…a post from mummy bean
There’s something interesting happening as a result of weather today. It’s been the worst day so far this year for pollution, in the UK.
The heat wave we’ve had over the last few days coupled with a lack of wind and an addition of Saharan sand, led to headlines like these:
I don’t often get too political on this blog but this is a stark reminder of the pollution that is in our atmosphere everyday.
Other countries in Europe, when faced with similar issues, have dealt with them promptly. France, for example, banned half of the traffic travelling through Paris and reduced the problem dramatically within a day.
What did we do? Told people with asthma to say indoors.
So when we, in the UK, are faced head on with this problem, no hiding from it, it’s there, hanging in the air, like the proverbial elephant in the room, what do we do. Nothing! It needs to change. We need policies to be made, changes to happen, more pedestrianisation in major towns, better public transport to allow us to leave our cars behind.
There’s an election coming up soon here and I will be looking at the policies of all of the parties, with regard to many issues, including green issues, in order to determine who I will vote for.
I want our public transport system preserved and improved. But should we really be relying on governments to make these changes. Yes, they make the changes but is it based supply and demand as are a lot of things in our society. Should we not be showing them this is what we want, rather than just expecting them to make us do the right thing, with policy.
I try to use the bus, train, or park and ride, instead of using my car, although it’s not always possible. Because of where we live, if I took the bus, often the place I need to go to would involve travelling for a period of time in the wrong direction and then making a change to come back the right way. Not easy with a baby in tow. Then there’s the pram! Some buses only allow a certain number of prams on them so what if I can’t get on the bus with the pram. There’s only one an hour and I, potentially, can’t use it.
As for the train there’s no station in our village, so if I want to take a train I have to drive to a neighbouring town or village. I will often do this rather than driving into large cities.
I didn’t get a driving licence until I was twenty-one. I used public transport for a good ten years to get to and from school, college, around towns, into the city, out for the night with friends. I didn’t have a problem, but then again I lived in towns and cities not out in the sticks, as I do now.
The car affords me independence, the ability to go places easily and quickly in an emergency and transport Bean, safely and efficiently.
Am I making excuses? Yes! Are they valid? I’ll let you decide.
I don’t class myself as an eco warrior. I’m a fallible human being that still needs to do more to help the world. I am often lured by convenience and ease. But every little thing I do has a direct impact on the planet and the current smog hanging over London is a very real reminder. I want Bean to grow up knowing she can change things if she wants to and children learn best by example.
If I tried harder to use the bus or train just once a week instead of the car, surely this would make a huge difference!
I don’t know what the right answer is here, or rather should I say, the right answer isn’t convenient, but perhaps we should all start making pollution a priority before we are all burying our heads in a smog cloud of pollution and sand.
I’d love to know what you think?