Thursday, 2 November 2006

Earth: we have a problem

After this week’s local and national news and events, you’d have to be an ostrich not to be aware that this lovely planet of ours is taking a nosedive.The fact was brought home graphically by Mark Lynas, author of High Tide, in fascinating conversation with Susannah Waters, local author of Cold Comfort, at last week’s Lewes Live Lit festival. The general message was, Yes, it’s already happening, and not just at the poles but in Africa and Australia and our own back gardens now. What can we do? While waiting for the government to impose carbon budgets on us, we can start to live like we care: give up flying, find alternatives to cars, start eating local. ‘Re-localisation’ seemed to be a theme, and a medieval lifestyle with some of the mod cons sounded pretty appealing. (Though there will still be the problem of the displaced millions to contend with.) Susannah spoke eloquently of celebrating her localness, even when she had projects big enough to take her out of town. Totnes was given as an example of a community working together towards a 10-year ‘transition’ plan.

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