Tag Archives: environment

My worry, my future, but not my choice

My future has been decided but by a seven month gap, I had no say. I had no say on what my future would hold regarding the direction the country I live in will go, and what that will mean and result in.

Above everything the thing I feel the most passionate and now worried about is our natural environment. Everyday I observe it, record it, enjoy it and it brings me such happiness. Going out onto my patch and exploring what’s about; swifts flying high, chiffchaffs singing, buzzards squawking overhead, badgers tumbling over and sneaking over fields at the dead of night. Campaigning and doing whatever I can to give those species that are on the brink or entangled into the poor decisions and disregard of humans; from hen harriers and turtle doves to badgers and foxes. Trying to spread why our natural world is so wonderful and what we can do to help it has just got harder. Harder in a way that we’ve put 70% of UK environmental safeguards at risk, but we need to make sure this isn’t lost. In a world where nature is not a top priority, this is going to be beyond tough but vital for the future of everything simple in our country which brings us life everyday. 

The combination of shock and worry makes this post difficult to write, and I really didn’t think I’d have too. Yet again I was too ignorant to think that as a country we’d vote for a future, and one with peace in mind. No longer are we a continent of unity, which I believe being a member of the EU represented. By the looks of things, we will no longer be a country of unity either as the results have split us a part. When I woke up yesterday morning, I felt numb from the shock. So much so I had to check if Friday had actually happened, it didn’t feel realistic. Fortunately this morning I seem to have come to terms with the matter but still terribly unsure of whats happened. A reason why I feel ‘better’ this morning was after yesterday and the satisfaction I got from speaking my thoughts a loud, effectively getting it off my chest.

It was the launch of National Badger Week at Lush, Oxford Street and I was very privileged to go along and talk. After what had happened in the last 48 hours it wasn’t just badgers I was going to talk about. Regarding the results I spoke about what this could mean for nature as well as the voice of young people. I further discussed this with Dominic Dyer and MP Kerry McCarthy. Both were unsure of what’s to come, and that at the moment there are no answers. Two interesting points were that farmers have lost 65% of there subsides, which came from the EU, meaning due to the extortionate costs of the badger cull it could be put off this year. Not that’s any reason for us to have voted leave as food prices are likely to go up and this will only be short term, but in the mean time it gives us an opportunity to fight against the cull. The point was also made about the high percentage of young people who voted to remain. Obviously when they voted they were looking to the future; their future jobs, future economy, what their country will look like in the future which I believe included the environment. More precisely issues which are growing in awareness such as climate change. Something we need to work together on small and large scales to tackle, and if nothing is done soon enough it will catch up with us in the future. Instead, older populations decided our future.

Based on what has happened already since the results, the uncertainty, and shock, I have never felt so worried. On Friday morning I felt ashamed and embarrassed to be English. Embarrassed by what our neighbours must think and ashamed because of what we’ve lost. We all worry in life; for myself that may be if I’m going to get some homework in on time, whether I’m going to have time to go and put my trail camera at my local badgers sett later, or whether I’ve got the grades I need to get into the University I want and later a job. However I’ve never felt so worried, this decision effects all this and the thing I care about above everything; nature. I know I’m being very bleak at the moment and (I hope) I’m exaggerating what the situation may be. Of course I don’t want a bad outcome for my country. The uncertainty is making it a lot worse though, I feel physically and emotionally exhausted – what’s to come? After all that blabber from the Leave campaign saying we’ll ‘take back control’, well it feels as-though we have no control now.

We had backing and support from the EU, including in relation to the natural world. From nature directives and environmental laws to a community that could work together to fight climate change and work for progress. We’re out on the other side now though and unfortunately it looks bleak. However bad it looks though and perhaps how bad it’s going to get, then the stronger we have to fight and collaborate for the sake of our natural heritage. That’s what I’m going to do, for the sake of wildlife do whatever I can and more. Making sure that its protection continues but also progresses, through increasing species numbers, richer habitats and for it to be safe to thrive and future generations to enjoy.

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Garden occurrences

Over the past few weeks, mock exam revision has got me down a bit so one thing I’ve resorted to has been my garden. A place which is literally right outside the window and buzzing with all sorts!

The hedgehogs have now gone into hibernation and the fox hasn’t been back yet (not giving up though!) but the gardens birds have been as active as ever. Watching them for 10 minutes in the morning may make me slightly late for sixth form but it always kicks starts my day. In fact, we had a redpoll in the garden this morning which was obviously a pleasant surprise!

As I said, it always starts my day off on the right foot as well as being a place I can simply go and retreat to when everything’s getting a bit tough. I think sometimes we do take the wildlife in our gardens for granted, I’ll admit I’ve been guilty for that but when I simply pause and watch, it’s just brilliant, and I’ve blogged about it many times!

A few weeks back I had Alys Fowler come and visit my garden here in Lichfield to record part of a podcast for the Guardian’s Sow Grow Repeat. We also had a trip up to my local church yard which is another fantastic, but quirky, place to enjoy the wildlife, whatever time of the year!

You can have a listen here – http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/audio/2015/nov/28/birds-gardening-podcast

The Peoples March – let them know!

Recently I’ve been fairly quiet on my blog and social media. This is partly down to the workload for sixth form that’s taken away quite a lot of my free time, as well as something exciting that I’ll be sharing hopefully within the next few weeks or months. Anyway, something that I’m really looking forward to is this weekend.

For those of you who don’t know, from the 30th November until the 11th December it will be the Paris climate conference and this upcoming weekend events will be taking place all round the UK to mark the start of the talks as well as emphasising that we’re standing for a positive change and outcome.

Climate change is an issue that is very controversial, but in quite different ways and for a number of reasons. Quite often I come across those who are climate change sceptics. This may be down to the fact that they believe it’s a natural occurrence, it isn’t that big a risk or perhaps it’s just easier to ignore so it’s not a worry and their lifestyle isn’t effected. As someone who is prepared to stick out and do what I can , it’s quite overwhelming. There’s so many different causes and aspects to it. From pension divestment into none renewable energy to the impacts from the food we eat. So for someone who has a busy lifestyle and has many different things to focus on which aren’t exactly effected by climate change, it doesn’t really cross their mind and I suppose they don’t see that ‘duty’ of doing something. As well as this, in the world today there are a lot of problems. You turn on the news and in the last few weeks it’s been very full on, from ISIS and air strikes to the NHS and junior doctors. These are all mainly short term issues which people believe will have an impact on their life and how they go about. Climate change is something that is considered long term, but what is not recognised is that it is all too quickly becoming a short term issue.

When I was younger, I think I remember hearing about climate change in one of my geography lessons. It’s something that is mentioned due to it’s effects. In fact in my last A level geography lesson just last week we were learning about how climate change is having an effect on flooding, even here in the UK. A few weeks back I went to a climate event at a local town. There was a panel and debates went on, it was very good. The local MP turned up too so it was quite successful and there were some positive outcomes. Whilst sitting there, after all the panel members had spoken, there were some questions from the floor. One of which was a young girl who was a year older then me. She spoke about similar points that I would make, for example young people’s attitudes, what’s going on in schools and the effects it’s going to have on her generation in years to come. After she spoke, I did too and I thought it was only right to elaborate on what she’d said and to show that young people are there and that the future matters. For the next 10-20 minutes, there were plenty more comments from other floor members. Anyway, the younger generations do care about the planet. Why wouldn’t they? It’s the one they’re going to grow up on! But for many, this comes after they’re educated and made aware of what’s happening.

To me, climate change is also something that questions the idea of leadership. We can all do our little bit to decrease our impact but there’s only so far. For example, you can’t exactly control where your everyday appliances come from or how they were manufactured. You can to a certain extent by not buying them or buying the best options but for many that may become too expensive or they simply can’t live without them. Therefore this is when the step of authority and leadership comes in so there’s stricter regulations and impacts to the environment aren’t as bad. This example is small scale but overall the message I’m trying to make, from this odd example, is that it’s everywhere. However, on the other hand, anyone can lobby, push, encourage governments, leaders etc to take a step and make changes that will have a much larger impact.

Being someone who’s interested in wildlife, it’s difficult to ignore the impacts from climate change. Whether that be here in the UK or much further afield. From the species who are loosing their habitats to those that are changing their behaviour to adapt. This was one of the main reasons how I became so aware of the issue, from this I researched and found that it’s not just something that is threatening wildlife and the natural world but people and many different aspects of the planet.  As I mentioned, this weekend events will be taking place all around the UK and I’m off to London on Sunday!

See you there?

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Taken at the #fortheloveof Peoples March back in June.

Baked Alaska

You’ll be delighted to know that this is no cooking blog. Well in some ways it is and by that I mean the cooking of our planet. Of course I’m talking about rising temperatures and climate change.

Inspiration for the blog title comes from a show I went to watch last Friday night at Lichfield Cathedral by the theatre company, Riding Lights. I’m not one for theatre really but when I heard about this it sounded very interesting so I decided to go and see what it would be like and I’m happy I did! It was very good. A few words to sum it up would be compelling, comical, entertaining and educational. I don’t find many things educational and comical but this was and it was done very well. Definitely something EVERYONE needs to see!

Over the past few weeks and months my thoughts and actions have been targeted at the run up to the climate talks in Paris this December. Of course our changing climate is having a massive impact on our wildlife and their habitats worldwide. Just yesterday I read an article about how more then a third of the snow leopard’s mountain habitat could become uninhabitable for them due to warming temperatures. It’s worrying stuff and it’s not just putting species at risk but it’s also changing the behaviour of others. Take the cetti’s warbler which has moved 150km further north within the UK over the past 40 years, in a response to the changing climate.

It’s not just wildlife and their habitats either, it’s the environment as a whole along with people. A very clever scenario from the show was that there were two neighbours and one was having a party. However in the garden of the one who was having the party there were lots of rubbish bags that they’d created. To move them out of the way so it was convenient for them and so their party ran smoothly they chucked the bags over the fence to discard of them. To their ‘neighbours’. This was very clever and illustrates how we create lots of rubbish (carbon) which is having a great impact on our neighbours. Which happens to be those in the poorest countries of the world. Their reaction is that they simply can’t do anything about it. No one can deny, we’re all carbon junkies. Perhaps through no fault of our own as it’s what we’re surrounded by and what we’ve turned into but there’s nothing stopping any of us from changing this.

The run up to the Paris talks is major. However it’s very difficult to find a positive streak of me that thinks something progressive could come from it. It’s scary, perhaps the end of this battle or maybe just the start of us pushing even further for a healthy planet.

I’ve been quite busy with A-level work over the past few weeks but obviously I’m trying to balance the books. Some may not agree but this is important. I may be a tiny, tiny voice behind millions but that’s what counts, adding your voice and doing your part. I could still do more but then again everyone can. A couple of weeks ago I went along to a discussion type meeting in Sutton Coldfield that had been organised by the Eco-Sutton group. I not only went to support their work, as Sutton is only a short train journey from me, but to see how they’re working as well as to hear the views and opinions of the local MP, Andrew Mitchell. I imagine many of you may recognise that name from the not so recent ‘pleb-gate’ scandal. Anyway, it was very interesting. Andrew Mitchell is a Tory and not as bad as I thought he would be. He applauded the work of Eco-Sutton and also understood and recognised the problems caused by climate change, to some extent anyway. As you’ll be able to imagine this only went so far.

He went onto criticise the talks from the other two on the panel, Mark Letcher (Operation Noah) and Jamie Peters (Friends of the Earth), and expressed his attitude of ‘we must be realistic’ as well as shove such rubbish down our necks as ‘David Cameron is passionate about climate change’ and ‘the UK is leading in this field’. What he came out with was only to be expected but then again he wasn’t a climate change sceptic which says a lot compared to my MP, Michael Fabricant. At the event it was also quite delightful to have the issue raised about actually looking to the future and the next generation, which caused some discussion. Myself and another girl both stood up and expressed how it is throughout the younger generation, something that is again quite worrying but could well be reversed.

There needs to be a massive movement. There isn’t just a couple of hundred of us who are adding to the problem but pretty much everyone. Nevertheless I shouldn’t go without saying that there is a lot of positive stuff going on but will it be enough? It isn’t all about leadership as quite frankly if we leave it to them then there won’t be much hope at all. This isn’t something we can shrug off or brush under the carpet, it’s serious and crucial stuff.

I wanted to write this blog as I haven’t really wrote many about the matter except the one from the climate rally back in July. I hope to write many more over the next few weeks and months as it is something I’ve been putting a lot of my energy into recently and there’s plenty to write about!