Wehey! We’re a month into 2016, is it looking bright? Did all your Januarys stay dry? Are you holding strong at the top of your Fit Bit leaderboard? If so, congratulations, cos you’re staying strong through the hardest part of the year – the bit where the joys of Christmas like mince pies and mulled wine have been culturally removed from us, but the mornings are still as dark and drizzly as Robert Plant’s cover of Hey Joe.
Environmentally we’ve been off to a hell of a start, with an almost immediate go-ahead to build on last-year’s governmental damnation of bees, which makes as little sense now as it did last summer. But moreover, ‘we’ as a nation made some big pledges last year before Christmas, as all those other countries made huge pledges at COP21 to reduce emissions and phase out fossil fuels. It even looked like we had hope with that, as just before COP21 the UK declared that we would be the first nation to completely phase out coal – by 2025. Now, that does come with the small print that we’ll just exploit natural gas more to fill the power-void, but nevertheless that’s a big and pride-worthy commitment.
Well, it was barely even a month after COP21 that we were fighting plans to open a Six Million Tonne COAL mine in beautiful rural Wales. There’s an on-going war around Fracking (see here if you’re a proposed site), and the fossil fuels industry has been granted £1.3Billion in tax-breaks.
So if you’ve succumbed to temptation and had a glass of Pinot, if you’ve not had quite the handle on your road-rage you’d hoped for, don’t worry, you could be doing worse. For our government, those resolutions have not been going well.
Happily, there’s plenty of things you can get on doing to make this world a better place, things you can commit to and really will enjoy committing to. I’m still cutting about on my One Man Climate March, I’ve made you a whole list of little things in Your Save-The-World Starter Pack, but there’s something really big on the horizon, and that’s Break Free 2016.
The gist of Break Free is to take charge of your own life, and your planet. It still baffles me why the corporate giants of the fossil fuel world – the ones with all the money and nicely established infrastructure – are choosing not to help us transition to renewables. They could use their money and power and influence and manpower to create really awesome renewable technologies, get in there ahead of these independent startups, and totally rule that industry too – but they’re not, so this is how it’s going to have to be.
Whatever start your 2016’s got off to, this is going to be a big year.