At this time of year one only has to look around at what has been bare ground and dormant trees to see new life emerging, as green shoots push up and buds of every kind start to emerge. This resurrected life can be relied on to burst forth in countryside or city street (both equally triumphant) emerging from a crack in a paving stone or wall, or from the dug up remnants of a derelict site. Untended – it can tend itself, attendant to the life surrounding it. If nature can do it, we can.
In the past days I came across two quite thought provoking and action inspiring pieces which I want to share. They are a powerful reminder that we are not the only inhabitants of this Earth, and that we can become co-creators and supporters of all life through our inter-relatedness with all living things. We know too well that we have the capacity to destroy and destruct, or co-operate and support creation.
Choking the world with plastic
For a recent Irish Examiner article Ella Walker set about collecting one month’s single use and non-recyclable plastic. She wrote about the impact and the reality of this experience. She said:
Surely it wouldn’t be too bad? After all, I’m already on the low end of the plastic consumption spectrum. I make tin foil wrapped packed lunches, use beeswax food covers and the roll of clingfilm sat in my kitchen draw has been there a VERY long time and won’t be renewed. And I don’t even drink coffee, so don’t question me on my coffee cup usage. But a week in I was feeling despondent, and by the end of the month, absolutely livid.
Ella discovered that there are some things you cannot find plastic-free alternatives for, and that there are hidden bits of plastic in almost everything e.g. adding insidious plastic panels to anything from envelopes, to the bags you buy baguettes in.
You find yourself ensnared when thinking you’ve been virtuous, too. You’re happily shredding an egg box into the compost only to discover the label wasn’t printed but stuck on. You eschew the multipack of apples for loose ones, and then find a sticker on each (more plastic!)
She comes to the conclusion that our world is not currently set up to enable us to make better choices easily.
She speaks about how relentless, shocking and maddening it is to watch the plastic you use build up until it’s bursting at the seams of a (plastic!) bin liner. Her mind turns to all the plastic we are constantly surrounded by, even if it’s not single-use e.g. phones, pens, chargers, the clasp on your bike helmet, your Groot-shaped keyring, your lip balm container, the polyester in your jumper, the chair you’re sat on, the handle of the knife you’re chopping with… it’s endless.
Next you start looking back on your life, wondering how intact every Polly Pocket or CD you ever played is, the plastic hair clips you wore to primary school, the polythene bag your fish from the fairground came in when you were five and they were still allowed to hand them out as prizes…
In the end, the only reasonable way out in many cases, is to just stop buying things. Worn down by salad bags, sushi packets and milk cartons, it’s clear that, the only deal we should be making is to find a way out of this synthetic hell and eliminate single-use plastics, fast.
Let nature do it for and with us
Natural Climate Solutions is an action project set up by four people who work in their free time to direct public attention towards addressing the climate issue and to champion the work of others.
They believe that when living systems – like forests, peat bogs, salt-marshes and the seabed – are allowed to recover, they draw down carbon from the atmosphere, reducing the chances of climate catastrophe. Their mission: “To catalyse global enthusiasm for drawing down carbon by restoring ecosystems: the single most undervalued and underfunded tool for climate mitigation”.
They have produced a very inspiring video which is in the link https://www.naturalclimate.solutions/
Such restoration will also minimise extinction and ecological collapse, and create a richer world of wonders for us to enjoy.
By calling on governments, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other bodies they intend to give Natural Climate Solutions the attention they deserve.
People are acting to address the core issues and to mobilise and collaborate with others to halt the devastation and destruction and to initiate changes to the way we produce and consume.
Pied BeautyGlory be to God for dappled things –For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.All things counter, original, spare, strange;Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:Praise him.~ Gerard Manley Hopkins