Grass roots and tree roots

July 9th, 2019

Well, I think I’ll start with the bad news this week…

Yesterday’s Guardian’s front page announced that climate crisis disasters are occurring weekly, the UN has warned.

So, not only do we need to increase the fight against climate change getting worse, we need to help developing countries prepare for the impacts that climate change is already having…

And not only developing countries – the recent forest fires in the US and Europe’s latest heatwave, for instance, show that rich countries also face a challenge to adapt their infrastructure and ways of protecting people from disaster.

I heard back from a grand total of two car companies, after last week’s emails.

A man from KIA was actually very forthcoming and positive about the importance of making changes – it was complicated too, of course, however, with one of the barriers in the way of creating more electric vehicles being a shortage of batteries….

Jaguar Landrover, my other reply, is in talks with battery manufacturers thinking of building facilities in the UK.

Still on the subject of electric cars, it’s good to know that two of this country’s biggest energy suppliers, SSE and Centrica (owner of British Gas) have pledged to replace their vehicle fleets with all-electric models by 2030.

Why not aim to get rid of cars all together, however?!

The Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) is calling on the government to devise a strategy allowing people to have a good standard of living without needing a car.

The authors of their report say there will always be people who depend on cars, especially in the countryside or suburbs.

But they point out that many young people in cities are choosing not to buy cars.

Instead they are using public transport, walking, cycling, taking minicabs and hiring cars when they are needed.

This more active lifestyle means less obesity, pollution and road danger – and greater sociability as people meet their neighbours on their way to work.

It also allows parking spaces to be liberated for more housing or gardens.

The government, the authors say, should be encouraging other people to follow the lead set by the young.

“It is a happy accident that car ownership is static in every age group except the over-60s. The government should build on that.”

I agree so much with the idea that young people are inspiring us, in the good choices they make.

One young ‘Conscious Country’ musician, Molly-Anne, a passionate environmentalist, is staging a show this weekend to raise funds for Tree Sisters.

This charity has a mission to reforest the tropics within a decade.

Their founder Clare Dubois says: “We have to make it as natural to give back to nature as it is to take nature for granted, to shift from a consumer species to a restorer species.”

Trees are magic (at the risk of sounding fanciful…but they are…), holding so much positive power – forests can stop runaway global heating, guarantee clean water, reduce air pollution, and provide livelihoods for local people and reserves for rare wildlife (quoting the Guardian’s Patrick Barkham).

The most uplifting article of this week has been about tree planting having ‘mind-blowing potential’ to tackle the climate crisis.

Professor Tom Crowther at the Swiss university ETH Zurich led research scientists’ discovery that there are 1.7billion hectares of treeless land in the world on which 1.2trillion native tree saplings would naturally grow.

This number of trees could remove two-thirds of all the emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by human activities.

We just need people to buy and plant on this land – not simple, but achievable…..

And of course the trees would take 50-100 years to have their full effect of removing 200billion tonnes of carbon.

So, getting our world emissions down to zero is also vital.

But trees’ ability to absorb and store carbon dioxide emissions is amazing.

Well, I’ll just end this post by adding that I’ve written a very long email to our new MP – 

urging him to influence his/our new prime minister (how have we got here, the inevitable result that’s just around the corner?..!).

Rise above all the party politics and save the world for all of us!

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