Lockdown #2

April 2nd, 2020

So President Trump is using the coronavirus pandemic to suspend its enforcement of environmental laws, signalling to companies they will not face any sanction for polluting the air or water of Americans.

Polluters will be able to ignore environmental laws as long as they can claim in some way these violations were caused by the pandemic…. (using the health crisis to duck out of responsibilities – shocking, but not surprising, sadly…)

The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) does an amazing job of ‘leading the charge in and out of court’ for a healthy environment and healthy communities in the USA.

I’m on their mailing list, and also get regular updates from the New Zealand/Aotearoa branch of Greenpeace.

A very practical environmental group in this country, Possible (‘inspiring climate action’), recently asked us/its supporters if it was appropriate to continue with climate campaigning during this virus crisis.

And 350.org sent a lovely gentle email yesterday – ‘you might be one of the people who is taking a pause during this time. Maybe you are focusing on taking care of yourself and your family, or maybe you’re one of the frontline workers who are doing heroic work to get us through this crisis.’ It was suggesting that if you/we do not count ourselves among either of those groups, we might find getting stuck into a project, taking action and keeping moving, both personally therapeutic as well as helping the world.

I feel grateful to so many people at the moment – all the health workers and people supplying our food; and also those who have energy, ideas and commitment to continue the crucial fight for a healthier future.

If you have any time these days, and motivation, maybe you’d like to support one of these groups…and spread the word, around your friends & relations in New Zealand, the USA, as well as in this country.

Extinction Rebellion & Flight Free UK are both managing to keep positive and active, as well as Greenpeace in the UK, all online and socially responsible of course – XR’s current message is ‘Kindness is Contagious Too’.

And if you’d like a bit of restorative countryside online, a Lake District campaigning group is offering to help you relax with the sights and sounds of Little Langdale and Eskdale, with ambient video art from Ben Dickey – so many artists, (including performance musicians, poets and theatre writers like both my sons!) are being amazingly resourceful and positive at this time too.

And finally, another positive – moles are clambering above ground to hunt for worms, oystercatchers are nesting on deserted beaches and overlooked plants such as ivy-leaved toadflax are appearing in cities…. The shutdown of modern life is liberating British wildlife.

But, sorry there is nearly always a but, in tandem with the freedom for nature wildlife crimes will be going unreported and vital work including monitoring is not able to happen.

I’ve written to HS2, concerned that its destruction of ancient woodlands is going ahead during lockdown, so illegal damage to birds’ nests, for instance, would go unnoticed. (And HS2 also seems to be putting their workers’ health at risk…) Wildlife Trusts need our support at this time too.

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