Lockdown #4

April 8th, 2020

Hello again, I feel a bit lost, I have to admit, about which way to go with this campaign/blog, but I do feel I want/need to continue.

So today I’m taking a bit of an easy option and drawing your attention to an article in The Guardian (April 7th), written by Rebecca Solnit. She writes: “The first lesson a disaster teaches is that everything is connected. 

“At moments of immense change, we see with new clarity the systems – political, economic, social, ecological – in which we are immersed as they change around us.  “We see what’s strong, what’s weak, what’s corrupt, what matters and what doesn’t.”

She quotes her climate campaigner friend from the Philippines saying (sorry, quote within a quote…): “We are witness today to daily displays of love …acts of courage and citizenship ..instances that whisper to us that the depredations of a few will eventually be overcome by legions of stubborn people who refuse the counsel of despair, violence, indifference and arrogance that so-called leaders appear so eager nowadays to trigger.”

Returning to Ms Solnit’s article, ‘Hope in a time of crisis’, she cites the poet Wordsworth writing a little more than 200 years ago: “Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.”

There are many other hopeful statements, sprinkled with realistic acknowledgment of the negative influence of rulers around the world who stubbornly and damagingly deny science and critical thinking. Her conclusion, paraphrased by me, is: It is to be hoped that this shared experience of catastrophe will lead to a new awareness of how each of us belongs to the whole and depends on it, strengthening the case for meaningful climate action.

Now I’m going to refer to an article I cut out (Guardian again..) more than a month ago – if the world continues to emit carbon at its current rate, sea levels will rise by an estimated 80cm. If this happens, a total of 131,745km of beaches, or 13% of the planets’s ice-free coastline, will go under water. To put it in ‘accessible’ UK terms, beaches in Norfolk & Suffolk and around Brighton, Southampton and Bournemouth are likely to be lost. Robert Nicholls, the director of the Tyndall Centre at the University of East Anglia, said: “In the UK, part of manmade erosion results from protecting cliffs whose wearing would normally top up the associated beaches with gravel. “This happens, for example, in Bournemouth, to safeguard luxury properties built on top of fancy viewpoints.” We need to object to local councils, to block planning permission for such selfish developments….

I’ll end with two bits of good news: Stella McCartney is influencing the fashion world. Her fashion brand is without leather, fur, skins, feathers or animal glues; and she has a role as special adviser on sustainability to the luxury fashion group LVMH. The latter’s CEO Bernard Arnault was widely criticised last year after describing Greta Thunberg as ‘demoralising’….Let’s hope Ms McCartney is influencing him, to re-think, too.

And Greenpeace New Zealand has announced ‘Epic News’ – the country’s court of appeal upheld the decision to deny a giant seabed mine planned for the South Taranaki Bight. Go, Aotearoa!

So, this ‘edition’ of mine seems to have the theme of Oceans – please join the campaign for a strong Global Ocean Treaty (check out details with Greenpeace). The health of oceans is intrinsically linked with our own.

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