Event report: Climate change – the evidence and solutions

November 16th meeting with Dr. Frank Baker

Our newsletter editor Frances Lloyd summarises the informative and thought-provoking analysis provided by Dr. Baker at the November meeting of the Ludlow and Marches Humanists.

Dr. Frank Baker is a retired scientist who worked for the UK government on electron physics, surface and materials science. He has managed a US business making on-line devices for the petro-chemical industry and came back to the UK to work with Environmental Electron Microscopes at the University of Cambridge. He has always been interested in matters scientific and has developed an interest in following the debate on Climate Change.

Frank started his talk saying there is confusion between weather and climate. Weather refers to short-term atmospheric conditions whereas climate is the mean seasonal variation in conditions of a specific region, averaged over a long period of time. The climate changes slowly over many years. Superimposed on this, during the existence of the Earth there have been at least five great Ice Ages.

Continue reading “Event report: Climate change – the evidence and solutions”

Humanist Christmas cards now on sale!

A great way to support the work of Humanists UK

The national organisation now has a great selection of Christmas cards on sale through its website.

Some of the cards harken back to the ancient pagan origins of the festival people today call Christmas, while others simply celebrate the beauty in nature and science.

There are 11 designs to choose from and brand new for 2021 is the “Evolution of Father Christmas” card.

Buying the cards to send to family and friends is a great way to support the work of Humanists UK for a more tolerant society, where rational thinking and kindness prevail.

Orders can be placed at: https://humanists.uk/shop/product-category/christmas-cards/

Event report: October 19th meeting with Dr. Antony Lempert

What is lost? Wide-ranging talk about the influence of religion across the world

In this event report, our newsletter editor Frances Lloyd summarises the excellent talk given by Dr. Antony Lempert at the first in-person meeting of the Ludlow and Marches Humanists for over a year.

Dr. Antony Lempert is a GP practicing in Knighton and is Chair of the Secular Medical Forum (SMF) of the National Secular Society (NSS). He is President of the Shropshire division of the British Medical Association (BMA) and, as a BMA representative since 2009, he has engaged in frequent debate about secular and other issues at the BMA’s annual representatives meeting. The SMF provides expert and professional advice and opinion to the NSS and the BMA. It also contributes to consultations on issues related to healthcare. Antony was a founder member of our Humanist group.

This was an excellent and wide-ranging talk about the influence of religion across the world and Antony examined what humanity has lost as a result. Religious behaviours are accepted and lauded as normal in many societies and countries. In others there is religious persecution e.g. the Uighur Muslims in China. Some people and regimes see secularism as a threat and those with non-religious views as inferior. Secularism is often misinterpreted.

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New Stephen Fry video: How Can I Be Happy?

First in a series of four new animations for That’s humanism! campaign

Humanists UK has teamed up with its patron Stephen Fry to explore humanist ideas about some of life’s biggest questions. The new social media campaign is called That’s humanism!

Across the four animated videos, Stephen Fry explores how a humanist perspective grounded in rational thinking and kindness can be empowering, motivating, humbling, or even liberating.

As the videos come out, we’ll add them to our website. Here’s the first one called How Can I Be Happy?

Learn more about the campaign at https://humanists.uk/thatshumanism/

Humanists UK releases annual Impact Report

Highlights activities and achievements over the last 12 months

Humanists UK has released its latest Impact Report, an annual retrospective of the organisation’s key activities over the preceding 12 months.

Some of the highlights include:

12 million people saw the Census Campaign online and in print media
There are 534 humanist celebrants in the Humanist Ceremonies™ network
35,000 copies were sold of the Little Book of Humanism
12,500 pupils heard from a humanist school speaker, mainly through online sessions
51 million people were reached through the national organisation’s social media

While our own website for the Ludlow and Marches Humanists doesn’t get quite that many page views, we wanted to share the report with our local members and others who might be interested.

Please click on this link to read the full Humanists UK Impact Report 2021.

Ludlow in Lockdown

An oral history study

by Dr Richard Harding

I am a retired GP interested in the history of medicine, and acquired an MA in history from the Open University. At the beginning of Lockdown, The Friends of Ludlow Museum asked me to do an oral history of the pandemic, and kindly funded a digital recorder.

Oral witness is, like a medical consultation, confidential, and requires the written permission of the witness. Written transcripts are crucial in case the recording becomes corrupted.

I selected 34 witnesses from various sources. Each gave a pair of interviews six months apart. The first set of interviews was between June and August 2020 and the second between November 2020 and February 2021.

Here are some quotations which illustrate certain themes.

Continue reading “Ludlow in Lockdown”