A stitch (or a letter) in time…
Globally; in the UK, and individually, we are not cutting greenhouse gas emissions anything like as fast as is now necessary nor, in the UK, are we adapting and preparing ourselves for the chaotic impacts of climate change. Nobody likes change and disruption but experts warn it will be nothing compared to the impact, difficulty and unnecessarily crippling costs of delaying further. Climate change will place pressure on all our supply chains and put our food, medicines, goods and services at risk. As the UK moves away from fossil fuels, we’ll need more electricity for our heating, lighting and transport and power cuts because of extreme weather will be more harmful.
Although climate change is a defining challenge for every government, the government’s independent Committee on Climate Change reported recently “there is only limited evidence of the present UK Government taking it sufficiently seriously; both on reducing UK emissions and adapting to impacts from global climate change”. So why is this the case? And what can we do about it? Has the Prime Minister heard from you?! And you? And you?! To help the future, email our Prime Minister and our MP requesting they take the climate crisis sufficiently seriously and act fully on the advice of the CCC, their independent advisors.
What’s not to like? We will benefit considerably and in a number of ways by acting now to tackle and adapt to climate change. Our country needs investment in low-carbon technologies and means of adapting to climate change; the UK could be leading new and expanding global markets. UK businesses have opportunities to gain competitive advantage as they shift to the future zero-carbon basis required in the UK and the world.
In a world where, in the future, the financial cost of emitting greenhouse gases becomes high, action taken now to reduce emissions will save enormously on those costs (as well as reducing the costs of damage from climate chaos). Inadequate action, in other words, is doubly costly.
Not only will action now reduce the number of climate refugees and conflicts but it will also lessen the risks of flooding, infrastructure failure and increasingly costly food, and in so doing the UK will be supporting global efforts to fulfil climate commitments and combat climate change.
Everyone’s health will benefit from a healthy natural environment, more greenspace, reduced air pollution, greater peace and quiet, more active travel and a shift to healthier plant-based diets.
Many measures make great sense even without climate change to consider: reducing dangerous levels of air pollution; reducing water use; adapting homes to keep cool in the summer; protecting biodiversity and habitats, increasing greenspace to reduce the risk from flooding and heatwaves whilst also improving our mental well-being.
What can we do? Grow creepers up our walls to shade them; fit shutters on south-facing windows; minimize heat-absorbing, flood-worsening hard standing of any kind around our homes (grow grass or plant shrubs in tubs to remove the heat instead); let hedgerows grow taller and wider; allow some trees to grow uncut; urge councils to grow more trees along our streets and plant more in our own gardens. Trees soften the impact of heavy rain and their roots help take water into the soil. Such measures will help offset the hazards of increasingly extreme rainfall – with steep hills and a river through the village, everyone who is not without a garden can help prepare our community.
Verges Many front lawns, areas of roadside verge and banks in the village have been uncut and their wildflowers look beautiful as well as being vital for wildlife! When you do mow later in the summer / autumn remember to remove the clippings to keep fertility low (this benefits wild flowers).
Protecting our river Himalayan Balsam is an invasive plant that has spread around the country and can choke streams and rivers, causing bank erosion and smothering our wild flowers – which are not only beautiful but also essential for our wildlife. If you adjoin the river Gascoigne, please look out for it and pull it up before it has a chance to flower this year. This web-page has a photo and more details: https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/discover-wild-plants-nature/plant-fungi-species/himalayan-balsam Please contact us if you need help.
New dates for your diary following the success of the June walk:
With the kind permission of the owner: a geology walk on Sunday 11th July pm led by Geoffrey Rowland and a butterfly / nature walk on Sunday 18th July pm led by Nigel Spring. Please email to book in case we need to limit numbers, and for details to be sent to you nearer the time.
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