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Showing posts from June, 2017

Record Breaking Heat Wave Due to Man-Made Climate Change

Phew! June was a scorcher. The month of June 2017 was marked by high temperatures across Western Europe with heat waves triggering national heat-health plans and wildfires requiring evacuation in Portugal and Spain.
Record breaking heat gripped most of western Europe with mean temperatures 3 degrees above ‘normal’. England experienced the hottest June day since 1975. Belgium imposed water rationing because of record temperatures. In Switzerland a heat wave warning was issued, and in France and the Netherlands heat action plans were triggered.

France experienced the hottest June night ever recorded as the average nighttime temperature reached ​26.4 degrees Celsius on June 21st. Switzerland saw the second hottest day on record since records began in 1864. In England temperatures recorded at Heathrow reached 34.4 degrees Celsuis.

These high temperatures are no longer rare in the current climate, occurring roughly every 10 to 30 years.

So, was this heat wave a result of man-made glo…

Cry of the wolf - Apes, wolves, culture and intentions

Melvin Burgess' children story, Cry of the wolf, tells the tale of a man whose quest is to kill the last wolf alive in England.  One female survives, wounded by The Hunter, but she survives long enough to teach her sole surviving cub a few skills before she then is killed by the man. The cub is raised by a human family, but being a social animal he waits in vain for the scent of another wolf. 

When I consider how badly we treat other intelligent beings here on earth I am rather pleased that Extraterrestrial Intelligence continues to  elude us.  It would be better if we were at peace with ourselves, and that we care for our living planet before we blunder about in the nether reaches of the universe.

Tragically, when we have found other intelligent life here on our planet, we have tended to do it harm rather than give it respect.  Nonetheless we have a notion and a sense of fairness and justice, else we would not agonise over the problems this presents.  We have an increasing unde…

Imagine Brexit doesn't mean Brexit

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. Do you remember when it all appeared so simple? Just a few weeks ago Mrs May was still delivering the mantra 'Brexit means Brexit'. That was before the general election. Now it doesn't appear so simple, and Brexit gets softer, and softer and....why?

Reality awakens. The truth is understood. Brexit isn't good. It isn't good for the economy, for jobs, for health and social care, for research, for fighting climate change, and so the negotiations now turn on how to ameliorate the harm it will do.

When these harmful effects were outlined in the EU referendum, they were dismissed as 'scare tactics' by the Leave campaign. But they are real. The government will try to negotiate some sort of access to the single market. It will do so because much of our economy depends on it. That access will come with a cost, and we will wonder what is better about it. "What's it all about Alfie? The question will be repeatedly asked. Why l…

Impact on Health and Social Care should be centre-stage in Brexit negotiations.

With Brexit negotiations now underway this week the potential adverse impact on health and social care needs to be considered. The  British Medical Association, the voice of doctors in the UK, is calling on the government to protect future patient care by putting healthcare "front and centre" of its plans.

There can be little doubt that unless staffing issues are resolved the potential harm of Brexit to  health and social care is considerable.  The government should act speedily to resolve the uncertainty. 
Many health and social care professionals currently working in the UK have come from other EU countries, including 55,000 of the NHS’s 1.3 million workforce and 80,000 of the 1.3 million workers in the adult social care sector.   The NHS is currently struggling to recruit and retain staff.  Unless the future of NHS  and social care staff can be settled, then this problem is set to get worse with a deepening NHS and social care crisis.  

Since the vote to leave the EU, t…