When you want utility suppliers to come and fix things they do not answer calls or come out for love or money, but on this occasion they obviously had precious little to do, and for some reason were determined to venture out at 3 o’clock in the morning!
The cattle are now off the muddy fields and enjoying the dry barn, clean straw and copious supplies of sweet meadow hay. Having travelled to Seale in Surrey last week, to collect some very nice Sussex steers on the Hampton Estate, it was difficult not to envy their sandy soil. Despite the torrential rain over night, which had turned our heavy clay into a mud bath, I could have walked the Hampton fields in my slippers; it was as dry as a bone. This makes it possible for them to keep their stock out twelve months of the years, and is much more manageable for livestock rearing.
I came away with a handful of beautiful bullocks which will not take long to finish and will supply local farm shops. Pedigree Sussex beef is increasingly the first the choice of butchers, farm shops, and the public who are becoming more interested to know where their meat has been sourced. It is local and most has been grass fed, thus ensuring tasty tender meat.
The former Environment Secretary Owen Peterson continues to rise above the flotsam and jetsam of the back benches. He is still very vocal on his environmental ‘hobby horse’. He once again accuses Whitehall officials and ministers of being in thrall to climate change and environmental lobbies.
He is warning that claims of impending environmental disaster due to conventional power supplies were ‘widely exaggerated’, and accused a series of past energy secretaries of being ‘Sheriffs of Nottingham’ by taking from the poor by increasing electricity bills which hit people on low wages the hardest. Huge subsidies are then handed to ‘wealthy landowners and rich investors’ to install wind farms and solar panels which he considers to be ‘regressive and unfair’.
Mr Paterson believes the current policy of building wind farms ‘are proving to be a failure, and solar power an ‘expensive red herring, futile eye sore, and a waste of land that could be used for other activities’.
The IPCC’s latest report is targeted at the “Global Climate Treaty” which should, but apparently will not, take place in Paris next year. It once more talks up the possibility of melting polar ice, rising sea levels, floods, droughts and hurricanes unless CO2 emissions are rapidly cut by 80 per cent. These predictions are based upon global temperatures rising, despite no rise for the past 18 years.
This IPCC report is dedicated to US physicist Stephen Schneider, who died in 2010. This is strange as in 1971, as a young doctoral student, he predicted that although rising CO2 levels could cause global warming, this could be counteracted by ‘aerosols’ emitted from volcanoes, which block radiation from the sun that could be “sufficient to trigger an ice age”.
Global warming alarmists do seem to have the loudest voices and often drown out similarly esteemed scientists who counter their claims. There is indeed a need to reduce CO2 emissions steadily over the years, no one is disputing this. However, many are unconvinced that the UK should burden industries, farmers and households with financial penalties to support ‘renewable energy’, that defaces our green and pleasant land with expensive turbines and solar panels. These which are heavily responsible for CO2 emissions in their construction, installation and running.
Paul Cummins’s powerful memorial, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red which surrounds the Tower of London, has gripped the nation. It is a very powerful and moving tribute to the 888,246 British and Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives in the Great War. Standing quietly with my son early one morning last week, as the sun rose over London and lit up this stunning sea of red poppies, we knew this moment would remain with us for the rest of our lives.
The Godman’s like so many families across the nation, lost husbands, fathers and sons in both World Wars. This was our opportunity and moment to remember them on behalf of family members who are no longer with us, and whose lives were deeply and tragically affected by their loss.
This overwhelming tribute has gripped not only the British but also attracted visitors and volunteers from across the world, including France, Belgium, Singapore and America. They too have been deeply moved by this wonderful tribute, and wanting to ‘do their bit’, have given a few hours to help ‘plant’ these vivid ceramic Poppies, each one representing a life sacrificed and a future lost.
Carola Godman Irvine