Can we fix it?

I watch quite a lot of Bob the Builder and (ironically, given my height or lack of it) often empathise with Lofty the crane. As you will, of course, recall, it is he who responds to the cry of “Can we fix it?” not with a resounding “Yes, we can!” but with a distinctly unconvinced “Er… yeah, I think so”.

That’s rather how I feel at the moment about the whole climate change thing – please excuse the inelegant expression, but you know what I mean. I know I should be shouting with the team that’s convinced that we Can Fix It (and therefore committed to putting all their efforts into attempting to do so). I know that the best way to ensure that nothing changes is to assume that nothing can change. But I can’t muster a resounding “Yes, we can”, and I remain bothered about what we do if we can’t. Really quite bothered. Accompanied in my daily life by “this way of doing things can’t last, and there is no obvious way out”.

One thing I’m pretty sure about, though. I am not going to talk to my children (well, make that my older child, the one who’s old enough for it to be relevant) about climate change. It is not his problem; it is mine. Children are not the people who need educating on this. I am not going to scare or upset him with dying polar bears (which I know is the bit he’ll remember if someone tries to explain climate change to him), unless anyone can convince me that there is some benefit in doing so.

My version of education for sustainability is as follows: I am going to continue to do my very poor best at bringing him up to know himself to be loved, to care about other living things, to think about the consequences of his actions, to enjoy simple things, and not to assume he can have whatever he wants. Oh, and to understand that we can’t fix everything. On the basis that I can think of few future scenarios in which this will not be a useful education.


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