Before I turn off David Dimbleby (and his tie) and go to bed, and momentarily lie in peace before the reality of our next government unravels, I thought I would post this video of an event I attended to prior to our last general election, back in March 2015. The British Ecological Society gathered a pomp of politicians in one room to debate on the topic of People, Politics and the Planet.
It was an interested few hours, obviously. Planet did feature, but further down the list to where I, and my fellow ecologist friends in the audience would have liked. Since then though, people have become a much more significant part of UK politics. And if we don’t respect people, how can we expect them to respect the environment? At least until our own back yards collapse that is (if we’re lucky enough to have a back yard). But that’s another blog/dinner party discussion.
I was fortunate enough to be involved in the debate: at 50 mins in Part 2, the great Jonathan Dimbleby (what brothers, eh!) invited me to ask the following question:
“If you were all 20 again, and knew that you would be in politics for 40 years without the pressure of being elected out, what bold decision would you make that would actually make a sustainable contribution to the future of the planet?”
I wasn’t hugely inspired by the responses. But I enjoyed being thought of as a millenial!
Part 1 can be viewed here. Overall, it was a very interesting discussion that gave us plenty of fodder to last a couple of post-event pints. Unfortunately I don’t think there was time to organise a similar debate before today’s election. Or possibly any political interest? But the issues are still there, and even more so. Can we continue to push for ‘growth’? What are the alternatives? When will environment feature more centrally in manifesto chat (except, of course, amongst the great Greens)? Will it just be the United(?) States that pulls out of the Paris Agreement?
Hmmm….. Bed time for bozoes.
“His voice is more important to this world than ever before.”
(A quote from a short video from the BBC.)
Legend doesn’t even come close….nor Leo (though he’s doing an excellent job at trying).
As the final episode of Planet Earth II airs to a truly captivated nation, I felt inspired to write a quick post to thank Sir David for all of the wonderful work he has done in his last 90 years. He, and Jane, have shown unmatched passion, respect and love for the natural world. It is hugely humbling to share the Planet with them and all that they’ve dedicated their lives to showing us and to protecting.
I’d also like to spare a thought tonight for the couragious penguins of Zavodovsk Island.
This time last week I was feeling a strange mixture of distraught, angry and empowered. The latter emotion primarily because nothing else seemed to be very important anymore, compared to the task in hand, i.e. sorting out the mess we’re rapidly making of our planet.
If you haven’t seen it yet, please watch Before the Flood. It is an honest, hugely powerful portrayal of the challenges we’re facing with living “sustainably” on Earth, conveyed through the eyes of a very talented and passionate environmentalist*. As UN Messenger of Peace for the Climate, Leonardo DiCaprio travels around the world for two years, observing the impact we are having on it, from the melting of the Arctic ice sheets to the burning of the peatlands of Southeast Asia. It’s as beautiful as it is harrowing.
There are so many different ways we’re doing damage to the natural and semi-natural environments of this world; in some circumstances with a (dwindling) level of ignorance of the impacts and in some cases with full knowledge (and abandon) of them.
Hypocracy Money rules. Trump got in. The burning continues.
If we don’t all consider what’s going on out there, how we’re contributing to it, how we’re implicated in it (it is in our back yard) and tell the people above us that we care, the ecosystems on which we completely depend will continue to go to s**t.
Please watch it.
*As much as a multi-billionnaire (I presume, since millionnaires are old hat) can be an environmentalist….but he doesn’t shy away from the incongruities/inevitable hypocricy. (If only a few more of the celebrity billionaires out there were as useful as this great chap.)
(Thank you, RSPB website.)
I stumbled/googled upon this a few days ago, and thought it was too good to go unreported. Led by the rap artist, Ed Holden, a bunch of superstars from Pentrefoelas and Ysbyty Ifan Schools (had to copy and paste those names) have joined forces to show us all how important looking after our peatlands is. It is half in Welsh. And it is wholly inspired.
Of a slightly different tone, The Importance of Scotland’s Peatlands also hit the big (YouTube) screen at the start of the month. Another informative watch if you feel your knowledge of peat is wanting.
And whilst I’m posting about creative projects that can spread information and inspire interest for these precious ecosystems, here is the winner of the World Wetlands Day Poetry Prize: In My Other Life, by Virginia Creer.