Autumn changes….

August 29th, 2022

Now seems a very significant time.

For me personally  – on a frustratingly slow journey moving away from the countryside to the city (yes, you read that right!) – 

and for the world.

I’m so thankful I don’t live in Ukraine, Palestine, Afghanistan, Taiwan, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Sudan or Sri Lanka, where armed conflict is ‘everyday’. We in ‘the West’\global North should, however, be becoming more aware that ‘natural disasters’ are becoming more common for us too….

The climate crisis is not natural – it is caused by us, ‘out of control’ economic growth…. We need to recognise that the flooding in Pakistan, for instance, (30 million innocent people affected…. what?….) is being exacerbated by the way we live…. 

And even though Britain is unlikely to experience monsoons, we will be affected by dramatic sea-rise eventually… And we care about the rest of the world too, don’t we?!

In this blog, following the last one (HOT), I was intending to focus on the drought that has been officially declared in parts of England.

But it’s so easy to forget/move on etc, isn’t it?

Even with parts of the River Thames drying up, and the Rhine, Po and Loire in Europe, and my will in principle not to waste water (more dishwasher use, less shower use), I have found myself loving the warm Bank Holiday weekend….

So, important lesson here! Espoused by young climate activist Bella Lack too (author of ‘The Children of the Anthropocene’)…. Turn sadness (even guilt…) around by action – we need to enjoy life, find the positives in changing, don’t think of it as denying ourselves…. And, equally importantly, challenge anyone who thinks the drive towards reducing our carbon footprint is actually to blame for anything….

Yes, you read that right too!

It’s convenient for people who do not want to contemplate the climate crisis to see it as secondary to immediate problems and/or look around for scapegoats.

Yes, very real immediate problems are looming – the cost of living crisis…. Inextricably linked to our reliance on fossil fuels. It’s ‘not rocket science’! Investment in green energy sources is the answer.

An article in The Guardian on Thursday (August 25th) was entitled ‘Is net zero really to blame for soaring energy bills in Great Britain?’ I could hardly believe that anyone thought this, even though I’m aware of Cameron’s desire to ‘get rid of all the green crap’ and the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, but the Daily Telegraph, Times and Wall Street Journal (plus the more predictable Daily Mail and Daily Express) have attempted to blame the gas crisis variously on Greta Thunberg, ‘the state’, ‘green regulations’, ‘net zero fanaticism’ and ‘climate alarmism’.

The Guardian, of course, disproves those assertions very clearly. The most common target, by people as influential as the Conservative leadership frontrunner Liz Truss, is the ‘green levies’. “From the frequency with which the levies are targeted, one might imagine they are playing at least some small part in rising bills. In reality, the opposite is true. Since last summer, levies have fallen to about £150 a year. This is 8% of average bills – not 25% – as recent corrections in the Daily Mail and Daily Express admitted.”

Voices of enlightenment, voices of freedom, voices of dignity MUST prevail…..surely…..

PLEASE add your voice to these if you ever come across ‘energy ignorance’ – of course a lot of people will be understandably worried, but it doesn’t help anyone if lies are allowed to circulate.

You’re not being nosey, strident, unsympathetic – just be your usual friendly self and discuss!

You might be surprised at how many of us are realising life doesn’t need to be unfair….!!

So, now to develop the title of this blog – my almost four year old grandson was watching me enjoying kicking through the ‘autumn leaves’ the other day in the park. I quickly stopped when I realised that this felt bittersweet – we could be enjoying this together, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him the seasons, as we’ve been sharing in a picture book, are changing….

As another article in The Guardian puts it (yesterday, August 28th), “We are now in a false autumn, caused by heat and drought. And it feels wrong.”

Of course, and this is a problem, it is also beautiful. And the air is still warm and summery – what could be better?!

So, the children need to be encouraged to play; but we need to (separately) remember the trees are exhibiting stress, and losing their leaves early in an attempt to conserve water.

And be even more determined to be as green as possible….

If you’re in Britain, the Green Party is holding a National Action Weekend soon – September 10th and 11th. I plan to join them in Bristol. Please contact me if you’d like more details – emilyjanethwaite@icloud.com #grandmaglobal I have a Facebook page too!

And finally, the obligatory good news (better late than never; and a small scrap, but it all adds up!…) – from 2024, bags of peat compost will no longer be available on the high street…..

2 thoughts on “Autumn changes….

  1. A fantastic post again. I have been watching the stories out of the UK and Europe with alarm, you are experiencing temperatures that are normal for us in summer but pretty horrifying for the UK. The floods in Pakistan have been alarming, just as the floods here have been beyond anything we have experienced before. All we can do is keep changing what we can and having those conversations.

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