It‘s nearly two years since I‘ve written anything for this blog. As some of you will know, I went back to university, and this was the main reason for discontinuing. So what has brought me out of hibernation? The answer is a) my Vervain streak combined with b) the unprecedented environmental crisis in Australia caused by widespread incineration of the landscape and property. The word „bushfires“ somehow don‘t seem to capture the immensity of the crisis; the word appears belittling to me. (But I am not an Australian perhaps Australians are happy with the term.)
My heart goes out to the millions of Australians who have been living with a dangerous level of air pollution for months. Thousands have been displaced as they have fled the approaching fires and around 2000 properties have been lost. Up to now, nearly 30 people have died in the flames. Millions of animals have perished as have bushes, plants and trees. It will take years for the continent to recover. Inconceivable trauma has come into being.
My Vervain streak plays a role as I write this post as an active member of the German Green party and I’m highly sensitive to what we’re doing to the planet. (For those new to this blog I‘m English, but I live in Germany in the Black Forest.) Vervain people react strongly to what they feel is wrong or unjust. How we humans treat our environment seems so often misguided to me, and I think that the happenings in Australia are connected to ‚environmental ignorance‘. The government is openly supportive of the coal industry and in denial regarding connecting rising temperatures, lack of rainfall to the climate emergency.
As an infamous Impatiens person, global counter measures concerning climate change are happening much too slowly for my liking. I‘d like to see instant decarbonisation of the energy sector, although I know that is unrealistic.
What remains is for each and every one of us to try and reduce her or his carbon footprint as drastically as possible. I have stopped using aeroplanes. I use public transport to go to work although it takes longer. I feel uncomfortable driving my car now, which I still do sometimes. I put on a pullover in winter instead of turning up the heating. I look out of the window to the mountains of the Black Forest in winter and see no snow, it worries me.
Hope I see in the worldwide Fridays for Future movement and the young and eloquent climate activist Greta Thunberg. Out of nowhere, a movement has developed pressurising politics and governments to take urgent climate action. In my home city of Freiburg I participated in the demonstration last May, where between 20,000 and 30,000 people were out on the roads shouting ‚What do we want? Climate justice! When we want it? Now!‘ I think it‘s fair to say that the Vervain personalities were collectively out on the roads that day and during consecutive demonstrations.
The positive side of the Vervain personality is awaking enthusiasm for the cause they believe in. Let‘s hope this energy will reach the politicians in time. I think Vervain people also have a positive mindset. I’m not resigned to climate change (Wild Rose), I’ve not lost hope (Gorse), but I am impatient get things moving. How does this topic play out for you? Looking forward to your comments.