Thursday, 21 February 2019

We are killing our eco system


I heard we’d have birdless skies. On my walks in the marshlands and moors near the Campsies in the summer sunshine, I noticed I cannot see any white butterflies. When I drove over on the M8 to Edinburgh my windscreen used to be covered in dead insects, but not anymore. What is going on? I read of sea lice in Scottish farmed salmon; disposable clothes; of the coral reef disappearing; of children dying of air pollution; and of the plastic choking our beaches and killing life in our oceans. 

What are we doing? What are we thinking? Why aren’t the manufacturers going sustainable, the way we used to be? Why are governments not enforcing Green laws? My instinct always told me that organic and free range was best: these pesticides get into breast milk. 

My mother used to grow her own vegetables. When I was growing up we had strawberries in cardboard punnets; potatoes in dirt sacks (they lasted longer and were fresher this way); fish and meat in greaseproof paper; milk in glass bottles; fruit in brown paper bags. Yes there was life before plastic!  

Now I am astonished at the amount of plastic myself and my husband generate each day. We are in an area that recycles, and I have cut down on my use of plastic bin bags – but it’s really not enough. We’ve been a reckless, thoughtless society. I live in the suburbs of Glasgow and instead of having natural garden habitat or trees, some are concreting over their gardens. We are building houses here on marshland (with the threat of rising sea levels) with no sustainable infrastructure. Who is agreeing to all this? We’ve become a throw away, wasteful world.

I was so pleased to see our young people finally take to the streets in large numbers in Friday, to protest at our selfish carelessness. Scotland has been leading the way in renewables energy – while the UK government has been cutting the funding. We must all work together to save our planet, protect our wildlife and children in poverty. 

Yet the news today is full of a foolhardy Brexit – which is about saving our out-dated, not fit for purpose UK political system. In the big scheme of things, what is really important for the future for our children and grandchildren - sustaining health and life as we know it – or saving the British Tory party? Let's go natural!