Posts Tagged ‘Earth’

Roughseasinthemed has drawn my attention to the FOE of Gib, here
FoE Gib is also publicising the idea of ‘handprint’ which is:

based around the idea that concentrating on our carbon footprint is a negative idea that cannot motivate people and in fact only serves to de-motivate us into thinking we can’t do anything to help the earth or to change it. On the other hand, the idea of a ‘handprint’ reverses this notion and wants us to focus on the positive we can and maybe already do.

I would say that perhaps the way we are beaten with Carbon Footprint can be seen as negative. That is how the message is presented instead of presenting the footprint as a signpost, part of the solution and a gentler way of thinking about life. Personally I think footprint is a term that is more expressive of the way we treat the planet, the damage we do and the mark each of us leaves on the earth without meaning to.

A handprint is a smudge, a dirty transient mark on the paintwork. A handprint is an ancient piece of artwork deliberately created or manufactured. None of this is contrary to the message that we must behave more responsibly.

However, the idea of footprint more accurately, for me conveys the idea. It is the unthinking, natural and unavoidable. The only time I think about making footprints is when we have a fresh fall of snow, or walking on a beach for the joy of watching the water wash them away.  Few people think about their feet until they ache, something goes wrong with them. Footprints are unimportant, transitory, unlike the rock painting above. And yet …

The Uskmouth footprints and others just like them show what an effect a single human can have on the planet even in those unthinking moments. These are not the prints I was looking for. Channel 4’s Time Team did a programme where they found a family group’s footprints in the mud. Even the tiniest child was visible. The weight, height, probable age and the fact that the child was running and playing could be discerned from the footprint. It is the unthinking acts that cause the damage to our earth. I do not believe many people take a conscious decision to drive, they just do because they always do. We buy prepackaged supermarket products, not because we WANT the packaging, it is easy and we don’t need to think. We can shop and text and chat at the same time.

Uskmouth footprints (Newport).
(Click to enlarge)
Uskmouth footprints (Newport).

This trail of human footprints is one of three found at Uskmouth that head out towards the sea. Scientific study has revealed that the man who left these prints had a shoe size equivalent to modern UK size 8 (European 42, USA 8.5). He stood about 1.70m tall (5.5 feet), and the way his big toe splays outwards indicates that he was accustomed to walking without shoes.

The footprints have been preserved because very soon after he took his walk a period of hot dry weather baked the mud on which he trod. This mud was then gradually covered over by a layer of peat. Recent erosion in the Severn Estuary has resulted in the exposure of these footprints again, some 6,250 years after this Mesolithic man walked towards the sea.

Thanks to the Museum of Wales found here

more about ancient footprints here

Sorry FOE Gib, footprint for me. It is the casual unthinking more intimate and revealing damage that needs to be stopped, it is the way the argument, idea that is presented that is the problem. The handprint is artful, can be manipulated and presented as the artist wishes it to be seen. The footprint is honest has no sides, it is just there.



I don’t read newspapers, their production is wasteful and polluting and recycling, while good, on a broad scale involves the use of energy … bad. Better to use them to grow potatoes, as described by Bill Mollison in the Visionaries programme in the 80’s.

The BBC website is always good for a (nervous?)  giggle though.

Yesterday the UK government were introducing secret trials. One days reporting. What knocked that important matter of the page, hosepipe bans. Now don’t get me wrong, this is important, but more important that safeguarding the liberties and rights of ordinary citizens?

On a positive note, and this falls in nicely with the hosepipe ban, climate change gets a mention. It seems ancient sea shells and planktonic skeletal remains recovered from across the  globe support the Aye sayers and destroy one of the major criticisms of ice core research levelled by the Nay sayers.

When I started to read the report I felt despair, ‘Oh here we go again petro-chemical interests trying to de bunk what is frankly obvious if you walk around outdoors.’ But no, a well researched piece highlighting several causes and concerns over climate change. This is a complex matter but that is no reason to stand idly by with our collective thumbs up our bums and minds in neutral.

Earth wobble may explain some of the issues of climate change but this alone cannot account account for the hike in CO2 in the atmosphere. The biggest producer of CO2 is you and me, driven by our consumerist nature’s. Just look at nature, the green things consume, ie reduce, CO2. What does most of a humans life compose of, exhaling CO2, from their bodies, their cars, their factories, their energy production. How can that not have an impact on the planet? CO2 will after all kill you, that’s why, by law, I have to have a CO2 monitor in my home because I have chosen to heat my home with a log burner!

Dark Long nights

Blank staring walls

Silence so loud

It rings in my ears

Dark somber days

Dull dirty walls

Noise slowly boiling

My head is vibrating

Sky grey overhead

Earth ‘neath my feet

Birds, sing, ecstatic

Silence and peace

Not sure about this but can’t just post stuff I am entirely happy with. If I did nothing would ever appear on my pages!