George Steven Boughton is continuously coming up with novel solutions; but are ideas such as living in man-made Near Earth Territories, or humans having a genetic modification to be there for real or just science fiction?

George Steven Boughton

George Steven Boughton was born in Asmara, Eritrea, Africa in 1943 to English parents. He is a Chartered  Engineer with an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering. His international education started in Rome, Italy where he attended a French school Les Petit Oiseau from ages three to eight years old. From ages 11 to 14 years old, his education continued in Roaring Brook Elementary in New York, followed by boarding at Wellington School in Somerset, and Northampton College of Advanced Technology (now City University), London.

To us George Steven Boughton is best known as the author of Deepstorm OutTack, Black Gold -Black Scorpion, and his latest innovative ebook that combines the written word with film: Dennis to Alice. Although the book is aimed at children and teens,, it is suitable for readers of all ages.

George S. Boughton lived and worked in managerial positions in many places around the world. Right from the beginning, as a young man, and throughout his entire professional life, he represented ability, bravery, authority, and a sense of responsibility. He lived and worked in Nigeria in Africa: Kuwait in Western Asia; Hong Kong in Eastern Asia; Australia; South Africa; the United Kingdom (UK), as well as for a company in Texas, United States of America (USA).

Engineering dominated his professional life, but I recognise his natural talent to write.

When you were young and you had to decide which path to take in your life, I asked, was engineering your first choice, or was it just a practical decision?

Actually, when I was at school, I wanted to become an architect, but the career advisor there pointed to a sports car and a very attractive girl in it and said, ‘If you want that, then don’t go for architecture, there are many and few who earn big money’. ‘So, I said, Well, what should I do?’ And he said, ‘Take up engineering instead’. So that’s what I did, and followed a career in oil engineering. But my passion, really, is more for the artistic, and, in the end, I’ve come back to that.

Space by NASA

His scientific predispositions and abilities show clearly in his extensive research for Deepstorm OutTack.

Is engineering something that comes to you naturally or do you have to work at it?

No, I enjoy that too because I enjoy the logic in engineering, and the research I’ve done for… OutTack, involved delving back through time . What I did was to look back through prehistory to understand what was going on with previous mass extinctions, by not looking at it in the context of one discipline but across several. So, not just what was happening to the dinosaurs, for instance, but what was happening to the mammals as well, and the climate, and the oceans and the Arctic regions, and trying to understand across all disciplines if there was a connection.

I want to come back to your young life as an engineer, as I think you should be appreciated for what you did in your life then. As a young man working in Nigeria, Africa, you were often exposed to many dangerous situations.  Having your scientific predispositions, engineering skills, and abilities, did you come up with any ideas of your own to make life safer and better in the oil industry, where you spent so much time during your young life?

That was a very intense time for myself, my wife Pam, and my baby daughter, Natasha. There was a war going on, the Biafran War, and for much of it I, was behind or close to enemy lines building pipelines and facilities for when the war would be over. I didn’t have the chance to be creative. I went from constructing facilities to designing them, but the designs were more or less following previous concepts. I did change some suppliers and designs . . . I researched the availability of equipment, that would be better suited . . . and most significantly I worked closely with geologists and petroleum engineers to anticipate optimally what the designs should be.

Engineers in Nigeria busy constructing pipelines

You saved a lot of money for the oil industry by researching and finding suitable designs and had your proposals put to practice. That is quite a contribution.

You lived and worked in many places; what would be your favourite memories professionally, associated with those places ?

I think the camaraderie, the feeling we had, although there was a war going on, in Nigeria, with Shell. There was a tremendous connection with everyone there and not just me, but my family.  We were very supportive of each other, probably because of the war and the events.  So that was a really strong memory for me . . . Certainly. Nigeria.

Kuwait was an amazing experience.  But I think, the next biggest was Hong Kong,  where I managed the design and rollout of what was to become the world’s first e-Gov; an IT system for government, contractors and consultants, in this case on Hong Kong’s New Airport project Kowloon section. What’s happening there now, I feel very passionate about for the people there, because it’s wrong. It’s a wonderful place Hong Kong.

I understand both in Hong Kong and Kuwait you participated in your own hobbies as an actor and played parts in pantomimes.

Yeah.  There was only one theatre in Kuwait, and around  Christmas it was packed with 100s wanting to enjoy the festive spirit. And I got the opportunity to be Buttons in Cinderella. I really enjoyed that because the interaction with the audience is fantastic.

A scene with Buttons in the Cinderella pantomime in London

 Your book Deepstorm OutTack, which offered you so much creative freedom, was first published in 2012, which is quite late in your life, considering that you have a natural talent to write.

It is a very accomplished book in the realm of science fiction, but it’s predominantly inspired by the reality of things. Since it was published, quite a few unexpected things happened. First, Sir Roger Penrose, the Nobel Prize Laureate 2020 in physics, came up with the discovery that ‘black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity’. That led to his other claim about the Big Bang, to which you also refer in your book, as not necessarily the beginning.  Sir Roger Penrose introduces and presents us with new scientific ideas that were not known to us before. 

Do these new findings interfere or maybe even outdate DeepStorm OutTack’s scientific vision in any way?

No, I don’t think so. OutTack was supposed to be followed by two more books and in those I would take my arguments further. OutTack is about people beginning to live and work in space, close to Earth, because we run out of space down here on Earth, and we keep growing our populations and need somewhere else to populate. I want to explore in the next book, how people evolve in space, because they will evolve. It’ll be different. 

Another unexpected event happened since your book was published: a global pandemic.

At the time of writing your book and doing extensive scientific research over the period of 2000 to 2012, did you ever consider this possibility as another threat to our life?

No, I never conceived of that . . . Yes. It’s taken the whole world by surprise basically, this pandemic.

Recently, you have been involved in The Noah’s Ark project, which has been launched by two entrepreneurs, one from South Africa and one from Britain, Hein and Richard Prinsloo Curson. They are aiming to raise £5 billion by crowdfunding in order to build a state-of-the-art Conservation Park in the KwaZulu Natal region in Africa. They intend to gather all species of animals and create a genetic bank of all life on Earth there.

How did you get involved with this project and what is your role in it?

I first met Richard on . . . The Zodiac Cooks, which is a book about cooking, using the stars and  star signs. He’s a publicist. That took us on to another book, which is The Ginologist Cook, a cookery book based on using gin in cookery. We published both books.  And that spurred Richard and his partner Hein to ask if we would publish You are Noah for The Noah’s Ark project, which we are doing.

It is a wildlife conservation project. And I think the best way to look at that is that with a lot of animals we now know and love, like tigers, for instance, there are more in captivity than in the wild. The numbers in the wild are dwindling fast. We’re going to end up with a planet where the only specimens we have are all in captivity. And that’s terrible, because for a start, evolution will stop.  The only thing able to evolve will be plants and insects and man, and that would be crazy.  It would be a dead planet.

Conservation | gbp-publishing-org | UK (gbpublishing.co.uk)

Do you have a personal sentiment for Africa because you were born there? Do you somehow feel connected and life takes you one way or the other towards Africa?

I started there, and, it seems, I keep going back there.  And yes, I have an affinity with Africa.

As time passes by, we’re now in the 21st century (this is my own reflection), and we are proud of our scientific achievements and discoveries; often the purpose of pursuing them is to protect and to prolong life. However, it seems to me, despite having all the newly acquired scientific knowledge, we, as mankind, seem to be getting no better at managing our life, instead we have man-made Climate Change. We appear to be better in saving lives, protecting lives, and protecting new life, but now some see the sustainability problem in overpopulation and overdevelopment. We have made higher education more available, with more scientists and more scientific research. And yet, instead of making us wiser, it often leads us astray and into helplessness.

What are your comments about such observations and thoughts?

Basically, the direction we’re going in is an artificial world, where everything is man-made.  Where everything we demand is managed.

Yes. But we have all the science and instead of getting wiser, we get ourselves in trouble.

The more we take control of everything, the forests, the climate, the rivers, lakes, everything, the more artificial it is.  And then it’s not real nature, and we lose the beauty of it.  We lose the benefit of it.  And part of that is that, we lose the way that evolution works.  Evolution has a design, I believe; I don’t believe it’s entirely random, survival of the fittest, as Darwin spoke of. I believe there is a design; and we are interfering with that design because we’re taking over, and we lose the majesty of it.

Do you blame the scientists for doing their research or whom do you blame for the problems and situation we end up with?

We’re stuck in a small space where we have taken over so much of it, that we then end up controlling it because we are the bull in the china shop.

.What do you think about the management of the scientific results and knowledge? Do we do it well? Obviously not. Who is not doing a good job, because you and I we think that we are doing a good job?

No, I think this pandemic has thrown up a few things. There is a positive side to this pandemic.  One of which is that hopefully, certainly in some communities, people are more caring towards each other and more interested in each other and more interested in nature.  But I think another  positive thing that’s come out of the pandemic is that the world needs to work together to defeat it.

I think there needs to be a fresh look at the systems of governments, with less emphasis on what the public wants. The people who are on top of a cooperation know the heart of their cooperation. Any organisation big or small, any endeavour, needs to be driven by people who really, passionately understand the creative edge of that business.

Today, from a practical point of view, what would you expect from the Weybridge community in mitigating Climate Change? What is it we could be doing and start doing tomorrow?

I think the direction the government is taking to reward farmers for conservation projects, instead of simply subsidising agriculture is the right direction.  But as critics have said, it’s a drop in the ocean; it needs to be on a much bigger scale.  We need to rewild a lot of areas. Before we started the interview, you talked about vertical agriculture, that area is definitely one that can help.  If we use those techniques to free up land, we get rewarded with real nature.

So how can we people in Weybridge contribute?  What can we do in our daily lives, in our gardens for instance? Would you advise us to plant a tree, and if yes what type of tree, and things like that?

The woodland trust, I think is an amazing organisation throughout Britain, and there is the local trust where it is about planting trees and getting nature back.  In fact, it’s not just the trees, it’s the creatures in the trees and returning the hedgerows, and the central reservations in the highways, where animals have a refuge.  I think in the Weybridge area, in all rural areas, we ought to get back to the idea of a common, in the centre of the town, where people can congregate and enjoy and not just for socialising but to enjoy nature too.  So, I would like to see a ring road around towns, and let the towns be more pedestrianised, but also with trees and parks.

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That sounds like a very nice project, and it’s possible to put it into practice, as well.

George, unlike the majority of us, perceives the emergency of the situation, and considers for real that some of us should prepare for living in the Near Earth Territories where new populations will need to be genetically modified to be able to sustain staying there for a considerable amount of time without adverse effects.

‘If we are going to carry on having babies and making everyone wealthy, then we need to create more living space, and the only way to do that is off planet. Eventually, at some point our planet is overpopulated, and I think it is very close to that right now.’

Another suggestion he proposes as an engineer who spent a lot of time in the oil industry and as a writer who has done extensive research for Deepstorm OutTack, is to get oil out of the ground. He says about the oil ‘ At its dirtiest, spread out over the oceans, it can kill more than individual life forms. It can stop all life – it’s most likely done that in the past – by shutting down the carbon and water cycles that vitally re-terraform the land. Reservoirs of oil, in rock structures deep underground all over the world, risk being opened up by earthquake fractures and spewed out over seas. That would be hugely catastrophic, dwarfing the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as it would literally be unstoppable. The solution: get it out of the ground. NOW. By all means, which includes fracking.’

Finally, please tell us, why should we go to GBP, to buy books from you and why should we come to you to have them published by you?

I think the first answer is because we’ve been very selective, and the authors we’ve got, quite a few of them, are award winning. They’re excellent, authors. Now we’re going into a new phase with our latest book Dennis to Alice, in using technology to make it as much a movie as a book. The idea came about when we discovered that young adults and teenagers tend to switch off altogether from reading books. They read what they have to read for classwork, but they don’t read for pleasure. The aim of mixing a book with a movie is to reverse that trend and encourage reading.

So, this book, the concept of using technology in the book is your personal concept, you’re an inventor or a pioneer of this type of book?

Well, we’re ahead in this; there are attempts at augmented reality in books, but this one, I think, has the lead. The concept, really, is for the movie to run as you turn the pages. The software supporting that is not fully there yet. But even now, it is a complete movie, the whole book is a movie; you are buying a movie as much as a book. The idea behind it is attracting people to have an armchair movie experience, one that draws them back to reading. And that’s a good thing, because they are reading…

Well,  your style of writing in particular is very beautiful, and it’s got elements of poetry in it, so it is a very uplifting experience reading beautifully written words and watching the film that complements those words additionally.  In this specific case, it is a report, but I already can see amazing potential for the theatre world as well.

Yes, thank you. Appreciate that.

And you’re obviously the inventor and the pioneer of this amazing concept. Thank you very much for that.

 Books To Read | GB Publishing.org | England

Also, I wanted to find out, do you organise local community meetings with authors, so we can meet you and ask questions to do with your books that you write, or maybe other topics that you want to talk about? Are you planning any meetings like this in the future?

Yes. We’ve had events, in particular, with a very successful book of ours  Ozlem’s Turkish Table, by author Ozlem Warren.  The book is a 2020 Best in the World Gourmand Book Award winner. That’s the Oscars of cookery book awards. It’s cookery and culture, the award ceremony scheduled to take place in Paris this June, at the Louvre has been rescheduled to Les Cordeliers in November. And she’s held a lot of events here in Weybridge, in Aroma, in Neptune and other places. But she’s also had meetings in Divertimenti London, as well as she’s been on radio in Boston and other events. Penny Thornton with The Zodiac Cooks has also been in magazines and on television. We were planning to have a lot of events. None of them are happening at the moment because of COVID.  Ozlem, who lives in Weybridge, is carrying on with hers, virtually. So, on the fifth of December she had a virtual cookery class, which was global, and extremely well attended. More are planned: https://ww.gbpublishing.co.uk/ozlemsturkishtable

Thank you very much for taking your time and talking to us.

Thank you Iwona. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

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Aromatherapy is an old knowledge, about how the use of the aromas of essential oils and other aromatic products can improve psychological and physical wellbeing. It is also knowledge about how to use essential oils and their scents and vapours to help with healing, strengthen the immune system and prevent and sooth a health problem.

The expertise and practical observation of the effects of essential oils have been gathered from generation to generation throughout the centuries.

Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils was known in ancient times in Egypt, Greece, China and the Roman Empire. As early as that, essential oils were recognised for their aesthetic value and mood uplifting properties. They were also known as an effective healer for nerves and wounds or as a disinfectant that kept diseases away. Egyptians used essential oils not only for mummification but also to treat depression and neurological problems. In Babylon (around 1800 B.C.), essential oils like lemon, cedar and mirra, known for their antiseptic properties, were added to the building materials for Temples to ensure the disinfection of the rooms. In India, they used sandalwood to build Temples for the same reason, as sandalwood oils are highly antiseptic. It is because of their antiseptic properties that essential oils were used as a means to fight infectious diseases and epidemics. One often quoted example is that of the little English town of Bucklesbury which avoided in the 17th century the death of its local people during a disease outbreak. Bucklesbury was a trade centre and grower of lavender, and the air filled with the scent of the lavender oil had antiseptic properties that protected people from falling ill. Lavender was used a century before that to guard against cholera.*

The 20th century saw the revival of the use of aromatherapy with leaders like Dr Jean Valnet, Robert Tisserand and Micheline Arcier, among many others all around the world. I also am very fascinated by the art of aromatherapy and took a prestigious course with Micheline Arcier in 1987 which led to obtaining a diploma in the practice of Aromatherapy.

Most of the practicing aromatherapists have the knowledge acquired from lectures and practical demonstrations. Our skills are put to practical use based on what we have learned from lectures. We do not study essential oils in a laboratory. I very much believe in what I have learnt during my study of aromatherapy. In my own practice, I would mainly use and mix the essential oils to provide relaxation, restoration and uplifting of mood through an aromatherapy massage treatments. On numerous occasions, I have explained to clients the amazing properties of essential oils . I also have always been very conscious of the antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties of the oils. I used this knowledge of the oils as a guarantee to maintain hygiene and prevent cross-infection.

After all of that, if I try today to spread advice to use the scents of essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, etc., to possibly protect oneself from COVID-19 in addition to the use of other protective measures like hygiene and reasonable distancing, I am at risk to be labelled by some as a person who is spreading fake pieces of health advice. Suddenly the knowledge of aromatherapy turns into insignificant pseudoscience.

‘The Food and Drug Administration in US has warned companies selling essential oils that are “safe or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19”’; ‘These claims have now been removed from websites, but posts still circulate about the benefits of eucalyptus oil vapours offering protection against viral infection’. **

Russel Buhr, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine in the division of pulmonary and critical care at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in California, gave his opinion as:  ‘There just isn’t a sufficient body of evidence to support their routine (essential oils) use for the promotion of lung health’. ***

‘They don’t appear to have much of any therapeutic benefit, so they are not going to help you’. ***stated David Benther, MD, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado.

Although these comments are made in the context of asthma problems, it is very disappointing to find out that modern experts have this type of view about essential oils and their uses.

When we go back in time, the famous 10th century Persian philosopher and physician known in the west as Avicenna was given the title

Avicenna

‘Prince of Physicians’. His famous books are ‘The Book of Healing’ and ‘The Cannon of Medicine’. Avicenna promoted the medicinal use of plants, and in his work, there are references to the medicinal use of oils like lavender, camomile and rose. ****

With such a solid ground laid down by physicians like Avicenna, not all is lost today, particularly during such challenging times as the COVID-19 pandemic. Here and there on the Internet, one can trace information that is possibly a promising finding, like that about Citrodol spray.

Citrodol is derived from the oil of eucalyptus.

‘Citrodol sprays were made available to the army in the early phases of COVID-19 as they were known to kill other strains of Coronaviruses such as Sars’. ‘Citrodol-based spray can help protect against COVID-19, says MoD lab’. *****

Information from another part of the word, Indonesia, states:  ‘The effectiveness of eucalyptus oil in treating COVID-19 still needs further investigation. So far research shows that Eucalyptus, a plant that is a raw material for eucalyptus oil, is indeed effective in killing the coronavirus. However, the study did not involve the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, Sars-CoV-2, but another type of coronavirus. Thus, Eucalyptus cannot be called a COVID-19 drug’. ******

Studies of our sense of smell explain that it is the most sensitive and the quickest of all our senses in transferring stimulus perceived outside the body to the brain. Studies of the function of the brain tell us that the part of the brain that is known as a conscious, thinking function has developed from what originally was known as the sense of smell.*

In COVID-19, some patients lose their sense of smell.

One of the ways to prevent the disease is social distancing. From studies about the sense of smell, we know that we perceive a lot of smells either consciously or unconsciously. Although we do not always clearly or consciously note all the information that we perceive via the sense of smell, it is an essential part of our lives. To lose the ability to smell is a kind of disability.

In normal health circumstances, our lives are based on obtaining conscious or subconscious stimulation via the sense of smell. In crowds, surrounded by people, this type of information is available all the time and feeds our existence, whether from someone we know or a perfect stranger. The rhythm of life in crowds feeds us continuously with cocktails of crowd scents, sounds of voices, exchanges of body electro-magnetism and temperature. We take it all for granted and do not think about it. Subconsciously, we seek on a regular basis to be present in crowds. We seek places pulsing with life. It is our senses and manners that determine the distances from other people. With the practice of social distancing today, this is all seriously disturbed. It is in all of our interests to get over the virus, and it is not only because of the prospect of getting ill or of a damaged economy.

In my opinion, essential oils can be helpful in many ways to additionally arm oneself against airborne particles that come with COVID-19. For those who do not suffer with allergies or asthma that can be triggered by essential oils, having a bottle of the essential oil of lavender, eucalyptus or lemongrass, for instance, and smelling it when exposed to possible airborne COVID-19 particles may be an additional help and will not cause harm when moderately done.

Personally, I am going through these times by consuming hot drinks,

A woman drinking tea.

believing and knowing that hot drinks around 58C–60C (a comfortable temperature for an adult) will destroy the virus or make it difficult for the virus to settle should it somehow get into my mouth.

A woman smelling an essential oil.

I also smell essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender and lemongrass expecting them to stop the airborne virus particles that could get to me via my nose when inhaling, as well as spraying surgical spirit if anyone around me coughs.

Thus, my answer to the question which is the title of this article is: yes, aromatherapy essential oils should be used as an additional preventative measure against COVID-19 by those who can do so (those who have no allergies or who suffer from asthma that may be triggered by essential oils).

.

Poynter.org 20.05.2020 Indonesia, M

*‘Pachnąca Apteka’ Tajemnica Aromaterapii, Władysław Brud, Iwona Konopacka

** ‘(mcgill.ca/oss/ office for science and society ‘Essential Knowledge About Essential Oils and Covid-19.)

***(parade.com 9/11, Aug 14 by Jenifer Larson).

**** The History of Aromatherapy)

*****(The Guardian, Dan Sabbagh, Defence and Security editor, Wed., 26 Aug 2020.)

******(Misleading, Poynter.org 20.05.2020 Indonesia)

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