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Monday, 13 February 2017

Imagine... A World Without Trees

On a planet ravaged by intense heat and drought, trees starved of water, dried to a crisp, others burned in forest fires that long ago tore through the ancient woods of this land.  

The lungs of the planet decimated, the few remaining human survivors would struggle to breathe the vastly reduced oxygen in the air, now heavily polluted with the smog of long ago burned coal, oil, plastic and petrol, gas masks would be the choice of attire outdoors.  Perhaps in a better world we would not have to layer up with thin torn rags, trying to protect our skin from the scorching midday sun, without the dappled green shade of the cooling woodland to soothe us.  Mosquitoes would be plentiful too, now the climate is hot enough to sustain them.  The creatures and insects from tropical lands would be able to survive all year round in this arid baked world. 

But the struggle must go on to find clean drinking water, unable to water the failing crops, old shops and supermarkets would have to be scavenged for tinned goods.  But watch out for the wild animals, with meat being so scarce, even a human could make for a tasty meal. 

The threat of disease from water would be amplified when the annual floods would come in.  People would be forced to build and maintain raised flood shelters, for a more turbulent sky would roil with thunder and lightning, stormforce winds would threaten to destroy what little grip they had left on this world, and the floods would wash everything away, and bring with it fresh diseases, new ones evolving every year, sometimes alligators and sharks too. 

If only the trees were still here, with their carbon absorbing properties, they would gradually reduce the greenhouse gases, helping to restore a natural balance, their vast roots would have absorbed excess water when the floods came, they would have helped hold the land together and prevent the devastating landslides.  We would have fresh fruit from the trees, nuts we could toast over a small campfire, with plentiful wood to build simple shelters.  If only the trees were here.

A Very Different World
This is the world I imagine when I think of what our planet might be like if we allow Climate Change to continue unchecked.  It very much looks and feels like a post-apocalyptic dystopian future.  

A world without colour, certainly one without the cool summers I remember from childhood.  The sun would shine and I would love to play out, with no fear of burning my skin.  I could run around freely, with no risk of heat stroke.  And certainly no mosquitoes!

If the world were like this, I would miss all the wondrous colour, the bright yellow dandelions, with their honey sweet scent that attracted the busy bumblebee, the soft and delicate carpet of bright green mosses, and the daisies I remember crafting into pretty little chains around my wrist and neck.  And the creatures I often see and take for granted?  

I would miss the grey squirrels, with their cute and inquisitive personalities as they bob along the forest floor, the ever wise black and white magpie, boldly seeking to pinch a tasty morsel or something shiny that catches it’s eye, the gorgeously cute hedgehog, as it proudly gathers the weeds and plants from your garden to build a new home, trotting happily along.  Sometimes I forget how blessed this world is, and how blessed my life is.

What would you miss?
The Climate Coalition are asking people to craft green hearts to show what they love and would miss to Climate Change.  Why not craft, knit, sew, papercraft, sketch or even digitally craft a green heart, illustrating or writing about what you would miss if you lost it to Climate Change.  Then you can hang it on a tree, someone in your home or office, or wear it, and take a photo of it.  Share on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, wherever you like, with the hashtag #ShowTheLove.

Want some ideas?
The Climate Coalition have put together a beautiful video showing what some other people would miss if they lost their favourite things to Climate Change.

So get crafting and make something fun to #ShowTheLove for our planet.

Happy Crafting!

Photo Credits:  All images in this post from Pixabay used with Creative Commons license

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