What needs to happen about the Climate Emergency?

It’s time to stop messing about. I would like everybody to come together and do the following:

  • to accept that the emergency is a real and present danger
  • to make every change they can in their own lives, family, friends, and workplace to reduce their carbon footprint. Talk about it to people you know! Grow fruit and vegetables, gardenfor wildlife, plant trees!
  • to join any organisation that is working on climate policy and action, be it Extinction Rebellion, Women’s Institute, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB etc. Even if you have little time to devote to activism, your financial support will be well used!
  • to apply pressure on all layers of local councils to take effective action in their own workplaces and properties, and act as persuaders to the general public. Sign petitions – at best they do work, and at least they demonstrate the strength of public feeling!
  • to do the same with their MP, central government and with international organisations such as the EU and the UN
  • to support school strikes, youth activists and movements, including, but not only, Greta Thunberg
  • to pressurise fossil fuel companies to drop all plans and current activities, including fracking,  in otherwise pristine areas such as the Arctic, National Parks, and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • to apply more pressure on pension and other investment funds to divest from fossil fuels. This campaign is becoming increasingly successful.

To be the change that we want to see in the world means tackling the climate emergency, because everything depends upon us doing so – the environment, the economy, and life itself. As Greta says, act as if your house is on fire, because it is.

 

Photo credit: Victoria Hulatt, banner created by Victoria Hulatt and Jenny Cole, taken at an Extinction Rebellion action in London

 

Diana Morgan is a freelance blog post writer and eco-retailer. Having been concerned about the environment since her teens, she is one of a team of Climate Ambassadors for the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.

An evening Badger Watch with Sussex Wildlife Trust

My only sighting of a badger was seeing a juvenile animal ambling along a coastal path ahead of us several years ago. The opportunity to see more came in the form of an invitation to a Badger Watch from Sussex Wildlife Trust, of which I am a member. So one early evening last week I joined a small group of wildlife enthusiasts on a walk through some ancient Sussex woodland to a viewing platform. I will not say more about the location because the sett has been interfered with in the past and it is necessary to keep it secret.

Our guide was David Plummer, a talented wildlife photographer who has been shooting badgers (in the benign way) for many years. He has in-depth knowledge of badger habits and habitats, and of the world of nature in general. On the way to the platform he pointed out tiny orange-tip butterfly larvae on garlic mustard (also known as Jack-by-the-hedge) plants; on the way back he showed us a young tawny owl practicing its flying under the watchful eyes of its parents.

At the viewing platform we settled down quickly and as quietly as we could, in order not to put off the badgers from coming out. Wildlife is always unpredictable and we knew it was even possible that we might not see a single badger that night, although David told us there had been some good sightings recently. So we were delighted to see a badger very soon, popping up in one of the big holes that form an entrance to a sett, about 25 metres away. He disappeared again but then came out and hurried a short distance and popped down again out of view. Half an hour later we were rewarded with an extended viewing of a badger scurrying around eating the peanuts that David had so thoughtfully strewn about. Badgers are omnivorous (as gardeners near badger setts know to their cost) but their diet is mostly worms. This animal kept coming back to a fallen tree branch and rooting around under the end for peanuts, worms, insects, or whatever else it could find. Frequently it came very close to our platform and we were able to look down on it very easily. After a while a slightly smaller badger took over the patrol. Both creatures kept our rapt attention for nearly an hour. Other members of the group saw a couple of badgers peering out from under a fallen tree.

As dusk fell we returned to our cars, very satisfied with what we’d seen!

No photographs this time because of the secret location and low light levels.