It has been a while since I last wrote here. I have been in the thick of a rather cumbersome edit and there has not been much time to surface for air! It is Earth Hour tomorrow, so I felt compelled to quickly send this one out there.
I sent this as an email last year to a local radio presenter. My hope was that he would get fired up and get going with some really effective and powerful radio to get people to start TAKING ACTION around climate change. He opted to ignore my email, which was very disappointing. (I have since stopped listening to the man, as I find him enormously arrogant and painful to listen to, but that’s another story..!).
I thought this would be a pertinent post as we dust off our candles and think of ways to mark (not just this one) Earth Hour…but all the hours thereafter by adopting many simple climate friendly actions …
[Apologies to my old ‘species of the day’ recipients, as this one might be a little repetitious…]
I am in the process of writing a series of books for kids on a range of pressing environmental issues. Issues such as biodiversity, waste, land, water and, of course climate change. I am currently researching and writing the climate change book.
As I trawl through books and the internet in my quest for information, I am becoming more and more depressed. The facts, images, stories that I am unearthing are all too real and devastating. The more I write, the bleaker I feel about things. I sometimes wish for a blissful state of ignorance!
Instead of languishing in misery and giving energy to the internal rage that I feel against humanity, I want to channel this energy in as positive a way as possible – which is why I am contacting you.
I am appealing to you – as a fellow birder and a lover of big skies and wild places. Have a look at the attached photo. It speaks volumes to me. Almost more than the endless images of the climate change poster child…the polar bear. As you probably know, this is an Adélie Penguin in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. Here the bird is valiantly trying to keep its eggs from being washed away by a torrent of melt water beneath its feet. With a reduction in sea ice and a scarcity of food, populations of the Adélie penguin have dropped by 65% over the past 25 years…
This is just one of many stories and photographs I have come across in the past month. I am ‘meeting’ people – witness to climate change – from every corner of the world. I read their stories and want to weep. There are literally hundreds of them. People on the coast of Tanzania who are watching their houses and schools being washed away by rising sea levels, sherpas in Nepal who are experiencing frequent flooding from glacial melt, a ski instructor in Switzerland who may have to close down his business because the snow is simply too unreliable…villagers in parts of East Africa dealing with malaria for the first time, a beekeeper in Italy who has watched massive shifts in flowering times and subsequently in bee behaviour….I could go on.
These stories and images all come together and show a very topsy turvy world indeed…..and in so many cases, people are talking about changes in the last one or decades only.
I am appealing to you to help get these stories out into the open – to make as many people aware of what is happening. I fear that 99% of the planet is fast asleep and unaware of the astounding realities. We are all sitting on a very large tanker heading full tilt towards a massive iceberg (no pun intended). We have to wake the hell up and do everything that we can to steer the tanker around….
Can you possibly look at dedicating 2-3 minutes of your afternoon drive time to a very brief snippet on climate change. It could be a small fact, little story (about one of these ‘witnesses’ I mention) or a description of how a bird, frog, insect or plant species is being severely compromised by a warming world.
The idea is to get people talking intelligently about climate change, how it is going to be impacting on all of us and how WE CAN AND HAVE TO – MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
To ensure that we don’t just fill your listeners with despair, the emphasis will have to be on what can be done to turn the tanker around. And there are so many things that people can do to tackle this beast. These would need to be highlighted in the afternoon slot.
I would be very happy and willing to put the info together and send it to you on a daily basis.
Please let me have your thoughts on this. If it is a sponsorship issue, then again, I would be happy to take action there if needed.
I have sleepless nights about what we are doing to this extraordinarily beautiful planet of ours and feel sick to my stomach that we all seem to be passively watching it happen. There is that and the thought that so many of us simply do not know or understand the magnitude of the problem.
Please lets harness the fantastic power of radio to wake people up and make us conscious human beings – who genuinely want to hand over a livable planet to our children and theirs.
I came across this very pertinent quote recently by Paul Hawken – renowned entrepreneur, visionary environmental activist, founder of Wiser Earth and author of many books – most recently Blessed Unrest.
‘Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.
Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.’
[With thanks to David Ainley for the sad photo]