Dear Earth, your love is the most important to me. If you were writing a letter to planet Earth what would you say?
In the last 48 years, since I have lived, this dear old Earth has completely changed. I am a huge Thomas Hardy fan, and while I wouldn’t want to live in the abject poverty of many of his characters, I would love to have had the consistency of climate and knowing everything would remain exactly how it was throughout my life.
When I moved to Romania in 2002, there was 1 metre of snow in the capital city, Bucharest. The last snow to fall there before Christmas was in 2012. The Aztecs predicted great change in 2012. See, they were right! Now, even in the depths of the country, in the deepest of winter, it is like Spring here. My garden is full of Great Tits and the occasional Blue Tits, tree creeper and long tailed tit. It could be because I’m the only person I know who actually feeds the birds around here. Sadly, I am now just waiting for the year we get zero snow in Romania. It will easily be within my lifetime.
Dear birds, your love is the most important for me
Speaking of birds, did you know that since I was born, over 60% of animal biomass has disappeared. All the fabulously common animals have suddenly become rare. I am now working hard to change my countryside place, famous for the smell of pesticide in the air during the summer months, into an eco-zone. According to good practice, I carefully collect my leaves and dead plants to make a huge compost heap then fight off the locals who want to burn it. I carefully select the mix of plants my insects and birds need and get told off for having a ‘weed filled’ garden. However I do admit being only a weekend gardener is much harder work.
I am also a keen lover of insects – any size and colour will do.
Dear insects, your love is the most important for me. It is such a shame you cannot be around more often. In a recent German survey, double checked and confirmed in other countries, 75% of flying insects are no more, compared to when I was born. These days, spotting a butterfly in the garden is a ‘wow, quick, come and see!’ moment rather than a normal event. As you can imagine, as my house is surrounded by trees sprayed with a gay abandonment of insecticides, it makes life even harder.
Curiously, the trees here are so pathetic that if you don’t spray them, they simply curl up and die in a year or two. I am all for this personally, as I am replacing them with things which grow without being looked after. This year sees me starting my own trend plantations. I will try to grow oak, horse chestnut, lime trees and my absolute favourite, the mulberry tree. Apparently if you can get the mulberry tree to grow, it rapidly becomes a great weed. Which suits me fine as I love mulberries and know that my bird friends will also love it.
I don’t want to disappoint future activists but I don’t agree with them either.
To keep things happy in the home, I was banned from talking to my niece about the climate change. I think we have gone beyond tipping point and see no real political will to change things. Every year, despite the obvious climate changes, bush fires and huge glaciers melting, the amount of carbon dioxide will go up.
To reduce and save the planet, everything around us would have to become sustainable. This means no tropical fruits, such as oranges, bananas and mangoes. We should ban private cars. This saves energy in both making and using them. Plus the batteries for them use exceptionally precious metals. Did you know there is an organized crime system based entirely on stealing the catalyst converters at the back of hybrid cars for their precious metal content.
Even those not in cars, such as cyclists and pedestrians due to the micro particles in air from fossil fuel combustion. Likewise the amount of micro plastics floating around is just scary.
How will I face a hotter future?
So I am more into an adaptive way of thinking. I have bought up enough land for me and my family. Every year I try my hand at growing stuff. Every year I fail in a whole different way. I have discovered almost all seeds I try to buy from the UK, a cool damp climate, and plant in Romania (hot, dry climate) fail. Every year I promise myself I will buy local next year. Another ‘must try’ idea pops into my head annually. Last year it was the three sisters method. You grow pumpkins, sweetcorn and beans together. It failed. The beans grew way to powerfully, pulling down the sweetcorn and then smothering the pumpkins. This year they will all be well way from each other.
Then, as the systems fail, the local Romanians are moving abroad for a better life. This means I need to get out and work in the fields, which I love. It also means we now are having an influx of Vietnamese workers replacing them which almost certainly causes problems back at their homes. Who works as their doctors, nurses and handymen?
Working online could solve a lot of problem. However, it would make new ones too.
I am now dreaming of a time I can work online and downsize even more. The problem is online work is not reliable. My income rises and falls in waves.
At the end of the day, I want to be able to look my child and future grandchildren in the eye and say ‘Your love is the most important for me’ and mean it. Accept that some places will be really badly hit, the poorest will suffer disproportionately and know you tried. Apparently the only path to climate mental well being is living the best life possible. Living kindly. If you live like you want to. You are a model to others, and will be happy in your own skin. You can’t change others buy gluing yourself to cars or demanding other countries don’t have the same living standards as you as they arrived to late at the table. It would be like telling them they can’t have their own industrial revolution because you had one and have dibs on it.
Write in the comments section your thoughts about the changing environment. How you would change our lovely planet for the better?