Posted in Climate, Collapse, Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Extinction, Gaia

A Lifeboat For Humanity

DSC01956It was James Lovelock who first suggested that there would be a very few countries which would escape the worst vagaries of the oncoming Climate Change…

DSC01955Much of our media remains silent about the problem and there hangs an eerie silence in the air around centres of political machinations.

DSC01954Our extractive mentality and the demand for higher profits combine to destroy our very own habitat..this is the truth of what’s happening worldwide…we cannot escape our acquisitive nature! DSC01953We appear to be caught in a vicious circle of greed versus need…and we know which one of those two is winning! 

DSC01951DSC01950This is another Bank Holiday weekend here in Ireland and the pubs, takeaway food shops and restaurants are doing a roaring trade! 

DSC01948Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans.

DSC01946DSC01945These shocking figures do not even include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only measured in tonnes…has anyone else noticed the scarcity of fish like Cod and Haddock  in our supermarket deep freeze and the sly introduction of Pollack?

DSC01944DSC01941DSC01940Yes, fish stocks are in decline, as evidenced in the supermarket offerings!

DSC01939We are gobbling up our habitat at an alarming rate! 

DSC01937Throughout the world, about 900 million trees are cut down annually, as of 2014.

That equates to about 2.47 million trees cut down every day.

DSC01936But, hold on, I hear you say…what was that you said about James Lovelock and…? 

According to The Irish Times report in 2009: James Lovelock is perhaps the world’s leading thinker on environmental issues – and his prognosis for the future of humanity is grim. In Ireland to speak at University College Dublin this week, he tells RONAN McGREEVY why he thinks climate change is irreversible and why Ireland may become ‘a lifeboat for humanity’

DSC01927 Yes, that’s right, ” a lifeboat for humanity!” 

DSC01926According to scientist James Lovelock, we are on the cusp of a global catastrophe that will make the present recession look trivial.

Within 30 years, he believes, the Arctic’s floating summer sea ice will all be melted. The polar caps will no longer reflect sunlight back into space and, instead, the ocean will absorb sunlight, heating up. The permafrosts in northern Canada and Siberia will thaw out, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2). At the same time, the tropical forests, which play a critical role in taking CO2 from the atmosphere, will die out. Global temperatures will rise by between five and six degrees in a short period of time, rendering most of the world uninhabitable for the vast majority of mankind.

What sets Lovelock apart from other climate scientists, most notably the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is the swift timetable he envisages and his belief that such change is irreversible and will take most of the human race with it. (Irish Times 2009)

DSC01925Lovelock is a former NASA chief scientist.  

DSC01923James Lovelock invented the electron capture device (ECD) whch alerted the world to the depletion of the ozone layer…remember the aerosol crisis?

DSC01922However, he is most famous for the Gaia hypothesis, now a theory, that the world is itself a living organism…and one I know to be true! 

DSC01921Though his predictions for the world are dire, his predictions for Ireland are of some small comfort. Because of our proximity to the sea, our relatively high latitude and our low population density, we may be spared the worst excesses of global warming.

He says Ireland, along with New Zealand, will be the “most fortunate countries on earth”. We will be a “lifeboat for humanity”, but a lifeboat can only take so many passengers.

~ Irish Times 2009

DSC01920Personally I think there will be many places that will make the transition successfully, but the criteria for these places will be different according to geographical regions.

DSC01919How do any of the generation that will meet this head on prepare for the crisis?

DSC01918Well we can begin by practicing living with less, using less, consuming less and growing more…and build a new way of living with Mother Earth from there!

DSC01911 It continues to be developed at Bealtaine Cottage…

 

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

Postscript…

James Lovelock mentions other countries in his forecasting that  will also have the climatic conditions to sustain life…from my reading, these include the British Isles, Northern Scandinavia, New Zealand and Northern Canada. In this interview with The Irish Times in 2009 he was directly referencing Ireland.

Posted in agriculture, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, care for the earth, climate change, Collapse, Earth, EU, Trees, Wildlife, Woodland

Developing a Woodland from Zero

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From monoculture rushy land to woodland in under twelve years.

Not just any woodland, but a food forest woodland, as you can see from one of the thousand plus trees planted above…a Greengage!

This is the only lawn here, enjoyed by Jack!

DSC01549There follows a series of forty plus photographs taken here at Bealtaine Cottage in July 2016.

DSC01548DSC01494DSC01547 The Bealtaine Cottage Land Restoration Project was started in late 2004.

DSC01495It was a challenge for one woman with zero resources to restore what was deemed by the EU as “Poor Land”…a term I vehemently challenge!

DSC01496DSC01497There is no such thing as “Poor Land”  just ABUSED EARTH!

DSC01498DSC01499DSC01500As with all EU projects that entail putting Mother Earth first, there was zero funding for this!

DSC01501DSC01503DSC01504Not to be deterred…(I never am!) at the age of forty eight, I took on a mortgage to help buy this bereft, sad-looking little place, with the dream of returning it to Eden.

DSC01506DSC01507DSC01508I believe the Earth is sacred.

DSC01510DSC01509DSC01511The rest of the story is told here in these photographs…

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The fact that I have planted this entirely on my own, growing much of what you see from seeds and cuttings, makes this a workable model for anyone to follow…

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Posted in Climate, climate change, Collapse, Uncategorized

End of Empire and Climate Chaos

www.bealtainecottage.com 054The greatest concern of our times is happening on a daily basis and affecting every one of us.

Weather volatility is real and happening and the Ostriches in power appear impotent against the great forces of Nature.

www.bealtainecottage.com 029The gabbling media assault our senses with celebrity highs and lows, sport and highly edited titbits of what is happening internationally…all the while keeping away from any real conversation about the chaos that is the weather all around us and those dreaded words: Climate Change.

However it is not Climate Change any more…the media have completely missed out on that conversation!

It has evolved rapidly into Climate Chaos!

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageI would like to offer words of comfort and reassurance, but that’s not possible, for I live in the real world and events are happening too fast for me to be able to offer predictions that will reassure!

Last night I slept with both windows open in my bedroom, bathed in warmth from the wind that blew all night from the south.

The wind chimes on the veranda played ceaselessly…something that has never happened before.

I use all my senses to try to build a picture of what the media refuses to inform me about.

The big news is that the Jet Stream is out of control!

Imagine a Spinning Top, rotating smoothly at first…well that is how the Jet Stream SHOULD be!

Now picture the same Spinning Top as it slows, rotating wildly…that is what is happening to the Jet Stream and causing the wild fluctuations in weather across the globe.

All the information about this is out there on the internet…make Google your friend and inform yourself…that’s if you can bear it!

I have gone past the need to research, for I witness the changes, log them, keep a record of temperatures and rainfall patterns…and have done so for all the time I have worked on the Bealtaine project.

So, what is the point in telling you this bad news?

I have nothing to gain.

In fact, there is a strong possibility that I will lose subscribers.

The old adage of “shoot the messenger”pertains to what I have written here…so be it!

023So, let me tell you about the people I hope to reach with this news…

People who care for the future.

Those who have awakened to what it means to live a compassionate life.

Especially those who are unafraid of change and to implement change in their own lives.

Sammy Bear and meIf there is a Universal Consciousness…give it the name Goddess, God, Divine, Mother Earth…whatever you know it by…then that consciousness must surely want us to care as deeply for our planet as we care for ourselves.

Adapting is the way forward and should be at the top of all political agendas and policies.

Here in Ireland we are headed into a general election.

Farmers appear to be ill-informed in relation to Climate Change and as they hold much power in the outcome of elections, there will not be much informed debate on the doorstep!

Meat production is now at an all-time high in Ireland and there are few, if any, politicians who are prepared to risk the fury of farmers in regards to changing that!

The relationship between meat production, consumption and climate change is there for all to Google and Youtube.

The complacency regarding our habitat and climate change disturbs me.

I shall be quizzing each and every politician who knocks on my door…but as for intelligent, informed answers, well, I won’t be holding my breath!

Feel free to share this post…

And…I had to add this wonderful interview with Jane Goodall…

Posted in Climate, climate change, Collapse, COP 21, Country Living, Earth, Uncategorized

Love in a (not so) Cold Climate

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With the back door wide open and the birds singing out a chorus more resonant of Spring than Winter, welcome to Sunday morning at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland!

Despite the mild Winter, snow has fallen and added a seasonal touch to the landscape…in fact it remains on the mountains to the north of the cottage and here and there on banks and ditches.

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I’ve been very busy in the gardens since the end of December, pruning hard, cutting back, washing the tunnel, cleaning pots and generally trying to stay ahead of the work that will suddenly seem oppressive at the start of Spring!

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If previous years are anything to go by, the Spring will be very short and Summer will make itself known in mid to late March!

Shocking I know, but that is the measure of it!

So, for a gardener like myself there’s nothing else for it but to adapt!

Seeds are sown in the propagator and compost will be mixed today in preparation for the potting on that is to come in the next few weeks!

It’s a case of just getting on with it as best I can!

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There is a distinct difference in the shadow patterns as the outline of the roof of the cottage falls beneath the tree tops…

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“Much of the oxygen we breathe comes from plants that died long ago. We can give thanks to these ancestors of our present-pay foliage, but we can’t give back to them. We can, however, give forward. When we are unable to return the favor, we can pay it forward to someone or something else. Using this approach, we can see ourselves as part of a larger flow of giving and receiving throughout time. Receiving from the past, we can give to the future. When tackling issues such as climate change, the stance of gratitude is a refreshing alternative to guilt or fear as a source of motivation.”
Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone

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Sowing and planting, growing tiny trees in pots of hope, tending Mother Earth with love…brings me joy.

Sitting here, with the back door open in the middle of January, may be a cause for concern, but it is over-ridden by the call of Mother Earth from outside.

And for the many visitors to Bealtaine Cottage this year, there will be small pots of hope to take away…

Subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website here…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

Posted in care for the earth, Climate, climate change, Collapse, Uncategorized

Climate Collapse

This has been difficult to write.

I expect to lose many subscribers.

Truth-tellers in an age of illusion are not welcome, in any circles!

However, truth be told, I have never sought the high opinion of others, so I am prepared to speak the truth, as I see it!

Some of you, maybe even many of you, will decide to unsubscribe to this blog.

Be that as it may…I must press on!

Climate Change has turned the corner…the one that faces into uncertainty and fear.

Yes, I am fearful for what lies ahead for my children and grandchildren.

DSC02199I am fearful for what I have come to shape my entire being around…Mother Earth.

The violence and uncertainty that lies ahead.

I am not going to put an excess of climate information in this writing.

Step outside and tell me what you experience.

That is all you need to know…FEEL what is happening!

DSC01461There is something very wrong!

Feel it in your entire being!

DSC01104Yet…there is hope…for where there is life there is hope and I have always been a pragmatist, optimist and carer.

Hope for me is in the form of pledging…and knowing that I have done my best…that is all I can hope for!

I will do whatever I can to help stop this mad spiral dance of death!

Here is what I pledge…

Only vital air travel…use rail and sea!

No more meat or dairy!

Don’t buy it unless I absolutely cannot do without it!

Power down…use the bare minimum of electricity.

Walk or cycle whenever and wherever I can.

Avoid goods wrapped in plastic.

Absolutely NO VOTE from me to any politician who supports war, on any level…and that includes abstention!

No supporting Fracking…I will not even have a gas lighter in my home! Many in the anti-fracking movement choose gas cookers over electric cookers, despite living within sight of wind turbines!

As for that most contentious of issues…Here are a few facts that may persuade us of our complicity and responsibility in this growing nightmare scenario!

DSC00874A kilogramme of beef protein reared on a British hill farm can generate the equivalent of 643kg of carbon dioxide. A kilogramme of lamb protein produced in the same place can generate 749kg. One kilo of protein from either source, in other words, causes more greenhouse gas emissions than a passenger flying from London to New York. ~ George Monbiot, The Guardian, 22 Dec 2015

DSC02047This is the worst case, and the figure comes from a farm whose soils have a high carbon content. But the numbers uncovered by a wider study are hardly reassuring: you could exchange your flight to New York for an average of 3kg of lamb protein from hill farms in England and Wales. You’d have to eat 300kg of soy protein to create the same impact. ~ George Monbiot The Guardian, 22 Dec 2015

Climate breakdown looks inevitable – unless we all change our diets. ~ George Monbiot

As a footnote, I am appalled at how all climate scientists I have read so far, have completely IGNORED the effect endless wars in the 20/21st centuries have contributed to Climate Change.

Now that alone should make one think of what we are NOT being told in all of this!

Mother Earth does not lie…step outside and experience the truth!

&&&&&

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Bealtaine Cottage, May 2004

The Bealtaine Project was  initiated, funded and planted by Colette O’Neill, an Irish grandmother, who, twelve years ago, attempted to prove there was no such thing as “poor land,” just abused Earth!

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Bealtaine Cottage, obscured by over 1,000 deciduous trees, May 2016.

This was done simply, by caring, planting and nurturing 3 acres of such land in the west of Ireland, back to life! 

The Bealtaine Project continues to grow here, on this website and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Thanks for your support

 

Posted in climate change, Collapse, COP 21, Uncategorized

Country Cottage Journal ~Truth and Lies

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

You had best sit down with a cup of tea, for the truth is quite shocking!

You may not agree with what I have to say.

You may even still be in denial about what is obviously happening and what indeed lies ahead!

Most of those I have spoken with on this life and death scenario have blatantly told me they do not want to know!

In some ways, I don’t blame them…for it is easier to continue life with one’s head in a realm of make-believe and “happy ever afters”, where one has not got to take responsibility for one’s life.

The reality is far too disconcerting to have to look at!

The elephant in the room is, of course, Climate Change.

Politicians, negotiators and big corporations have all been talking the talk about our future.

Let me say that again…Our Future…NOT the future of Mother Earth, for she will go on!

Our children and grandchildren are in danger!

Yet, some of the biggest fights at COP 21, in Paris, are over who pays for climate change…We know who will pay the piper!

Governments are not prepared to jeopardize economic growth to save humanity.

It will be the persistent, unrelenting, driving force of materialism, which will be our downfall.

This may also be recognised as greed.

That has been the death knell for all preceding civilizations and empires.

PosterThis time it affects us all, for this time, everything is connected, as we are to Mother Earth.

Most of humanity appear to have morphed into ostriches…and we all know what they do!

Posted in Climate, climate change, Collapse, Consumerism, Current Affairs, Economy, energy, environment, Paris, Politics, sustainability, Uncategorized, war, wealth

Climate Change…The Elephant in the Room

The conference in Paris is underway as I write this.

World leaders have gathered to discuss, debate, harangue and eventually come to some agreement…hopefully!

However, there are two aspects of any agreement, that the mainstream media will ignore, in their reporting of the biggest threat to face humankind ever!

The first one is evident to anyone living in the developed world: we have to consume less, much less and, in fact, change our entire perspective of how we live with this planet…not, as many say, on this planet!  

This means reducing consumption of consumer goods, oil,  but, more importantly, changing our diets and expectations.

We have become used to buying food from all over the world, holidaying all over the world, eating more meat than any other generation before us and living in homes where heat is supplied at the flick of a switch.

You will not hear political leaders talk such talk, as this has no place in “economic growth”…

Western society in it’s present form is unsustainable…even without the massive problem of Climate Change!

(For example…did you know that there are, today, nearly 65 billion animals worldwide, including cows, chickens and pigs, crammed into Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)…Factory Farms to you and me!)

We eat meat as a snack food…unheard of when I grew up!

However, much as the mainstream media ignore much of the above, there remains a most important part of this problem unspoken of…

War and the Military machines of increasingly feudal governments. They’re right up there in the major league of Climate destroyers! 

Did Al Gore even mention the devastating impact of endless wars and military in his money-spinning presentation?

No!

Why?

It was an Inconvenient Truth.

It represents the Elephant in the Room that no-one wants to talk about! 

Last year, the UK government spent $60.5Billion on Defence.

A huge amount of money that could have provided solar power and retro-fitted insulation to millions of homes…yes, millions!

Here’s an article that evaluates the US military’s impact on climate  

“Militarism is single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural  disasters intensified by global warming.” 

~J Lawrence 

Some of the facts, should you care to research them are staggering… for example, an F-4 Phantom Fighter burns more than 1,600 gallons of jet fuel per hour!

It is interesting that the spin on war and climate change has already begun, with the media posing the question does climate change cause war and refugees.

Refugees do not cause climate change.

It is time we did a little number crunching for ourselves!

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

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Posted in Collapse, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

The Great Collapse

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The great collapse of society, as we know it, is under way.

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Most people are unaware of this.

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Every aspect of controlled living is the same as ever it was.

Sammy-Bear says "Hello!"

The television keeps pumping out much of the same.

Supermarkets hum with shoppers.

Christmas lights flicker in shopping centres.

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The madness of more predominates a world in crisis.

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The populations of countries, channelled to look one way, as governments and the one percent carry on their relentless rendition of acquisition and destruction.

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Look at how we live compared to a few decades ago…

There is no longer a mentality of saving for one’s heart’s desire.

All is instant, right down to the way we satisfy our hunger.

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Hunger?

Merely a concept to most people in the western world.

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I dare not say developed, for that implies evolved and the fact is, we are not in the least bit evolved!

We devour resources, as we revolve.

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Society is revolving on a mad merry-go-round of consumption.

Revolving, not evolving!

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We all know, in our mere moments of sanity, that this cannot go on.

Eco-systems around us are collapsing.

Species extinction is a runaway train-wreck.

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Another Christmas looms, as people prepare to celebrate the birth of a baby with an orgy of consumerism!

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We should take a bit more notice of that collapse and extinction, for anyone with common sense knows who’s next!

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Future generations will look back upon this time and refer to it as the Great Collapse, much in the same way as we refer to the death of millions in The Great War.

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And, as we all know, there was nothing great about it!

*************

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…I have posted over 120 videos about Permaculture, Sustainable living practice, planting, growing and living.

I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written almost 800 blogs on this Bealtaine Cottage website.

As an advocate for Mother Nature, Permaculture, Sustainable Living Practice, trees and wildlife, the smallholding of Bealtaine Cottage receives no grant aid from either the Irish government or EU.

Everything created here is self-funded, with a little support from occasional donations..

Any donation, no matter how small, goes a long way in sustaining and developing this site.

Blessings
Posted in Collapse, fears, Final Days, society

The Final Days

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There was no intention to write today.

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The fine days of an Indian Summer are bestowing harmony and peace to this little part of Ireland, but…

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an email arrived from a subscriber who articulated apprehension and fear, so a response is necessary.

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I don’t usually respond to emails, for there are many each day and I simply do not have the time, as you can understand.

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However, this fear, presented to me from someone who is quite depressed by all that’s happening around the world, needs to be addressed once and for all!

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These, are the final days of Empire…though not in any biblical sense!

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I am not about to be hounded into fear by any religious patriarchy.

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What we are now experiencing will get worse…this has been proven historically!

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The end of the Roman Empire was short and the prelude brutal!

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Aqilegia under Fuchsia

Bread and circuses were the order of the day to keep people entertained and unquestioning.

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Willow in the Bog Garden

Much the same is happening now, with the cult of celebrity, an overdosing of sport, cheap factory food and endless, mindless TV reality shows.

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Our world is in the throes of bitter retreat, but it is merely the world created by man.

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The real world is that of Mother Nature.

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Now is the time to go to her, help her and find peace within her.

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The final days of Empire are always chaotic…our own lives must be lived as best as possible…with kindness, care, compassion and as much joy as one can invoke!

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For my part, I care not a fig for the end of this madness and brutality…things, as they say, can only get better…and they will…