August 2022 Heatwave

Well, that July heatwave was well off England’s charts! I hope everyone was okay. If there’s an upside maybe it is that we have all seen that devastating climate change is underway already. Nor is this the new normal; it can only escalate, not reaching a new normal until globally we emit no more greenhouse gases than our natural support systems can take up. Is there a misunderstanding – a mistaken belief that as soon as we start cutting our emissions, things will get better? It’s important to remember that we are not faced with a dinosaur-killing meteorite; we have all the know-how, all the technology we need. A monumental effort on the part of all of is what is now required, as one climate scientist said recently.

My now 99-year-old father spent 6 years of his youth, risking his life, to fight against Nazism. I’m fairly sure I could not be that brave and my daughter when a small child asked me as a theoretical Do You Really Love Me test if I would walk a tightrope between two buildings to rescue her (from what I now forget) and I failed. But it’s no big deal to do what is within my means to address my own carbon footprint and shadow. A friend once described how when she was a child, her friend’s mother would eat the chocolate biscuits off the plate, leaving the children the plain ones. Metaphorically, are we going to leave our children and grandchildren any biscuits at all?

The future that currently faces younger generations seems extremely perilous as global emissions continue to climb; this seems unjust to young people. Older generations make this worse by leaving it to the young to sacrifice time that should be spent at school or university, or hanging out with their friends, to protest and campaign. Net Zero is a gamble at our children’s expense, tossing the problem into their future; there is no sign of any technology that can take out carbon dioxide at scale. And now there is the threat of being imprisoned for the most basic form of protesting for a liveable climate. Triple or is that quadruple injustice. So, if you’re no longer young, do please join us in voting for young people’s futures with your feet – join any climate demonstrations or marches you can, and vote for their future at the ballot box and with your bank, savings and investments. is a start. The climate is not political; all other issues, however important, are like arguing up on deck while the lifeboat is taking on water and sinking.   

Hedgerows It’s been lovely this year to enjoy seeing a number of hedges that have been allowed to grow a bit wider and taller, and consequently flowering and providing more fore wildlife too. May we have more please?! Cutting hedges incrementally – leaving just a few inches of the year’s growth to remain uncut and flower and fruit next year – is a simple way to provide massive benefits for nature.

Let It Grow!  A huge well done and hats off to the PCC and volunteers who have been managing the church lawns to enhance the wildlife there. Do go and have a look if you haven’t yet. At the lusher eastern end, until the last month, they have been cutting and collecting the grass growth to bring the fertility down, which starves the grasses a bit so that wild flowers have more chance to flourish in subsequent years. As I write it is a picture of yellow wild flowers. And at the Bathwell Lane end it is a joy to see the variety of wild flowers, and the butterflies and other insects, benefiting where cuttings have been collected for years, and they have now left it unmown through the spring and summer except for a tidy edge. I imagine that the swifts nesting under the church tiles will have had an easier time of rearing their young this year as a result!

It’s also fantastic to see more front gardens and frontages around the village being allowed to grow; the wild flowers are lovely to see and it is heart-warming to think of all the wildlife that benefits. Long live grass (and the wild flowers therein!) – it’s where so much lives! And thank you. “Green” Drinks Tuesday September 13th 7.30pm Tippling Philosopher   tbc  All welcome