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robbin the hood

26 September 2015
Climate change

At http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/08/29/the-hood-robin-syndrome/ … this is one of those posts I printed out weeks ago but left to the side as it is politicised by the author (who is incidentally, not Anthony). However, it is interesting as it explains how the main beneficiaries of CAGW are the more wealthy strata of society – which may be one reason why so many billionaires and media luvvies are so keen on promoting the cause. Stating that is political in itself – quite apart from anything the link says (which should be read with one finger in the ear to blot out the noise).

What struck me was that of some $18 billion dollars spent on clean energy tax credits some 80 per cent of this went to the better off – and just 4 per cent to the lowest rung of society. The same is roughly true of the UK I would imagine as driving through Surrey the other day I was impressed by the amount of solar panels on the roofs of the mansions (subsidised by people living in less salubrious housing). The author makes the point that $18 billion dollars could have been spent on providing clean water in less developed parts of the world – simply by digging wells. I must admit I was unaware that third world countries didn't have enough wells as I always assumed wells were part of being undeveloped and piped water was part of being developed. In fact, I toyed with giving the title 'wells' to this post as that is what grabbed my attention. In the UK not so long ago, and no doubt in the US too, wells were standard features of settlements and were often dug in peoples gardens, within reach of the back door. Dowsers had a role in life as they were employed to find sources of underground water, useful before picking up your spade to dig a hole. Wells were so common we don't really think much about them. Wells can be a few feet deep to hundreds of feet deep. Most wells have been filled in as they are potentially hazardous if you have children running around but there are still some fine examples to be found – out in the sticks. Prehistoric settlements also had wells and these have been excavated from time to time. Basically, they are dug through geology until a layer is reached where water moves horizontally, so if you wanted to dig a well in chalk country you would have to go down to a clayey strata. Perhaps the geology in some parts of the third world hampers the digging of wells – or the water aquifer is too deep. With modern equipment these problems could largely be overcome.

This brings me round to hill forts. Why would you build a settlement on high ground where access to water was not obvious. This implies settlement was not their prime role – although they would have made a safe place to linger when raiding groups were prowling around. Perhaps they were used principally as places where people came together to share traditional ceremonies and recitations, do a spot of trading, and even meet a partner. That might explain why hill forts were constructed in prominent easily seen positions. If they had been primarily settlements they would have suffered if water was not available – and water was distinctly scarce at some of them. It may be that they had lots of slaves to run up and down the hill fetching pails of water from a spring or stream below. That would not be exactly a good idea in siege conditions – which may explain why resistance collapsed so easily when a Roman army turned up at the bottom of the hill.

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