Random Thoughts 12, A theory and a Question

Another View on Global Warming and the Recent Flooding. I include here a theory that I postulated to my Dutch friend, Jan, and I wonder if you would agree with it or like the rest of my family realise that my brain is going to mush.

When you think of all the conflicting changes that take place in, on the earth and in the atmosphere there must once in a while come a time when so many things are changing at once, that something most unusual will occur. I do not believe however rapid global warming has become so rapid that it could have wreaked the sort of changes that we are finding throughout the world this year. Nor do I think that this is a prelude to a total change in our atmospheric and physical conditions. Atmospheric pressure, air and earth temperatures, volcanic effects, and induced changes in the action of the sea, together with the gravitational effect of the universe, are all with us, and affecting us in different degrees. It is the degree of change in each case which we noticed over the years, but if all of these influences have their rhythms suddenly conflicting, I believe it’s possible that the condition can arise that may not be unprecedented, but could be beyond recorded information. If I am right, it does not mean that this is a one-off instance, it may be part of a build-up and die down. Most actions and reactions in nature, I believe, are on a sinusoidal basis.

The How Did They Manage It? On UK television recently I watched fictional films of battles taking place during the Napoleonic Wars, (Sharpe), and the English Civil War, (Cromwell). In these films the battle scenes were bloody and explicit, which made me wonder how men who have been through one flight could face another. Often you see actual film footage of men going over the top at the Somme and other battlefields, and going steadily forward in a hail of machine-gun bullets.

The enactments in these films of the Civil War and the Napoleonic Wars, illustrates the extremes of hand to hand fighting, and the sheer barbarity of war. As an ex combatant, in the Navy and the police, I am able to say from my own experience that while there were times when one had concerns, either the training or the repetition without injury, seemed to be sufficient, in my case it least not to give me any serious worry concerning my own mortality. What I find incredible though is how the soldiers in those far-off days, of pikes, cavalry sabres, short swords and muskets, were prepared to go back into battle time and again. In all soldering, in the broader sense, one is convinced that ‘it won’t happen to me!’ this is part of the answer. In the old days to some extent, the reward was in plunder, and a large part of those armies of most countries was made up of mercenaries, who had a totally different outlook on war, to conscripts, or even volunteers. I know that being part of a unit, especially one with a history of heroism and honours-gained, has a binding quality, which has to be experienced to be realised. I don’t think I am a coward, but having watched these films, I find it incredible what those people were prepared to do repeatedly. ‘Fight hard or be killed’, induces a level of adrenaline which I believe blots out reason, and induces aggression that the individual is not aware that he possesses. It is a sort of reaction, like the one you would have finding an intruder in your hall in the middle of the night.

Here in Northern Ireland the British Army and the police, then, daily walked the streets not knowing if someone had a bead on them. As I have said before, one cannot be constantly worried about personal safety, in time the condition is taken for granted. Our men fighting our current wars are not only under the same stresses as their predecessors were, in Belfast, but they have to contend with a different terrain, different attitudes and customs and road-side, bombs. This has some of the same aspects as going over the top and facing a hail of bullets…Facing that with equanimity is to do with example, camaraderie, and pride – ‘if he can do it I can, – and it won’t happen to me anyway!’

Categorized as General

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