You walked from shade to shade because your skin crisps under direct sunlight, even greengrocers’ brown paper bags crackle, so dry is the air. From 10am until six in the evening, the pounding heat determines which activities you chose. This is August in Southern France, 2019.
Imagine that this could, probably will become Southern England, 2025. You may laugh, but things are already shifting in this direction in countless little ways. Every aspect of our complex interaction with the environment we so need is fouled, from destabilising the seismic balance due to dam construction, to deep soil destruction due to heavy farm machinery. And now the Amazon is burning.
Well, you may not have noticed, but it’s been burning for years. The recent increase is due to the Brazilian government buying votes by allowing farmers to burn the forest and increase their land tenure. Yet for decades MacDonalds, of burger fame, has destroyed the jungle.
This the green space which gives us 20% of our oxygen, this where about 20% of the world’s carbon is stored. This is the most species rich environment on Earth. Big businesses such as MacDo, as the French lovingly call them, burn the forest, drill in 9m of pesticides into the soil to kill every living thing, yes, that was 9m deep! In this unnatural ground, they grow GM crops. Soya (also beloved of vegans and vegis, and let’s include in this destructive farming, lentils and pulses such as chick peas), to feed the cattle for those burgers and our western desire for steak and milk. To ensure the soya grows fast, for speed equals more profit, they scoop up millions of fish in our fragile oceans, regardless of species, and liquidise it then spray this onto the soil they’ve killed.
Next time you buy that pint of milk, soya sausage or real steak, know that you too are probably helping burn the Amazon. Unless, of course, you know that what you consume comes from down the road and is sustainably kosher, or is organic, grown with care and if its meat, is grass fed. And maybe, just maybe, those of you living in Southern England might not have to skip from the broiling August sun.
Well, that’s just a start. Good luck, it is worth it. And there’s just about enough time to do something, so hurry.