How useless we are ?

Ever thought how useless we are?

Ancient man would look down at us and think … ‘He cannot catch his own dinner’

… or that we cannot make our own tools.

We would be a laughing stock as the term goes.

Yet we think we are so slick, so modern on our keyboards and buttons. And yet know nothing of what far brighter and wider minds have left to us on the printed page from decades and centuries in the past, of art, architecture, engineering and how things are made.  These last two decades have seen the loss of so much human achievement, silicon and the electron have put paid to that ! And yes, accessibility is wonderful, but also there is a slower more human dimension we are losing, particularly younger people need to re-set their priorities, their values; they never will. In some ways they ‘undersell themselves’. So little is transferred from generation to generation, as if they are mocking their parents, their ancestry.


postscript … How lucky I was growing up, skilled working class household, ended up at a quite remote off the beaten track village but with some books, encyclopedias, workshop full of tools and garden front and back, decent countryside, stunning coastline. My Dad was a practical man I am glad to say and going out into the remoter parts of the county at weekends for his job gave me a view I’d never have achieved otherwise. With a clever Auntie (who made the effort to correct a late reader, school much like the GPs ie blind to my situation) and a grandmother who was a wonderful cook and generally of high standards. My Dad was the right man for me, grounded, intolerant of pretence and silliness; praise was scant but he expected a manly authentic effort.  So basically I was self reliant at occupying myself and achieved lots by age eighteen which is when he died if cancer and the house sold and me into digs; which actually wasn’t all bad, I could get the bus into the local city and visit bookshops!  One thing that has taken me forty years to realise is that I should have actually taken my so-called mother to Court; she always did tell me she wished she never had me or that I should / could be put into a home, likewise forty years to realise she would not say that in front of my Dad. I should have told him.

I’m baffled when I visit a house and books are not to hand, I was always dipping into the fantastically illustrated Caxton Encyclopedias of the late sixties and seeing the best of World Art (still do occasionally) …  this is what bugs me about the web, the paucity ie lack of new and interesting images and knowledge that is served to me. I have to go seek it. Viewing the web through our little pinhole is not all its cracked up to be, too much is ephemeral, too little of what has stood the test of time. Kids today are blind to so much, as young adults can barely use their hands, struggling like infants.

For years a remaindered bookshop was my main source, latterly a couple of charity shops are useful hunting grounds for £1 gems. I even spent £50 on a dozen Time Life boxed sets of classical recordings, merely to get the notes and booklets that accompanied them, photographs I’d never seen and playlists of the best; to own them as objects.

We need Art …

And not as some clever trick to deceive but as a true reflection of what we ourselves possibly could never visit or see. I mean times past, previous human experience, spanning generations and perhaps enabling us to build on previous hard won knowledge developed from previous hardships. This perhaps signals my own perceived position in ‘society’ in that my conscience feels that in previous generations my forebears owed their survival to diligent application, to hard work. I hope to not go as far as servility, as inshore fishermen I think we were beholden to no-one but the agent or the price offered for our toil; the carpenter side of the family no doubt would hear constantly that tiring worn phrase ‘thats a bit steep’ and I too have heard such fake pressure.  Yet there will be people, no doubt many that see their forebears as living in good houses, with upper floors and no want of clothing or basic foodstuffs; sorry to say I do not count myself fortunate enough to be among them.

So where does Art count in all this?

…. in many ways and sadly now due to our sucking upon the papp of the much lauded information superhighway we have denuded ourselves of so much of human accomplishment; as if becoming the Donald J trumps of culture ie seeing and knowing so little, existing merely in the here and now. The web should (and can) allow us access to an array of clever and talented minds.

So lets go get it.

First stop is an image when just now googling  ‘distaff’  a term I first encountered from the military in a book thirty years ago and I assume to mean secretaries and typists to aid and abet Officer Personnel back at HQ. In this case we see distaff as a physical object for spinning. I’m a little worried by the painting, a grand interior yet a task of hard slog, meniality, application, long hours. Something I suppose thankfully we have forgotten. Those hands were also the hands of my forebears. Middle European, look at the legs of the chair.



David Cox watercolour sketch burdock and drainage tunnel.
David Cox watercolour sketch burdock and drainage tunnel.

In a mad fancy of accomplishment I would think that in my last twenty years were I to  capture such beauty and interest with ‘simple’ brushstrokes then it would be time well spent and probably best spent. I have my work which is ongoing but also need recreation less energetic than walking miles with my dog. Years ago I would often visualise and work out how to capture cloudscape, distant horizons, thinking of toned grounds, overlays, colour or warmth. My problem is that I can only paint when I’ve had a drink, or maybe need convincing something worthwhile will result from sober effort. Perhaps if I paint with the intention of conciously keeping it all private it will free me up to make me ‘go for it’. In all my travels in all the pastoral settings I can honestly say I have never once encountered an artist or enthusiast of merit wanting to lay down on paper the form, tones, beauty displayed to them. Maybe I should? I dunno. Realise too that Lowrys work often mostly is a lowcost set of negatives from Boots; look closely.

In the above for burdock to grow in such a position I’d say the ditch is dry.


David Cox study of a dog
David Cox study of a dog


If we are on David Cox then we have to see the famous one…..

whoops to follow as somehow unfindable  ….

My idiocy, i had forgotten its Cotman I need to ask for!

or ….

john sell cotman ploughed field and scarecrow
John Sell Cotman


I think I need to go looking for books for them both!

Its a bit like the contracted term ‘poetry’ or ‘books’, what we really mean is all that is contained therein ie viewpoint, experience, memory, mindset, knowledge, a way of seeing; so thank goodness for Art, the valuable kind. I wonder of todays activities of installation, performance, staged and often grant aided events as how they will be regarded as of any merit (whatsoever) in a hypothetical one hundred years (when we have ceased to exist as a species anyway).


For instance free your eye up …



Its always played down …

Worthwhile reading  …

In my opinion the timescale will contract to much sooner than predicted. At least they have the confidence to write of such things, ‘time will tell’ as the saying goes.

I will not be able to view any material that shows seals and polar bears struggling. As I’ve said before, a picture of a starving polar bear needs to be nailed to trumps head so that everyone can see what the 9-carat plated fool is about. The term climate change is forbidden by Scott Pruitt at the American EPA, likewise scientists have been dismissed or put on garbage tasks such as payroll.


Pacific bird loss …

You can read the same for anything, Pacific salmon, Atlantic salmon, phytoplankton, diatoms, complete food chains …  its all going. My passion for years was diatoms and algae these being the step below the larger and visible phytoplankton that all convert CO2 and (did)  help form weather systems. Its quite horribly ironic, burning the ancient oil and gas from diatoms has created their demise.


In searching for more recent material it strikes me theres not much being produced. Quite fair to say the silence is deafening. Note how we depend on google offering up what we request, we are so open to manipulation. Partly I suppose to be expected as Scott Pruitt and trump have castrated the American EPA and banned mention of climate change. You could not get a greater admission of climate change being real and happening right now than this brutal boot being crushed into intelligent scientific minds. Many reports such as below frame out the demise of whatever species or effect to ‘many years hence’ but what is being demonstrated is that when most of a species collapses then ALL of the species collapses, its an all or nothing situation. And bear in mind its all part of a food chain from diatoms upwards. Trout are reported (98% of) in west coast rivers with empty stomachs, likewise seabirds starving, emaciated sealions in California with mothers unable to suckle their young. But as demonstrated with the seabird crash a couple of years ago it can develop to an  ‘out of sight, out of mind’  situation and people merely say “We aren’t seeing them anymore”.

Fish loss in Pacific Islands  …

Seagrass carbon storage  …

New species being found as we are set to lose them …

General new article listings  …



postscript 12th May 2018 …  …. (note written nearly a decade ago and predicting the possibility of zero numbers quite soon).

These links are meant to be read in full, for instance above the National Geo tells us …that mercury is now so high in Arctic terns and iother seabirds that is probable reproduction is being affected. Also they inform that its the ‘cocktail’ of pcbs and chemicals that is so harmful. The birds themselves must wonder …  “Why are we like this” … no food, deformities, impaired abilities, unable to raise young. Its as if advancing technology and Industrialisation and an endless grab for Economic Growth coupled with never ending population increase is all a sick joke, a sick experiment watched from afar.  Elon Musk makes electric cars, but at what carbon cost and how do you generate that electricity to charge them ??? I feel so sorry for his suppliers and the madness of  locating a car plant in Silicon Valley. China has been mocked for pollution but thank goodness they had the guts to have a one child policy and that the bicycle was King for so long. I wonder at what point the ‘re-think’ will at last be placed upon us all?






Interconnectedness of weather systems.

Every day or two I broach the subject of climate change with whoever / anyone and its hard for ‘ornery folk to realise how complex and interconnected are the effects of increased CO2 therefore global warming and the impact on weather systems, including Jet Stream, ocean circulation, Arctic ice loss, plankton, food chain disruption and collapse etc etc.

This morning we hear on UK radio news that the ocean circulation systems and pathways could well be for a greater disruption and modification that previously realised.  see second link below. Here in the UK we depend upon the Gulf Stream to keep us away from anything like Siberian winters.

Its difficult for many at first to comprehend the interconnectedness of all this and the speed at which all of this is happening. Each system is subject to increasing ‘positive’ (ie disastrous) feedback, in turn influencing each other as further feedback which again spirals to further interconnectedness, feedback, change, feedback, change etc etc. Its as if some perhaps malevolent higher force has decided to hit the ‘wipe’ button.

I quote “Arctic temperature so great computers don’t believe its real”.

I just found this  …

Heres a side-order of worry  ….. Dear God, please cull the remaining Polar Bears as it will be too cruel to see crawling on thawing tundra, to see them starve to death, to lose their instictive snow eyrie where they raise young, to humiliate them.

Okay, as shown by Paul Beckwith on his part 1 of 4 vids re warming Arctic (see 09:48) its now 30C warmer than the historical average for February with now no drop below zero at night for northern Greenland / Arctic Ocean. ie see first embed on my previous post. This data is authorative, a disparate data source and based on realtime events.

Also …


*In the vid cited above at 09:48 Paul uses

UK Guardian newspaper on climate change …

Maybe they got it wrong, 30-40C I think should read F for Farenheit. This is why fifteen years ago I gave up reading the Grauniad and FT at weekends, cos sometimes they are just plain wrong; I used to see this in relation to design, gardening and such matters. Why should I waste my time reading contrived tripe from a junior. Remember, a lot of editorial / articles are there to fill the gaps between the ads or promote some pundit, personality or viewpoint.

At least I hope they got it wrong, at the moment I read Arctic warming as say 10-15deg Centigrade. And remember open sea will now absorb more heat than reflective ice, increased turbulence enhancing the effect of warming the subsea permafrost, also ice now has particles of smoke and a black algal or mold growth that also increases melt rate.

* from Paul Beckwith the first vid below confirms Arctic as of Feb 2018 is plus 30 C

All the same, the Grauniad is telling us (I need to corroborate this from elsewhere) that in Feb they now do not dip below freezing in the Arctic during the night, which really is all we need to know. This is catastrophic …. you’ve got ten years, don’t expect more. Yet still there is climate change denial! Why are ppl so dumbed down?

As Paul Beckwith tells us and many others now likewise the Jet Stream is much altered and has split and loops over the Arctic, again a disastrous development; bringing warm air and moisture to where it should not be.  Ocean plankton is not converting CO2 as it did, the Pacific is inedible, food chains are dieing completely. From the median upcurve last year was a dip, so it looks this year 2018 will be the worst ever for fires, sky darkening, reduced crop yield, increased methane release ie geological, thawing hydrates and microbial. And on top of that we have idiots spraying the skies with chem trails that destroy ozone and yes third day running here its another chem trail day.

We read that the Greenland ice sheet will take 500 years to go, I think that is BS … no more than fifty and probably less; we can call it the Swiss Cheese effect.  I’m an engineer and am used to looking at things and working intuitively. Rivers of surface meltwater are running fiercely underground and it will soon all melt, likewise in the south the Antarctic where unseen undercutting of the vast ice massif itself will shock us all when it starts folding into the sea bigtime. Its reckoned its at least a global 60m sea level rise.  IPCC models are useless, no account of methane and a childlike incorporation of large scale carbon capture that has yet to be invented. You have now entered a crazy Orwellian world, where trump and Scott Pruitt ban the term climate change and global warming is demoted to a trivial tweet.  Imagine, trump could build another wall, say around his beloved NY and every other coastal city. Thats why he is so blindly hellbent on getting the wall with Mexico to keep out frantic mass migration and to hand back massive amounts of tax to the already filthy rich, he knows fine well the future is dire with climate change and hence so adamantly will not acknowledge as such. Hitler and Goebbels will be looking up from their special place in hell and thinking ‘Thats my boy’ !

Luckily there are photographs of frozen places and glaciers from a century ago, these illustrate the amount of ice loss. A lot of scientific data only goes back to say the 1970’s or the 50’s.

A spelling mistake on I think CNBC an hour ago … ‘oars are quarried’ !!  …. So I sent an email. Makes you wonder if 50% of journalism is just trash. Ores we know are metallic elements and I reckon most are mined. Gives a false impression to the young! Also ‘opencast’ is nearer than quarried if its above surface extraction.

Yesterday Friday was a full day of climate control ie chem trails here in NE England and looking at the brown hue to some phoney clouds I wonder if they’ve been spraying overnight?? Looks like trails a hour or two old merging into haze, not many so far today. We need websites to be logged in to and data to be collected. And a formalised reporting system or screen report card ie number of trails, time when first noticed, weather before trails or at start of observation, duration, effects and the receiving expert can fill in weather fronts and barometric data.

Who would have thought climate, weather systems are so finely balanced, so sensitive and so interconnected! And all have existed for far longer before some squatting proto hominid banged two rocks together somewhere in Africa or Asia. In the next few years people will turn to religion of whatever form, Christ, Buddha, Allah, their ancestors, shamanism, Dao, Tao, nature or hedonism and we’ll see more Bible quotes thats for sure  …’As ye sow ye shall reap’ I think is the expression, quite apt actually considering Monsanto wants everyone to adopt their disease and drought resisitant GM crops which will actually be all that you can grow for the ‘lucky’ ten percent that persist.

Note at 09:40 Pauls shows the latest data as plus 30C for the Arctic as of right now.

Youtube often only provides a layer or slice of what is available, successive sessions over days often yields new material as with below.


Here below is another unexpected find and immensely worthwhile too, Paul R Erlich; I have his book ‘The Machinery of Nature’ and finding this vid pushes me to get more of his books.

Remember:- a rise of 2 or 3C sounds nothing but it is the trigger for a whole cascade of weather and natural world re-jigs, all interconnected and all now set into self re-inforcing feedback loops. Our refrigerator the Arctic has gone, circulation ie Jet Stream is on walkabout and has split into two loops over the Arctic, natural CO2 conversion failing ie from plankton; western lifestyle, sewage, water, electricity, petroleum availability all highly vulnerable as Paul outlines.  No wonder trump wants to and is ramping up the Military.

The present aim of Continuous Economic Growth is not sustainable, I personally do not think human kind can be changed, the better off in this world will not relinquish their advantaged lifestyles. We will ‘go down’ consuming.


Please realise though 2C sounds nothing it has triggered along with higher CO2 levels our weather systems to go into a self increasing feedback mode from a previous ‘steady state’ and this planets lifeforms to be severely thrust into turmoil. Polar bears will soon only exist as memory, can you see any bees in summer? We are losing Arctic and Antarctic ice, at the North Pole it is stupidly over-heated and now exists only as water, ie this is now and is plain fact. Constant chem trail activity hinders solar power, destroys ozone, hinders food production. Please … BE AWARE !!!

Note I’m quoting from the last link above  … More than 100 previous studies have shown that elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide decrease the nutritional value of plants, such as wheat and rice. unquote.