I might get to an end of year review, though there is a general consensus that whatever hope rung in the New Year, 2016 is now drunk and should go home. Three weeks feels like a long time and nothing is going to change just because you wake up with a hangover as 2017 starts. So in at the end of the first week in December when mostly temperatures have stayed in double figures what troubles me the most?
I think mainly it is the disregard for nature -biodiversity, ecology, sustainability, which ever word you want to use. Recently, I have been around RSPB, National Trust and Wildlife Trust estates and two thinks have struck me. Firstly, we are turning nature, even here, into commodities -tame and constrained; and secondly, people often see it as a lump of nature. Somewhere to take the kids or in the latter two walk the dogs. They are not seeing the diversity and they are not seeing how much less of it there is that 10 years ago. and this is less than it was 10 years before that.
So I began to think what is the worst invention that is going to accelerate the distance we have from wildlife. Its not TV as everyone is watching David Attenborough’s swan song -Planet Earth II. Its not pollution and urban sprawl. True enough this is killing wildlife, ask the 10,000+ dead snow gees in Montana.
No the thing that I kept returning to is double glazing. It deadens the sound of the Robin that sings outside my window at 5 am under the street light. It stops me feeling the change in the weather. It keeps me distant from everything that is important. Not just me, all of us. It allows us to be emotionally attached to nature as much as we need to be. The less attached we are the more of it can slip through our fingers.
It starts at home. I can see 16 back gardens from my house. Only three have a tree, only two of them have more than one. There are no ponds apart from ours. And in the summer if they do anything apart from cut the grass -outdoor vacuuming they put out ‘pay-and-display’ bedding plants maintained by their array of noxious chemicals. Suddenly 2017 is not looking much brighter than just being 32 days away rather than the start of a new era.