I don’t know about you but I don’t remember October being a particularly pleasant month? You know, it’s normally bleak, wndy, rain and all. Sat here at M&D’s after a week of summer weather with Mrs Sun doing her thing, you would have struggled to guess which month we were in. I know Wales (and our house) has just seen apocalyptic rain (and we have friends who live in Majorca – they’re ok after the floods – and I’m following a blog of a couple in a MoHo in Portugal who were hit by the remnants of Storm Whoever yesterday), but we, the Ladleys, have unusually been in the ‘calm’. Before the storm, which might get here today. Which is not a problem as we’re heading back to Bristol where it’s calmer..
That neatly brings me on to the latest Climate Change report which says we’ll easily breach 1.5 degrees increase in temp by 2030. As a result of which hundreds of thousands of us will be peril. Now I intend to be alive in 2030. Indeed, I’m looking forward to seeing in 2040. That means that Climate Change is not something that is only going to impact upon our children’s children – which, in itself, was always a damn good reason to be doing something. It’s actually going to impact on us. And yet we are not doing a great deal about it.
This is an emergency. Like a real emergency. If someone said we were going to be hit by a life-altering asteroid in 2030 which would devastate parts of the planet, submerge huge swathes of land, bring on weather the like of which we don’t understand, creates droughts and rising sea levels causing mass refugee exodus which would put the recent European influx in dark shade and … and it’s a big and … this is happening in your backyard (the Thames Barrier wouldn’t hold back the floods and Great Yarmouth will be a tourist destination for scuba divers), you’d think that now might be the time to invest in an asteroid destroyer. Or even two, just in case the first one breaks.
But that’s going to cost you $4.2 trillion. Duh! So? Get out there governments and spend the money. Remember that last time you told me the asteroid wasn’t coming until 2050, by which time we’d have colonised Mars and the rest of us would be living outside our bodies in a VR world – so sod the asteroid? In any case, I’d be long gone and the Millenials could sort it out.
Now you tell me you’ve misjudged your timeline by 20 years … what are you waiting for? Where’s my electric car? Why aren’t you banning fossil fuels, like, now? Why aren’t you turning off the lights at 10pm and telling us all to go to bed? Why aren’t you turning the Sahara Desert into a massive solar farm?
Why aren’t you doing something?
Actually that last question was focused on you … and me. Because we could easily cut our own electricity usage by half. And our water usage. I don’t mean to brag but since we’ve moved into our small house we’ve managed to drop the cost of our monthly fuel and light bill from £73 a month to £56 a month. And we are £170 in credit. We’ve not checked the water, but we’re pretty convinced that that’s the same. We do not flush the loos until we need to. We shower (OK, occasionally we have a bath, but we share the water) and we never leave water running. C uses the washing machine sparingly and has only used the integral tumble dryer once. All our light bulbs are LED, we turn everything off at night and C has just finished lining every curtain so the house should retain its heat overnight. We recycle everything we can. And we try to drive carefully, although we do drive far too much … we have a lot of people to see who live a long way away.
I would argue that we’re not yet close to cutting our energy usage by 50%, but we’ve made a dent in it. If everyone did the same, not only would you save some cash you might also help the rest of the world.
It’s just a thought.
(He says all of this whilst planning a week’s break to Tunisia, which will involve flying there … I guess the only answer to that is that the seats would otherwise have been empty. I know, I know, we must try harder still.)