Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Climate change – the view from the countryside


I AM on holiday deep in North Norfolk and see skeins of pink-footed geese flying towards the Broads. An A380 airbus travelling from Manchester to Dubai also flies directly overhead. The large Norfolk sky looks down on field after field until, in the distance, there’s an example of the finest architecture in the world, an English country church. It takes being in the countryside to get a proper perspective on all sorts of things, like climate change.

My whole working life was involved, one way or another, in environmental protection. Qualified as a chemist, I analysed countless samples for pollution before moving on to more managerial posts – God help me!

If I have a view of the environment after 40 years’ experience, it is this – it is both more delicate than you might think and tougher than you might credit. It all comes down to specifics and so anyone who makes pronouncements on a global basis immediately raises suspicion. They are foolish or arrogant, probably both; sound like anyone we know?

But, hey, who cares about the science? Certainly not Greta Thunberg or the BBC. So I sit here in Norfolk watching countless crows dancing above their roosting sites, knowing they will still be there long after I am gone. The countryside gives perspective and saves us from the madness of our towns and cities.

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Martin Ward
Martin Ward
Martin Ward has been an analytical chemist in the water industry and a regulator of waste management facilities.

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