The Sense of Hearing

October 7th, 2022

Coastal wildfire damage – photo courtesy of Maggie Studholme

Last weekend, the first in October, I was in London; but not for the protests….

I relaxed instead, sharing the unchallenging joys of Crystal Palace Park and South Norwood Lakes (& sunflowers in his small garden), with our Londoner son!

A strong part of my heart is with the protesters, however.

On Saturday, the demonstration outside King’s Cross station in Central London was one among at least 50 held in towns and cities across the UK for people to register their anger at the cost of living crisis. Organisers, Enough is Enough, describe this as the largest wave of simultaneous protests seen in Britain for years. Large crowds also attended events in Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Belfast. An eclectic mix of people took part – Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion groups joined families protesting against the government’s recent mini-budget, with some householders setting fire to their utility bills, a symbolic gesture promoted by Don’t Pay UK. The Guardian reported Jade Anderson, 25, from Taunton, Somerset saying: “It’s fantastic to see all the factions coming together.” Yes, strength in numbers, co-operation is key etc….! No longer should the majority remain silent….

Now I’m going to quote a welcome positive Guardian article: 

“The shining light of climate hope is the exponential growth of ever-cheaper renewable energy, which now delivers 75% of all new power – coal has plummeted to just 4%.

“An important recent study found that a swift transition to clean energy would save trillions of dollars, even without accounting for the enormous damage continued fossil fuel use would cause. Even climate deniers should be on board with that, says study author Prof Doyne Farmer at the University of Oxford.

“Pushing important sectors more quickly towards tipping points is the aim of a little-reported but potentially very powerful initiative launched at the UN climate summit in Glasgow in 2021 – the Breakthrough Agenda, supported by 45 nations including the US, China, India and the EU.

“Simon Sharpe, director of economics for the UN’s climate champions says a global tipping point for electric vehicles could arrive years earlier if the biggest markets coordinate the date when all new car sales must be zero emission. Similar efforts could also clean up the high emission sectors of steel and cement.

“Siddiqa, a campaigner with Fridays For Future Pakistan, says: “We do have the power at our disposal. We have the ability to change popular opinion and culture – we have done it.”

I think this is a good point for me to add my personal ‘thought of the week’ – I often hear the sad, despairing expression of people wondering ‘what is the point of me doing my little contribution to reducing my carbon footprint?….’

I look at it the other way round – why would I not do as much as I can, even if it may make no significant difference? I couldn’t bear the thought that I was adding to the problem….!!

An added comfort for me, at this time of year, as well as my family, are the reality shows on television. One of my contributions to reducing my carbon footprint is not eating meat, nor dairy ideally (cheese is still a problem…); and I’ve been heartened over the last few years at how veganism is spreading. However, The Great British Bake-off this year seems to be defiantly standing against that ‘trend’ – so much meat, on pizzas, and tacos, very disappointing.

COP15 is being held in Montreal, Canada in December – this UN Biodiversity Conference is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to create targets to stem the collapse of ecosystems globally. This nature crisis or wildlife crisis has been treated as separate to the climate crisis, but of course there is huge overlap between the two.

And, as well as our current unbelievably terrible UK government planning to add to the climate crisis (fracking, what?!), it has launched an attack on nature too…..

Please join the RSPB, Soil Association and Wildlife Trusts in protesting loudly to protect what little is left of the natural world in this country.

It would be great if you read and respond to my posts/appeals on my Facebook page too, and on Twitter – Emily Thwaite and @grandmaglobal

Following rejection of various petitions seeking to slow or halt the spread of harmful plastic grass, @PlasticsRebel have set up an open letter to the Secretary of State. Please sign at…

For all of us who are awash with empty ‘blister packs’ of used medicine tablets, these can be recycled once more. Superdrug has now partnered with “an alternative recycling partner” (other than Terracycle!). So you can dispose of them at 200 participating pharmacies. Or you can purchase a Zero Waste Box – more information on 03456 710 709 or by email at

I’m not sure if this ‘offer’ has ended with the end of summer 2022, but it sounds interesting/rewarding – volunteering holiday opportunities in Wales can be found at “Build, farm, re-wild or score a free festival ticket” is the ‘hook’ along with a beautiful photo of a puffin collecting sticks for nest-building!

And finally, I hope you might consider opening a Triodos Bank account, if you haven’t already…Most high street banks are still investing heavily in fossil fuels. Triodos Bank only provides financing for businesses that benefit both people and planet. Triodos also invests in renewable energy projects across the UK. Renewables are, of course, integral in making sure everyone has clean, affordable energy. And Triodos donates to support Friends of the Earth’s vital campaigning work.

2 thoughts on “The Sense of Hearing

  1. Love that we can recycle those blister packs. I know Biome stores in Australia will take them for recycling. It would be great if our pharmacists offered a recycling service – I don’t often get to Biome our nearest store is in Brisbane.


  2. Thank you so much, Sharon, for continuing to read my ‘stuff’ (too much this time – I missed September…)
    Just read your blog about ‘The Island of the Missing Trees’ novel – it so chimes with my plea about hearing….
    Definitely want to read it – thank you 🙏!


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