Thursday, August 31, 2017

Now Is a Moment

Someone asked a serious question: "Why aren't more people actually embarrassed or ashamed about their personal contribution to our deteriorating atmosphere? Instead, high carbon activities like flying are typically celebrated on social media."
One of the greatest pieces of poetry in the English literature is The Prelude. (Greatest as in longest and some folk subjectively think it's great in other respects.) It was written by a young bloke called Wordsworth and was the based on a trip he made to Italy and back. He lived before planes were invented so flying wasn't an option and he wasn't, at the time, rich enough to afford one of those methane-belching horse-drawn carriages, so he and his mate Coleridge, went on foot, with a sailing boat across the Channel. After his return he lived a rich and fulfilling life, mostly in the Lake District, where he continued to spend much of his time walking. His lifetime carbon footprint must have been negligible, well within the carrying capacity of the planet, his tree-planting and gardening activities probably sequestering as much carbon as he burnt in his fireplace.

Wordsworth's life was not only rich and fulfilled but also he left us the legacy of his work that should inspire and enrich our lives.

Two centuries on and with so much more knowledge and understanding, we should have the wit and wisdom to be able to live a zero-carbon lifestyle. With the recent catastrophic flooding in several countries around the world, now is the moment when we should shout with renewed vigour that everything has to change, including, or even especially, ourselves.



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