skyLast night I lay in bed, listening to the wind as it pummeled our house and rattled the windows, and my fairy-tale loving mind went into overdrive, weaving stories of magic and adventure. The weather has always been a source of awe and inspiration for me. Feeling the wind tussle my hair, listening to rain pattering on the roof, stretching my toes into a hazy shaft of autumn sun – these things make my soul sing; these things connect me to the world and remind me what really matters in life.

But, of course, as recent events demonstrate, weather is just as capable of destroying and taking away life as it is of giving life. Weather is nature’s way of restoring balance. It is not good or evil – it just is what it is. And the more we humans disrupt the delicate equilibrium of this planet, the harder the planet has to work to try to restore harmony. I avoid saying ‘fight back’ because the planet is not fighting us; just as we should not be fighting it. Earth doesn’t care whether our species survives or thrives. The planet is not trying to hurt us. Nature is just doing what it does and we, the creatures who inhabit this planet, can either continue to ‘battle’ against it (and lose) or we can realise that our current way of life is not suitable for this world. We need to adapt and learn from our mistakes: we cannot tame nature, but we could allow nature to tame us, and then perhaps we might be in with a chance of surviving the changes that are coming our way.

I live in England, on high ground, away from the sea, so for me the threat of climate change seems a little more distant at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore it. I have not had my house destroyed by floods; my home has not been razed to the ground by a hurricane; I still have electricity and gas and clean water and heating. I am lucky – I got up this morning, had a coffee, did the school run and then sat down at my computer to write this. No drama! But climate change is happening and our world is changing and I am certain that over the next few years we will be seeing more and more scenes of devastation caused by extreme weather … and that’s before we start talking about the water wars and weather refugees.

I am genuinely concerned about what sort of world we are leaving for our children, but like many people, I feel overwhelmed and powerless. And I feel outraged that those people who do have the privilege of power are actively making this problem worse rather than trying to rectify it. What can one little person like me do if the people in power refuse to take the necessary action? I try to buy ethical, sustainable products; I cut down on my driving; I turn off lights and try to cut down on my energy consumption; I sign petition after petition … blah blah blah! These are such small things and there are days when my small efforts feel so utterly pointless and my mind is so tired of worrying about it all that I just want to say ‘fuck it’ and pretend it doesn’t matter. Even writing this little rant seems futile – just another pleading voice that is too small and insignificant to be heard over the storm. But I can’t give up. I won’t stop trying to make a difference: I’ll keep on ranting, and buying Eco products, and attempting to grow vegetables, and annoying people on social media by sharing petitions to sign, in the hope that other people are doing the same. And if enough of us stop burying our heads in the sand, and begin to take action, and stand up to the people in power and tell them that this is not the type of world we want to live in anymore, then maybe, just maybe, we will be able to adapt as a species, and our children and grandchildren will be able to find a way of surviving (and hopefully thriving) on this planet.

Here’s hoping!


Ps. If you want a good book to start the conversation about the environment with your kids, ‘The Wump World’ by Bill Peet is fantastic.