Tag Archives: London

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.

A day to remember

Yesterday was a remarkable day. For me, on a personal level, there in London, it was just mind blowing. I joined around 50,000 others in the streets of London as we marched through giving out a strong message of how we not only care about the future of this planet but want it to be a safe and sustainable place for everything which lives on it. Now, along with in many, many years to come. All through my body, I felt hope. The smile on my face was beaming as I was surrounded by so many passionate people who are fighting for what they believe in. That’s the thing with climate change, everyone has different stories and reasons why they’re so provoked to take action. Whether it be for those in the poorest parts of the world who’s homes could be washed away permanently with a 2-3 degree rise in temperature or for our wild friends and to protect their habitats. At the end of the day though, this is what brings us all together and shows we’re all the same.

One of the reasons why I did feel so hopeful was due to the amount of people there, no one can ignore that! At the end of the day it was announced as the biggest climate march that’s ever taken place in the UK! But what about elsewhere? Well, in other parts of the UK there were events taking place in York, Wales, Southampton, Manchester…everywhere! Then further afield, they were taking place all around the world. Sydney, Manila, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Yemen, Greece, Austria, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Ukraine and the list goes on. Paris was also another city where protests were taking place but after the recent attacks, they were told that people marching and gathering was not allowed. Instead, the people here did something even more powerful. They left a pair of shoes to symbolise those that would of stood their. The sight of this must be so overpowering. Each and every pair representing someone. It made me think more to the core of why everyone may of attended a march. All with their own story and the path they’ve taken, perhaps the sadness they’ve come to contact with or what they’ve witnessed and has therefore made them come to terms and fight.

But was the message clearly shown? Well, if none of these marches or people happened or gathered around the world over the weekend then it wouldn’t of been shown how important this is. Letting leaders know that the whole world is watching. Regarding COP21, we have some hope. The fact it’s happening and the aim of the outcomes already are to put a cap on rising temperatures and the use of none-renewable energy. But, how far will this go though? Will it be enough to tackle the rising temperatures? Is it just going to be for the next 30-40 years or will it be established that the impacts of climate change and aims for a healthier planet need to be taken beyond that and into many, many years to come. Above everything, we need change.

Being part of the march in London yesterday was beyond imaginable, it was simply so inspiring and powerful, the sheer number and drive from all those people. There has been quite a build up too. For me, I’ve been doing lots of writing for numerous blogs, this blog and some more as well as attending local events. I believe local scales are very important as it’s about approaching ordinary people and encouraging them to get involved and do their part. Whether that just be things around their house, spreading the message to friends or perhaps they go on and write just a simple letter to their MP. It’s all important and adds up to the bigger picture and this massive wave we want to send to those who have the power to make a change. Some of my friends or people I might talk to believe that the rising temperatures are no big deal to them, yet they pose bigger threat, if big change doesn’t happen, then many of the issues which they believe do.

In fact, this wraps up with something that makes me mad about the attitude of many. The fact that it isn’t acted upon in ways that similar issues or maybe ones that are arguably not as important. Why are they issues that are classed as something not as vital as others? Not only by politicians and leaders but by ordinary people too, is it because we’re so disconnected? Aren’t looking to the future? Or perhaps because they’re classed as long term issues that are fast becoming short term issues? But when that time comes it will become too late. There are so many different elements to it, another may be profit and money which boils down to the fact that some would rather kill off natural environments to get some pounds in their pocket.

The whole world has it’s eyes on Paris from today until the 11th December. Young , old and from all around the world. Climate change is a global issue that we all must unite together to tackle. There are a number of topics that I’d like to write about on this post about yesterday, COP21, some of my views and so on. Also there’s so much that’s going to be happening over the next 11 days so to add my support and my eyes on Paris, I’ve decided that I’m going to write a series of blogs through the 11 days. Perhaps not everyday but covering a range of topics as the climate talks in Paris are very important and I’d like to highlight that with my blog.

 

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And of course, those hen harriers! (Richard Ebbs)

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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.

Fighting on at all levels

Raising the profile about how hideous this cull is very important. So has it been over the past weeks and months. Doing anything and everything to try and get through to those involved with making it happen. From what I’ve witnessed, read and heard, it hasn’t been easy at all, which is obvious! This fight isn’t just about the cruelty to the badgers and the science behind it but the policy and politics too.

So as the culls have begun, it’s important to keep up the fight on every level. We must show them that we’re not going anywhere and neither will we ever give up. At the moment so many things are going on to fight against the cull, it’s quite uplifting in such a horrible situation. Although it is happening right now people haven’t given up at all. I certainly felt very hopeless last week when I heard the news, especially about Dorset, but giving up is the worst thing you can do, it’s all about turning it into positive energy and strengthening the fight.

As you may know there’s a whole bunch of dedicated people patrolling the cull zones. I follow what’s happening and how their doing via social media. It looks a very, very tough job for them all. Whether it’s the lack of sleep or some of the sights they witness, it must be hard. But these people are just brilliant, they still go out and are still doing everything they possibly can. Unfortunately though, they do need more support. By that I mean more people and funds. By having more people patrolling with them at night that’s more badgers lives saved, actual lives saved. Whether it’s releasing them from cages before they’re shot, monitoring the setts or patrolling the local area to see what activity is going on.

This is the third time I’ve given details away on my blog but they really do need your help.

Dorset – http://dorsetbandb.org

Gloucestershire – www.glosagainstbadgershooting.org

Somerset – www.somersetagainstthebadgercull.org

I really would like to go and spend a good amount of time helping with all the work they’re doing in the cull zones but unfortunately at the moment I only have at least one weekend planned.

As you’ll probably know, in a situation like this you just want to do what you can and as I mentioned it’s important to keep the fight up on all grounds, keeping the pressure up. So much so a rally at Westminster took place yesterday afternoon.

The rally started at 12 and took place at Old Palace Yard. People gathered, placards were held high and badger masks were handed out, then a crowd of people turned up with placards and Brian May. He always seems to do a superb job. He raises a lot of awareness on social media and in the media and not just for badgers either. Everyone was advised to wear black as it was acted as a funeral. They also had an old hearse with flowers shaping #TeamBadger and #FailingBadgerCull along with ‘2263 RIP’. It was a very strong and stern message to those on the opposite side of the road.

There was a variety of talks, from MPs such as Caroline Lucas (Green) and Angela Smith (Labour) to Will Travers (Born Free foundation), Hilary Jones (Lush), Pauline Kidner (Secret World), Peter Martin (Badger Trust), Marc the Vet, Brian May and a few others too.

After the talks there was some gathering, chatting and lots of interviewing as there were lots of journalist about.

Here are a few photos from the day.

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I really enjoyed Caroline Lucas’ talk, it was very powerful and clearly expressing that we will win.

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On the way back to our train we happened to pass near this rough place and I couldn’t help but use the opportunity to get this photo.