Monday, April 22, 2019

Psst! Look this way, PM Trudeau: Hope is nigh


Trudeau’s policy of fighting climate change is under fire in the provinces:


In contrast, former federal Conservative cabinet minister James Moore said that the onus is on Trudeau to go back to the drawing board and come up with a way to fight climate change that isn’t a tax, or risk prompting a national unity crisis over the carbon tax fight.

“Please tell me that the plan that Justin Trudeau has been failing at for three-and-a-half years isn’t all they’ve got. They need to retool … and come forward with something reasonable that reflects the democratic reality of what we saw in Alberta on election night,” Moore said.


One way the Trudeau government can implement an effective global warming reduction policy is to employ the efforts of millions of ordinary people to take steps to achieve just that.

Yet when I suggested to the Trudeau government a few months ago a way to do that (using the GaiaHope Eco-Prize concept described in this post), their reaction was that they thought they had everything under control with their existing climate policies.

Perhaps now that so many provices have elected governments that oppose the main plank of Trudeau’s climate change policy, he might instruct one of his ministers to revisit the GaiaHope Eco-Prize concept, and go straight to the people to get them onside with steps to reduce CO2 emissions?




Sunday, April 21, 2019

Miracle at Notre Dame cathedral


Miraculously, the Pieta statue in Notre Dame cathedral seems to have survived intact, even though debris from the burnt roof fell very close to it, as the photograph shows.

The Pieta statue is beautiful; we gazed in awe at it during our research inside Notre Dame before I wrote The Euros: Notre Dame Point Zero.

Here is the portion of The Euros describing the Pieta:


Deep into the cathedral, beyond the choir stalls, a griefstricken Mary throws her arms out wide, face turned to heaven, her Son, just descended from the Cross, spread lifeless across her knees.

Eight bronze angels watch the two kings kneeling next to her: Louis XIII to her left offers her his crown and scepter, and Louis XIV, in identical pose but without any offering, kneels to her right.

Sculptor Nicolas Coustou, the son of a woodcarver who was greatly influenced by Michelangelo, has caught with great beauty the anguish on the mother’s face, slightly tilted to her left, and the lack of life in the face of the Man lying on her knee, and in his right hand, that has fallen to the floor before her.

Behind her, the tall, bright cross rears into the air.

Below her, a stone table with eight pillars supporting its heavy top is covered by a white table cloth; seven heavy candlesticks stand on it, bearing seven thick white candles.

A bulky man, clad in a thick jacket, sits on the floor before the table, a thin chain, threaded through the spaces between the pillars of the table, holding his slumping body upright.

His hands are taped to the floor, while his short legs sprawl out towards the top of the three brightly colored steps that lead down to the level of the choir stalls.

The index finger of his right hand has been removed, and the open wound cauterized by a small blowtorch. Dried blood has settled below the hand, staining the richness of the marble floor.
























Notre Dame Cathedral tragedy


A tragedy unfolded in the heart of Paris, as the ancient Notre Dame cathedral burned fiercely.

When researching my novel The Euros: Notre Dame Point Zero we visited the cathedral several times, exploring every nook and cranny that we could.

One striking thing is the amount of wood in the cathedral roof; and this gave me an idea for the novel:

“My God!” the Historian exclaimed, his head snapping up as he remembered something.
“The roof! There is a forest of wooden beams up there, all old and dry! I forgot to tell you when we talked about similarities between the old Commune and these men, but in 1871, the rebels marched into the cathedral and forced the clergy out. Then they plundered the Treasury. When they started to withdraw, they brought two wagons loaded with petroleum, to set fire to the cathedral.”
His pale face showed his horror.
“They piled up chairs in five different spots, poured petroleum over them and added gunpowder. A fire was started in the choir, and caused some damage; it also burned the altar and some of the flagstones. The heat from the burning chairs melted seven of the bronze lamps that were hanging from the roof. But then the rebels feared the fire might reach the Hôtel-Dieu, where some rebels were being treated, so they did not spread it.
Instead, they fled, and people rushed in to save it.”
He grasped Knuckle’s arm.
“Did he say anything about what explosives have been put in the roof?”
She shook her head. “He was not taken up the stairs to the roof, but he was told that explosives had also been placed in the roof.”
The Historian screwed his eyes shut, clasped his hands before him, and started a silent prayer.


Here are some photos of the cathedral, and of the wood in its ceiling.

Archbishops are buried in the crypt below the cathedral, and the crypt plays a role in my The Euros novel.