Thursday, 3 April 2014
Fussing about Haze
The daffodils boobed their heads slowly in the early morning breeze, a blackbird took fright as I passed but not before tugging a three inch worth of worm from the earth, and the sun fought hard to break through the haze brought by the chilly east current. Few ventured out bar those opening up their businesses or reporting for duty with little in the way of mirth revealed in their faces. Dog walkers passed unsmilingly, the dogs expectant of adventure in the fields as if this was a new adventure rather than a repeat of many previous days, from the main road the rush of traffic spoiled the atmosphere both romantic and physical, the hum of tyres racing past in the distance.
I stopped to picture the haze in the only wide open spot available, the sun shone weakly high above brightening the land in spite of the pollution attempting to block its progress. To my left a blue car packed a small tough looking wee dog into the back and motored away, the engine quiet as if afraid to wake the sleeping houses across the fields. Suddenly I noticed a pouting adolescent heading for school stop to produce a bright yellow phone from his pocket and linger, still pouting, as he caught up on important news. I resisted asking what sort of lad carries a yellow phone in case I broke some law and was more than uninterested in whatever his news may be. As I forced the bike into gear amidst much clanking and scraping I noticed a large Vauxhall containing a woman and two smaller children parked in an out of the way place. Quite what she was doing there I know not, it crossed my mind she awaited the school opening as it was yet long before eight, maybe she just liked rugby fields?
Dodging one dogwalker and awaiting another as she persuaded her 'Scottie' to avoid walking through glass left by the kiddies the night before I headed slowly homewards. The haze remained, broken occasionally during the day by brighter patches of sunlight which never quite gathered the strength to overcome it, yet much less than what occurred yesterday.
News people require something sensational otherwise they feel let down. Yesterday the main story was the deep haze hanging over the south of England. The thick haze covering London was shown repeatedly by the news media, pictures filled the papers and the radio news talked of little else. How these 'journalists' enjoyed this. The pictures of London, and it is always London the picture, did indeed show the haze however it was not so thick here and TV pictures can be manipulated, and much talk and hot air was heard debating the causes. There appeared to be three, everyday pollution from vehicles and daily life, clouds arriving from the east and would you believe sand blown all the way up from the Sahara desert. Pictures of such sand were shown as it lay on cars and windows, murky shots of buildings in the distance suffering this outrage appeared, and indeed there is no doubt something was in the air yesterday, something above the usual defilement. There again maybe that was just me doing the washing and the aroma of 'Daz' was filling my throat.
The Sahara does indeed send sand to the UK on occasion, SKY news informed us it regularly sends its contents over to the Brazilian Rain Forests helping to ensure the continuation of such forests. "This," said the man,"Shows nature taking care of itself." I thought it pedantic to ask why 'nature' had not taken care of the forests and jungle that once stood where the Sahara sand now lies, but thought that may upset him.
The debate has continued at a lesser pace as western winds arrive tomorrow to clear the air. It has caused the usual talk, this 'natural' event, but as far as I can see there is no movement in actually doing anything about the worst element of the haze, car fumes! No politician will suggest 'Electric only cars in cities,' nobody will suggest developing and investing in bus and train travel to limit pollution, certainly not while an election is being held in 2015. Yet those dying from chest complaints, asthma and other problems exacerbated by the haze might vote for those that do suggest it, and then actually do something about it. What's that? You heard no such suggestion from those able to do something? I am surprised about that.
So the media has had its fill of pollution news, interspersed by the Clegg v Farage debate. However as Clegg will be removed from leadership of his party after the election, if indeed he retains his seat, and Farage at best will gain only handfuls of seats from the Tories the debate was at best irrelevant. Since Cameron took power four years ago they say the Conservative Party has lost half its membership. His same sex marriage ideas, the ignoring party wishes and dumping unwanted dolly bird candidates on local parties was never going to win friends with that lot. So UKIP, Farages anti Europe party, will now gain some of their support. This has already happened at the last local elections as a warning to Cameron that went unheeded, such as voted then may not vote UKIP, they certainly will not vote Cameron! His job also is on the line. Two real debates remain, Cameron and Milliband the leader of the failing Labour Party, and Cameron, as Prime Minister debating with Alec Salmond the Scottish First Minister. Cameron knows he would be thrashed by Salmond, a proper politician, this then will never be allowed to happen. By 2015 of course Scotland may have lost interest in an English election (Westminster cares little for Wales and Northern Ireland also) and be preparing to go her own way.