Archive for » August, 2015 «

The life missed

Every day, every minute, we choose to do one thing and not the other. Had we picked another of many routes on offer, we’d have lived a different life, maybe for an hour. Why stay home this evening, with nothing pressing that needs attending, rather than walk the streets together, with no big task demanding? A different life could have unfolded, had we taken that unused path. We may also choose to stay home one day, not join the rest gallivanting, to ring old friends or lovers, not met for a month or ages.

A million varied lives we’ve lost, not trying those other roads. Try being Hindu, Muslim or a Buddhist, a Christian or a Bright – for just a month; or a week being ‘straight’ then one day ‘gay’, or giving instead of taking. Can’t we try the unfamiliar among being loyal TNA or JVP; or UNP, UPFA or simply being perceptive?  A day not accessing the phone, face book or cherished website, may open up new vistas that we did not know existed.

If it’s Friday I must be gay, vegetarian Thursday; and cash strapped, all next week. Maybe free of dreary smoking, right through every weekend?

The fancy lives unlived are limitless indeed.




Colour maps

Post election time leads to numerous Sri Lanka maps being published, of various electorates and districts coloured according to the party that won it.

These are great diversions to keep us from noticing other kinds of maps. Such as of global temperatures.

A piece on the subject titled,

A World on Fire: July Was Hottest Month Ever Recorded

Record set for hottest month of the year puts 2015 on track to be hottest year ever recorded… and the consequences are mounting

has this map included in it


All governments are nowadays kept tame – and trained to ignore the potential catastrophe facing the earth. Elections all over the world are about whether the government elected will comply with carbon-industry bidding (transmitted through the USA and a few other acolyte states) and not vote for emissions controls at the environmental summit due later this year.


The article goes on to say:

All this warmth on land is being driven by record-setting heat across large sections of the world’s oceans. The NOAA report notes that the warmest 10 months of ocean temperatures on record have occurred in the last 16 months. This is mostly due to a near-record strength El Niño, but the current state of the global oceans has little historical precedent. Since it takes several months for the oceanic warmth of an El Niño to fully reach the atmosphere, 2016 will likely be warmer—perhaps much warmer—than 2015. And that poses grave implications for the world’s ecosystems as well as humans.

We’ve recently entered a new point in the Earth’s climate history. According to reconstructions using tree rings, corals, and ice cores, global temperatures are currently approaching—if not already past—the maximum temperatures commonly observed over the past 11,000 years (i.e., the time period in which humans developed agriculture), and flirting with levels not seen in more than 100,000 years.

But this is the scary part: The current level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any point since humans first evolved millions of years ago. Since carbon dioxide emissions lead to warming, the fact that emissions are increasing means there’s much more warming yet to come. What’s more, carbon dioxide levels are increasing really quickly. The rate of change is faster than at any point in Earth’s entire 4.5 billion year history, likely 10 times faster than during Earth’s worst mass extinction—the “Great Dying”—in which more than 90 percent of ocean species perished. Our planet has simply never undergone the kind of stress we’re currently putting on it. That stunning rate of change is one reason why surprising studies like the recent worse-than-the-worst-case-scenario study on sea level rise don’t seem so far fetched.

The result of our election would not have made a big difference to how Sri Lanka behaves at the UN climate talks in Paris this year. But we can no longer leave things to fate. We have to  get our government to act in the national interest by taking the sensible stance at the Paris meeting this year.




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