Monday, 13 April 2020

Gaia


In Greek Mythology, Gaia is the personification of the Earth - the primal Mother Earth goddess. Today the Gaia theory or principal, proposes that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated with one another and form a single but self-regulating complex system, which maintain the conditions for life on our planet.
During this quiet Easter holiday whilst taking my daily walk around our Common, I reflected on just how quickly things have changed for all of us this year 2020.
The bulk of 2019 manifest itself in continual processions of protest around our globe, whose populations, young and old called upon our governments to change course. Protect the world from climate change, the environmental impact of plastics, and damaging vehicle emissions. 
As recently as December 2019 the United Nations Climate Change Conference met in Madrid, but following two weeks of deliberation and talking, most of the issues raised remained unresolved.
Why am I having these ironic thoughts? My thinking leads me on to consider "could this be Gaia's revenge?" Pollution and greenhouse gas emissions have fallen considerably already right across our world as countries try to contain the spread of Covid-19. Is this simply just a fleeting change, or could it now lead on to longer lasting falls in emissions, and a much cleaner planet? We all now know that sustainability is in fact a possibility.   

49 comments:

  1. Good morning Rosemary: It is an open question as to whether we will begin to change our habits and substantially modify our lifestyles in ways that benefit the planet. On balance, I doubt it. I suspect that we will quickly revert to "business as usual." Stay well!

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    1. I suspect that you are correct David. However, it is possible that some might reflect and reconsider modifying their lifestyles.

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  2. I have wondered the same question, Rosemary. It is as if the earth is saying something like 'sit down and have a look at what you have done'. I do hope some good comes out of the situation, perhaps in surprising ways. One can only hope.

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    1. I find it very curious Patricia, that this black moment in our history, has followed so quickly on the heels of the many protests and the unsuccessful discussions at the UN Climate Change Conference.

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  3. I don't think we can think of this as Gaia's revenge; it could be a whole lot worse and this is no more than just a gentle reminder. We need to mend our ways in some very serious ways if any kind of balance is to be restored.

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    1. I hope that you are right John, about it being a gentle reminder. However, I don't think that we shall see the end of this virus until our Scientist have come up with a vaccine.

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  4. Hello Rosemary, Mending the earth is such a tall order that it will take more than realization, it will take true leadership. We interestingly will get one test of at least the U.S.'s sense of responsibility in the election this fall.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - yes, the election in the U.S could be very interesting. However, there is a caveat - will it still be able to take place?

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  5. To those who are conscious, this pause in our civilization gives hope, and even opportunity. For those who have their values on products that are discardable and a world where they travel in their blind existence, unfortunately they will return to how they lived before the pandemic. But the pause has given an opening for many of us to find more compassion between ourselves. It has also touched many with the sad loss of loved ones. That creates a mass of grieving people. I wonder how their sorrow will affect the world in the future. And politics has had similar ups and downs in the past, so I think it will continue to be a place with power hungry politicians.

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    1. So many wise words Barbara - politicians the world over tend to consider what will be a fortuitous outcome for them whilst they are in office, and do not consider what the longterm or future consequences might be.

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  6. What a magnificent view - is that nearby you Rosemary?
    Yes, seems we are all in agreement when it comes to righting the wrongs of this now so sad world situation.
    What happened to kindness, honesty, making do, being happy, a smaller life - which has turned into greed and hate thanks to big business, politics, and disgusting fake media?
    It's all so sad and stressful - and now today we are under a tornado watch as the horrendous storms roll across the south.
    Shall I bake - again, clean, write, read, play with photos from brighter days, or just go back to bed and pray we don't blow away!!!!!? I'll probably knit - just read that lowers B/P and heart rate, perfect!

    Hang in there - Mary X

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    1. That view is one of five valleys that lie below the Common where we live.
      Life is offering us all enough to cope with at this particular moment Mary, so I am sorry to learn that you are under a tornado watch - do both take care of yourselves.
      I don't seem to be able to put my mind to anything in particular, and thinking about what to make for our meals has become a really big deal lately.
      However, I am ploughing my way through a Danish serial which I am loving. It has 20 episodes, so when I am at a loss, I have plenty to watch, and it whisks me away to another world.

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  7. Dear Rosemary,
    All of our lives have changed and will continue to change. We have been tested. And we have found that we can make do with less. Children might learn how to grow a potatoe or a carrot this summer and not look at us in total ignorance when presented with something edible.
    Thank you for bringing us another very thought provoking post.

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    1. Dear Gina - children growing vegetables is a great idea - anything that would take them away from their mobiles can only be to the good. Thank you for your kind comment which I really appreciated reading.

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  8. Preciosa fotografía y muy buena reflexión:-)

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    1. Gracias por su visita y muy amable comentario.

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  9. Nice Photograph. Only thing I know is that this threat may go on for years to come. Like Aids, which has not gone away. We will just have to learn to live with it. It is perfectly possible, as you know, to do much longer enjoyable day walks and not meet a single soul during that time, using common sense but local buses, planes, international travel, and group events may be restricted as too risky for some time. Would not like to be a politician or business operator at this point in time.

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    1. We desperately need a vaccine Bob - sooner rather than later.

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  10. Well the air around us has surely cleared. I am one that thinks our lives will be changed if only just a wee bit forever.

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    1. Surely many will re-think their lives following on from this dark moment in our history. Whether those that are in charge will, is another matter completely.

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  11. Maybe Mother Nature is cleaning house. When you see photos of animals coming into the cities emptied of people you see how easily the Earth benefits without humans. Less pollution, cleaner water. I wonder if any lessons will be learned from this?

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    1. I sincerely hope lessons are learnt - even small changes can help and be beneficial.

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  12. It depends if we as a society learn any lessons from this. I suspect we won't. Greed for short-term profits will soon rear its ugly head again as soon as the economy is "open for business" again.

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    1. I would prefer to contemplate that you are wrong Debra, but fear that you are right.

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  13. Belated Happy Easter, Rosemary! When I saw photos of the lagoon in Venice, crystal clear with schools of fish and also a porpoise (!) - all that went through my mind was that this will show those who do not believe in how much of our pollution has been human-caused. I can only hope. Clear blue skies has been reported over so much of the planet. I haven't heard or read about the fires in the Amazon. Perhaps they are still burning. As a reader before me noted, we Americans will find out in November whether we continue on our current dreadful path or whether humanism will take over once again. I have my fingers crossed as I continue to follow the news and grumble. You have shared a very striking view from one direction that you can enjoy. Thank you for sharing that with us.
    Mary in Oregon

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    1. Dear Mary - one of the great joys at this moment for me, is being able to hear the birds singing away, especially early in the morning. That little village has something very important, if you read my reply to Lorrie you will discover just what it is.

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  14. The view in your photo has me mesmerized. It's a miniature world that would be wonderful to explore, from the church through the village streets, and up to the houses higher up. Stunning.

    I really wonder if anything will change when this is over. It would be wonderful if we would learn to treat our beautiful earth with the respect she deserves.

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    1. Dear Lorrie - the valley was once home to a Roman of high status, thought to be the Roman General, Vespasian, who was the Governor of this province during our Roman occupation. He built himself a large villa in a prime spot in the valley to reflect his status, but over the centuries it was lost. In 1693 a wonderful mosaic pavement from the villa was discovered lying under what had become the local churchyard. It is greatly celebrated, but still lies under the ground safely tucked away. It is one of the most complex and intricate mosaic designs ever to be found in northern Europe and measures 2,209 square feet. Originally it contained one and a half million pieces of tesserae stone, and was made around AD 325 by craftsmen from Corinium (Cirencester) in a design based around Orpheus and his relationship with nature. The last time that it was uncovered was in the early 1970's but so many people flocked to see it that the village could not cope and made the decision to cover it forever. It has remained safely tucked away in the valley ever since. In the 1970s worldwide travel was very limited. Can you imagine how many people would flock there now should it be revealed?

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    2. What a fascinating story, Rosemary. I love to travel and to explore and learn about human history, but I wonder how much travel the earth can sustain. Such a wise move on the part of the village to preserve their way of life. I wonder if it was photographed? I will make a search online.

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    3. 💛There are plenty of illustrations of it Lorrie and a couple of local men actually replicated the whole pavement, which I am sure that you have probably found by now.

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  15. I don't know whether you saw the Coronavirus letter to humanity I posted on Friday April 10th. You may have seen it somewhere else. Love that village.

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    1. I didn't see it Susan nor have I seen it elsewhere, but will take a look at your post on April 10th. These are simply my own musings and thoughts.

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  16. Beautiful scene must be special to look over the village.
    I've thought similar to you and it will be interesting to see after the virus what the earth will be like for it's bound to be changed.
    Take care.

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    1. I think that this virus will be around until the scientist manage to come up with a break through in the form of a successful vaccine.

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  17. Soon they are going to run out of places to store oil...

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    1. Then may be now is the time for them to cease drilling.

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  18. That is such a gorgeous view! And I love the idea of such an impressive Roman villa lying beneath it ... I've also wondered about this being Mother Nature just taking matters into her own hands after all the talking and hand wringing over these past years. I'd like to say that this change will be measurable for some time to come after we get back to "normal", as there's already so many energy-wasting businesses gone in my inner city neighbourhood which will mean the old "normal" simply cannot return.

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    1. I am sure that some changes must surely take place - the general public are now armed with so much more information about some of the catastrophes that may well await us.

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  19. I have made the same thoughts as you , and somehow it is as if 'something ' has taken over where humans failed to take action in spite of summits and lots of blablabla.

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    1. Was it simply just a coincidence that the virus in Wuhan commenced at around the same time as the United Nations Climate Change Conference was taking place?

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  20. Dearest Rosemary,
    Had to smile at your word of inorganic as I typed an entire chapter on it yesterday for one of the 12 for our scientific manuscript... Most people have no inkling how the life-cycle of all organisms works.
    Hoping that more governments will force China for getting on board in living a more conscious and clean lifestyle...
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - we all need to make a great effort and pull together. Hope that you are taking care.

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  21. Dear Rosemary - I hope they hear the trumpet call!
    And ourselves too : though I can buy almost everything in the supermarket, I buy less (not wanting to go their often - and having given up my car) - and with less (but good :-) I can work very well. And seeing how much shoes and dresses I have - there is no need to shop around (which of course we can't because of the lockdown), thus there is not much temptation to buy just another bag... but much more time to do other things.
    I am not sure if the shock will produce new habits - but one can always hope. Which I do!

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    1. Dear Britta - I have no desires for anything material whatsoever - I just long for the day when I can see all of the family so that we can hug one another and share our joys and tribulations once again.

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  22. Hello Rosemary, it's amazing how quickly the levels of pollution have fallen, and very encouraging. I would love to think that we could all learn from this and continue lobbying politicians and doing our best to cut emissions even more. However with many countries simply refusing to acknowledge climate change, sadly, I think it will be business as usual.

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    1. I suspect that will be true Polly - too many businesses are reliant on modern technology which cause emissions - transport etc.

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  23. Whatever happens after Covid-19 the world will not be the same place again. No aspect of it will remain unchanged. Politically we may all look to ourselves, to our own state and governments rather than the fellowship of humankind.

    I think Gaia may have the last laugh, I think that even this virus is a result of man destroying his own environment.

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    1. I sadly totally agree with your last sentiments Friko.

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