The wonder of a planet in crisis

PUBLISHED: 14:15 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:58 06 May 2010

The amazing caves

The amazing caves

BY the time you read this, the highly acclaimed BBC series Planet Earth will have finished and many people s Sunday evenings will seem a bit empty without it. I ve only managed to catch the occasional episode but during the ones I have seen I ve found my

BY the time you read this, the highly acclaimed BBC series Planet Earth will have finished and many people's Sunday evenings will seem a bit empty without it.

I've only managed to catch the occasional episode but during the ones I have seen I've found my breath taken away by both the craftsmanship of those making the programme, and the sheer beauty of Mother Nature.

A colleague commented this week that she can see how programmes like this can reinforce people's belief in God or a higher being.

Although I do believe in God, strangely Planet Earth doesn't have this effect on me.

Instead it makes me overwhelmingly aware of how fragile this planet is and how much we have to lose if we continue on our path of environmental destruction.

But continue we do.

From driving big, gas-guzzling cars to not using the doorstep recycling schemes (the key to the ease of these schemes is in the word 'doorstep' - it's really not that hard), we refuse to take responsibility for the damage we're doing.

This week North Herts District Council announced the arrival of its brown garden waste recycling bins.

To help the council along its way, it drafted in top gardener and singing star Kim Wilde, who lives near Codicote, to support the scheme.

The council also announced a competition, whereby one household a day from June 5 to June 16 will win £20 worth of garden vouchers just by putting their bin out with the correct material in it.

All this is very good, and clearly I'm in favour of any kind of recycling, but it bothers me that time and time again councils have to spend money and effort convincing people that they've got to go green.

Surely it's self evident?

We've got a big hole in the ozone layer, a climate in chaos, 80 per cent of the world's ancient forests have been destroyed, we're running out of fossil fuels and generally we're in a big old mess.

Superman/Spiderman/The X Men are not going to come and rescue us, and we clearly can't rely on the governments of the world, as if their hearts were in the right place, they'd have done something decisive years ago. It falls to each and everyone of us, to do our bit.

And we shouldn't need famous singers or the promise of cash to encourage us to do this, we should do it because simply it's our world and our responsibility. Whether the bit of the world we want to look after is the beautiful Lechuguilla cave system in the USA (as seen in last week's Planet Earth) or our own little corner of this green and pleasant land, all that matters is that we act, and now.


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