Harborough Sustainable Community – June 2024

Is it possible to produce a fairer, sustainable world?

We regularly hear of the dire effects of the changing climate yet somehow struggle to take action; governments even less so, it seems. Most people reading this will have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint, yet it all seems a bit pointless.

Climate Outreach, a group of social scientists and communication specialists, are making a big difference and bringing hope. Their vision is for “everyone to be involved in producing a fairer, sustainable world”. But for that to happen, people need to be able to “trust, support and have a say in the changes needed” to make a difference.

One very effective example of this vision is through Climate Visuals and their free “air pollution photo collection”, air pollution being a huge problem worldwide but also in our own area, visit their website for examples worldwide. We have a local Breathe Easy group, part of national Asthma and Lung UK, campaigning for clean air.

The Guardian newspaper asked Climate Outreach for help and were persuaded to take a different approach from a photo of a lone polar bear on a piece of ice that just makes us despair and give up. Guardian readers, see if you can spot the difference.

The wonderful WI has taken up the Ambassadors training to help their members adapt and have hope, telling a different climate story. The programme has also helped them adapt to risks of flooding, heatwaves and droughts in their communities.

And to be given real hope, join groups like the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust or Friends of the Earth, and get involved, even if it’s just to read what these people are doing to share the good news.

Julie Fagan

Volunteer, Sustainable Harborough Community and Eco Churches