Thursday 15 November 2018

Brexit or Mass Extinction. Which is more important?

All I hear when I switch on the radio is 'Brexit', 'Brexit', 'Brexit'..... interspersed with 'Economy', 'City', 'Business', 'Growth'... and loads more words and terms like 'backstop' that I have totally given up trying to keep up with.

I know, it's all very important. But why do I hear NOTHING about Mass Extinction, Global Deforestation, Food Security or the fact that Climate Breakdown is actually happening, here, now, on this planet we call home? Even the terrible fires and the deaths of those poor people in California seem not to be ringing alarm bells.

The thing is, you cannot have 'economy' without 'ecology'. It just doesn't add up. If we don't take care of our 'home' (ecology), what is the point in the rest? You cannot run a home if you don't have a home to run - no matter how much money you have in the bank!

I have no idea if the Extinction Rebellion movement will achieve what other groups and movements have, so far, failed to achieve - i.e. persuading governments and media to have the guts to tell the truth about how bad things actually are.... but I agree 100% that mass civil disobedience is the only way now to get the attention of the media and politicians to (hopefully) make this happen.

If you don't know something is happening how the heck are you supposed to do something about it?

What I don't understand, is how humanity has reached the stage where what we are more concerned by what we are going to buy people for christmas, how our hair looks, or what's on tv tonight.... than we are about the state of our planet?

Seriously, we all need to take a long hard look at what REALLY matters, and act accordingly, because extinct is forever, and we are actually running out of time.

In case you follow my twitter or facebook pages and are wondering.... yes, I still believe that posting uplifting poetry, and beautiful images of landscapes, wildlife or whatever helps to reinforce our love of the natural world is a positive thing - after all, with all the horrors that are going on in the world we desperately need a little beauty in our lives. BUT... alongside appreciating those things we cherish and love, we urgently need to change our ways, individually and collectively, if we want to preserve that beauty. We cannot keep in living in cloud cuckoo land.

I offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to all the people who are already taking direct action, especially those who are prepared to get arrested to raise awareness in the media of the seriousness of climate breakdown and mass extinction.

Not all of us can get to London to support this Saturday 17th November's upcoming 'Rebellion Day', but maybe you can help in other ways? I have thought long and hard about this, and my way is to continue talking about bee decline, pesticides and habitat loss, because that is what I do best. This is what I'll be doing on Saturday afternoon. Maybe you could have a think about what YOU do best, and either join the rebellion (actively, or in a supporting role) - or do something yourself at home that makes you more a part of the solution than a part of the problem.

Now I have a question for you.... especially for those who usually prefer not to know the full extent of something that might make them feel uncomfortable or frightened.

Q: If the government had been given compelling evidence that an invading army was about to descend on the UK - but we still had time to do something to stop this happening - would you want them to tell us? Or would you prefer to live in blissful ignorance till it happened... perhaps on the off chance that it may not actually happen? Or in the hope that someone else might do something to stop it before it became a real problem for us?

A: ???

The analogy, in case it is not obvious, is about the current situation with climate breakdown and the extinction of species. We are not being told the truth because politicians and media think we would find it 'unpalatable'. In short, it wouldn't get votes and it doesn't sell newspapers.

My default when I make a post like this is usually to 'apologise for the rant', but today I am not going to apologise.

With love and respect for the different views we all have on these issues 
Brigit x

Saturday 29 September 2018

No one deserves to walk alone

To anyone who is exasperated by the way elderly people are so often marginalised, ignored, not taken seriously, or simply not 'heard'......


It's not easy to do this: you will feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall... ..that you are a pest; that the system is against you; that you have no right to challenge decisions made by (some) experts in their field; that you have made a mistake and the person you are fighting to protect/help doesn't really need protection/help; etc etc..

Then, suddenly, just when you are ready to give up, you discover someone in a position of authority, who has the clout to actually DO something, has listened to you and taken your concerns seriously... and good things begin to happen for the person you are speaking out for.

We are of no use to man nor beast if we just sit back moaning & complaining about something behind the scenes. We have to step out of our comfort zone if we want to see change or action. And stepping out of our comfort zone is worth it. From personal experience I know this to be true.

This doesn't only apply to the people you love. Have a look around your local community....there will be many elderly people without relatives to help them survive this ever changing life we live. Speak to them......ask them what they find difficult, and offer to help. It may be that they just can't work out how to get a doctor's appointment now that everything is computerised..... or it may be that they can't GET to the doctor's so don't even bother making an appointment. Whatever it is, you may be in a position to help. If you are, don't think twice. Just do something. Anything you do will be better than doing nothing

No one deserves to walk alone  

(unable to find a photo credit for black & white photo. Do please let me know if you know who the photographer is)

Brigit x

Friday 16 February 2018

Gardeners Helping Pollinators

Over the past few years I have delivered many 'bee' talks to horticultural societies, but the talk I gave last night was different. Actually, it wasn't the talk itself that was different, but rather the reason this particular society had booked me.

I have found it usual when delivering talks to members of gardening groups, that mine will be one of a series of talks, given over the course of a year's programme, on a wide and often disparate range of subjects. Of course the talk content will have been chosen to appeal to people who enjoy gardening, but that's usually as far as it goes.

The reason last night's talk was different, is that it was the opening talk in a year during which Wellow Horticultural Society (based in the village of Wellow, near Bath) are focussing their entire 'talks and events' programme around bees... with a particular focus on bumblebees and solitary bees.

I found it SO inspiring to deliver my talk to such an engaged and interested audience of people working together as a group to help pollinators. I'm afraid I ran a little over time, choosing to expand in some cases on areas that I usually only touch on for a moment or two. However I did this in the sure knowledge that this particular group were listening not only for general interest or entertainment value (you may not know it, but learning about bees can be extremely entertaining!), but because I knew they were planning to use any information I imparted to actively help bees. 

Pollinators need our help, and by pollinators I don't just mean bees. Changes in habitat, together with increased use of pesticides, climate change, pests and diseases, and many other issues are also contributing to declines in butterflies and other pollinating animals. Those of us with gardens can make a big difference by planting more pollen and nectar rich plants, and creating (or conserving) suitable habitats for these creatures to nest and hibernate.

"Recent research indicates that private gardens in Britain cover an area bigger than all of the country’s nature reserves combined, estimated at over 10 million acres. Individual gardens may be small but they create important green links between urban nature reserves and the wider countryside, forming vital wildlife corridors. The potential of the country’s millions of gardens to help counteract some of the habitat losses that we have experienced in the last 50 years is enormous. Making your garden wildlife-friendly will help to ensure that the plants and animals that we value today will still be there for future generations to enjoy" - from Hampshire and Isle of Wright Wildlife Trust website.

Wellow Horticultural Society explain in their January newsletter  how they plan to support wild bees this year. Do PLEASE have a look... it's really worth a read and might give you some ideas for your own gardening clubs or societies.

"We want you to come to the events, but also get involved, doing things to support bees and other pollinators. While the honey bee is an excellent pollinator, we want to focus on wild bees – bumble bees and solitary bees. You do know the difference don’t you? No? – then come along to our events to find out!........."