Diary Blog, 18 May 2020

A thought out of season

Israel is a country with many interesting aspects in terms of water supply, agriculture and horticulture, urban planning, afforestation etc.

I should certainly find it interesting to visit Israel, because I find artificially-contrived societies interesting in general (Singapore and North Korea being two others which do not seem natural), but I doubt that it would be long before I became the victim of a traffic accident, a scuba accident, or whatever. You get the idea…

Strange. He looked quite healthy quite recently…

More musing

In January of 2019, I wrote the following speculative piece:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/the-tide-is-coming-in-reflections-on-the-possible-end-of-our-present-civilization-and-what-might-follow/

16 months later, I believe that the article is even more relevant, now that Coronavirus/Covid-19 has concentrated minds (and leaving aside the fact that the Chinese virus is overblown and also being used by the System to bluff people into becoming members of police states across Europe and beyond).

I was just reading again about “Doggerland”, which is not a gonzo-literature novel about some of the leisure activities of a sub-set of the English pleb-dom, but a large territory that once existed between the area now designated as “UK”, and those of present-day “Denmark”, “Germany”, “Netherlands” etc.

At the end of the last ice age, Britain formed the northwest corner of an icy continent. Warming climate exposed a vast continental shelf for humans to inhabit. Further warming and rising seas gradually flooded low-lying lands. Some 8,200 years ago, a catastrophic release of water from a North American glacial lake and a tsunami from a submarine landslide off Norway inundated whatever remained of Doggerland.https://www.nationalgeographic.org/maps/doggerland/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doggerland

and see the very interesting series of maps below

[By Francis Lima – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49850020] It can be seen that, at its greatest extent, what is now called “Doggerland” (a term invented only in the 1990s), together with similar areas in the Atlantic off (mainly) the present-day coasts of the UK and Ireland (the ancient land of Lyonesse, of Arthurian legend), was larger in extent than the present-day UK.

Consideration of these matters gives perspective.

Videos about the above matters:

 

and while looking at those Doggerland videos, I also saw this one (below)

Fascinating, though possibly not a good idea even if do-able.. How about starting with something smaller, such as the Irish Sea? (only, sort-of, joking…).

In fact, large-scale projects are not always a poor idea. One which has interested many is that of creating a canal from the Mediterranean to the Qattara Depression in the Western Desert of Egypt, then using gravity to move seawater the 40 miles to the Depression.

The Qattara Depression is on average 200 ft (60m) below sea level, though the lowest part is 440 ft (134m) below sea level. No-one lives there, though the very isolated oasis of Qara https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qara_Oasis lies near the Western edge of the Depression, some 47 miles (75km) North-East of the nearest larger oasis, Siwa. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siwa_Oasis

I myself stayed in Siwa for a month, in early 1998, out of three months spent in Egypt (on that trip).

SiwaPanorama

 

275682-Siwa_Oasis_Egypt

Siwa is 189 miles (305km) from the Mediterranean Sea coast. British or American people tend to think of an oasis as being a small lake with a fringe of palm trees, but Siwa is, at greatest extent, 50 miles long and 12 miles wide, and has a total population of some 30,000 (though when you are there —admittedly I was there over 20 years ago— the place does not seem in any way heavily populated, rather the reverse). It has about 350 freshwater springs (the water of which is exported to Alexandria and Cairo in plastic bottles), 300,000 date palms, 70,000 olive trees (and some fruit trees, too).

Reverting to Qattara, the Depression is 190 miles (300km) long by 84 miles (135km) wide. Area: 7,570 square miles, about the same as mainland Wales.

A project to flood the Depression would be hugely beneficial. Fish would flood in with the water, it would change the regional climate for the better, and it would enable hydropower as well.

It may be that, by using hydropower and solar power, new eco-cities or towns, even horticultural areas, could be created and maintained, supplied with fresh water via desalination.

By AlwaysUnite – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17865159]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qattara_Depression

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qattara_Depression_Project

Fact follows fiction (again): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_the_Sea

Anwar Sadat was said to have been seriously interested in the Qattara idea, but when he was assassinated, the project was again mothballed.

Other projects I have seen or read about

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundrop_Farms

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-05-15/port-augusta-sundrop-farms-sold-to-investment-fund-morrison-co/11108046

In Iran, not long before the Islamic Revolution unseated the Shah , there was a government programme to replace sand dunes and semi-desert with forest. Of course, the backward mullahs did not continue with it. I read about the project in the National Geographic. Brilliant.

First, the sand dunes were coated with a very thin layer of crude oil, sprayed from tanked vehicles. Secondly, seeds of the tamarisk tree (salt-resistant and heat-resistant) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamarix were spread over the oil layer.

Tamarix aphylla.jpg[above: tamarisk tree in the Negev Desert, Israel. CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=293521]

The thin oil layer prevented the seeds from being blown away by wind, and anchored the tiny shoots when germinated. The climate had enough moisture for their survival. The tiny growing shoots and trees (within a few years about 4 feet high) were protected from goats and their owners, if any, by fences and a ranger force.

Once the trees were mature (some of the 60 types of tamarisk grow as high as 60ft/18m), the idea was that the climate and ecology would be markedly improved.

Under the Shah, there was to have been a roll-out across Iran. It never happened. Sad.

There have been and still are many large-scale projects of great value, both engineering projects and more obviously “environmental” ones. Most founder on the rocks of politics and/or finance.

UK politics

The latest opinion poll:

I suppose that what passes for a strategy in Labour is to wait until Boris-idiot messes things up even more than he has already done, then hope that, in Britain’s absurd and unfair (and basically binary) First Past The Post political-electoral system, the voters will simply cool towards the Conservative Party and thus elect Labour by default. Not much of a strategy, really…

Tweets seen

https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/02/stupid-arguments-for-drug-legalisation-examined-and-refuted.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8327641/Coronavirus-modelling-Professor-Neil-Ferguson-branded-mess-experts.html

and I like this…

Image

Night music

17 thoughts on “Diary Blog, 18 May 2020”

  1. Personally, I find North Korea rather natural in its homogeneity and in its proven intent to maintain same. Isnt it one of the celebrated 7 (or is it fewer now?) countries that don’t have a ‘”Western-style”‘ central bank?
    A couple of weeks ago there was a re-screening of a 2018 Michael Palin travelogue on the country and in the bit I caught he was remarking that they demanded no Bibles be brought into the country – bit like the Japanese resisting the ‘”Jesuits”‘ in c16-17?

    Word is that the (transitory) exhortation to wear masks is to impose the symbolism of the silencing of the servant class (us)…
    And presumably the on-off changing of advice on the subject is to instil cognitive dissonance or rather, simple confusion and thereby continue the state of fear and anti-rationalism.

    Check this out:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/nhs-workers-died-coronavirus-frontline-victims/
    18 May 2020

    “These are the health workers who have died from coronavirus

    As coronavirus spreads throughout the UK, The Telegraph will pay tribute to the health workers who have lost their lives fighting Covid-19”

    If persons of non-indigenous British background are succumbing at higher rates then maybe (in addition to vit.D deficiency) it’s because the NHS has been implementing racist anti-White British hiring policies resulting in employing higher numbers of persons of alien origins?

    Apparently from around 2016-17:
    Oxleasnhs.uk

    https://imgbox.com/laDdk3UF#

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    1. Wigger:
      good point re. non-Europeans and NHS, especially now that we learn that 20% of those in UK who have died of or with Coronavirus caught it in hospitals. If you take away hospital infections and care home infections, it shows that everywhere else is pretty safe. People have scared themselves or been scared for nothing. It’s mad.

      ps. re bibles in North Korea. Of course, the Soviet Union tried to stop bibles getting in. The Russian Orthodox priests inside the SU *had* bibles anyway, but the ordinary citizens did not. Strange, the State, via the KGB, thought that it controlled the Russian Orthodox Church via diplomacy and secret recruitment of priests etc, but the State as it was has gone, the KGB as it was has gone, but the Orthodox Church is still there and flourishing. I noticed new churches in Moscow when I returned for a few days in 2007 (my previous visit was in 1993).
      In fact, the huge empty pool in Kropotkinskaya, where I swam daily in 1993, is now a cathedral!
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moskva_Pool

      I often had that enormous pool, I think the largest in the world, almost to myself in 1993 (the year before a cathedral was built on its site), despite mostly sunny and warm weather (in June 1993).

      I may be being irreligious, but my feeling in 1994, on hearing of the news of its decommissioning, was that Moscow was far shorter on good swimming pools than on cathedrals!

      1958: colder and more crowded!

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    2. North Korea does have a few good points. They haven’t gone in for the kind of trashy, US style libertarian capitalism that gives capitalism a bad name and which leads to the degenerate beliefs of Tories in this country that all that is important in life is ‘muh economy’, an increase in GDP and to hell with preserving our countryside, our culture or even our nation itself.

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      1. Another favourable aspect of North Korea is that they take a hardline on crime. Criminal behaviour in general is very much frowned-upon and woe betide you if you commit a violent offence like the knife crimes London is sadly plagued with nowadays.

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      2. M’Lord of Essex: acquisitive crime, apart from petty theft, is a function of capitalism. It needs a market. True, crimes such as fraud and large-scale theft did exist in the Soviet Union, but that was because the SU was in effect “state-capitalist” (and also had a flourishing black market). There is scarcely any point in stealing objects of great value if they cannot be sold.

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      3. Well, M’Lord of Essex, there is a balance. The “lockdown” may be costing 2 or 3 lives for every 1 it saves…

        The “economy” is not everything, but it is also, as the Russian language has it, “not nothing” either…

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    3. So the Daily Tory idiot is now admitting that contrary to Tory government and MSM propaganda there ARE racial differences as this pandemic has exposed in Britain.

      It isn’t such a leap of faith then to say that black men because they have higher testosterone levels on average than white men have are more naturally impulsive and this leads to them committing violent offences like those involving knives more than white men do on average.

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  2. People are NOT scaring themselves over nothing. Whilst it is true this is nothing like the Black Death it is still a very serious WORLDWIDE VIRAL PANDEMIC the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Spanish Flu Pandemic in 1918-1920.

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  3. It isn’t exactly pleasant to be hospitalised with it and, for some, the quite strong possibility of dying from it. Also, it appears to be the case that even those who are ‘lucky’ not to die from it but who have spent time in hospital with it may suffer serious side effects into the future which may mean they won’t live as long as they would have done otherwise.

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  4. People are very unlikely to witness another worldwide pandemic like this in their lifetimes with entire countries being put into quarantines so it would be unreasonable to assert that for some this is, indeed, a scary time and particularly for the most vulnerable.

    This would be true at the best of times but as Britain has a government composed of total morons ‘led’ by someone whose only real talent is making the stupid part of our population laugh (geriatric Tory Party members in particular) and who is clearly way out of depth as PM this increases the fear factor markedly.

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  5. Speaking personally, I think it would be rather fun to see Peter Hitchens in hospital with it as then he might be so blasé about this epidemic and this country’s utterly disgraceful number of deaths and infections. Whilst we are about that, how about getting the multi-millionaire brothers who own trash ‘newspapers’ like the Daily Telegraph to be hospitalised with it as if that happened the paper might not be printing so many stupid libertarian rubbish articles decrying the pandemic’s seriousness and wanting the government to take actions that will lead to yet more deaths and infections.

    Still, it must be nice for the Barclay Brothers to be able to live like hermits on the no doubt Covid-19 free Channel Island of Brecqou!

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  6. It wouldn’t upset me to see Priti Vacant/Priti Useless contract Covid-19 and even die from it as that would constitute some natural justice for the undoubted cases ofvpeople here who have died through her and this repulsive globalist Tory government not putting into place any effective travel restrictions UNTIL TWO WHOLE MONTHS into the pandemic.

    What an absolute DISGRACE and a COMPLETE dereliction of duty to this country.😡🤬

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  7. Whenever a Tory candidate in future elections says his/her party is the ‘party of immigration control’ remind that person of this Tory government’s non imposition of tough border controls during a worldwide viral pandemic for TWO MONTHS PLUS into it and how this had led to at least a few avoidable deaths.

    This UTTER DISGRACE is on their record for ever now!

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  8. What makes it worse is that the CONServative Party can’t even blame their disgraceful inaction on the EU as they often did before since we left the EU BEFORE this pandemic started to sweep the globe.🙄🙄🙄

    Like

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