It's time to stop talking about climate change and start taking action – Opinion

Plastic pollution is a major global problem. Picture: Getty Images
Plastic pollution is a major global problem. Picture: Getty Images
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A recent survey by Christian Aid showed that more than 70 per cent of the population are more concerned with planning for the imminent threat of climate change, and what’s happening to our planet, than Brexit.

We’re all thinking about the environment and want our governments – and those of others around the world – to focus on that above all else.

I discovered an online carbon footprint calculator by World Wide Fund for Nature (wwf.org.uk) the other day which was a huge wake-up call for me.

I’m a bit smug when it comes to the planet as I tell myself that I am about as clean as I can be.

I don’t know quite where I’ve got that from – perhaps my misplaced belief that picking up litter when I’m out with the dog and cycling to work on sunny days is going to save the world. It isn’t.

Not when you’re faced with those stark questions about how far you flew in the past 12 months. 

In the past year I’ve flown to two different continents.

How often you turn off items at the wall instead of leaving them on stand-by. The answer: never.

How many new large items of furniture you bought? In all fairness, I inherited my previous sofa from the neighbours and used it for a decade, but still.

It was a horrible realisation that I have a whopping carbon footprint.

I have put my foot in it – with ‘it’ being the degradation of the planet.

On the plus side, since my daughter went vegetarian three years ago, we’ve all decreased the amount of meat we eat substantially.

From twice a day, we’re now at twice a week, with the occasional slice of pastrami. That’s more about laziness of cooking two sets of meals, yet I am pleased that I am not facing cutting out meat and am almost there.

But I’m well aware that my carbon footprint could be a lot smaller. While 70 per cent or more of us may want the government to move at speed, it’s also down to us all to be more aware of what we can do as individuals.

We can no longer be on stand-by for action.

Bluster and bravado have replaced caution in politics

Boris Johnson was, apparently, voted in by less people than voted for the name BoatyMcBoatface for a ship.

It’s extraordinary that those 92,000 people have suddenly given us a hardright government, under the leadership of a man who is promising action in all sorts of places without an elected mandate to do so.

Is it just me, and everyone that I know, who finds this so frightening? That our country is being rushed down a path no one has seen a map for?

We appear to have given ourselves over to bluster and bravado without any of the boring yet cautious nature we normally exude.

Common-sense checks and balances are being laughed out of the window.

Is Fortnite contest a glimpse into our dystopian future?

Imagine becoming a millionaire for winning a world computer gaming championship when you’re still in your teens.

I’ve never been much of a gameplayer and can’t imagine the number of hours you’d need to spend to come even close to being good enough.

What amazed me was the recent Fortnite gameplay racked up swathes of teenage millionaires. It’s an amazing stroke of advertising ‘luck’ isn’t it – so many winners are in the target audience?

I’m not denigrating the skill involved, but this clearly shows us what the future might bring. Young adult (YA) dystopian novels come to life.

But in YA there’s always a girl who bests them all. But that’s too far in the future this time.