Yesterday I ... celebrated Earth Day
Posted on 23rd April 2020 at 13:18
Wednesday 22nd April 2020 was the 50th world Earth Day.
What better day to throw the covers came off my veg bed and harvest my first radish of the season.
With the world in lockdown, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day yesterday was a rather muted affair but Greta Thunberg the teenage campaigner, who initiated the global school strike movement, was able to be filmed at the Nobel Prize Museum in Stockholm in digital conversation with Johan Rockström, the earth systems scientist and director of the Potsdam Institute *.
During their conversation Johan Rockström stated that there was a strong correlation between the pandemic and the environmental crisis: deforestation and the wildlife trade heightening the likelihood of viruses leaping the species boundary; air pollution increasing human vulnerability by weakening respiratory systems; and the expansion of air travel allowing epidemics to spread more quickly. “The scientific evidence shows they are interconnected and part of the same planetary crisis,” he said. “We are living beyond the carrying capacity of the planet so we are putting human health and the health of nature at risk.”
As if we didn't already have enough to worry about but having other things on our minds doesn't mean that we can ignore reality and that once our lives return to normal (whatever that is) we can carry on where we left off regardless.
The smallest of actions and changes can make a huge difference if we all either do, or don't do something. Yesterday I picked the first radish of the season from the veg bed in my front garden. Hardly earth shattering but hugely satisfying. No air miles, no chemicals and very little effort resulted in a whole host of nutritional benefits all known to keep the body in good working condition, along with time outside in the sunshine. I know and appreciate how lucky I am to have this.
You don't even need a garden to grow radish seeds, a punnet on a windowsill can be used to produce microgreens within 8-10 days of sowing. If that saves you one car journey to the shops then that has to be a good thing right?
Since lockdown we have seen global pollution levels falling and wildlife regenerating in an astonishingly short period of time. There doesn't seem much to celebrate at the moment but even the smallest of gains matter and Yesterday I … celebrated Earth Day.
* The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is a German government-funded research institute addressing crucial scientific questions in the fields of global change, climate impacts, and sustainable development.
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