Niall Buckley's Letter

The Year 2040,

To the not so distant future,

Over the next few years, decisive and concrete action needs to be taken by our political leaders to save the world from environmental and ecological collapse. Big phrases such as this are thrown out often and I'm afraid that this causes an indifference with the general public about how bad things have gotten and will continue to get. It is easy to ignore and despair when we look at the news and see the harm caused by corporations and individuals in their pursuit of more, driven by an insatiable greed and disconnect from the natural world. It's hard to engage when the difference made by an individual can seem inconsequential in the grand scheme. When simple solutions are ignored so as not to disrupt the status quo.

Yet, the only antidote to despair is hope. There has been a big shift in public awareness and concern about our environment over the past 10-15 years. This increased pressure from the public means meaningful changes are being made with consumer products becoming increasingly plastic free. The hole in the Ozone layer began repairing itself once CFCs were banned. There are whole investment firms dedicated to making ethical and environmentally friendly investments and even recently, institutions such as The British Museum have cut ties with BP. The reality is, progress is being made. There is power in the individual and there is power in organised and focused campaigns against harmful practices.

My hope is that, by the year 2040, someone can read this and reflect on even more dramatic changes that would seem like massive victories in 2023. Expansion and protection of Native woodlands. A society powered by renewable resources. A cultural shift away from single use and a return of sustainable manufacturing processes. All of these things are achievable if we continue to push for the interests of the many and not the few. If we insist that policies are made with local environmental and ecological impacts being at the forefront.I believe things can and will get better. We don't have any other choice.

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