A Climate of fear & changing times for us all

Who would have thought just a few weeks ago that after having nearly tamed corona virus and with countries starting to try to implement a road map to mitigate climate catastrophe World War 3 was on the horizon and not just that but that we are only minutes away from a potential nuclear catastrophe like we had not been threatened with for over 50 years.   

Growing up when reading about potential problems for the future one threat that was talked about was the concept of climate change wars. This being a situation where nations and people would be increasingly fighting for ever decreasing resourses and when I look to Putin and how his actions in the Ukraine are unfolding that is exactly what this is a violent and deadly grab for resources on his own boarder in the name of reunification of Ukraine to Russia. People are calling him mad which he might well be. But he is also cold and calculated and has so much to lose if his war goes wrong for him that I fear what is still yet to come for Ukraine and the those next in Putins sights.

He will surely see the West’s sanctions and his now global status diminished to that of leader of a pariah state as an act of war and further evidence in his own mind that the west has always hated Russia and it does not matter what he does he just can’t win . His political judgements are increasingly looking like the actions of a gambler on a heavy losing streak risking it all and yet having still not hit rock bottom. There are very little factors in place to stop him from creating more devastation for Ukraine and the planet and continue to role his dice and inflict his decisions on others again and again and again.  

A leading academic called Harald Welzer , author of Climate Wars: Why People Will Be Killed in the 21st Century, stated back in November 2017 that “My belief is that we will see a renaissance of violent conflict in the 21st century, and that many of these conflicts will spring from climate change.”

A professor at the University of Flensburg in Germany, Welzer studies the cultural and political implications of climate change. His book, first published in 2012.

Twentieth-century wars were fought over land, religion, and economics. But Welzer argues that the wars of the 21st century will be fought over something quite different: climate change, and the shortages of water and food that will come from it.

“Ideology will always be a surface-level justification for conflict, But if you look deeply at the source of future conflicts, I think you’ll see a basic resource conflict at the bottom of it all.”

So with that in mind I don’t see Putin as just mad but I do see him as an incredibly dangerous individual with a large arsenal at his disposal and a lot to lose and nearly nothing left to gain. This is all very dark stuff that has been rattling around in my head for the last week. There are very few positive outcomes from this scenario should it have a hint of truth within it at all.

One of the biggest game changers for this conflict that has yet to state how it will act under the circumstances is that of China. China could embolden Russia to continue along a potentially catastrophic path or could be the peacemaker. Though Russia is on the brink of having lost global power and influence due to its invasion of Ukraine, China on the other hand is a powerful nation with more to gain from a thriving and more stable and peaceful world than it has to gain from one at nuclear war with itself. Putin might get to a point where he feels that he has nothing to lose by escalating a war to a nuclear crisis put China and President Xi Jinping will not be in such a hurry or have the belief and conviction concerning the necessity to set the world on fire.

China though having tried and failed to set out a coherent diplomatic position in the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is now attempting to position itself as a potential peacemaker to end the war.

That position has not entailed acknowledging that Russia has invaded Ukraine, let alone condemning it. But as China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in a call on 1 March, Beijing stood ready to support negotiations to reach a political settlement. According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Kuleba said he was willing to move forward with talks and “looked forward to China’s mediation efforts for the ceasefire”. 

This horific real life story is in no way over and continues to unfold before our very eyes.

Expert on green living I am not!

But the futre of the planet is still in our hands

I have just had the good fortune or should that be misfortune of trying to calculate my carbon footprint online! After completing my fifth or so survey this evening I am none the wiser as to whether the results are good or bad. I’ve done one by the World Wildlife Fund, United Nations and one called CoolClimate Calculator to name but a few. There are things I know I do that are good like getting my electricity on what is called an “Octopus super green tariff” which uses green energy measures for my electricity and carbon offsets my gas usage. Also not owning a car or a pet even and using public transport, but there are things I do that don’t help such as eating meat, purchasing goods (or should that be bads) from Amazon and flying to Dublin last year. So on the eco tour of my life choice journey it’s kind of a swings and roundabouts ride or snakes and ladders game you might say but hopefully and mostly going in the rightly sourced direction!

I do think that it’s important to try to be ethical and think about the environment consequences of what we do, thoughtful with what we consume both purchases for our homes, body and charitable donations to others too!

But it’s not that easy to work out what you need, want or don’t need or don’t want. Or know how to buy something ethically or unethically. I can shop locally for food my favourite baker on the Quayside near me is selling great fresh bread and locally sourced milk, but when I go in there one of my main problem is also not buying there delicious cakes, ummm cakes!!

Here is one someone made earlier

One of my biggest purchases last year (in size and cost) was no not a cake! But to invest in a new bed my last one was knackered with rusty springs, rusty springs I tell you. Well in need of replacement even before the pandemic started but the bed firms stopped doing disposal and recycling of old beds during the covid-19 lockdowns so it was very difficult trying to sort out getting a new bed while sorting out the departure of the old one. But how do I know what is an ethically sourced bed or not.

Out with the old and sleeping on the new

I bought the bed from a local store of a national chain of stores that had a shop in Exeter, because I do like to support stores with a local base when I can and when I know what I am purchasing, but I have no idea if it was an environmentally friendly or unfriendly purchase.

I think we just need to be mindful of what we are doing and purchasing and why at all times as the little consumers that we are, I have just remembered a phrase my Grandpa used to say about having or buying something which was ‘it’s only a bargain if you actually need it’.

So maybe I can’t be the most ethically sourced consumer on the planet but what I can do is not be frivolous with the time, money and resources that I do have at my disposal.

Villagers – Set the Tigers Free

Environmental catastrophe or slow car crash syndrome!

I don’t know if you have ever been in a car accident or crash but for a very brief moment in time all your senses are heightened and it feels like everything that is happening in slow motion even though time ticks along at its same old pace. Your eyes are wide open and if like I was, your in the passenger seat then all you can do is sit and watch the driver hopefully move the vehicle to somewhere safe (if your lucky).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on the current state of knowledge about climate change. Today they issued a IPCC report is ‘code red for humanity’

Though many will still scoff at the idea of climate change and claim it’s still a matter of what ever they can try and stretch our little brains into believing it is, so long as it is anything other than actual climate change and does not interfere with their capitalist freedoms to make money at the expense of others, such naysayers will always exist on a spectrum of opinions and ideas about ever changing situations on big issues. There are many that still don’t believe that Covid-19 exists but at least they never stopped the development of vaccines and medical advancements for the rest of us.

We could seriously be looking at the car crash of a situation that could very much destroy this planet and all life on it if we are not careful, the idea of the destruction of wildlife, climate change and irreversible decline in climate are ideas that have been around the block since when I was a child and yet still we get headlines like those of today like this warning that this was some how not foreseen, certainly not acted upon as quickly as it could have been and were still in the eye of the storm or the screeching of the breaks of the car crash of a situation.

Just as with Covid-19 I feel that humanity has within it the capacity to do what is right, when it is asked to and by those that need to. But time really will wait for no man, women or environment to see if we learn our own collective climate changing lessons.  

Rory Ellis – Road of no return

Consumption Activism!

Bolsanaro presidency a threat to the Amazon?

The responsibility concerning the collapse of the world’s ecosystems, the destruction of its environment and an inaction on these destructive policies , falls at our doors today, into our bank accounts when we get paid and out of our wallets when we buy something.

Bolsonaro’s cultural genocide of native people and Ecocide of Amazon Rainforest is truly terrifying. If you buy products that are generated as a result of a chopped down and mining rainforest then potentially you are indirectly part of the problem and not part of the solution.

Consumption of mined goods, wood paper, oil, fish and meat is often what results in some of the most vulnerable habitat of our planet being desecrated.

Climate Crisis: Farming on the Frontline

The cold hard truth is as capitalist consumers and you can afford to buy fair-trade products, sustainably sourced and or locally sourced produce there is no reason not to. If we shift the emphasis as consumers to sustainable, organic, fair-trade, locally sourced produce we force Presidents such as Bolsonaro to look at their own means of making profit and getting votes.

This can start the very next time you go to the shop and buy a food item or product, if you are serious about doing something then start by doing what is in effect your contribution to saving the biodiversity of this world.

The view that it is somebody else’s responsibility is not really valid; we all have our part to play.

Song – Afro Celt Sound System – Dark Moon, High Tide

Mother Nature proving just how puny we really are

The industrialised and calculated damage to the planet and to the plants and animals that live on it and how humanity seems to think it can carry on regardless without consequence is truly being tested this decade. We have had record temperatures, flooding, fires and now Coronavirus. The flooding , fires and temperatures records didn’t really seem to get under the skin of the corporations, billionaires and governments running our show globally.

Even though we have seen a lot of mass marketing by governments organisations and billionaires concerning how much they care and what great lengths they are going to in order to help our species continue to industrially manipulation the planet, butcher wildlife to make more room for the crap we buy before it goes to landfill whilst worshiping at the altar of capitalism it just does not really feel as if anything has changed.

That is until Coronavirus came along, everything seems to have changed now and people in charge are mobilising as if war has just been declared. It really does feel like it has got under the authorities skin. My chances of living or dying in this world dont seem to have changed that much and someone living in a piss poor country trying to escape to a better life to a richer continent, their life chances don’t seem to have changed much. But for our leaders and people in charge they now realise more now then ever before that like us all are just mere mortals and only human.

When I was a child at school back in the early 1990’s my geography teacher started to tell us about climate change, the industrial deforesting and destruction of biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest and the amount of undiscovered by man, species we were losing by the bucket load. She darkly commented ‘well of course it won’t affect my generation but it will of course affect yours’ and then laughed and carried on with the lesson. Even back then and still to this day I very much knew she was right.

I don’t know whether to fear Coronavirus or to be in awe of its simple deadly efficiency. Well only time will tell.

Mumford & Sons – Wilder Mind