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View from a shed: It's up to all of us to reach Drawdown



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After what feels like a lifetime of banging on about the environment and renewable energy solutions to combat the effects of climate change and the oil wars, it’s rather pleasing to see the world’s leaders finally unite behind a global cause.

We all know we need to do something and finally, the world has woken up to that fact. And whilst it may be too late to stop severe changes to our environment, it’s not too late to save humanity.

One of the biggest projects I’ve been following for a few years is the Great Green Wall which is stopping the Sahara Desert on its southern extremes encroaching further.

The Great Green Wall was first devised by a British explorer in the 1950’s and today spans the continent of Africa from West to East, across it’s widest path.

Kevin Holland (45709823)
Kevin Holland (45709823)

Billions of trees, sometimes millions in a day are planted in a united effort across impoverished nations that have traditionally fought with each other. Now they are united in this fight to reverse the effects of climate change.

Looking back to when I planted my first tree, about 43 years ago, it was with the Scouts and we were chopping down trees to sell fire wood so we could build a new rifle range.

We had to plant two for every one we removed. I just thought that was the rules, so continued in that form ever since. Cut one, plant two. It’s a simple climate and environment win.

Even as a police officer we used ‘environmentalism’ to cut crime. Encouraging the gang members of inner city housing estates to plant trees in their name, in their local environment had far reaching benefits.

Community orchards and gardening competitions all helped reduce crime and create an active community with fewer concerns.

Environmentalism can take on many forms. Just letting the grass grow longer to encourage bee loving plants to flourish will create a whole new world for many small mammals and insects. And as longer grass catches more rainfall and slows the rainwater run off, it makes sense to build flood protection into our gardens.

The longer evenings also see reduced energy use in the home. We’ve all noticed how summer bills are much less than winter, but even now as we get into the lovely long days and warmer evenings, savings can be made.

Just by turning off a few appliances and using less water, you could save 1p an hour. A whole penny. That’s 24p a day or £87.60 a year. Imagine the savings just by switching off the appliances you are not using.

All those little standby lights, all those screens and chargers are costing you money and draining the world of precious resources.

Leaving appliances that are not in use on, is like standing over an open drain and emptying your wallet or purse down it! Madness, if you ask me.

That £87.60 is a decent meal for a family of four, a few drinks and evening at The Majestic or even a night at the Guildhall or Corn Exchange..

Climate Change and Environmentalism covers every aspect of life and even in the arts.

Here in King’s Lynn during the November lockdown, the Lumiere light show on our historic buildings had an exhibition called Drawdown. 100 solutions to reverse the effects of climate until Drawdown.

The point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline.

And that has to be the aim. Whether we reach Drawdown through the arts, planting a tree, switching off a few lights at home or embracing renewable energy options and modern technology like solar panels and electric cars, we can and will achieve Drawdown.

Because we have to.



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