Are you insignificant, or can you change the world?

Author Fran Southgate

weed / Richard Cobden

On a weekly basis, we are assaulted by media images of communities ravaged by floods and other horror stories of chaos and mayhem occurring as a result of climate change. As your average, busy person, with day to day worries to concern yourself with, the newsflashes about these huge issues can often leave us feeling helpless, apathetic and redundant. How on earth is insignificant you supposed to do anything to change a climate system that even the scientists don’t fully understand?

I spent many years myself, battling with that horrible feeling that I just didn’t have the time, energy or money to make a real difference to anything around me – and more to the point, that I was just too insignificant for anyone to listen to what I had to say. But lately, I’ve been feeling like perhaps I was wrong. I don’t believe that I’m going to change the world overnight into a cosy little Utopia. However, I have realised that I am starting to see reasonable and relatively simple solutions to some of our bigger problems, and that if the one million population of Sussex agree with me, what we think and do may count for a lot, and some people may actually listen to what we say.

It took a few pennies dropping to have this realisation, but perhaps we can help make you feel a little less powerless too. Are you one of the people who has a pond in their garden? If the answer is yes then you are one of over 20,000 people helping to provide invaluable little wetland stepping stones across the County, which store water and carbon, and which are havens for a huge range of thirsty wildlife, livestock and humans. Are you someone who grows your own vegetables, even if it is just a pot of herbs on your windowsill? Then each year, you are helping to reduce vast amounts of environmental damage by reducing food transport and keeping food production local and seasonal.

Today I cycled to work, and used about two litres less water than I would normally have done. Its not much, but if you times that by one million, it starts to make a sizeable dent in some of our bigger problems.

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Are you insignificant, or can you change the world? — 2 Comments

  1. Every rain drop is important to make the flood! If we all do a little, it helps but I think the changes will take a generation, for the extra little things we do today to become the norm tomorrow but then will it be to late? Maybe, but it wont stop me doing my little bit.

  2. Every raindrop is without doubt important to the flood (or the drought!), but its how that raindrop behaves which determines whether it becomes part of the flood, whether it adds to the iceberg, or whether it becomes part of the sap flowing through a tree. I agree absolutely that a culture change is needed, and that change doesnt always come quickly, and its not always welcomed with open arms. However, if 60 million people in Britain used 1 litre of water less every day, that’s a very quick and significant daily impact made by a very small daily culture change.

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