Costing the earth

Climate change How do we make the invisible visible? Can artists, alongside scientists, make artwork to do this? Listening today to this Radio 4 programme ‘Costing the Earth’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00017b8 Artists have always responded to the environment, but “this is a real problem now…. because the environment is under threat”. How can we make art now about the relationship of human beings to the environment – “…… we have become a disease on the surface of the planet. This changes everything.” (Julian Spalding, former director of the Natural History Museum).   Related Images:

Continue Reading

60%

Humanity has managed to wipe out 60% of Earth’s animal populations since 1970 The Living Planet Index, produced for WWF by the Zoological Society of London, uses data on 16,704 populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, representing more than 4,000 species, to track the decline of wildlife between 1970 and 2014. www.wwf.org.uk/updates/living-planet-report-2018 We are continuing to destroy habitats, pollute air and water, and add to the causes of climate change.  Our consumption of food and resources is destroying the web of life that has been billions of years in the making.  The biggest cause of wildlife losses is the destruction of natural habitats, much of it to create farmland.… Read More

Continue Reading

12-year window

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (IPCC – http://ipcc.ch/organization/organization.shtml ) change have published a key report which calls for urgent action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C in order to prevent environmental catastrophe. The IPCC assessments draws on the work of hundreds of scientists from all over the world who volunteer their time and expertise. The report illustrates mounting impacts and fast-approaching, irreversible tipping points. Nicolas Stern: Accelerate the transition to clean and sustainable growth or suffer the mounting damage from sea-level rise, floods and droughts that will severely hinder efforts to tackle poverty, raise living standards and improve prosperity…… Governments, companies and communities should embrace this transition to a clean and sustainable… Read More

Continue Reading

Yawning at the apocalypse

A pig ate his fill of acorns under an oak tree and then started to root around the tree. A crow remarked,’ You should not do this. If you lay bare the roots, the tree will wither and die.’ ‘Let it die,’ said the pig. ‘Who cares so long as there are acorns?’   [adapted from a fable by Andrew Krylov in the article quoted below]   Yawning at the apocalypse is the title of an article I’ve just read in ‘the psychologist’ magazine , written by Cameron Brick and Sander van der Linden, on how psychologists can help solve the largest social dilemma in history – climate change. Here’s a couple of… Read More

Continue Reading

it’s warming up

Almost ready for open studio, and the days are warming up which will make it much nicer for people visiting. There shouldn’t be any frost this week (according to the Met Office) so I’ve planted out some of my carefully nurtured beans and the mini sweetcorn into the warm soil in my vegetable garden. This painting, possibly finished today, I’ve called Warming. This morning I read about a report by researchers based at Exeter Uni, about their studies of plant life in Antarctica – which exists on just 0.3% of the continent – and particularly the moss banks. the warming climate of Antarctica in the past 50 years has spurred on… Read More

Continue Reading

blue upon blue

One of the world’s most remote places, an uninhabited coral atoll, is also one of its most polluted. Henderson Island, a tiny landmass in the eastern South Pacific, has been found by marine scientists to have the highest density of anthropogenic debris recorded anywhere in the world, with 99.8% of the pollution plastic. The nearly 18 tonnes of plastic piling up on an island that is otherwise mostly untouched by humans have been pointed to as evidence of the catastrophic, “grotesque” extent of marine plastic pollution. We’ve been arguing about climate change, and whether it exists and what is changing, for the better part of 40 years … “Let’s not… Read More

Continue Reading

anthropocene

‘The Shock of the Anthropocene’ by Bonneuil and Fressoz. I decided it was time to read this – I’m taking it very slowly!  …. climate change, increases in extinction of species and loss of habitats, problems relating to air pollution, and other major changes to our planet including new substances being deposited in the planet’s ecosystems – all reflecting a change in the Earth system, these and other major transformations ‘that attest our entry into the Anthropocene’ Since teaching ‘Earthkeepers’ (Earth Education programme www.eartheducation.org.uk), then being a member of Green Tourism (Green Tourism) where possible I make decisions – just small gestures really – towards a more sustainable way to live.  We live on one planet with… Read More

Continue Reading

Open Studios Cornwall 2017

Saturday 27th May – Sunday 4th June  I’ll be here from 11am to 5pm each day and would love to see you. See my location on a map. I’m hoping to complete some in this new series ‘connections’.   And I’ve just heard on a Channel 4 news report: NO COAL was used in the production of electricity in the UK today….. the first continuous 24-hour coal-free period for Britain since use of fossil fuel began – tweeted from the National Grid control room.          Related Images:

Continue Reading

nature deficit syndrome

On my early morning walk this morning – as I marvelled at the number of small woodland flowers, blossom on the blackthorn (above) and wild cherry, the sound of the woodpecker and an owl calling, and listened to beautiful birdsong –  I reflected two articles I’ve recently read, voicing concerns that children are ‘retreating from the world of outside’. A local GP, writing in a Tavistock publication, urging more outdoor activity for health and wellbeing benefits. Also trumpeting the need to keep our footpaths easy to use and help people to get out and use them more! Great – I’ve done various voluntary work to help keep footpaths open, and well done to the Ramblers for all… Read More

Continue Reading

2016 – a hot year

This week WMO’s assessment of the climate in 2016, published on Tuesday, reports unprecedented heat across the globe, exceptionally low ice at both poles and surging sea-level rise. Global warming is largely being driven by emissions from human activities, but a strong El Niño – a natural climate cycle – added to the heat in 2016. Met Office report: “A particularly strong El Niño event contributed about 0.2C to the annual average for 2016, which was about 1.1C above the long term average from 1850 to 1900. However, the main contributor to warming over the last 150 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” “Any attempt to to protect… Read More

Continue Reading