Artwork from students at Urmston Grammar

1 Response

  1. Michael Ryan says:

    I’ve seen the word” asthma” in one of the above pictures which persuaded me to write the following.

    I don’t know if William Golding’s “Lord of the flies” is still on any list of recommended books for English Literature students, but it was when I sat the London syllabus GCE O-level in 1965.

    One of the characters was “Piggy” who was the only boy in his school with asthma.

    It’s a bit different these days, isn’t it.

    Pupils studying history might find “Disease and History” by Cartwright & Biddiss an interesting book. Professor Michael Biddiss was Professor of History at Reading University and in 1960/61 was head boy at my London Grammar School.

    We ( as pupils) weren’t aware of key issues affecting our health in those days – unlike Urmston Grammar today, and I regret that very much as examination performance seemed to be the main goal instead of producing citizens who could think. Our parents also tended to believe what they were told and that’s neither healthy nor sensible unless it’s possible to show that what’s being told is correct.

    Peel say that the biomass plant will not affect health – yet they aren’t able to provide any evidence to back-up their claim.

    Perhaps Peel should look at a major historical health issue on pages 212 & 213 of the BBC publication “The story of science” where a doctor identified what was causing the death rate of mothers under care of doctors in a Vienna maternity hospital to be ten times greater than mothers under care of midwives.

    You’d have thought that Ignaz Philiip Semmelweis would have been a hero after he introduced carbolic soap hand-washing to reduce the death rate of mothers under doctors’ care.

    Watch out for the name of Louis Pasteur on page 213, especially the following piece about him in the margin:

    “The loss of three of his children in infancy helped drive his investigation of the causes of disease.”

    The picture showing “our future?” going up in smoke is exactly what’s been happening for too long in the UK and unless and until a significant number of people are aware of the causes of illnesses, we will not get any improvement.

    In the US, their Clean Air Act amendment in 1997 further reduced PM2.5 emissions and sparked an outcry by businesses who faced reduced profits. The White House Office of Management & Budget looked at the cost of abatement and also the benefits that would accrue and found nett savings of up to 193 billion dollars over ten year period 1992-2002 due to fewer hospital visits & less days off work.

    The Washington Post of 27 September 2003 reported the above in Eric Pianin’s article “Study finds net gain from pollution rules”, and yet no UK newspaper mentioned it as far as I’m aware.

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