As a child, I never understood the saying, “It’s an ill wind indeed that blows no good,” but I recently realised that’s what’s happening now.
I went to buy a thermal T-shirt, my current one sadly threadbare, but there were none to be had. The assistant told me they had ‘overperformed’, because fuel prices are high and people are dressing up warmly at home rather than putting the heating on. Result! I know people who, when working on the computer at home, take a break for a few minutes and go for a run, simply to warm up. Loved ones are switching off the TV earlier than their usual habit and instead snuggling up in bed with a good book. Result! People are jumping on their bikes or walking rather than taking the car for short journeys, and we’re driving more carefully because the roads are full of potholes. Result!
Of course, I’m not saying any of us welcome these changes in our daily lives, but it shows that when push comes to shove, when we are squeezed enough, we adapt. We’re resilient creatures and we can learn new, healthier habits. We’ve not evolved to sit passively in unchanging temperatures for long periods.
No-one can have missed the many local impacts of unpredictable climate, from fires in the extreme heat, to floods in the extreme wet, followed by droughts which turn our depleted soils to dust.
How heartening then, to be part of the recent Horsham District Council initiatives to discuss the conjoined twin problems of our times: too much carbon being released into the atmosphere, and the depletion of so much nature, land and species. It’s hugely complicated with everything intertwined, where tiny, even microscopic beings, affect our daily lives. Indeed, we see ourselves as individual humans but are in fact whole ecosystems. We have least as many bacteria in our bodies as human cells and they live, mostly happily in our guts, as we feed them. If we poison them then we’re in trouble, yet farmers have been legally spraying poisons onto our food for around 75 years now. Is there any wonder so many of our children are struggling? Can we change to support healthy ecosystems inside and outside our bodies?
It all begins with a tiny step, and Warnham Parish with Wild About Warnham is leading the way in growing tiny mini-meadows, one metre square, so that minibeasts will be able to have shelter and food and stepping stones to bigger meadows. Let’s extend this Pollinator Highway across Horsham. Can you grow a micro meadow in your area to help the plants, soils and pollinators thrive again?…Oh, and us too!
By Morag Warrack