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Joy King's story

Updated Thursday, 1st April 2010

Explore the personal side of climate change with Joy King's diary entry.

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Name: Joy King

What first triggered your interest in environmental issues?

I worked in the Safety, Health and Environment Departments of various ICI divisions around the country. The problems of clean-up after years of ignorance about environmental impact associated with manufacturing chemicals, etc, were very interesting and challenging. Then I studied with the OU and based my degree on the environment and some loosly associated subjects (eg. geology).

What are you working on, concerned by, or motivated by at the moment?

I am retired now and live in Cornwall near the sea. I walk every day on the beach and am noticing more impact on marine life and am interested to know whether some happenings are a result of climate change or are natural. For example, hundreds and hundreds of baby crabs were washed up at high tide. Last summer, at least 50 Portuguese-Men-O'War and other jellyfish were washed up on our beach. We had an algae that killed fish in St Austell Bay. These are associated with warmer waters than we should normally have. Sometimes we are ankle-deep in sand-fleas! Where do they come from?

What do you anticipate working on, or thinking about, in relation to environmental issues over the next 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years?

More interest in marine/shore environmental life.

How optimistic or pessimistic are you as you look at where we might be in 2020, and why?

I am more pessimistic. I think the human impact in all its forms (boats, litter, people, erosion, warm waters) will get worse and we will see the above occurrence much more often. People aren't generally concerned with the sea - they dump stuff in it, overfish, are only concerned with what the sea/beach owes them, not what they are doing to it. I'm not just talking fishing or transport, also people's "right" to a good time on holiday (how often I've heard those words when you see destruction by humans).

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