“I want one moment in time
When I’m more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me”
Going car free at the beginning of 2019 was an experiment in behavioural change, could I manage without a car? It has changed me in more ways than I expected, I feel free, connected to my community, connected to nature, I now have hope and feel empowered. If enough of us believe “the answers are up to me” then our dreams of a healed planet are a heartbeat away.
The words come from the song One Moment in Time, beautifully sung by Dana Winner.
“I’ve laid the plans
Now lay the chance
Here in my hands”
The chance has been laid in our hands. The moment is now. It is time to seize the opportunity to pull together all that is happening and use it to build an unstoppable momentum to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. “We must act now – right now. We cannot afford to dither and delay because biodiversity loss is happening today and it is happening at a frightening rate.” – Boris Johnson. Too true Boris, you are one of the ones causing the biodiversity loss. HS2 will destroy or irreparably damage five internationally protected wildlife sites, 693 local wildlife sites, 108 ancient woodlands and 33 legally protected sites of special scientific interest, according to the most comprehensive survey of its impact on wildlife. If HS2 winds you up relax listening to this version of Action Speaks Louder Than Words by Milk Chocolate.
“You’re a winner for a lifetime
If you seize that one moment in time
Make it shine
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity”
The recent release of the David Attenborough film, A Life on Our Planet, has caught the public attention. His new Instagram account broke the record for the fastest to achieve 1 million followers. It now stands at almost 6 million. Prince William and Sir David Attenborough have joined forces to launch what they hope will become the “Nobel Prize for environmentalism”. With £50m to be awarded over a decade, the “Earthshot Prize” is the biggest environmental prize ever. A documentary about Greta Thunberg, the young environmental campaigner, I am Greta was released in the UK on 14th October and will go on wider release in November. There will be renewed interest in her campaign. And there is the build up to COP 26 (26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties) in November 2021. The UK, as hosts, will want to look good. This is from the .gov.uk website:
“As COP26 Presidency, the UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire action ahead of COP26.”
Campaigning organisations like WWF, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are building their campaigns ahead of COP26. WWF recently launched a campaign around how what we eat affects our health and the health of the planet. Greenpeace are campaigning against supertrawlers fishing in Marine Protected Areas and Friends of the Earth are using the courts to protect the planet.
It’s not just environmental groups taking action, the Scottish brewer, BrewDog has gone carbon negative and DPD is aiming to be the greenest delivery company on this planet. Another company with great aspirations is Microsoft. They have announced that they will be carbon negative by 2030 and by 2050 they will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975. The world is waking up to the challenges. The insurance giant Swiss Re has reported that more than half of global GDP – $42tn (£32tn) – depends on high-functioning biodiversity and one-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing because of the destruction of wildlife and their habitats. Swiss RE are not treehuggers, they are all about money, risk and reward.
I’m only one
But not alone
Little things you can do
They may be little things; however, when added together they will make a big difference.
Check your tyre pressures regularly. Driving on under-inflated tyres uses more petrol. At the same time check the wear pattern. If it is uneven get your car checked. Uneven wear will mean you will have to replace your tyres sooner than is necessary. The right tyre pressure will improve safety driving in difficult autumn and winter conditions.
Ditch the junk. If you have stuff in the boot or the rest of the car that you do not need you are carting extra weight around and using more petrol. That extra weight may not be much, but it does mean you are using extra petrol and producing extra greenhouse gasses. It may not be much per individual journey but, when you consider how many journeys that junk takes and then multiply it by the number of motorists, we are talking very big numbers.
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
If a billion people around the world were to take a few small steps and make them into permanent lifestyle changes, global greenhouse gas emissions could be significantly reduced. Sign up to the Count Us In campaign.