30 Apr 2019
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
I think the words of Charles Dickens in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ could just as accurately describe how I feel about life in the UK at the moment.
There is little doubt that we are entering an age of change. Climate change. Political change. Socio-economic change. But my question is, ‘What are we going to do about it?’
Sport has taught me to try and take responsibility, even when tough decisions need to be taken. Blaming other people, no matter how dysfunctional the individuals and institutions might be, and stockpiling survival rations for an impending doom, is not going to solve anything!
Yes our Politicians seem to be more bothered about their own careers than matters of public interest and international security, so we are just going to have to drag ourselves through this ‘winter of despair’ without them!
The good news about Climate Change is that scientific consensus suggests we still have about 12 years to dramatically reduce Greenhouse Gas Pollution to avoid causing irreparable damage to our planet. Watching the Extinction Rebellion protests in London and the David Attenborough documentary on Climate Change gives me hope, that finally we are waking up. (I got a degree in Anthropology from Durham University and had to write essays on the unsustainable impacts of Population Growth, Urbanisation and Industrialisation back in 1995!)
Anyway, it just means that if we want prosperity, health and happiness for our families and our children’s children, we need to act now.
You might think ‘What’s the point?’ The Amazon is being cleared for Palm Oil at an alarming rate. The Chinese open a new ‘dirty’ coal-fired Power Station every 4 days etc. This is a massive global problem, probably the biggest problem ever faced by humanity. But we still have time. Recycling plastic shopping bags and turning to clean energy is already making a difference. The tide can be turned when individuals demand change, and over the next few years we’ll see a massive Green Market open up as buyers save ‘Carbon and Cash’ by adopting renewable solutions.
I still believe the future is in our hands because I know people who are already enabling consumers and businesses to cut costs and their carbon footprints. Government Incentives and Funders can make these changes almost painless!
But most of all I still believe that people want to do what’s right. (I also want to be able to tell my kids I am doing what I can).
As a Charity Ambassador I’m inspired every day by ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things! I’m passionate about sharing information, getting people working together and encouraging all of us to be braver for the good of everyone.
So this may be the best of times, it may be the worst of times – but at least we still have time to decide what we are going to do with it!
I think the words of Charles Dickens in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ could just as accurately describe how I feel about life in the UK at the moment."