Our beautiful blue planet is being destroyed by our species. As we start the year of 2020, I feel despair. And this feeling has become much more acute now that I have a grandchild.
At the tender age of two he still only finds wonder in his world — but I fear for the world he and his children will inherit.
I started reading The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells but just 25 pages in and I can hardly read on. For the first time, I have wondered if I am one of the last generations (of humans) to exist in the way we have for millennia.
Our planet is like an alcoholic at the age of 65: Long-term damage of liver cirrhosis is kicking in and the only hope left is a liver transplant after a period of abstinence and, if still time, a complete change in lifestyle. No more drinking.
Our planet didn’t choose to self-harm. It is us, we humans who became addicted to oil, electricity, and plastic, who have caused the problem. And we can’t stop our addiction when our drug of choice is peddled to us so cheaply.
But it is killing our planet — as if an alcoholic sister could have all the fun while the damage she caused was slowly killing her brother — his liver, his brain, his life.
But there is light on the horizon — what a joy to read that Barcelona has opened the largest clean air zone in southern Europe; that the city of York is soon to ban private city centre car journeys; and carbon-neutral houses are being built.
Individuals can become better, but politicians must do better. Governments across the world must take radical action to de-carbonise their nations.
Gaia, the ancestral mother of all life, our Earth goddess is sick. She needs our care.
- Alison Hackett