Perspective is everything. It is the changing prism through which we view our world, through which we make judgements. History offers defining, often cautionary perspectives. Would Brexiteers be indifferent to a new Irish border if they understood the deep differences between, say, the Bogside and Shankill? Do we think that by throwing more money at our health service without driving reform we will fix it?
Geography offers another kind of perspective. As southern Europe swelters, we look on almost unruffled. On Saturday, temperatures rose to 45.5°C in Portugal, while, on Friday, 16 weather stations in Portugal registered record heat, with Alcácer do Sal, near Setúbal, climbing to 45.9°C.
#Canicule #Heatwave— Gaétan Heymes (@GaetanHeymes) August 4, 2018
Jusqu'à 45.9°C hier à Alcácer do Sal #Portugal.#Lisbonne Gago Coutinho égale son record du 01-08-2003(42.0°C).
Castelo Branco : 2ème jour consécutif où le record absolu est battu : 42.2 jeudi, 43.5 hier, ancien 41.6 en 2003, données depuis 1985. pic.twitter.com/LCnzPZOBVk
Imagine how Portugal, one of Europe’s poorest countries, copes with that extreme if some residents of California, one of the richest regions in the world, can only flee before advancing forest fires?
History, geography, and the heatwave conspired this last week to remind us of the perspective some of our forefathers took on the Second World War. Gorse fires at Wicklow’s Bray Head exposed an Éire warning sign that had been covered up for more than 70 years. It is a reminder of the catastrophe that midwifed the European Union and what might happen if that sense of purpose is diminished or forgotten.
In an effort to update perspective we will, each day this week, publish new aerial shots of this region showing our environment is ever-changing, and how our perspective might change to match it.