The big freeze this week in England has, of course, got many people questioning the occurrence of global warming. Which is precisely why we don't use that phrase. It's climate change.
I have written elsewhere about it (for Suffolk Wildlife Trust), but climate change can definitely mean that Britain could end up with a more continental climate. Or the Gulf Stream could shut off, in which case we would end up with weather more like that of northern New England. What we need to really understand is that the factors that cause climate change are likely to be the carbon emissions and other atmospheric pollutants. What we should also recognise, that even if the climate change deniers are right, there is little doubt that the anthropogenic emissions are not doing any good anyway.
I believe that climate change and carbon emissions should be seen as a wake up call for all the other far more serious issues, which are the causal factors behind these issues: Deforestation. Water pollution. Over use of water. Desertification. Over-dependence on livestock. Waste of food. over use of energy. Over population by humans and domestic livestock.
All these are the real problems. And until each and every one of them is addressed, species will continue to disappear year by year. And our descendants will be the poorer for it.
So my New year's resolution is not as daft as the UK government's solution to climate change (drive 5 miles less every week). It is to ensure that at every possible opportunity I draw attention to the real issues. And meanwhile continue to help the World Land Trust grow.
We ended last year pretty well on target -- we grew at a time when most charities suffered cut backs. That means you, our supporters, believe that what we are doing is right.
We have set an even more ambitious budget for 2010. There is no question that what we are doing is minuscule in the big scheme. But we are doing it, and you are supporting it. Governments take note of such things. So please make a New year's resolution -- perhaps to recruit just one more supporter for the WLT. Or thank one of our corporate supporters for their support -- while we need money for our programmes, it isn't the only way you can support us.