Portfolio of Hope

crowd of people marching on a rally

The government have set a target to completely negate the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity (to be achieved by reducing emissions and implementing methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere), i.e., to go ‘net zero’, by 2050.


That’s 27 years away.

In 2050, I will be 49.

In 2050, people born today will be 27.

*Quick maths*

Why are we waiting so long to implement the changes that we so desperately need in order to save the planet?

Already, we are seeing the effects of climate change on a mass scale.

Not just ‘scaremongering’, not just ‘leftist dribble’, but a very real threat that, if we’re not extremely careful, has the potential to destroy, if not the existence of our planet, then, certainly the existence of humanity* on our planet…

*or rather, humans on our planet… Humanity is, sadly, as we are seeing in our complicity to sit by and let the world around us end, basically, rapidly on the decline…

Last year was the hottest year ever recorded in the UK

It was only last year that, here in the UK (where I’m writing from) we had our hottest summer ever recorded since records began in 1884, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in July ‘22. For a country whose average summer temperature is between 9 and 18 degrees, and 30 degrees plus considered a heatwave, 40 degrees was unprecedented.

The UK is just not built for such an extreme climate, and so we saw roads melting.

We saw trains having to be cancelled when the railway lines were also melting, the steel they are made of, despite having an extremely high melting point, being made to buckle under the abnormally high temperatures…

We saw hospitals being overwhelmed with an influx of admissions for heat related illnesses, particularly in the older, more vulnerable population.

We saw weather warnings being issued on a weekly basis.

We saw restrictions to our usual activity being advised… Not dissimilar to the rules that we were governed by when the country went into lockdown during the global pandemic of COVID-19.

We saw, with the rising temperatures, people being told to stay indoors where possible, to only go out when necessary. Very similar to the pandemic, except, not a ‘virus’, but the climate. Something that we have overlooked. Something that we have dismissed the concerns surrounding for decades. Something that, we now know, is going to be more deadly than any pandemic we have, and will ever, live through…

We saw it all, and yet, we did nothing.

And, we’re continuing to see it.

We’re continuing to see wildfires breaking out across the globe.

Mass draughts.

Whole species being on the verge of extinction.

And, perhaps most horrifyingly of all, we’re continuing to see the governments complete lack of action to do anything that will slow the effects of climate change down… In fact, it was only last month (September ‘23) that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared that he was delaying some of the measures that were set to be imposed in the efforts to slow, what is, as of 2019 (4 years ago and yet, here we are, still doing the same old shit), being declared as, a climate ‘emergency.’

The decision to outlaw the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 (which, personally I think is still far too late. What are we waiting for?) has been delayed by a further 5 years, until 2035.

Just to make sure the environment as polluted as it can possibly be!

Our lack of inaction towards climate change is completely nonsensical

Why has the ban been delayed then when we are in such a dire situation? Why would any government do that? Why would any government delay the measures that we so desperately need when we are, quite literally, on the precipice of entering the point of no return?!

To answer the ‘why’ and, it’s a very dissatisfactory reason I’m afraid… In Rishi Sunak’s words, it’s been delayed to ‘ease the burden on motorists during the cost of living crisis.’

The ‘cost of living crisis!’

Mr Sunak, !!OPEN YOUR EYES!!

The biggest ‘cost of living crisis’ we are in is related to climate change.

Photo by Chris Gallagher on Unsplash

When whole countries become uninhabitable due to mass famine and floods and wildfires, an irrevocable situation that doesn’t just change people’s lives, it isn’t just an ‘inconvenience’, it ends people’s lives, what good will an ‘eased burden on motorists’ be?

An electric car won’t help us all when, in the future, the planet has been made completely impossible to live on…

A boat, yes.

A coffin, definitely.

But, not a car.

And so, this is the greatest burden- the prospect, (the very real prospect), of there being no planet at all (Or, perhaps the planet will prevail, but having made it so uninhabitable, humans will face extinction)… When you think about it like this, you realise just how ridiculous the whole situation is. The prime example of how governments prioritise profit over people, but to the extreme, whereby they are prioritising how to keep capitalism upheld, over how to keep humanity…


So, why are they like this? Why are politicians seemingly so ‘out of touch’ with the dangers that climate change poses?

In 2050, Rishi Sunak will be long out of office. Aged 70, he will probably be enjoying an early retirement in which he can sit back and reflect on his actions (or rather, lack of actions) regarding the climate crisis… And so, based on this, as a politician he is probably thinking that, because he will be long out of office by 2050, the decisions he makes today will not effect him directly, that he can ‘pass on the book’ to the next prime minister, and the one after that, and the one after that, and… you get the idea. With a government elected for a period of 5 years, by 2050, there is the potential for there to have been at least 3 more prime ministers (or, if last year is anything to go by, add a few zeros to the end of that)… The reality though, is that any decision made regarding the climate impacts us all.

As this report from Imperial College London so accurately points out;

‘Since the worst climate impacts in the latter part of the century depend on decisions made today, understanding their risks is crucial.’

It is because of the risks of climate change, that people are making the decision to not have children, because they don’t want to pass on a broken world, for which we are responsible for breaking, to them, leaving them to sort it out, leaving them to suffer when they can’t [sort it out] because, it’s too late. Because, when we did have the time to do something about it, we didn’t. People don’t want to inflict our mess onto future generations, and, I get it. It’s just a shame that the government don’t. Or, do, but act like they don’t…

Do they genuinely not know the risks of climate change, or do they understand them, but play them down, so as to uphold support for doing the same old crap that is actively contributing to the heightening of those risks?…

As someone who was educated at one of the worlds most prestigious universities, Oxford, I’m not convinced that Rishi Sunak doesn’t know what he’s doing, that he doesn’t ‘understand the risks’, or, that any politician who is complicit in the climate emergency we are in doesn’t… I do think that he knows the risks, that all politicians do. I do think that they know exactly what’s going to happen. But, again, pointing to the lack of humanity I spoke of at the start of this post, our willingness to help future generations seems quite non-existent at the moment, which is very difficult to understand when it will be our children, and our grandchildren, and, this is being optimistic, our great grandchildren, who will suffer the real harm of our complicity, of our governments lack of action when it is so desperately needed… So, whilst no, it might not effect politicians in their lifetime, whilst it probably won’t have an impact on their political career, it will effect all the generations to come.

It will be read about in history lessons.

It will be asked why, when we knew what was coming, we did nothing to try to stop it…

Double standards meet hypocrisy, a government classic…

If we knew that there was a terrorist plot to wipe out the UK, we would immediately act. We would ramp up our security, we would try to minimise, if not completely prevent, any harm coming to anyone. And yet, with the climate crisis, despite us having known about the risks it poses for years and years, not just to the UK, but to the world, we do nothing.

We could have a massive banner being flown across the UK telling us that we are all going to die if we don’t change our ways, and, people would still look the other way. People would still go about their daily lives as they have always done, because, to change their lifestyle is

‘too much of an inconvenience…’

Now, I know that the changes that need to happen to at least delay the effects of climate change will have an impact on peoples lives, that they will pose an ‘inconvenience’ for some people. And, I know that for some people who dismiss climate change, genuinely don’t understand the dangers of it-

Viewing a 40 degree summer as a ‘gift from the Gods’, ‘finally, a bit of warmth to bless the UK.’

Seeing wildfires breaking out and flooding in faraway countries, but feeling detached from that because, it isn’t ‘directly impacting’ you…

People can be made to feel quite resentful towards restrictions being placed on them when they don’t really understand what’s happening, but this post will, I hope, help you to understand why restrictions are so desperately needed. Because, the fact is that climate change is a very real threat that is not going to go away. We can lessen it, we can delay it, but what’s done is done and some of it is irreversible. The effects of climate change will impact you, whether directly or indirectly, one day in the, potentially not too distant future…

We need to take action while we can…

So, next time you find yourself in agreement with the government, praising them for their inaction because it means that you can keep flying everywhere, and driving your nice cars, try to imagine all the babies who are being born today, all the future generations, who will inherit the planet that we have destroyed, that we are right now in the process of destroying as we continue to choose inaction over action, simply because doing so is the most ‘convenient’ way to be…

Oh, how our children will wish that they had the luxury of convenience when the world around them is coming to an end…

Oh, how our children will wish that we did something when we could,

before it was too late.

Oh how we can all wish that the people in power will do something while they still can.

Oh to wish for the preservation of life.

The most basic wish and yet, one that far too many of us overlook in favour of ‘convenience…’

~Praying for change~

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