Could we start thinking more specifically about our future? Changes are on the way for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the sea levels along our coast, the illnesses we face, the health of our economy, the movement of peoples, the ability of natural systems to support human life and, yes, temperatures we may find very uncomfortable.

Too much is happening too fast. The warming is touching everything familiar, all that we have taken for granted, as we cling to the hope that maybe the future will be like the past – even when we know that cannot be true.

What’s happened to our sense of empathy? If we are the culprits burning the coal, gas and oil that are wrecking our climate, shouldn’t we be the ones to stop (or help others to stop)? To change the way we heat our homes, power our vehicles and care enough to rescue the disappearing life of the natural world around us? To use our democratic freedoms to bend the paths our leaders choose for the good of all?

Careful observation, actions taken with genuine forethought, the creative implementation of solutions – even when it is difficult – to solve one problem without creating another. These virtues are widely practiced but get buried by fluff and distraction until it begins to feel we are sleepwalking into a dismal future. Goodness and common sense are patiently waiting for the rest of us.

Sam Saltonstall

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