…but climate change ain’t one.
Yes, this exact sentence was said to me in response to a discussion on the health of our planet. It was around 2006 and it angered and shocked me; given the scientific evidence was available in abundance. My dismay was heightened given that I was involved, first-hand, in gathering the evidence base for the North East of England to help understand the scale of the challenge we faced.
For me, there was no doubt then that climate change was a problem, and it’s only worsened over time.
Since then, thankfully, attitudes have largely shifted for the better as the mounting climate crisis continues and the evidence, available in mounting abundance, is irrefutable. There clearly is no doubt left on scientific consensus and certainly no room for blasé or ignorant attitudes either.
So, we’re talking the talk; at last. Ideas once quickly dismissed out of hand are now widely discussed. Regular polling shows the public, both nationally and globally, regard the environment as more important than ever before.
What has contributed to this shift in attitudes to climate change? The climate crisis has featured prominently in the news over the last year or so. Governments around the world have declared climate emergencies; heavily publicised demonstrations by Extinction Rebellion and strikes by school pupils have taken place, and teenage activist, Greta Thunberg, has addressed world leaders at a climate change summit.
We’ve also witnessed the hottest July ever around the globe, major wildfires in Australia, floods and cyclones in Bangladesh, India and Iran, and entire towns laid to waste by storms such as hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
All of this, along with Sir David Attenborough’s hit TV show Blue Planet, have helped heighten awareness and changed attitudes for the better towards the climate crisis.
But are we walking the walk? While 2019 was the year that the penny finally dropped for many and a shift in attitudes to the climate crisis is clear, it’s critical this translates to meaningful action. Otherwise it’s pointless.
The global environment is greatly affected from the accumulation of billions of small actions and each of our individual purchases, travel choices and food options all make a (positive or negative) impact. Get ideas on how you can make a positive difference.
Climate Action North’s projects to address the climate and ecological crisis are highly practical, engaging and receive outstanding feedback. They include: Pollinator Parks, rewilding the North’s business parks, supporting businesses and communities, Green Heart, where we work with schools and students, a wide range of events addressing the climate crisis, rewilding and plastic pollution, plus litter picks and beach cleans.
Get in touch to support our work today. The time for talking is over. Today we need to act.