using their jet fuel, unnecessarily, to move around very slowly and not fly. And buses and trucks and the weird little vehicles that only exist at airports drove back and forth. And I wondered, what are we all breathing in, standing here, on the tarmac, outside, at this airport, beside these planes and vehicles, for 10 minutes, in the sunshine, in Dublin, in February.

And then they let us walk across the tarmac and around the plane and up the stairs and onto the plane. The climate change contributing plane.

When we touched down in London it was still hot. Very hot. In fact it was the hottest February day, and the hottest winter day, ever recorded in the UK. Until the next day. Which was hotter.

On Monday temperatures reached 20.6C in Wales and exceeded 20C for the first time ever in winter, a season that according to the UK Met Office includes December, January and February. On Tuesday the record was immediately broken when temperatures in London reached 21.2C. It was, again, the hottest winter day on record. It was definitely hot. And I walked around in the heat, in February, in London, and I wondered, what are we all breathing in.

On Tuesday I had picked up the magazine Time Out London and now I read that the levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air in parts of London had exceeded the EU's legal annual threshold. The air was "illegally toxic" over the whole of Zone 1, the centre of the city, where I was. Nitrogen dioxide is mainly caused by vehicles and is very harmful to humans. And I wondered, what are we all breathing in.

I lay in a bed that had only the previous day been put together, from Ikea. And I could smell and taste that new Ikea furniture, taste the wood particulates that had been released into the air, the sawdusty-gluey-chemical smell, that who-knows-what dust which was all around me, as I slept. Ikea boast, weirdly, that 1 in 8 Europeans are conceived on an Ikea bed. That is a lot of beds. That is a lot of Europeans. This was a comfortable bed. I slept ok. And I wondered, what are we all breathing in.

On Wednesday, I got an automated text message on my phone warning me that there was moderate air pollution in London that day. I walked around, and I got on the Tube and went underground in warm, fast-moving trains, and I walked through tunnels, and I lounged in the park, and I sat in offices and meeting rooms, and I wondered, what are we all breathing in.

One of these days, in the heat, in the toxic air, amid the cars and planes, I read that an iceberg twice the size of New York City was about to break away from Antarctica. It will be at least 660 square miles in size. Because, greenhouse gas emissions. Because, climate change. And I wondered, what are we all breathing in.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

First snow.

It's snowing in London. First snow of the year. Went out in it, accidentally, not realising, struck by the wonder as I stepped outside. It is light. It will probably get heavier. It probably won't look like this, the first snow of last year, in Dublin:

IMG_1356

First snowflakes of the year in Dublin, Ireland. 6th February 2018.

IMG_1378

Snowing in Portobello, Dublin. 6th February 2018.

It probably won't look like this, a few days later in Roscommon:

IMG_1485

Snow around a lake in Roscommon, Ireland. 11th February 2018.

Or this:

IMG_1493

Narnia, or Roscommon. 11th February 2018.

Or this, later the same day, still in Roscommon:

IMG_1502

Snowy sunset in Roscommon, Ireland. 11th February 2018.

I probably won't wake up tomorrow to this, as I did then:

IMG_1552

Snowy forest, Roscommon, Ireland. 12th February 2018.

But still. It's beautiful. It's magical. It's free. It's snow.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Two thousand and eighteen.

It's almost the end of 2018. This past year had in it the happiest and the saddest times of my life. There are no photos that can illustrate that, and no words to describe it. This year is ending, a new year is beginning, I am here, and in time I will see how far I'll go.

Friday, November 30, 2018

This is Cavan.

This is Cavan!
IMG_0977 Farnham Lough

MVI_0995 Farnham Lough in the rain video

IMG_1003 Trees on Farnham Estate