The longest day of 2015 is already history to my dear readers in the Northern Hemisphere (21st June 2015 at 16:38 GMT, in case you missed it). Summer is starting to ebb away as the days grow shorter. Start buying your winter clothes. (Except in the Southern Hemisphere, where the days are growing longer – because the Earth is tilted and it goes around the sun. I’ll come back to that, below.)
Summer in France
As schools across the hemisphere begin to release their inmates for the summer vacation, this is France’s peak tourist period – and tourism is so important to their economy. It is the most popular tourist destination in the world (Wikipedia):
- 84.7 million foreign tourists in 2013 (Wikipedia)
- 7% of GDP (French Government)
- Eiffel Tower worth £344 billion to French economy (Telegraph)
So how do they respond? Warm and welcoming? Pleased to get this income boost in a harsh economic climate? Well… they are certainly celebrating this revenue boost in the traditional ways:-
- ongoing wildcat strikes, burning tyres blocking Calais ferries and EuroTunnel trains
- taxi-driver action in Paris (blockaded airports, burning tyres, cars overturned…) and other cities
- railway workers on strike
- air-traffic control walkout
- and the farmers have not yet started their ritual disruptions (burning tyres, Paris roads blocked)
With that level of tourism, visitors must LOVE all this anger, chaos and danger. (Baffles me.)
Earth-Sun Orbit : An Afterthought
In various surveys, a remarkable number of people did not know that the Earth goes around the sun:
- 26% of Americans (2014)
- 34% of Europeans (2005)
- 49% of Chinese (2001)
- 32% of Russians (2011)
- 30% of Indians (2004)
They should read more science fiction.
And a great place to start is with the anthologies shown to your right… (scroll up)
3 thoughts on “Summer Thoughts”
Ha! Is there ever a time in France when some group is NOT on strike? Not so fond memories of being held captive in my hotel for 3 nights running due the farmers striking over something or another! More alarming… that many people do not know the Earth revolves around the sun? Sigh….
Yes, Jacquie, the French have such a good climate, they want to spend as much time in the open, on the streets, on the roads, having burning tyre barbecues… 😉
Today, the Calais Ferry blockages prevented my UK Sunday paper arriving. Now it’s PERSONAL!
And yes, science teachers, the Earth revolves around the sun, and Copernicus and Galileo are revolving in their graves.
It has been pointed out to me that – for most people – the Earth’s rotation around the sun is not a matter of concern in their daily lives. It just happens and they are happy to let things orbit around whatever they want to – just as long as the sun rises every morning. 🙂