It seems like only yesterday that we were writing on the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26.The year has gone by incredibly quickly – a bit of an unsightly blur of political upheaval (both within and beyond our own borders), natural disaster and, of course, the growing pressure of financial hardship for so many people around the world.
The Queen’s death brings with it a lot of changes for the country, both in the long and short-term. Beginning that transition to life under a new king – the first in more than 70 years, and the first many of us have ever known – has proven more jarring than many of us anticipated, and has prompted us to focus even more attention on the future, even as we take a moment looking back, too.
The first half of 2022 brought with it mixed feelings. On the one hand, those early months were defined by a strong sense of hope as Covid-19 finally began to grow weaker, and many of us began to feel a more recognisable sense of freedom and positivity. On the other hand, however, a growing threat began to loom on the horizon, and we quickly grew accustomed to seeing a new crisis surrounding the world’s energy supplies make headlines.
What started as a peripheral worry has now escalated into one of the most – if not the most – pressing problem we face. In a twist of dark irony, the initial warnings were largely buried under media coverage of the very issues that created it – the disruption of Covid-19, the political tension and subsequent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, inflation, and the ongoing uncertainty caused by our reliance on dwindling and damaging fossil fuels.
If you feel like the media is talking about climate change more than ever, then you’re not alone. The sheer scope of articles coming out on such a wide array of topics, all covered by the dark cloud of climate change, is staggering, even to those who have been clued into the true severity of the ongoing crisis for a long time already.
Despite the better efforts of many organisations and individuals around the country, the energy crisis is continuing to intensify and bear down on countless households and businesses. Just last week, the country’s energy bosses warned MPs that fuel poverty – or, in other words, the inability to afford to heat and light one’s home – could impact as much as 40% of the population come winter.
Signs of the climate crisis are closing in. More than ever before – not to mention faster than ever before – the general public is coming round to the idea that the earth really is entering into a state of true peril, and that change is not happening fast enough.
Since late February, the eyes of the world have been trained on Ukraine. What started as a palpable tension – a political arm wrestle between President Vladimir Putin and a perceived threat from the former soviet republic – escalated throughout the early months of 2022 and culminated in a full-scale invasion. The largest of its kind within Europe since World War II.
So often, sustainability discussions centre on some of the most basic topics imaginable. The basic elements of water, air, fire and earth – our ability to eat – and, ultimately, survival. The survival of animals, plants, of the planet and, of course, the human race.