I sometimes feel wasted as a journalist. I worry that I’m going to end up spending my life copy and pasting press releases or commenting on the tittle-tattle of Westminster. But since working on a project to do with looking at the ‘Westminster Bubble’, I’ve decided there is to be no more of that nonsense and instead, if I can’t justify my own journalism, then I’m not interested.
It takes me back to what Jon Snow once said, which is that if aliens were to look down on this planet and we asked them what the biggest story was right now, they wouldn’t say Brexit, Trump, Westminster sleaze… they’d probably say Corona at the moment, but that kind of ruins my argument. They would, however, take one look at Earth and ask: “Why is it that you have a planet with so much wealth, food and comfort, yet there are so many people dying of starvation?” These are the stories that get forgotten and buried away amongst all the tabloid smut. It’s more about commercialisation and marketisation. I do believe Capitalism can indeed be a force for good, but at the moment I’d struggle to be 100% behind it at times.
But from reading this, it should come as no surprise to anyone that, with my weekly YouTube interviews etc, I’m going to focus solely on stories from outside of the ‘Bubble’ – real stories from real people. Drifting away from the Westminster reporting and focusing on other political issues in this country that are constantly being neglected.
Sometimes the greatest kick up the arse is to be presented with the facts and slapped around the face a bit.
For many who say that what you’re about to read is not a crisis have clearly failed to educate themselves on the matter, and instead opted to simply read newspaper headlines instead of the articles themselves.
I’m by no means an expert on this issue, but over the last year, I’ve grown to care about this crisis, at times questioning my own actions and whether or not I’m just part of the problem. And for those of you who haven’t got it yet, I am indeed talking about our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change.
When the XR protests took place last year, I wanted to be right in the centre of it. Feel and soak up the passion coming from the activists and actually understand why it is that some of them are willing to risk going to prison in order to be heard.
I suppose each activist would have a different reason, but the few that I spoke to gave a general consensus that they were doing this because, otherwise, nobody would listen. The sad part about that is, they are right. Before XR, Greta and the School Strikes, did the masses bother to take any notice? Or did we all just sit on our arses and pass it off as a leftist, hippy dope sesh? Probably the latter.
Sometimes it is hard to understand what is fact and what is fiction when people, especially pundits, start talking about the matter.
But the fact is that climate change is happening far faster than many of us thought possible.
Donald Trump says he’s not a big believer in “man-made climate change.” Um, right… well, can’t say I’m surprised at this outcome. Not only is he a bit of a knob, but he’s a knob who only watches Fox News and the only time he’s glanced at a non-right leaning website is to take part in a BuzzFeed Quiz.
You know, like: “What inner Friends character are you based on the kind of pasta you like?” One of those quizzes.
However, it’s extremely worrying that even Donald Trump can’t notice what’s happening. You don’t have to be an Oxbridge graduate to open your eyes and see the way the world is changing.
Just look at these facts:
- In 2018, the UK experienced the hottest summer since 2006, and a scientific study into last year’s data showed that such heatwaves are now 30 times more likely due to climate change.
- Sea levels are rising at the fastest rate in 3,000 years, an average of three millimetres per year. Last year, Indonesia announced its plans to move the capital city away from Jakarta. Home to over ten million people, some parts of Jakarta are sinking as much as 25cm per year.
- Extreme weather is driving up demand for energy. Carbon emissions from global energy use jumped two per cent in 2018, according to BP’s annual world energy study. This was the fastest growth in seven years.
I very well could go on forever, but what’s the point? If you don’t get it now, then when will you?
Scientists across the globe are in no doubt that, at the current rate of warming, we risk a devastating future. We all stand at a crucial moment in our planet’s history, one where we must all share responsibility – both for our present well-being and for the future of life on Earth.
Attenborough highlights the matter perfectly, saying: “Every one of us has the power to make changes, and make them now. Our wonderful natural world, and the lives of our children and grandchildren and all those who follow them, depend upon us doing so.”
This is exactly why I want to make not only the right decisions in my career as a journalist but also when I look at what it is that I’m giving back to society.