05/03/2007 05:53 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The whole heaven

I increasingly think my writing is somewhat futile. The threat from climate change is now a certainty, and writing blogs, or books, seems a bit like scribbling away in the bowels of the Titanic, hoping, in a year or two, to complete a magnum opus which the Captain will read, and, eventually, be convinced to think about reducing speed. But I would like to be up on the bridge helping to wrestle the wheel from the Captain's hands, and advising the passengers where the baling tins are, while refusing to allow the band to play 'nearer my god to thee'.

But it is increasingly obvious that I am not going to be - the captains, around the world, are still ordering more coal to be shovelled into the boilers, demanding more and more speed even as the Arctic meltdown produces ever more icebergs. So what is the point of writing at all, meeting self-imposed deadlines each week, scanning the world's media for news, forming ideas that look at the news in, well, new ways, turning accepted wisdom on its head and seeing what falls out of its pockets? Am I just a blockhead, as Samuel Johnson, were he still alive, would say?

If even the lovely Sheryl can't effectively communicate with Karl then what hope do I have of influencing anyone? I increasingly feel as if I have called out 'Fire' in a crowded cinema and run to the door, only to look back and find that all of the rest of the audience is still sitting down, munching on popcorn and watching 'Ocean's 17'.

So I can feel myself turning inwards, writing to try to make sense of what is going on, trying, day by day, to understand what is happening to us and why it is being allowed to happen. I am perhaps like Samuel Pepys recording the great fire of London, or an observer at any of the great destructive events of history - the sack of Rome, the San Francisco earthquake, the burial of Pompeii, the flooding of Atlantis, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the fall of Carthage, the destruction of New Orleans. Events of such a magnitude that observers can't comprehend the scale of the disaster, can only look on and record what their senses tell them is happening but their brain does not believe. As Sam Pepys said - seeing 'how horridly the sky looks, all on a fire in the night, was enough to put us out of our wits; and indeed it was extremely dreadful, for it looks just as if it was at us, and the whole heaven on fire'.

Well it looks to me as if the whole heaven of the world is on fire now, and all I can really do is keep my wits about me, as best I can, and record the events as they unfold, the world as it unravels. Hope you will stay with me, looking over my shoulder, as I sit at my keyboard. By the way if you would like to take a look back down the road I've been traveling for some three years now, the rag bag I carry on my journey, with all of my writing in it, is at All kinds of good, bad, and glad rags in there.