Iceland cloud signals change

Intriguing global events over the last week – from volcanoes to X factor style leaders’ debates. I’ve been disappointed at the lack of response from environmental groups over the knock-on effects of the volcanic activity. The cloud and its devastating effects on travel and business is a potent symbol of things to come. We all know our oil is running out.  And it might be that the air industry are losing £130 million a day because of the volcano, but the truth is we need to look at the very real impacts our lifestyles are having on the planet. I’m not underestimating the unpleasantness of those 150,000 or so stuck in some far away airport ‘lounge’, but once everybody is safely home there are some lessons to reflect on. First, it’s proof that we can accommodate massive change when we need to. As the ash cloud continues its path, we will be reminded of the ridiculous lengths we go to for certain exotic food items, as they begin to run out. What cost are we prepared to pay for exotic air freighted flowers? Perhaps ‘One Planet’ shopping is worth a go- seasonally available foods and enjoying our country’s produce (also encouraging beautiful countryside at the same time). Anecdotal evidence would suggest that the air quality is currently much better in and around Heathrow and Stanstead. The heavenly silence is also a blessing – you can hear nature in new ways; it just feels better not having planes droning overhead every minute. Some people have actually managed to have a full night’s sleep for the first time in years. But the most important lesson here is who is really in control of this globe. The Planet has reminded us who is in charge with a most unlikely of signals which we need to heed.


One comment on “Iceland cloud signals change

  1. Monica on

    Nice post, and I totally agree. This was, if not entirely a wake-up call, then an insistent early-morning alarm we’d do well not to hit the snooze button on. As traumatic as the incident was for stranded travellers (and I wholeheartedly sympathise with what they’ve been through), this eruption really was no more than a geological blip. In the past we’ve had massive geological events affecting half the planet. How would we have coped with something far more calamitous, like a supervolcanic eruption or, even just an increase in solar activity interfering with satellites and gps systems on a global scale? We try to have everything so timetabled and orderly, with our economic systems so tied up within it, that jobs and livelihoods (and lives sometimes) can be at stake should anything interfere with it for even just a few days. Nature is far more fluid than that, we need to learn how to be too.

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