Lockdown #5

April 14th, 2020

Hello from our 3rd week of lockdown.

The Easter weekend weather here has been so gorgeous, and I have been enjoying it – but the hot sunshine followed by an icy cold strong wind definitely reminds me that climate change is still an urgent issue (even if this, here & now in England, is ‘just weather’…?.).

I’ve missed a couple of significant dates recently – Global Recycling Day on March 17th and World Health Day on April 7th.

Recycling is a very thorny issue – so much of it is single-use plastic, which, I believe, should not be produced in the first place. Scientists have created a bacterial enzyme, originally found in compost, that recycles plastic bottles into ‘high quality new bottles’. Do we need more plastic bottles, though?…

The best type of recycling, I think, is ‘upcycling’, using the waste to create new useful items – furniture, gardening materials, even pencil cases…this is what Terracycle, whom I’ve mentioned before, does. The immediate problem is that collection points are often in schools and community centres, which are currently all closed. So we’re gathering quite a collection in our garden shed at the moment!

My attention was drawn particularly to World Health Day this year, a bit strangely, by a campaign against trophy hunting – ‘big game’ (wild animals, basically..) trophy hunting across the world has halted, thank goodness, because of coronavirus stopping hunters travelling. Let’s hope they see the error of their ways during their ’time out’…?!

Earth Day is on April 22nd. In 1970, apparently, 20 million people took to the streets for the sake of the environment on the world’s first Earth Day. I was 13 years old and knew nothing about that significant day, but since then I’ve become a vegetarian, helped create a children’s show involving concrete, cycling and the Rainbow Warrior (a perfect mix?!), done school teaching projects about pollution etc – why did the Earth wait until we are at crisis point before even considering changes….?

This year, the organisation ‘We Don’t Have Time’ is holding a public, online, no-fly climate conference to mark Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, discussing climate solutions within five main themes – Finance, Circular Economy and Consumption, Big Ideas and Education, Food and Agriculture and Local Government. Christiana Figueres, who was the inspiring speaker at my niece’s graduation ceremony from Bristol University last summer, is participating – she is the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

To coincide with Earth Day, a friend (thank you, Brenda!) has sent me a link to www.earthdayswitch.org Too many banks & other financial institutions continue to invest trillions of pounds in dirty fossil fuel industries – visit the website & check how your bank performs: HSBC is one of the worst. They own First Direct (whom we’re with, and who are so personal & attentive – I’ve written to their CEO, it seems they have a clean smile covering a dirty face….). We should move our money, really….I’ll keep pressuring & demanding answers, at least…

Finally, I’ll mention the G20 meeting (virtual, presumably) – Sum of Us drew my attention to the fact that tomorrow (April 15th), the world’s leading finance ministers will consider the global COVID-19 economic recovery plan. A group of scientists and economists is fighting hard for change, trying to prevent corporations pressuring our leaders to choose ‘business as usual’.

Please sign the petition (I’ve tweeted#grandmaglobal & Facebooked it – the latter’s probably not a word…?!), demanding a recovery plan for the planet. We all need to ’think big’! Urgently!

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