Carola Godman Irvine. Farmer, Campaigner & Columnist. 17-11-21

  • Written by Carola Godman Irvine
  • Posted on Nov 17, 2021
  • Articles

Every cloud has a silver lining, even if it’s one which is 10 degrees warmer than it should be. The current balmy weather is unseasonal and no doubt encouraging some to focus on the outcome of COP26. How things turn out long term, remains to be seen.

The few cold days we have had encouraged arable farmers to hope the aphids and other nasties would leave our tender emerging crops alone. Sadly, that was a short-lived hope as we now bask in this unnaturally mild weather.

The aphids are abundant, and the army of slugs grazing across our autumn sown crops, have brought John out with the sprayer, and Huw with his quad bike administering slug pellets, in the hope we can stop the hungry critters, ensuring we have crops to harvest next summer.

The upside is the cattle are still out as it remains dry underfoot, thus saving on straw and labour. Also, we are saving fuel as it’s been unnecessary to put the heating on.

Talking of houses, it has not taken too long for the ‘experts’ to catch onto the fact that homes, particularly those ‘environmentally’ hermetically sealed, to comply with ‘building regulations’, are potentially a health hazard.

So far, they identify the 7,000 plastic particles being inhaled each day. Hopefully, they will also take note of the chemicals making soft furnishings flameproof, and those substances wiping out germs around the house, as parents are encouraged to disinfect every surface so children never get an opportunity to build up natural anti-bodies to dirt and microorganisms.

Readers brave enough to regularly read this column, will know that I have raised this matter before due to my concern that this obsession with cleanliness, safety, environmentally hermetically sealed and zero carbon homes, and much else besides, will in due course cause monumental damage to public health, and consequently potentially bring the NHS to its knees.

We, and certainly our finely tuned bodies are not designed to be fueled by contaminated air. We take on average 7.5 million breaths a year and 600 million in our lifetime. What goes into our bodies each time oxygen is taken in and carbon dioxide expelled, is nothing short of a miracle. As the late Dr Jan de Winter would say, “Our bodies are like a finely tuned Rolls Royce engine, so put only premium fuel into its engine”. That also goes for the air we breathe.

“Our lungs are the lynchpin between our bodies and the outside world,” wrote pulmonologist Dr Michael Stephen. “And yet, we take our lungs for granted until we’re incapacitated and suddenly confronted with their vital importance”.

Dr Stephen explains in lay terms the links our lungs have with our immune system and with society at large. Despite great advances in science, our lungs are endlessly threatened. Asthma is more prevalent than ever, rising stress levels make our lungs vulnerable to disease, and COVID 19 has revealed that vulnerability in historic ways.

It is possible the damage this virus has inflicted upon western society in particular, will pale into insignificance when the damage inflicted through green environmental house building policies, and industrialised hygiene, is realised – too late.

We should be careful for what we wish. Those clamouring for MPs to be prevented from having second jobs would be a big mistake. The strength, experience and variety of the 650 men and women who fill the green benches in the House of Commons, is what makes Parliament unique, and ensures MPs represent their constituents intelligently.

Whether Sir Geoffrey Cox making millions as an eminent QC, or Maria Caulfield earning peanuts working some weekends and during recess as a specialist nurse, they bring valuable experience and knowledge to Parliament. It would be a poorer less effective place without them.

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