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Global Warming/the Gulf Stream

Hi Dan and everyone on the list,

(Dan wrote a very interesting piece on the changes to the Gulf Stream and
its effects on Scandanavia.)

There is a school of thought that subscribes to the theory that the Gulf
Stream is shifting. It would seem very possible to me as our planetary
weather patterns are being distrupted by Global Warming. I do not have a
reference to the scientific research but could find out more if you like.

On a personal level, we have had a six week drought here which is highly
unusual. Usually it is 'March winds and April showers'. There has been none
of either and my plants are wilting in the ground, despite mulch and other
moisture preserving techniques. The blossom is abundant and beautiful on
the fruit and nut trees as a consequence and as long as we don't get very
hard frosts it will be a good year for fruit (if we can water). We are
currently installing a 1400 gallon rainwater harvesting system to drip
irrigate the shrubs and trees. We had to get planning permission for it
from the local authority who had no precedent on such a system. Inevitably
the bureaucracy cost us money.

Drought is an increasing problem here, as is erosion of the land by the
rising sea. What I would like to gather now is a series of statistics about
climate change, soil erosion, environmental degredation etc. which clearly
spells out our crisis as I do not think most people in Britain believe it.
They have only just accepted that Global Warming may just be a reality and
some people think it might be good because it will get warmer in Britain
and we'll end up with a Mediterrean climate! They are barking mad. So if
anyone on the list has some statistics re. the above (like every year an
area of top soil the size of the state of Kansas is lost on the Earth),
please could you email me with them and their source. They do have to be
sourced though, please.

Incidently, I get the impression from the northern climate debate that we
are all rather cosy in this temperate, northern climes. In fact, poverty is
an increasingly serious problem in Britain after so many years of
Conservative rule. Many members of our so-called affluent society are
developing diseases associated with malnutrition. People just can't afford
to eat fruit and veg.

The positive side of this is an increase in community gardens which teach
people how to grow food like Springhill Community Gardens in Bradford,
Yorkshire. As a nation, most of us do not have these skills (I certainly
didn't have a clue until a few years ago, nor the opportunity to learn) and
do not know where to start. Local government has begun to fund permaculture
based projects to help with this and release land. A big problem is the
stranglehold of private ownership on land and premium prices. Many
allotments and school grounds also are being sold off for development. I
really cannot emphasis enough the disasterous policies of our current
government (but have little faith in all the other politician too!). Let's
hope they don't get voted back in.

I hope isn't too long for you.

Best wishes to all,


Maddy Harland, Editor
Permaculture Magazine
Hyden House Ltd.
Little Hyden Lane
Hampshire PO8 URU, Britain.
Tel: +44 (0)1705 596500. Fax: +44 (0)1705 595834.
email: permaculture@gn.apc.org
Website: http://www.uea.ac.uk/~e415/home.html
Publishers of the Earth Repair Catalogue - over 230 books, publications and
videos on all aspect of sustainable living by email or snail mail.