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EditorialsUpFront June 24

UpFront June 24

Recently, as I was clearing up an area that had been neglected, I had to deal with some rubbish bins that had been commandeered by ants and spiders, along with a few of their less agile friends. The cleaning process meant that many of the creatures that had been enjoying living in a slimy mess needed to find new homes, rapidly. It reminded me of Douglas Adams’ Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, when the earth had to be unceremoniously destroyed to make way for a new intergalactic superhighway—a hyperspace express route, no less. Thankfully, the bulk of the inhabitants of my bins quickly found new homes, unlike Adams’ earthly inhabitants who were completely oblivious to their fate until it was too late, which is something that can’t be said about the current fate of the earth since a ‘code red for humanity’ declaration was made by the United Nations some time ago. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said at the time, ‘The evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions are choking our planet and placing billions of people in danger.’ There are, no doubt, many people who have no interest in changing habits to help slow the earth’s global warming problems—it will always be ‘someone else’s job’. But having interviewed environmental activist Trewin Restorick last month (see our website for the full article) and looking through the features in this issue, it’s clear there are many people intent on doing everything they can to save this planet from a slow death. That can be anything from working in nature conservation to enhancing biodiversity—or even ‘rewiggling’ (page 26). One example is a Common Ground initiative to turn Bridport into a Swift Town (page 24). It’s a community response to the problem of dwindling numbers of swifts coming to our shores. In our cover story this month, Graham Roberts recalls how the river he played in as a youth is now just a ditch thanks to intensive farming with no protection of the watercourse. His work, with the River Lim Action Group, is just one small but important part of a goal to help improve our environment, because, unlike the malapropism in our Crowdfunder plea on page 64, the clock is ticking.

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