Whether you believe in climate change or not, scientific facts show that over the ages of the earth, the climate has gone cold then warmed up then gone cold again. A few years ago I attended a lecture about this and saw all the evidence. However this current rise in temperature is more steep than ever before so it is believed that we have something to do with that. But I want to look at other things. Take our rivers for example, it wasn’t until about 1960 that polluting our rivers was made an offence, but the rivers were still polluted for another decade. It is still an offence but out rivers are still polluted in many places. Accidents happen at factories which discharge water into the rivers and canals. When this happens fish die and all the other life in the water as well. River water is often used for our domestic supplies after some filtration but the drugs we take which pass into our urine don’t disappear so that some of these drugs, hormonal ones for example, affect the life in the rivers as well.
And look at our oceans, full of plastic, stuff that has been thrown overboard from cruise and cargo shipping. Natural disasters like tsunamis also pollute the oceans filling them with debris washed from the land.
So what about our air, the air we breathe? In some cities air pollution is so bad that people wear masks to help stop the polluted air from entering their lungs. One day last week I walked into town down a fairly busy road. It was a busy time of the day and the fumes from the petrol and diesel filled the air and I felt I was choking. Now where I live is only a small town so what is it like in larger towns and cities? School runs are bad for this. When I was young there was little choice in which school you went to. You went to the nearest one and walked or cycled. Central heating and factories all put out pollutants into the air. At least we now have cleaner air than we had when I was a child and the factories belched out dense smoke every day. Other air pollution is caused by radio waves especially those used for your mobile phones. Mobile phone masts are a huge source of air pollution and radiation.
So how can we change this? If we were not so greedy and wanting so many material items, such as clothes, new phones and other gadgets, there would not be the need for them to be made. Mobile phones are made using rare materials which will run out eventually. Why do we need to devastate forests to make items for our use? Do we need these items or are there alternatives that do not destroy our forests? We have to look at what we wear, eat and use. Do we really need a lot of clothes that we might wear once a year? Do we need to eat foods that have to be imported? Do we need to fly to exotic places for holidays? Do we need to have large petrol guzzling cars?
I’m sure you can think of many other things but these are just a few for your to think about.
So much is changing in our world that it seems hard to keep up with it all. Let’s look at the climate first of all. It is February, winter in the UK, but it is mild and sunny. It is warm enough to sit outside. This is not normal and it is the same all over the world. It is very cold in some places and has snowed in others when there has been no snow for a large number of years. How do we deal with this? The birds are not sure whether to start building nests or not and I keep telling them not to do that yet as we could have more cold weather in the next month or two. I have had to take off a few layers of clothes so I am not too hot but I expect to have to put them back on again later as it gets colder again.
Where politics is concerned there are many changes in a lot of countries. Some are moving to the far right which is not good at all and there are many demonstrations all over the world. Some are about climate change while others are protests against the ruling classes. Much of this is caused by greed. We see large companies paying their staff minimal wages while making huge profits. Working conditions may be bad too but if you want a job then you have to put up with it, or do you? Hence more protests.
Racism of course is rearing its ugly head even more than in the past. I watched a programme on my TV the other week about the people who came from Jamaica to England in the 1950s and 60s, and how much racism they had to deal with. Some things never change.
It seems that we have become complacent and accept what is going on around us without thinking about what it is doing to us and our planet. It is time for us to change, to change our ways of thinking, to understand that we are all human whatever colour we are and to learn to accept each other and work together for a better place to live and work. Let’s do it!
This year has had many happy parts but also many sad parts too as friends and family have travelled to the Summerlands. Some themes have been strong in my life though and I have tried to help others to think about the way they live their lives. I have written about the wonders of nature and how I appreciate it. I have written about complacency and uncertainty recently too.
During this festive season gratitude has been foremost in my mind. I am so lucky to have a roof over my head, to have enough food and clothes and also to have a few good friends and family around me. I think about refugees from tsunamis and those feeling oppression in their country and I am thankful that I do not have those kinds of things to deal with.
I have also been thinking about how some people seem to want more and more material things and rush off to the sales to get as much as they can carry whether they need it or not. There is a big difference between wanting something and needing something and I always try to think if I need something before I buy it. Of course I do buy some things I don’t really need as we all do but I try not to do this often.
Over the last few days I have seen posts on social media about the amount of food and drink people have partaken of recently. Is this necessary? Does an excessive amount of food and drink do your health any good? Why not give the excess food to those in need.
Then there is the pollution debate. Plastics, air pollution, water pollution are all there up at the front. I try to do as much as I can about all of these. I try to only buy plastic that can be recycled or reused, I try to keep the air around me clean, I don’t have a car and I stopped flying to other countries many years ago. There is so much we need to think about in the world of today if we are going to make the world a better place for everybody. Next year gives us 365 days of challenges to do this. Think of something you can do each day to make the world a better place for at least one person. That is my plan.
There are definitely signs of Autumn around. The rowan trees have so many berries on them that they are bending down to the ground. There are crab apples galore and loads of acorns. Blackberries are ripening and almost ready to gather. But nature’s abundance is not just for us to enjoy. Think of all the animals, birds and insects that rely on this harvest before you take more than you need.
This reminds me of an event in a local supermarket. I don’t go to supermarkets very often as I prefer to shop locally but have to go every so often to get the items I can’t get in my local shop. Some time last year, I remember seeing an item on special offer. I think it could have been dog food but I am not sure. One customer saw this offer and proceeded to load her trolley with every packet on the shelf. There was nothing left for any one else. A dog owner on a limited income would really have appreciated this offer. I felt appalled at the action of this customer as I feel we should share and only take what we need so others also get the benefit of the special offer. How do you feel about this? As I said before regarding nature’s gifts, the same thing applies, only take what you need and leave some for others especially those that need them.