Poetry – Empty Words

Empty Words

Looking for loopholes,

                False promises,

                                Empty words.

We are watching you.

The young will not forgive.

                They will write your history.

Their words will be as harsh as the weather.

We are watching you.

Not enough wood for the pyres.

                Not enough oxygen for the lungs.

Not enough understanding of the need.

We are watching you!!

We are watching you!!

We are watching you!!

Opher 23.4.2021

The politicians lie about the way they love and cherish the environment when all the time the only things they are cherishing is power and the size of their bank deposits!!

All over the world nature is threatened.

It’s time everyone came together to put a stop to this massacre!!

We are watching you!!

History will remember who it was who raped the planet!

Empty Words

Looking for loopholes,

                False promises,

                                Empty words.

We are watching you.

The young will not forgive.

                They will write your history.

Their words will be as harsh as the weather.

We are watching you.

Not enough wood for the pyres.

                Not enough oxygen for the lungs.

Not enough understanding of the need.

We are watching you!!

We are watching you!!

We are watching you!!

Opher 23.4.2021

The politicians lie about the way they love and cherish the environment when all the time the only things they are cherishing is power and the size of their bank deposits!!

All over the world nature is threatened.

It’s time everyone came together to put a stop to this massacre!!

We are watching you!!

History will remember who it was who raped the planet!

Poetry – The Game

The Game

The game of avoiding catastrophe

                Played against an opponent

                                Who does not care.

What can be more important

                Than fighting for the future?

Jumping off a cliff

                Into the unknown

                                As the corals bleach.

Populations crash.

                An ecosystem

                                That took billions of years to build,

Destroyed in decades

As time runs out.

People are ready for change.

We are desperate for hope.

Opher – 22.4.2021

We are standing on the brink of that cliff.

We are unbalancing the ecosystems.

We are killing the wildlife.

We are destroying habitats.

We are polluting the world.

We put money before the future.

Enough is enough.

It has to stop.

We have to start to repair the world.

It is too beautiful to allow it to die.

Poetry – Shifting – Change comes

Shifting – Change comes

Shifting air currents,

                Later rains,

                                Drier vegetation,

                                                More fire.

Change comes.

Fossil fuels,

                Mass pollution,

                                Tropical storms

                                                Hurricanes

Change comes.

Opher 22.4.2021

We are reaping the results of three hundred years of abuse.

Our numbers are a bacterial scum rotting everything we touch.

The oceans and forests are not infinite.

We are tipping the balance.

Change is coming.

WE will not like it – not one bit.

Biblical floods, fire, plagues, drought, famine, migrations and desperation.

Change comes.

We are responsible.

Poetry – Profits Made

Profits Made

The winds came most horribly

Striking the sun-baked soil

Like a flail.

It set the dried brush burning fiercely.

                Every creature

                                As parched and scorched

                                                As the ground

                                                                They died upon.

The rains never came.

                Rivers dried.

                                Seas warmed.  

                                                Coral bleached.

Desert sands

                No longer crept

                                They rushed.

                                                Ice melted.

                                                                Seas rose.

                                                                                Cities flooded.

People fled.

Torrid air

                Scalded skin

                                Smoke still poured

                                                Profits were made.

Opher -4.4.2021

All the major problems facing us are easily solved. Whether it is war, poverty, coronavirus, overpopulation or global warming. There is a simple solution. We already know the answers.

What holds us back is greed, selfishness and the lust for power and wealth.

What is required is a global perspective, greater equality and cooperation.

Easy.

We are all innocent and guilty.

I’m living a quiet life. I don’t steal, destroy any wildlife, kill anything or hurt anybody. I am not guilty.

Except that is not true.

Just by virtue of living we are having an impact and, without enormous research, it is not possible to know exactly how big an impact we are having.

My trainers were made in a sweatshop in India which illegally employs children on starvation wages.

The electricity I use is produced by a power station burning coal which is pouring carbon dioxide and particulates into the atmosphere.

The standard of life I enjoy is the result of a long history of slavery and looting and now is bolstered through clandestine deals selling arms and torture implements to tyrannous despots.

The coffee I drink comes from Vietnam where huge swathes of virgin rainforest was cleared for coffee plantations.

The shampoo I used this morning contained palm oil from the Indonesia where the orangutans are being decimated.

The cheapness of my breakfast cereal is due to extensive overfarming. Hedgerows and copses were flattened, streams culverted and ponds filled in the create greater efficiency. It is laced with pesticide and herbicide because no ‘foreign’ life must exist to reduce the yield. Nature is the enemy.

The fish I ate for tea was trawled from the ocean by a superfleet who are gouging up the seabed.

The computer and phone I contact my friends and family on contains rare metals which have to be mined, heavily polluting the wilderness.

The teak coffee table I bought was made from a great teak tree that was hundreds of years old, stood in a rainforest and provided food and home for a whole community of life.

The steak I will eat for dinner was from a steer in South America. Great swathes of the Amazon rainforest were cleared so we could enjoy cheap beef. It was shipped thousands of miles around the world on a cargo ship spouting masses of carbon and particulate from the burning of poor quality oil in its diesel engines. It was delivered to my supermarket via train and lorry further adding to the pollution.

I could go on and on. But I am not looking to create guilt, just raise awareness. There is no way that we can possibly make ourselves aware of the ramifications of every single economic, political and social aspect of our interwoven world. Besides, much of what goes on is clandestine, hidden and illegal. We probably could never find out the real picture.

So what do we do?

I would suggest that we are all guilty of causing damage, pain and poverty. But we can reduce the damage we do raise our awareness and put pressure on all concerned to clean up our act.

We are one planet, one people. It is in our own interests to reduce the impact we are having on nature so that the planet is safe and life is cherished. It is in our own interests to reduce pollution and not cause suffering. It is in our own interests to reduce global poverty and support the rights of all people.

Not to do so risks a dismal future of global warming, gross pollution of air, soil and water, mass extinctions, war, mass migrations, gross inequality and misery.

None of us are innocent. Just by living we are party to this mess. Some are more guilty than others.

With care we can create a world that works for us all and supports a thriving natural world – With a little care, awareness and thought.

Five Existential Threats and how to deal with them.

Five Existential Threats and how to deal with them.

Life on this tiny planet is very fragile. It is very precious. This could be the only planet in the whole universe to give rise to life.

We are not the only important form of life. All life is equally important. We are all interconnected. We have all evolved from the same incredible single event.

We are the only species able to appreciate this. We are the only species with the ability to destroy the planet. We are the only species with the ability to do something about it.

We are custodians of life.

It is a heavy responsibility.

  1. Asteroids

Life could all we wiped out in one horrendous asteroid strike. It is an event that has happened a number of times in the past. It very nearly wiped everything out. The next big one could finish the job. One is going to happen at some time.

We have the ability to protect ourselves against such an event. We can scan the heavens and identify threats. We have the means to destroy or deflect asteroids.

  • Pandemics

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused global chaos but it is not even a serious pandemic. We could easily encounter a virus to which we have no defences. It could wipe out all mankind. It could even be one that we have weaponised ourselves in our warfare laboratories.

We have had numerous warnings – Spanish Flu, SARS, MERS, HIV, Ebola, Avian Flu, Swine Flu. The next one is probably out there.

We could put finance into developing effective generic antivirals.

We should put a stop to the opening up of wilderness areas for logging and mining.

We should stop the trade in wild animals.

We should put a halt to ‘wet markets’.

We should carefully monitor what is going on around the world and have a fast global response, through the WHO, to isolate and contain an outbreak.

We should stop this national tendency to cover-up outbreaks.

We should prepare with adequate resources and strategies.

  • War

Back in the sixties we were all too aware of the threat of us destroying the planet with nuclear war. We set up a great number of bodies to prevent such an occurrence.

We have become complacent.

The threat has not gone away. It has become worse. We now have the break-up of our protective mechanisms, far worse nuclear and biological weapons, far shorter warning time, rogue states, religious fanatics, terrorism, genetic splicing, computers and technology.

The two main threats are still nuclear war and biological warfare, although chemical warfare and even A/I are looming.

The move back to nationalism, discrediting of global institutions, rise of new powers, such as China, Iran and North Korea, and return of the cold war with Russia has increased the risk.

We need to give more power to global institutions such as the UN.

We need to work more internationally to bring closer relationships and cooperation between countries, in particularly trading links, such as the EU, and in particular those countries presently outside the global community (North Korea, China, Iran and Russia).

We need to ensure greater diplomatic communication.

We need to counter religious fanaticism and terrorism.

We need counter nationalistic populism and fascism. It has been the root cause of most wars.

We need to create greater global equality and prosperity.

We need to take a global view of problems that beset certain nations – overpopulation, lack of employment, droughts, heatwaves, floods, famines, disease…………………

We need to become a collaborative global community not insular self-interested nations.

  • Biodiversity and the destruction of nature

All life on this planet is interconnected. It has evolved for billions of years to create a self-sustaining web. The soil structure, atmosphere, oceans, weather and fresh water systems are dependent on this interrelationship.

This biodiversity is being threatened like never before. We have been clearing rainforests, overfishing rivers and seas, polluting, draining lakes, marshes and ponds and killing wildlife at an alarming rate.

Our activities and numbers are having a dramatic impact on the population levels of a large number of our invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals.

We act as if we no longer recognise that we are part of this system.

If we continue this trend we will cause a collapse in these communities. It will not only lead to the loss of many common and iconic species. That collapse will have a huge impact on soil fertility, air quality, ocean health, food production, weather and our ability to survive on this planet.

Put a stop to deforestation and habitat destruction.

Rewild areas that we have destroyed.

Fish and hunt sustainably.

Go vegetarian or introduce ‘clean’ meat (produced in a lab)

Farm responsibly with limited use of chemicals.

Reduce our global population.

Conserve endangered species.

Value nature.

Educate people to the importance of this unique interconnected web of life.

  • Global Warming

No it isn’t a hoax. It is real. The only scientists refuting the evidence are those employed by the industries with vested interest – the petrochemical industry, the agriculture industry, mining and logging.

The world is warming up due to the huge amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The trouble is that we are approaching a number of tipping points. Once past those points things run out of control whatever action you take.

For example:

If the icecaps recede heat is not reflected back into space from the white snow and ice.

If the permafrost melts huge amounts of stored carbon is released into the atmosphere.

We are very close to this occurring.

If global warming takes off and global temperatures rise by just a couple of degrees we end up with heatwaves, desertification, climate change, a big rise in sea levels, massive changes in animal and plant populations, migrations and species creep.

This would result in most of our major cities being under water, many areas of the world being uninhabitable, mass migration, droughts, floods, drastic alterations in crop viability and farming.

There would be a huge impact on the entire environment with species migrating and extinctions.

There would be uninhabitable regions and low-lying countries would disappear. This would lead to mass migrations, competition for resources, devastating weather patterns (monsoon failure, droughts, hurricanes, floods, heatwaves, tornadoes, freezing winters).

There would be wars and terrorism.

In the past humans would have coped. We would simply have migrated. Now our numbers are too big. We are no longer hunter gatherers. We live in cities. Most of our cities are by the sea or on rivers. They are low lying and would be flooded.

Move from fossil fuels to green energy (sustainable)

Rewild with massive tree planting.

Sustain marshland.

Educate the population.

Refute fake news and conspiracy.

Remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Never before have we held such power. We can use our intelligence to develop technologies, science and strategies to make our future safe in a dangerous universe.

We might not be able (yet) to deal with catastrophes such as volcanic eruptions or solar events but we can deal with many of the threats we face.

Hopefully we will put aside our greed, selfishness and petty political/religious differences and take a responsible attitude.

We are custodians of a unique and beautiful planet.

It is tiny and fragile and we alone have the ability to sustain it and enable it to prosper or to destroy it completely.

Are we intelligent or too selfish?

Poetry – The Last Party (For Greta)

The Last Party (For Greta)

It’s the last party on the Titanic

And nobody’s at the wheel.

The iceberg has come into sight,

We’ll soon hear the crunch of steel.

Let’s order another bottle of champers

And pretend that it’s all God’s will.

‘Shouldn’t someone be keeping watch?’

I heard a young kid shout.

‘It’s looking pretty murky.

There’s a lot of ice about?’

‘Don’t worry your young head,’

The gambler replied.

‘Leave it to the Captain.

Let them that know decide.’

‘But isn’t that an iceberg,

Looming in the dark?

Surely we should steer away,

Lest it leaves its mark?’

How everybody laughed

At the silly little girl.

And carried on a-gambling

Within the social whirl.

There was surprise and chaos

When the iceberg hit.

Nobody could have seen it coming?

Was the grand verdict.

There weren’t enough lifeboats

But the wealthy took their place.

They knew they would survive

The gathering disgrace.

Opher – 31.10.2020

I wrote this one for Greta Thunberg.

It seems obvious that there is a major catastrophe or two looming – not only global warming but the annihilation of species and pandemics.

We can still alter course and change our ways. There is time. But the calamity it looming.

It takes a child to point out the catastrophe that lies ahead.

There’s still nobody at the wheel.

Presidential election – Who to choose to protect nature and long-term economic security?

We’ve all seen the terrible fires in Australia, Africa, South America and California. We’ve seen the floods, hurricanes and strange weather patterns.

It is only going to get worse and not only cause mass devastation, mass migration and huge damage to nature; it is also going to ruin economies and cost a fortune.

We need our rainforests, don’t we? We need environmental stability, don’t we?

How long does a forest last when you put in place a President who has removed legislation on mining and logging, reduced environmental standards, doesn’t believe in global warming, promotes fossil fuels and wants to exploit the environment for quick profit (basically anything goes if you can make a buck and temporarily boost the economy) or a President who wants to move away from fossil fuels towards sustainable energy, who believes in protecting the environment, who knows that we have damaging global warming and would be part of a world-wide struggle to protect nature, with things like the Paris Accord, who believes in science and will fund it properly – let me see now – this is a difficult one isn’t it?

Global Warming is real and threatens us severely.

Science is based on accurate observation followed by hypothesis and testing.

As is obvious with testing we do not have a control group for the planet.

We have observed the heating of the planet very accurately. It is heating up.

We have looked for reasons.

In previous tropical ages there were natural phenomena. In ice ages there were natural phenomena.

These changes were brought about by things outside our control – solar output variations or volcanic activity.

We have not observed any such activity.

What we have observed is that the greenhouse gas CO2 is building up in high levels due to human activity through burning fossil fuels. This correlates.

The greenhouse effect of CO2 has been verified using scientific method, with controls.

The global warming is having a marked effect on weather patterns and rises in sea level. If the temperatures rise much more those changes will increase dramatically.

Intelligence says that if you have a problem you look for a way of fixing it. Global warming is a hell of a problem.

We could put mirrors in space to reflect heat.

We could put my water into the air to form cloud to reflect heat.

We could reduce CO2 levels.

You know what – I think CO2 reduction is the easiest and best way to solve the problem.

The Maldives – Photos – Low Level islands threatened by global warming.

Sunsets over the low-lying islands are beautiful. 

Male was like a city coming straight out of the sea. 

The coral atolls can be seen in the blue water as green rings. 

The Maldives, like the Pacific Solomon Islands are under great threat from global warming. Already five of the Solomon Isles have disappeared beneath the waves.