Humans are uniquely crap — unique in the natural world — we alone deplete our habitats to the point of our own destruction … errr … or not.
This week’s high point was Penhale Point looking at the uniquely-named Gull Rocks … errr … or not. I have noticed a certain lack of imagination or perhaps just a plain literalness in Cornish nomenclature.
One of the many beautiful engineering installations in and around the army camp.
Purposeful, beautiful and Brutalist. Bond villain lair cum power station. I could live there.
Looking back, North East, to Trevose Head.
The wild thyme was covered in hundreds of gorgeous cinnabar moths … which are not as easy to catch on camera as you might think.
Their stunning yellow and black hooped caterpillars infest ragwort — I remember them from childhood summers in Wales — and infest is the word — to such an extent that few survive to adulthood as they rapidly exhaust their food supply and resort to cannibalism. Charming.
How quaintly human of them.
So we’re not unique after all? I’m shocked. We’re as natural as cancer.
I rode past a wall of these glistening black bales, five meters high and 300 meters long, this morning — a bulwark against the lean times coming.
There are smaller caches like this one all over the place. They ain’t pretty but remind you that this beautiful landscape is a factory.
The smell when they’re torn open makes your eyes water and your guts heave but the cows gorge themselves on the fermented gunk inside and perhaps it’s better that they eat maize, malted barley and haylage grown on the farm than soya beans from the Amazon.
I grew up in the “country”, Now I live in the country again, on a milk and beef farm. Want to know the weather? Look out of the window … oh, how true.
The majority of the population live in cities. Fair enough. They buy their “fresh” food, portioned and sealed under cellophane. Fair enough.
But it doesn’t take much imagination to picture how you can buy three whole chickens for £10.
Or how those cows get to lactate and then so generously give us all their milk?
Concrete feed lots with steers up to their knees in their own shit, gorging on barley and soya beans.
And all the rest …
It’s not exactly rocket science.
Like smokers who are perfectly aware that it’s not good for them, we just don’t think about it.
And of course that includes cheese-eating vegetarians.
Father Christmas and tooth fairies never hurt anyone but the sentimental childhood fantasies about jolly farm animals (they spaced on diazepam or what?) are like an inoculation against the truth and a licence for horror.
And I eat meat …
Planet Earth — Fossil Fire — it all has to stay in the ground and yet … our future (pensions et al) is invested in the paper value of the untapped assets of fossil fuel extractors and processors … and yet almost no-one will just say so.
The odds are, if you’re reading this you’re like me — in the privileged position of being fairly insulated from climate change, whether by geography or infrastructure capacity and adaptability.
We won’t suffer too much and neither will our children but it will devastate other parts of the world and kill people we’ve never met and their children … and eventually, at some point (“but not yet!”), the chickens will come home to roost.