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Earth Day: David Attenborough tells it like it is

It’s Earth Day, but still, dear God, it was a mistake to watch David Attenborough’s heartbreaking, sick-making PBS doc about climate change in the middle of a pandemic. One horror after another – the destruction of coral, of the world’s forests, of species. The projections into the future, if the planet warms another degree or two, as it is projected to do if we do not change our ways: the potentially lethal release of the methane gas currently trapped beneath arctic lakes; the drowning end of all coastal communities, not to mention drought, wildfires, hurricanes and other extreme weather catastrophes.

He finishes, yes, with Greta Thunberg and the environmental rallies of children around the world, and a list of a few things individuals can do to help: do not waste food and buy locally grown. Insulate your house. Reduce consumption of stuff – buy quality and keep it – and of meat and dairy.

But I heard an interview on CBC today, a pundit talking about how marvellous it is right now that the air is fresh and clean. Will it last when the pandemic is over? he was asked. No, he replied. I’m sorry to say, I think we’ll just go right back to our old ways.

I should not have watched something that would make me sad. I’d had a stressful day with ongoing landlady issues, very difficult ones that ended up painfully involving my family too. So my heart was already heavy. A Nonfiction Collective Zoom board meeting at 4 and meeting Monique in the sun at 5.30 helped, but I was still hurting, and then I watched David Attenborough.

And though again it was sunny, it was cold. But the good news: in the new quiet, wild animals are exploring our cities. Beautiful pictures of a mother fox and her kits playing at the Beach.

Last night I started reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, about growing your own food. Just in time. I’ll do my best to reduce my footprint. Yes, no car, and even before isolation, reduced consumption and not much meat. But I can and will do better.

And then there’s this: “Art is the highest form of hope.”
– Gerhard Richter.

It’s the strangest thing – it’s so quiet, we’re in our own homes, and yet it also feels like we’re at war.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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