Walking Arran: Iron Age forts, a Viking burial and Buddhist pilgrims

2 thoughts on “Walking Arran: Iron Age forts, a Viking burial and Buddhist pilgrims”

  1. Beautiful essay Gerry, almost a book! It does sound like a truly spiritual pilgrimage. I am reading ‘The Old Ways’ and have just read one of the Scottish chapters so it is good to see some images as he leaves it very much for one to imagine from the words, although they are very evocative. His pilgrimage article was excellent too. The only pessimistic note is the rubbish – such a global problem now and the sea is difficult to regulate over.

  2. I’m really looking forward to reading The Old Ways. Regarding the washed-up plastic, it’s Earth Summit time in Rio, and in The Guardian John Vidal, who was in Rio for the 1992 Earth summit, looks back and compares it with the 2012 version – also pessimistic. (http://bit.ly/MtxKxr) They also reprint Fidel Castro’s speech to the 1992 summit:

    “An important biological species – humankind – is at risk of disappearing due to the rapid and progressive elimination of its natural habitat. We are becoming aware of this problem when it is almost too late to prevent it. It must be said that consumer societies are chiefly responsible for this appalling environmental destruction. With only 20% of the world’s population they consume two-thirds of all metals and three-fourths of the energy produced worldwide. They have poisoned the seas and the rivers. They have polluted the air. They have weakened and perforated the ozone layer. They have saturated the atmosphere with gases, altering climatic conditions with the catastrophic effects we are already beginning to suffer.

    The forests are disappearing. The deserts are expanding. Billions of tons of fertile soil are washed every year into the sea. Numerous species are becoming extinct. Population pressures and poverty lead to desperate efforts to survive, even at the expense of nature. Unequal trade, protectionism and the foreign debt assault the ecological balance and promote the destruction of the environment. If we want to save humanity from this self-destruction, wealth and available technologies must be distributed better throughout the planet. Less luxury and less waste in a few countries would mean less poverty and hunger in much of the world.”

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