Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Death and life

I heard on the news this evening that Redditch council which intends to heat a swimming pool by using the heat from a nearby Crematorium has been given the go- ahead.  Some people have complained that this is "eerie" and disrespectful to the dead. Well, I am all for respecting the dead but I cannot see anything particularly respectful in the heat from the crematorium being pumped out into the atmosphere and going to waste, nor anything disrespectful in using it to heat a facility for the living, save money and minimise damage to the environment.

I think the unease expressed is perhaps more to do with the way we try to hide death away in our society and that fact that we do not like to think about it too much. I am not sure we deal very well with death, possibly because we have lost the awareness of previous generations that in the midst of life, we are in death. I cannot see any reason why having a faith should make anyone more averse to a scheme to use energy in this way, I think fear of such a scheme is about superstition and fear about death as much as anything.

8 comments:

  1. I have opted to be freeze dried like a Birds Eye Fish Finger. Not only will this save energy, I think I'll look nice in a blue box. Although I might catch my death of cold.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1343678/Council-crematorium-plans-freeze-dry-dissolve-bodies-sci-fi-bid-environmentally-friendly.html

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  2. I couldn't agree more. Tremendous heat is generated by crematoria, (which is after all merely one way of processing what is left when the person has departed), and this would not only be wasted but would have huge potential to damage the environment. We need to look more realistically at what we do with the human shell when its inhabitant has gone, and if their departure can be of some small benefit to the community they have left, what better epitaph?

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  3. Don't they freeze dry fruit and veg? Could we reconstitute you by adding a little water?

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  4. The above was for Fr Orsen, Ray Barnes!

    I'd rather be used as fuel than go to waste. Speaking of waste, the waste of the heat from Crems is nothing to the waste of countless organs buried rather than donated.When you have had a loved one waiting for an organ donation you definitely feel strongly about that one!

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  5. I would like to be reconstituted and left to simmer on a low gas until the Second Coming.

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  6. I also agree about organ donation and have carried a card for over 20 years, the only problem is that by the time I pop my clogs I will be so ancient that nothing that is left will be of any use.

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  7. Suem - I think you're right that it's fear of death that underlies people's objections to using waste crematorium heat for a swimming pool. The siting of crematoria hides them away from main-stream life. Knowing that a nearby swimming pool is heated by the crematorium might help more of us to face that 'in the midst of life we are in death'.

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  8. That's a plus for you tho'Ray, if not for any recipient!
    I agree Nancy, and it will make the pool nice and warm!

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