February 25, 2020

Who is responsible for fighting the climate crisis?

Emma Thompson, 26

In 2018, the Beast from the East meant many in Scotland had three unexpected “snow days” off work. We rejoiced. But, for me, it was also bittersweet; I was conscious such extreme weather was an expression of the climate crisis. I view Scotland’s increasingly hotter Summers with similarly mixed emotions. I often feel anxious about the damage we are doing to our planet. I have been vegetarian for several years and try to be dairy-free, I don’t own a car and don’t fly much but I often beat myself up for not doing more. But implicit to this poem was the realisation that most of us simply do not have the time, money or energy to do more, even if we want to. We are so busy running the rat-race. No wonder we celebrate “snow days”. So much onus is put on the individual to look after the planet – switch off lights, recycle plastic, buy sustainable products etc. – these actions are good but what we as individuals can do is but a drop in the ocean compared to the good that could be done if governments were to drastically force the capitalist economy to be more sustainable.

Snow days, 2019