You may or not may have watched The BBC’s latest documentary narrated by our much loved David Attenborough. It actually took me nearly two weeks to watch it. Why? Because, if I’m being honest I was scared to. I felt like “well I’m already doing everything I can to reduce my carbon foot print so I don’t need to be scared into acting, I already am”. But this morning I watched a debate on Good Morning Britain about the climate change protest in London last week, they were talking about how annoying it was and disagreeing with the protesters. I get it, not being able to get to work is annoying but it just made me think ‘people are just not “getting it”. Talking to people I often get the response “well we ourselves can’t do anything about it and people won’t change their habits.” But this is just not true!!! So I plucked up the courage and I watched the BBC documentary, and yes it did scare me, I’m terrified about the world I have brought my precious baby girl into and I worry for her future because if WE don’t change WE are heading towards a globe catastrophe. You may think I’m being dramatic but hearing Mr Attenborough talk sounded like the intro a disaster movie and this time Gerard Butler can’t swoop in to save us.
Here’s some of the facts. 20 of the warmest years on record have all occurred in the last 22 years. Remember all those awful fires in recent years, yep climate change is the culprit. Yes Donald Trump and other climate change deniers will argue that heat waves happen and changes in temperatures occur naturally anyway but because our world is warmer when we do have a heat wave our environment just can’t cope with it. Animals are dying, forests burn, people loose their lives. The documentary showed over 11,000 bats dying in Australia because they simply couldn’t cope with the extreme heats. If certain species become extinct it’s not just sad for animal lovers we actually risk loosing whole eco-systems “a network that supports all of life on earth”.
You may think that Earths temperature rising by 1 degree doesn’t sound like much but that 1 degree is just too much for our ice caps. In a recent assessment scientists found that things are worst than we can previously predicted. The Greenland ice sheet is loosing 5 times more ice today than it was 25 years ago meaning sea levels have risen. And rise they have, by about 20cm in the last 100 years. Again it doesn’t sound like much but it is already displacing hundreds of thousands of people mainly in developing county, but also in the US. Louisiana is loosing the size of a football field of land every 45 minutes. The US government is now for the first time ever having to move a whole community because of a direct impact of climate change. Can Trump deny that one?
We were warned about climate change 30 years ago and until now it always seemed like a distance problem not really at the for front of any of our minds, I think most of us thought the idea of loosing the coral reefs was awful but couldn’t really see how it would effect our day to day lives, however now it’s real and it’s really happening in real time.
I don’t know about anyone else but I find it disheartening when it feels like the government and the elite and not with us on this subject. As few as 10 MPs sat to debate climate change recently, the first debate held in 2 years. Add that to our so-called “environmental leaders” turning up on 1500 private jets to a climate talk in Davos, it doesn’t really feel like they are taking this seriously.
However there is good news, unlike the debater on Good Morning Britain made out the Extinction Rebellion have finally made the Government listen and in the days since I started writing this post a Climate Emergency has been declared in Britain which is a massive step and a huge win for the protesters and the future of our planet. But what I found extremely upsetting was finding this out through social media, then watching the news for days to see if it was reported. Nothing. I actually wondered if it was “fake news” but finally saw it on the Guardian online. Looks like not everyone is behind it. However, it’s still good news and still a step in the right direction.
And we can ALL still do something. According to the documentary we alone can reduce our carbon footprint by TWO TONS by doing three simple things. Number one, eat everything you buy. This may take a little more meal planning but let’s face it its going to save you money, food waste has a massive impact on carbon emissions.
Number two, eat less meat. I’m not asking you to go Vegan, unless you want to of course, but the meat and dairy industry create a huge amount of emissions, in particular the farming of cows and lambs. However traditional farming methods are certainly a lot better than intensive farming, so by eating less and buying local this will help on a huge scale.
Number three. Buy less airfreighted goods. I love my avocados but we should be looking where our food has come from and how it got here. Most supermarkets label this, so have a look. I’m not saying you should never eat a pineapple again but eating more seasonal and British goods will help massively.
And their not the only things we can do. As you may well be aware I am a massive advocate for cutting as much plastic out of our lives as possible and you may think this is just a landfill problem, but that simply isn’t true. Plastic and pretty much everything in our homes are made from fossil fuels or fossil fuels are burned in the production of them. Simple steps like cutting down on packaging, buying second hand, buying better, making it last and buying from ethical companies will also make huge differences.
Other things you can do.
We have recently switched our gas and electric to a company named Bulb, they run off 100% renewable energy and so far are working out cheaper than our previous supplier.
Get a smart metre. It’s useful to see where most of your energy is going.
Walk/ cycle/ use public transport. Not always convenient but if you have the opportunity why not it’s nice to get out in your community, and do what I do, nose at everyone houses and front gardens.
Many of you may find this over whelming and think you couldn’t possibly do it all, but really the smallest things do help so why not just pick one thing. It may seem really different and out of the ordinary to you but once you do it give it time and it will suddenly be normal and you will just do it/ buy it out of habit. Once it’s habit think of something else you can change. Give it a year and you could well have changed all of these things without even noticing it, a friend may notice your changes and follow suit, and this is how massive change happens.
It’s also worth noting that huge companies track our consuming so by voting with our feet companies will follow the money.
Give it some thought. What’s something really small you could change today?
Climate Change the Fact, Directed by Serena Davies, Executive Producer Sachs Baveystock, Presented by Sir David Attenborough, BBC, https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00049b1/climate-change-the-facts