Over the past month or so, I have been one of the citizens of the UK in lockdown. That has certainly had an impact on our lives but I have been leaving the house regularly, both for work and for exercise. I think some of the enforced changes have given life a different rhythm, but perhaps they have also created a space in which I can think about normal rhythms of life.
I’ve already begun to write about topics which I am linking with climate change, although they have emerged from thinking about the coronavirus pandemic. When talking about the coronavirus, there has been much reporting of “defeating” the virus. I’m not sure that this always makes a lot of sense, but it illustrates how this crisis is broadly seen.
During the coverage of the coronavirus over the last few weeks, I have been very thoughtful about the virus’ ability to cross the globe. Admittedly, that is not down to any capacity that the virus itself has other than to use human beings as a host. It therefore owes more to how we as human beings choose to organise ourselves than to its own characteristics.
Since the Australian fires of some weeks ago, I have felt that there is much to be considered in what has been happening. At the same time there has been a part of me that doesn’t want to write anything about them. I have wondered why it is that I have felt able to write about UK floods and yet it has been more difficult to find something to say about the bush fires in Australia.
It seems at the moment as if there are items of news reporting every day which relate to climate change. Some of them have obvious links, but others less so. One of the obvious ones is when there is coverage of the “climate strikes”. Yesterday a gathering in Bristol in the UK was highlighted. I would guess this was mainly because of Greta Thunberg’s attendance.
There have been many times over the last few weeks when I have thought about writing about flooding. We are now in the last week in February and figures I have seen in the last few days suggest that some parts of the UK have already received double their average rainfall for this month with a number of days to go (and it is still raining!).
Yesterday our family settled down to watch a Doctor Who episode which was first broadcast some weeks ago. Its title was Orphan 55, of which more later. I didn’t find it the most enjoyable offering. I thought I would look today at what other viewers made of it and see whether they agreed with me or not.
In the last few days I have started reading a book which I have a feeling may go some way towards explaining why human beings have, as a race, been so slow to grasp the nettle when it comes to climate change and other ecological issues. I admit that I am somewhat late to the party as Iain McGilchrist first published The Master and His Emissary in 2009.
Water is the other part of the Trees by Water name. Water is perhaps an issue not just in relation to climate change itself, but more broadly in terms of our relationship with the natural world. Although we in the UK generally think of water as a plentiful resource, we have recently experienced water shortages in some areas.
The name of the website where these blogs are being posted is Trees by Water. That name was chosen because it suggests growing to maturity in a healthy way. The first blog on this site gives a few ways that we can look at the symbolism of both trees and water.