Volcano ‘fall out’

Well, the news broadcasters are in a quandary right now, trying to decide whether to talk about Nick Clegg’s victory in last week’s Prime Ministerial Debate, or discuss the effects of the Icelandic volcano. I think that Mr Clegg should be impressed that he is managing to sway so much media and public attention away from this natural phenomenon which is affecting so many thousands of people and costing more industries than just the airlines millions of pounds!

I see that the pressure is mounting on the air traffic controllers to allow planes to fly once more. The news reports claiming that the dangers of volcanic ash are exaggerated are becoming more and more prolific. I can’t help but wonder if that’s simply because there is not much new to report – the ash is still up there, the airlines are still losing money and British cirizens are still stranded overseas. Or maybe it’s all to do with the blame culture in which we find ourselves living. It seems that for every bad or inconvenient thing that happens, a culprit must be found. And as the eruption and subsequent weather system that pushed the ash our way cannot reasonably be blamed upon anyone (although try telling that to the Radio 4 listener who thought that Gordon Brown should be in Iceland sorting the volcano out rather than running for re-election!), people are trying to find someone to blame for the grounded aircraft.

I don’t know about you, but if the aeroplanes started flying in twenty minutes time and were offering flights for fifty pence, I’d not feel happy about travelling by air until I was as certain and reassured as possible that there are no more clouds (however thin) of ash hovering above us in the skies. Maybe I’m more susceptible to the fear-mongers than I’d like to admit, or maybe I’m not so susceptible to the blame merchants. However, it is now being widely reported that NATO fighter jets have suffered engine damage with a build up of glass in the jet engines after flying through the ash clouds. So maybe the people exercising the caution in not reopening our airspace aren’t as ‘Health and Safety’ wacky as some journalists would have you think.

However, given the state of my car every morning since Friday, the ash is settling. I gave it a good wash this morning, in company with a couple of my neighbours who were cleaning theirs at the same time. It took a lot of cleaning to shift the dusty ash deposits, and it’ll probably need doing again tomorrow, but I suppose I’ll have a good indication of how much ash settles overnight! Journalists in Iceland are reporting that the ash plume is no longer as high as it was, and it is suspected that the eruption may be entering a new phase. So maybe a few more days will see a significant difference in the concentration of ash in the atmosphere. In the meantime, and without reliable indicators of how long this will go on, I’m very glad that those of my nearest and dearest who have holidays planned, have booked to go on a cruise!


3 Responses

  1. I totally agree – you won’t be seeing me on a plane any time soon. Cruise it is 😉 !

  2. Too true! I’m glad that this didn’t happen a year ago when we were preparing for the trip to Malta .
    I just hope the ash doesn’t clog up the sea around Iceland. 🙂

  3. Jennie, all the dust and ash sounds rather annoying, I remember when MT. St Helens erupted in the Northwest Washington in 1980. We were getting ash for days (not heavy mind you) in Denver Colorado.
    I only wonder how this will affect the global weather for the next year or so.

    Good to see you back on line, hope you enjoy the time tending to your allotment, anxious to hear how that is doing through the growing season
    Take care AJ

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