When it’s too late we can’t turn rain into a rain­bow

SETS THE CAT AMONG THE PI­GEONS

Irish Daily Mail - - Feature - SHAY HEALY

THE world is rid­dled with anx­i­ety de­spite tech­nol­ogy, or even be­cause of it. It seems to be mostly af­flicted on the young. They have to deal with the del­uge of misery on tele­vi­sion and ra­dio. They are be­sieged by bul­ly­ing and blind dat­ing and hav­ing their own brand.

In the last few days, David At­ten­bor­ough has upped the ante in anx­i­ety by telling us, in no un­cer­tain terms, that we are look­ing at a grim fu­ture as a re­sult of our an­tics, here in the civilised world. The 90-yearold nat­u­ral­ist has seen enough to know what he is talk­ing about, and when he warns us to pro­ceed with cau­tion, he needs to be lis­tened to. He said: ‘It could lead to the col­lapse of civil­i­sa­tions and the ex­tinc­tion of much of the nat­u­ral world.’ When you grow up I know that you will ask like any child, How can a fish swim in the sea, What birds and flow­ers are wild. Why do the leaves in Au­tumn come tum­bling to the ground. If by then it may well be that all that’s left are pic­tures of the things that used to be and if you’ve never seen a but­ter­fly then how I can ex­plain. It’s like try­ing to make a rain­bow from a lit­tle drop of rain. Or to tell you that it’s pos­si­ble to catch a fall­ing star. And if you’ve never seen a but­ter­fly how can you know just what they are.

The Ama­zon jun­gle was once a green lung com­bat­ing the poi­sons in the air, an oxy­gen-gen­er­at­ing fresh air, but slowly civil­i­sa­tion has eaten its way into it and the forests have been raped. Even here at home we need to plant more trees. If you’ve never seen a but­ter­fly then how can ex­plain. It’s like try­ing to make a rain­bow from a lit­tle drop of rain. Or to tell you that it’s pos­si­ble to catch a fall­ing star. And if you’ve never seen a but­ter­fly how can you know just what they are.

The big­gest prob­lem fac­ing cli­mate change is that not one world leader has taken any­thing but a woolly po­si­tion on the mag­ni­tude of the prob­lem, so we get a hys­ter­i­cal re­ac­tion when global warm­ing is thrust up against the eco­nomic forces that per­sist in us­ing fos­sil fu­els and pol­lut­ing the at­mos­phere.

How do we know whether ce­ment fac­to­ries in re­mote parts of the globe are busy pump­ing out nox­ious fumes which will even­tu­ally poi­son the at­mos­phere? So close your eyes and go to sleep and dream your happy dreams Maybe to­mor­row we should go and search for moun­tain streams. And in the clear blue wa­ters wash away the tears of time that have come too soon for all of us be­cause we’ve been too blind. And if you’ve never seen a but­ter­fly how can you know just what they are.

The prob­lem with global warm­ing is that it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to po­lice the world. Dif­fer­ent ge­o­graph­i­cal ar­eas con­trib­ute to the prob­lem in their own unique ways. Here in Ire­land, cow farts con­trib­ute sub­stan­tially to the green­house gases that are part of the prob­lem. We also don’t have a great track record on re­cy­cling, and the re­cent dis­clo­sure that plas­tic has now en­tered the food chain is an in­di­ca­tor of worse to come. Where are they now all those fields of green Where are they now where have they gone How can you tell a lit­tle boy of things he’s never seen Why trees are so bare in Au­tumn and in the Spring­time they are green. And the sky was so blue above us, the air was fresh and free When all we have are pic­tures of the things that used to be

I wrote this song over 30 years ago, and we haven’t moved an inch, so it’s time for the Is­land of Snakes and Squalor to get the finger out, start­ing with me and me Tesco bags.

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