Dear Santa, please - not another warm, dank overcast Christmas. Being amongst the festivities at the moment has all the melancholy air of a rotting Christmas wreath still droopily hanging on the front door come the end of January. Rather than building a sense of eager anticipation the snowy shop window decorations and Big Issue sellers wearing Christmas hats just feels confusing.
I’m realistic. I am not asking for snow. I’ll shake a snow globe if I want to see snow this Christmas. All I want is it for the weather not to be off the wall crazy early autumn warm night and day. I want the ceaseless winds to stop. I want the grey skies to clear. Just a few days of still, clear, crisp and cold winter weather. Just something to help convince me the planet’s life support systems aren’t unravelling. We are already on storm Desmond. If this carries on we’ll be at Zebedee before the end of February.
It’s bad enough having to keep positive while the media and politicians co-ordinate a 24 hour propaganda campaign to stoke the appetite for yet more bombing in the name of regime change. The deceit and manipulation employed by our most powerful democratic institutions in the name of war slices an open wound into the nation’s soul. It suffocates the spirit, and hurts, really deep down. Right at the core of my being. You know, the betrayed by a lover kind of hurt.
It’s not just that the never ending whistling and buffeting of the winds from storm after storm are a constant echo of the fierce roar of the bombers leaving the UK to bomb Syria. Nor that the boom of the storm - whipped waves crashing down on the local beach during my morning run boom like the bombs we have been continuously dropping on the Middle East for the past 10 plus years.
Each of these things – the weather being out of whack and the incessant war mongering hysteria – would on its own leave me hanging my head in sorrow. However, it is what the combination of those two situations means for our future which is really harrowing.
The fact is its becoming increasingly difficult to pretend that climate change isn’t there, to pull a screen around the accident scene and tell people to be on their way – ‘there’s nothing to see here’. Those days are over. It is no longer possible to pretend climate change is a problem for the future.
In survey after survey people report that they can see the climate changing already, and they are worried, very worried. People realise changing light bulbs is not going to make a difference. But nor can they go out and build their own offshore wind farm. So they look to government, as the means by which the collective public interest is served, to take action. The urgent need to reduce emissions, and the challenges of coping with the impacts being generated by the emissions already in the system, will require a broad societal response. This unprecedented crisis demands unprecedented changes in how society operates. This means co-ordination and co-operation across all sections of society.
Yet the actions of the media and government in vilifying any effort to question business as usual, and to instead go on another blood soaked rampage, has broken the social covenant. Most of the public are deeply shocked and horrified by how the media and politicians are acting. It is increasingly apparent that there is a huge democratic deficit in the country. On one side the mass of ordinary people, and on the other a tiny minority of the rich and powerful. Instead of turning back on the dangerous path we currently find ourselves on, that elite minority have decided to put the pedal to the metal and accelerate into this high risk future.
However, the laws of physics won’t be so easily denied. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That’s what the vote for Corbyn was about. That is why we have seen an increased sense of nationalism in Scotland. People can only put up with this nonsense for so long. We need to keep the faith and our eyes on the bigger prize.
Our only hope at this stage is to send a clear signal to government that we demand action. Something like, just for one year, just for 2016, everyone committing to holidaying in the UK. No holiday flights abroad. It won’t stop climate change. But it will be the clearest signal we can give that we care and we expect government to act.
We may not get back to normal Christmas’s for many years yet, but turning the tide now would be an act we could all be proud of. And wouldn’t be a great present to give our kids?