A Letter to the Earth

Reading the inspiring Letters to the Earth, I thought I would pen my own, in the runup to our election, when we have hope of a climate emergency facing government. The following, written on a recent train journey, influenced by (seasonal) tracks on the playlist and running around my head.

Letters to the Earth was an invitation early in 2019, open to all, to think beyond the human narrative and to bear witness to the scale and horror of the climate crisis, an opportunity to pause and reflect.

It’s late autumn, coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees, forecasting winter snows.

The days are contracting, COP25 debates commercial carbon against a backdrop of daily bad news records. Increasingly it feels we are driving towards a cliff edge, slower maybe, but with reluctance to change direction.

Youth hope sails across oceans, raising many voices, as heat, ice, water, fire and carbon, our vital elements, move into interconnected feedback loops.

We now understand that in nature everything is connected and we have no free lunch. We are now paying for all the lunches we took without paying back, seeing ourselves apart from nature and not as a part of nature.

So, we now plant more trees, as it’s the thing to do, virtue signalling, for hope, for biodiversity, for futures, for carbon, if our trees reach maturity.

There is hope, in the days before our wet and dark winter election. Climate and biodiversity emergencies have been declared, manifestos outline promises, and we will vote. Our designers, builders, engineers, researchers, media communicators and others have declared, now called on to share actions of commitment.

And so, as we move into the time of red and green, through the dark of winter, what will birth of the new spring, new year and new decade bring? Will loud bells welcome in renewed hope, or foretell a silent spring?

We will move closer to our 2025, 2030, 2040, 2050 commitments, in time, although not so in progress. Yet. But we will.

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