New Year; Floods: Year of Mercy and an Election

I am happily living on top of Laragh hill, where I am well away from any danger of floods, and where I can leave and close the door knowing for certain that there won’t be two feet of water in it when I return. It must be a dreadful experience to have your house flooded, with all the dreadful damage that causes, and the length of time it must take to get rid of the dampness and the smells. Yesterday, as I turned into the motorway at Gort I looked over to my right and as far as I could see was covered with water, and looked exactly like an extensive lake. So I have great sympathy for the people who are in the flooded areas. By and large the media I expose myself to are giving a good account of what is happening, but there are a couple of radio programme that love to dwell on misfortunate stories, and encourage people to find someone to blame. I heard one of our best known presenters clearly urging on a woman who was loudly proclaiming that this had little or nothing to do with climate change, but was the fault of the government, who were doing nothing at all to help. I can appreciate, if your house has been destroyed, that there is comfort in having someone to blame, but it is essential that we as a nation acknowledge that climate change has kicked in, and would seem to be more speedy and dramatic than even the most pessimistic expert was predicting. It is only when we recognise this that we will begin to be able to make the changes that are essential to secure a future for those coming after us. For instance, it is ironic to see that while the midlands is suffering more than most from flooding, there are still people who are campaigning vigorously against wind turbines. Wind now provides 27% of our energy; if we are to move away from fossil fuels we will need to harness more wind and solar energy, not less.
I hope that 2016 will bring a greater acceptance by people generally of the full scale of the problems facing us.
I could say the same about our Church. Some of my friends have been telling me for quite a while that the Year of Mercy will be a damp squib, whereas I have tended to be hopeful that it will bring about real change. But already four weeks have gone by, and apart from symbolically opening doors, there doesn’t seem to be much sign of real developments. Maybe it is too soon to judge. I hope so.
For me the next two months will hold great interest with the election. I have always been a keen follower of politics, and enjoy the cut and thrust of electioneering. And I love to be able to sit down on the day the results are coming in, and follow every count, calculating where transfers will go and who will get the final seat. When the election is close, that can be as absorbing as a good hurling match!