I have to say it’s been interesting to see UK energy policy taking shape over the last six months with forays into areas that ten years ago would have seemed preposterous. Continue Reading
Tag archive for "Iceland"
Let’s get this straight. I’m a huge Iceland fan – the country that is! As many of you know I located most of my first thriller, The Human Race, there after a visit in 2001 and completely fell in love with everything …the people, the geology, the way of life, its peace – all combined to send me home with a perception that Iceland is a clean, green and healthy country. Continue Reading
If proof were needed of our relative insignificance in the grander scheme of things, one needs look no further than the incredible auroras that have burst into life across the Northern Hemisphere during the few weeks after a relative period of quiet for the last few years. Continue Reading
I love the movie Up, especially the floating house, which is supported by thousands of balloons and goes wherever the wind takes it. For me, this kind of blowing in the wind balloon travel is exploration at its most romantic.
Therefore, when I saw the fascinating photograph below, I had to share it with my readers. Courtesy of National Geographic, a team of scientists, engineers and two world-class balloon pilots have reproduced this real-life version of the house from Up. Continue Reading
I have previously blogged about the speed at which carbon emissions are rising and the need for a low carbon future. Essentially, emissions are on an upward growth curve that shows no signs of stopping. The evidence to support this increase is overwhelming, and whether or not you believe that the rise in emissions is the cause of global warming, the outcome is undeniable. I guess we’ll just have to get used to rising sea levels and more extreme weather patterns! In fact, many people have begun to accept that global warming has arrived and is here to stay. And they are doing something about it. Not by reducing their emissions or implementing a low carbon strategy, but by adapting to this new reality. Continue Reading
As readers of The Human Race and this blog will know, I am very fond of Iceland. When I was researching my first novel I visited the country twice and came to love everything there: the dormant lava fields, active volcanoes, jittery geology, geothermal power, Northern Lights, the eternal sunshine of summer and the permanent blackness of winter. One thing I discovered during my visits to Iceland and extensive research is that the Icelanders are an incredibly stoic people. They are happy to accept that Mother Nature rules the roost, sometimes with a fiery fist. Everywhere you turn she dominates the ever-shifting landscape and you can’t escape her embrace. The Icelanders have given up trying. They have learnt to live alongside her and mould their lives accordingly to her steady, if somewhat unpredictable beat. We could all probably learn a lesson or two from this approach. Continue Reading
Until last week I had never heard of Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the aerial photographer who spent two years filming the earth from a helicopter. The result of his unusual work was his bestselling book The Earth from the Air, which was published in 2010 and has already sold a staggering 3.5 million copies. His website is well worth a look and it made me realise that although I hadn’t heard his name until relatively recently, I recognised many of his photos. A photographer at his best, I suspect.
One photograph in particular struck a memory chord and upon reflection, I realised that I had seen it before. In fact it provided part of the inspiration for one of the iconic scenes in The Human Race. It is Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s image of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, pictured above. Continue Reading
So-called “green guilt” appears to be contagious – and I am one of the afflicted.
My research for The Human Race ten years ago prompted my interest in the green movement. Ever since, I have struggled with the green guilt of my CO2-laden life and its impact on our planet. A lot of my friends and family seem to have battled with that same feeling. One or two have even become eco warriors. For many, however, their green guilt appears to have waned over the years. Many friends have, one by one, given up the ghost and returned to their old ways.
As for me: I waiver constantly. Yesterday I realised why.
For the human race, living a green life is, was and always will be about poverty. When I was poor my life was infinitely, albeit unintentionally, greener. Take transport. I caught the bus or cycled everywhere. I didn’t own a car until I was 25. I shared a house with three of my friends and we holidayed in Wales or the Dales. I bought second-hand clothes and taped my music. I shopped at Asda.
However as I became richer, I became more wasteful. Continue Reading
When I wrote The Human Race, I wanted it to portray something I had learned on one of our last excursions to Iceland: that this mesmerisingly beautiful country is being torn apart. Literally. One half of the island sits atop the Eurasian Tectonic Plate while the other half straddles the North American Plate. The two are slowly but inexorably separating at the rate of one inch per year. You can actually see it happening.
Þingvellir National Park is littered with consequential tears in the earth, and we were fortunate enough to scramble inside one that must have been 20 feet deep and 10 wide (and this was 10 years ago, so now the void will be much deeper). It was an eerie yet thought-provoking experience; in Iceland, Mother Nature rules with a fiery fist. Continue Reading