Fiona's Letter

To my granddaughter Jo,

I am so sorry that my generation has wrecked the planet, for you and most other life forms. As you know we have all been far too greedy. The very worst of our crimes is allowing politicians who have a wilful disregard of environmental (and all other) sciences to run the world.

For instance, in the last week in the UK we have a Prime Minister who has lifted a ban on fracking (a way of using massive amounts of fossil fuel to produce slightly more so it too can be burnt), and has removed most of the EU-derived environmental laws from the statute books although these are the basis of all environmental regulations in the UK. At the same time our Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy wants to “get every cubic inch of gas out of the North Sea”, when of course we must leave as much as possible underground. (Incidentally, a cubic inch is an outmoded British measurement, about 16.387 cubic centimetres). I’ve recycled, helped an environmental charity to rear hundreds of trees for planting out, recorded shrinking populations of bees, butterflies and plants, cut down on travel, worn extra jerseys indoors, written not a few letters and transformed the garden into a wildlife oasis, but none of these in any way makes a tiny dent in the environmental apocalypse resulting from political incompetence.

I very much hope that somehow you and others of your generation inherit a reasonably functioning planet, that you have shelter and enough to eat and drink and are warm. (We have messed up the Atlantic Meridional Overturn Circulation, what used to be called the Gulf Stream, so much so that the UK may get colder before warming). I hope civilisation remains in some form so there is education and a medical service – and cake. Without the wild midges that fertilise it, chocolate will probably disappear, but it would be nice to have cake just occasionally.

You are coming up to your second birthday. I probably won’t be around for your 22nd. Maybe by then world leaders will have come to their senses. At the moment I can’t see any way out of total global meltdown. I hope someone can, and does something effective about it. I’m afraid I’ve failed.

With very best wishes for the future,
Lots of love from your ashamed and sorrowful Granny.

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