Sunday 7 April 2013

Time To Take A Deep Breath

During the train ride as we passed by gardens, fields, woods and meadows, it was remarked that almost all of the greenery was late this year, the cold snap having put a stop to the normal growth etc.  Similarly at the farm they were having a struggle to bring things on despite the plastic tunnels.

This brought real concerns about the asparagus season, normally one of the bed rock parts of our overall annual eating strategy.  As eaters by season and local this is the price to pay instead of relying on the regular supermarket international chains of supply.

The strawberry season for example is crucial to the planning of fizz purchasing requirements and this will impact on outlays of other things.  Eating these days has to be in terms of current management theory and not just left to chance.

There is another major consideration other than inputs of food.  It is the inputs of other substances in the air.  If nature goes its own way then when the warm days come again almost everything in nature will start to come out and rapidly. 

That means in allergy terms everyone who is affected by anything will be hit at roughly the same time and to the same degree.  Those will multiple reactions will have major short term hits rather than a series of lesser ones.

Given present demographic trends, with an ageing population and a young one seemingly far more prone to respiratory problems those vulnerable to the more severe hits could be in for a bad time all at once.

Another factor is the more general pollution trends of one thing or another.  In the UK at present it is beginning to be accepted that our testing of atmospheric conditions is much too limited in scope. 

Time and modern developments in various fields have put more stuff out there in the air of different kinds that impacts on people either as small groups or generally.  The air quality tests need bringing up to date and quickly.

The overall consequence is that there is now the risk of a sudden sharp and serious increase in the numbers of people with breathing and associated problems for which our medical and notably hospital services are very ill equipped. 

If we are already at the margins of risk and even more at the relevant medical services then it could turn quite bad.  Those of us with direct memories of London in December 1952 will remember all too well the effect of a marginal deterioration in conditions.

It might become even worse.  On Saturday, 6th April, it appears that Mount Tambora in Sumbawa, Indonesia was twitching again.  Wikipedia has a long article on it which sets out the local and global effects of the 1815 eruption.  John Seach reports in his web site, Volcano Live dot com:


“Tambora volcano, Indonesia was raised to level 2 alert (waspada) on 5th April 2013, after an increase in seismic activity. Tambora is one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes. In 1815 it produced the world's largest historic explosive eruption with the loss of 117,000 lives.

The most recent eruption is not well documented, but occurred about 1967. A magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit 29 km NE of the summit of Tambora volcano on 8th May 2010. During 2004 a buried town was discovered near the volcano.

It has been called the Pompeii of the East because of the preservation of human artifacts.”


If this one goes up in a full scale eruption we will all have more to worry about that a lot of hay fever or those with immediate respiratory problems.

And this might the last year for asparagus for a while.

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