Christmas is for the kids. But I love the idea of a new beginning, however random that may be, so the New Year is always special for me.
Trauma, trouble, dispute, and the glorious heroics and kindness of millions. This has been a year that will be remembered by most for many reasons. The personal will probably override the general, but I doubt many of us will forget the part played by the Coronavirus, Covid 19. That episode exposed the lovers of conspiracy theory; the lonely, unthinking, cruel, odd, deniers, and attention seekers.
More importantly, it also brought to our notice the good people in our society; those who daily minister to the needs of others, the nurses, doctors, laboratory workers, carers in all fields, paramedics, cleaning staff, teachers, and emergency workers. We came to appreciate the workers who really contribute something to society, and discovered the real ‘worth’ of those who work only for their own good.
Too many to list here, but we all know now what is meant by a key worker and a key industry, I hope.
Along with Covid, here in the UK we also had to deal with the fallout from the disastrous decision made by misinformed voters, the neglected, the racists, the ignorant, the prejudiced, and the self-serving wealthy to take us out of an organisation that had increased our influence as a nation on the world stage, allowed great freedom of movement for those willing to explore that world, given us joint security against criminals and corrupt politicians alike, enhanced our contributions to science, space travel, technology and medicine, and so many other advantages. All now gone because a few wealthy politicians, backed by a horrendously manipulative and self-interested media, were concerned new rules in the EU would reduce their personal chances of increasing their wealth by using offshore accounts to escape tax. It’s a sad outcome that only time will fully expose for the loss it really is. And just at the time when the world desperately needs nations to join together to tackle the next item on my list: our deteriorating environment.
Many species of flora and fauna were revealed as under threat of extinction. Some of those succumbed and are no longer with us, decreasing environmental diversity at unknown cost to other species, including humanity. Most of this, along with the growing acidification of the oceans, sea level rise, weather extremes, and vanishing ecologies is entirely due to greed. Those who invest in fossil fuels, the wasteful destruction brought about by ever-changing fashions, the pollution of poorly-run industry, mining, and agriculture, have put their personal gain ahead of the welfare of the planet and its inhabitants, including humanity.
World religions, some nations, and many commercial outlets continue to promote population growth, which stands at 7,835,419,661 as I write this draft (at 16:16 on 29th December). Check here to discover how much that number has grown, in spite of Covid deaths, during the period between that moment and now. Look at the figures and note how births outstrip deaths at an alarming rate; population has grown globally by an astounding 80,980,012 (recorded at the same time as the total figure above) this year. Population is a major, maybe the major, factor in environmental destruction: the more people there are, the greater rate resources are used, the more waste is created, the more energy used, creating yet more CO2 to increase our impact on the atmosphere.
You may not know this, but the ‘stuff’ we’ve created as a species now outweighs the total mass of all life on Earth. Think about that. Does any other organism create such abuse of the place it lives?
There are deniers of climate change. Of course there are. Mostly, these are ill-informed, idiots, or simply those with a vested interest in the status quo for reasons of personal wealth. The science is no longer in doubt. We are engineering the destruction of the environment that supports our species and many others. Some would call that suicide. Genocide might be a more appropriate crime to lay at the feet of those responsible.
That, along with umpteen other concerns, relates to the general view of the year now ending.
From a personal point of view, our daughter, who lives in Australia, was due home to marry her fiancé in September of this year. That had to be cancelled, of course. My wife and I both have medical issues that would benefit from certain hospital-based investigations, but neither of us feel it right to involve overworked medical staff and facilities for the moment, since these issues are more about quality of life than any threat to it.
On the upside, we were able to take our holiday in Kos. This was booked to coincide with our daughter’s honeymoon to allow us to take them to the airport and collect them on their return. Fully paid for, it was not cancelled by the tour operator, so we risked it. And it was lovely, if a little strange. You can find my first post about that here.
I managed to fulfil an ongoing commitment to a project started in April. The idea was to post a daily picture of natural beauty to share with those stuck indoors due to Covid. It later expanded to include everyone, in the hope of increasing respect for nature and thereby improve the general attitude toward the environment and will end only when the pandemic is under control.
I expanded the number of professional photographs I have with Picfair; an organisation that exists to help photographers and to provide image seekers with digital files and art quality prints to hang on their walls.
And I began and completed my latest novel. That, the title of which I’ll reveal in a later post, is with my publisher as I write. I’m expecting the editing suggestions some time in the next few weeks. I’ll keep everyone up to date on progress as it occurs.
So, that’s a summary of my 2020. Let’s all hope 2021 brings us better times, especially now there are vaccines available, and a more realistic attitude to the small blue marble we inhabit as it spins wildly through the immensity of space.
Happy New Year!