The good and the bad...

Depending on how you look at things it’s either a very bleak or a very positive time for the planet. Millions of young people (and adults to be fair) gathered all over the world last week to march against inaction from governments and big corporations with regards to the climate crisis. It was genuinely inspiring – teachers taking groups of young children with hand-made banners to towns and cities to march for their right to a healthy, green future; students and young adults making themselves heard; supportive adults and (some) politicians praising their attitude for change.

Obviously not everyone was happy about it – much like with the school strikes (started by Greta Thunberg last summer), there are always a few naysayers slating kids for ‘just wanting time off school’ or being ‘brainwashed by adults’ and ‘not really understanding’ the truth.

German climate strike - credit: Greta Thunberg Twitter

...and the science

But the unequivocal truth – as Greta so often points out – is science and unfortunately, there’s been a lot of bad news from the science community recently, sucking the positivity right out of last week’s marches. It appears that regardless of whether we hit our global temperature target or not, the damage will still have been done to vast frozen areas of the planet which will melt regardless – raising the sea level, destroying people’s homes and displacing potentially millions of people. For example, 36% of the glaciers along in the Hindu Kush and Himalaya range are due to melt regardless of what we do – it will rise to two thirds if we do nothing. 

‘Extreme sea level events’ that used to be a once-in-100–years thing, will become annual, according to the IPCC report – without any further action from us, the sea level will rise as much as 4 metres in some places which would pretty much change the world map as we know it. Billions of people live on the coast – apparently even if the target is met, there will still be millions of migrants who can no longer stay where they are, and trillions of dollars worth of damage to coastal megacities.

This video from Climate Central and Verge science looks at the impact on cities in more detail - worth a watch!

But how do we change things? How do we embrace the positivity of last week marches and get millions of people across the world to actually, positively mobilise to sort things out. You may not be surprised to hear this from us, but we think the best thing everyone can do is plant trees. You will hear a lot about the Big Climate Fight Back this autumn – on 30th November the Woodland Trust and partners are trying to get as many people to plant trees as possible, whether it’s at one of their tree planting events or in your own garden. The more press tree planting gets, the better as far as we’re concerned.

What you can do

Our Public Tree Planting at Wilstead is on Sunday 9th Feb – put it in your diary now, as their tree planting events probably won’t be around here. We’re also doing Plant One On Us again, so you can sign up now to receive a free tree (or multiple trees) for your garden if you live within the Forest area. If everyone does their bit, we like to think that there is some hope for a greener future, for the millions of young people who are desperately trying to change things. Unfortunately, it just looks like a greener future now means something slightly different than we'd hoped.

 Sign up to Plant One On Us

Dedicate a Tree in our woodlands

More info about our next Tree Planting will be coming soon - keep an eye on our events page!