Forgive me, it’s been several years since my last blog…
Ironically, as Bec H was blogging last week’s post seasonal homage, the skies were making up for their post apocalyptic summer fever with day after day of rain.
Seizing our chance, we took advantage with a bit of boogie boarding down our stream which hasn’t been running for a couple of years. The cows were keen to join in.
Then the local agricultural and horticultural show was cancelled for the second time in 105 years due to the forecast. Only the pet show (a record 400 plus entries) and the hall (aka ‘pavillion’) exhibits remained open for those enthuasiastic several hundred plus spectators who came anyway. My boys popped some Lego into the Lego comp (alas no ribbons this year. I was somewhat chastened by the fact they didn’t want to submit their better pieces for fear they would be stolen!… A sign of the times?). My 8-year-old also submitted a chocolate cake. Again no ribbon but all the chocolate cakes received a ‘highly commended’. According to the steward on duty at pick up time, they had a new judge (from the CWA) this year who was very strict and didn’t feel that any of the kids choc cakes were up to scratch for a placing!!! She followed up by commenting on the sizing of some slice pieces in the adult section thus: “Sigh. Don’t people know how to correctly size their slice pieces anymore?!” (silence from the steward. It was her slice! Oh we laughed in the hall that day. Truly, there is nothing like sharing a good laugh with a complete stranger).
Anyway moving on. The weather.
I recently introduced my 8-year-old to climate change. We were in the car, chatting away, and the time seemed right. Just the basics but he got it. I tried not to make it sound bleak. To live, there has to be hope. But I was struck by his initial response: ‘But Mum, it’s not like I can do anything, it’s too big to solve just by me.’
I’ll excuse him because he is only 8 and I tried to set him right. But it struck a core and I realised too many today think exactly the same thing. Let’s call it climate change apathy.
For instance, in my parents’ apartment block each floor has a shared high energy-consuming dryer. A high-income region, they are still in frequent use, despite the availability of large lengths of clothes line directly facing coastal wind and sun. People still leave lights on. They get the lift instead of the stairs. They don’t recycle properly (I know this because my father has taken it upon himself to sort through the shared recycle bins prior to garbage pickup. On ‘ya dad!). Drive huge fuel consuming cars when they don’t need to. Have cars when they don’t need to. Buy pre-packaged goods when they don’t need to.
And that’s just one apartment block of many. A tiny sample. One house of many, both rural and urban. Not everybody, but is it the majority despite the warnings?
Yet go ask a farmer. They recall the frequent frosts of winters gone, the swollen rivers, the clear delineation of seasons (hmmm, yes, I did try to warn off our peach trees from fruiting mid-winter last year but they wouldn’t listen). Last winter, I think we only had two frosts, if you can call them that.
Now, I am not a climate change guru. I still have a dryer (gets used about once a year). We don’t have solar or wind power… yet (How nice it would be to have policies which target affordability?) BUT I have changed power companies to one that is backed by 100% renewable generation – farewell ORIGIN Energy). I sign the Get-Up environmental petitions (no money exchanged… yet). I’m horrified to admit (but I will or I could be outed) that I still get plastic bags at the supermarket because I haven’t/can’t work out how to remember to put the cloth ones back in the car after unloading – oh my god the guilt at the checkout is terrible. I try to use less glad wrap, minimum aluminium foil. I want to reuse, not recycle (but I wish I was handier with a tool box.) I REALLY want an electric car. I … blah blah blah. Sorry. You get the idea.
Then, on the weekend, thanks to my father in law clearing up the vegie patch, I planted some out-of-date seeds with my 5-year-old. It’s been, well, a long time since that has happened. It was a simple deed but it felt good.
Because out there under the gaze of our increasingly warm sun, I’ve still got hope.
So if you can, plant a seed. Water it, and before you turn out the light, make sure you’ve turned off the darned tap. Oh – and vote for people who care. It doesn’t take much.
Postscript: Ummm… for all those (ahem) ‘millions’ of followers who avidly follow this blog – I’ll write the intended ‘this is what I’ve been doing for the past few years’ next time. I just needed to get this off my chest, sorry about that.