For all of my adult life I have feared the prospect of ‘global warming’ increasing to a tipping point. And this is happening now.
As Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general said recently ahead of the 2019 COP 25 climate summit in Madrid: the Earth may have reached ‘a point of no return’.
And I now have to look into the terrified eyes of my 12-year-old grand-daughter, Esther, a little eco-warrier, frightened for the future of this planet.
In 1962, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson was published. Truly the most prescient book of its time. It launched the environmental movement. I was 17 when I, and many of my generation, read it. It was life-changing for me, and I still recall the ice-cold terror I felt on reading how human beings could poison the earth with indiscriminate pesticide use ( aka biocides).
Thousands of birds were dropping dead after the aerial spraying of DDT, used to kill mosquitoes. Canaries in the mine. And this was years before Agent Orange – the toxic herbicide – was used so horrendously in Vietnam.
In 1972, I read ‘A Blueprint for Survival’ in The Ecologist. In it, the ecologist, Edward Goldsmith warned:
‘Radical change is both necessary and inevitable because the present increases in human numbers and per capita consumption by disrupting ecosystems and depleting resources, are undermining the very foundations of survival’.