Although we still hear some contradictory messages, the overwhelming evidence suggests that we are creating global warming at a disastrous rate, and scientists now seem to think that they have previously underestimated the rate of warming. On top of that, there is the work being done on global dimming! If you haven’t heard of this, it is the effect of all our pollution that stops the sun from reaching us. Although this protects us from some of the effects of global warming, it is a method of slow suicide – if we continue to release so many particles into the air, we increase the level of respiratory problems etc.
All this can seem overwhelming – what can we do to help? I don’t know about you, but I feel strongly that we need to adopt the Native American principle of thinking about the effects of what we do to the earth on the next seven generations, and I have a fit of the horrors at the thought of what state our world is likely to be in by then, if we continue as we are.
Yet how can I change it?
There are two things I can do.
- Make my voice heard, as one of those who want us to adopt fully the Kyoto agreement on climate change. I can write to my mp, I can support the actions being taken by organisations like Friends of the Earth. Although it is only one voice, each voice heard adds to the pressure on governments to do something about holding to account those industries that pollute the most.
- I can take simple actions in my own life to ensure that I am reducing my personal impact on the earth. These include recycling wherever possible, insulating my home properly, swapping to a power company that uses renewable energy, and reducing the amount I use my car.
Many years ago I saw Jonathan Porritt give a talk – he was then the head of Friends of the Earth. He showed how every action we take personally makes a positive difference to the state of the earth, and his audience left feeling empowered to make small changes to contribute to a big one.
We can do something, and it doesn’t yet need to be drastic. Lets’ all act now before we ruin this beautiful world!
(For more ideas, go to www.foe.co.uk )