HOW DO WE MAKE A STAND FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT?
As a full-time professional sea kayak Guide, I spend my life working outdoors in all weathers both professional guiding and working as an amateur entomologist with my specialist area being Coleoptera (beetles). I collect and study these wonderful invertebrates and record my data sharing it with the national biological records and I take my work very seriously. I also work as a volunteer for my local wildlife trust; fundraising, litter picking, conducting water tests and submit biological records on all of my findings in the field. So, all well and good, BUT what good does this all do!?
Let me summarise my frustration/concerns succinctly;
1) We are losing habitat faster than we can replace it.
2) We are polluting our planet faster than we can collect and re-process it.
3) 60% of all British species are in decline, many if not most global species are under serious threat.
4) Some British species of vertebrates and invertebrates are 92-98% extinct.
5) We are overpopulated and yet continue with our 'entitlement' to breed without thought for our environment, fellow man and planet.
6) And the list goes on and on, all reading this can continue to add much more!
So my question is this: What can I DO to make a real difference?
As opposed to moving trash from my local hedge into a bin to end up in landfill or submitting insect records that we don't seem to use (our invertebrates are on the verge of complete collapse), or even submitting my views on social media and everyone sagely nodding their heads and agreeing - lets be blunt, what bloody good does that do in real terms for our environment and its inhabitants? I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!
I'm not a 'problems' type of bloke, I'm a 'solutions' type of bloke, I'm a man that goes out and makes things happen, I'm a 'doer'. But what do I do - what can any of us do?? So let me prompt your thinking on this;
1) A protest march on the council offices concerned by ten thousand plus concerned and angry citizens to protest at the killing of our lynx.
2) Form local action groups of young fit men with big sticks to beat the crap out of local poachers, badger baiters and hare coursers, on-site when and where these crimes are committed.
3) Lobby local politicians on serious environmental issues such as HS2 but make it uncomfortable such as local 'go slow' actions disrupting traffic.
4) Local communities confronting their local farmers on the amount of hedge cutting and spraying they do and making it clear that we, the taxpaying citizen don't accept this as the norm and acceptable.
5) Everyone boycotting a target product; for example, single-use plastic. If sales of soft drinks fell by 90% that the company would make immediate and long term changes to get their revenues back again would they not.
I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!
A month ago I visited a world-renowned museum that holds one of the oldest and most respected and studied entomological collections in the world including specimens collected by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace! There are some 30 million specimens in the collection....so what?! What good is all of this study and knowledge if we aren't going to use it to better our world!? To demonstrate my point, the small wild garden within the grounds of this prestigious museum is now going to be literally tarred over destroying the beautiful pond, meadow, wild grasses and flowers and of course all of the invertebrates...why? To widen the entranceway to accommodate more visitors of course! I don't see a single one of the resident paid entomologists using their accumulated knowledge nor their specimens to make a case for leaving the wild garden, protecting it and indeed even expanding it. Is this not why we are doing all this work, collecting specimens, studying them and recording them so we learn and use this knowledge to defend those that are unable to defend themselves! Otherwise what good is all this study, litter picking, recording and social media sharing if we don't DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!?
SO what can YOU/WE do today, tomorrow, next week to make a real impact on the ground? Begin a protest group, visit and educate your local farmer, implement the law where the police do not, protect a habitat in your local area, help a local species in your neighbourhood, truly put your environment ahead of yourself by driving slower, recycling, breeding less children, lobbying for your local species and making a stand for YOUR environment. STOP talking and take ACTION!
Let's hope this starts some serious thought and discussion and most importantly - ACTION!