First, this is not a blog about the arguments for and against the scientific evidence of climate change.
This is a blog about the effects of the arguments for and against the scientific evidence of climate change and what it is doing to us on an individual level. Or to be even more personal, how it is affecting me.
Actually, it’s not just the climate change issue that we need to consider; it’s the pressure of life and the “dramatic” information we receive daily from one media outlet or another.
Last week, we heard that scientists tell us bacon and sausages are not as bad for us as we thought (hands up those meat-eaters among us who read the story and didn’t immediately lick their lips at the thought of a bacon sarnie?) and that’s after years of being told we should avoid processed meat at all costs.
Then there’s sugar – what’s that doing to us? We’ve given up smoking, drinking, we exercise like mad and now we can’t have the odd treat. What are we to do?
Back to the subject of climate change. It’s a very, very big subject and it seems to be impinging on our world at an alarming rate. I’d suggest that, if it weren’t for Brexit, it would be headline news all day and every day.
What I’m worried about is how it’s making me worry. I read that the UK has committed to something or other by 2050 so, while it will cost a lot, we will have more than done our part.
But I also understand there’s a lot of pollution coming out of China and India and, being vast countries and concerned more about their increasing population than “first-world problems” may not be as committed to climate change as “we” are. There’s another worry to worry about.
And, while I’m worrying, my young friends are even more anxious than I am, so I have to take on board their concerns too. We have children missing school to attend climate change protests. We have a 16-year-old bravely travelling the western world to tell us what we should be doing and looking very angry that we’re letting her down.
But, hold on a minute, I don’t feel I am. I recycle, turn off lights, put on an extra jumper to avoid wasting energy on heating, don’t travel much and walk when I can. I am beginning to think that I, as an individual, am doing all that I am asked. Surely that’s enough?
What I’d like to know is why I am being made to feel guilty? As psychotherapists and counsellors, we learn that we are responsible for our own actions but not others and we can’t ever “make” a client do what they don’t want to do, and it would of course be wrong to. We can bring thoughts and ideas into awareness during client-therapist sessions but it’s for our client to decide what they’re going to do about the situation. Not us.
Why then do I feel as though I’ve been given the world’s environmental and health problems and told to sort them out? It’s as though I’m being bombarded with life-threatening meteors minute-by-minute and I don’t have time to dodge the attack, let alone work out what to do. Besides, what was “bad” yesterday may be “good” tomorrow. I can’t keep up.
Are you feeling tired by this, or slightly anxious? Me too.
After quite a lot of self-reflection, consideration of feelings, analysis and logical thought – a bit like being the fully fledged adult I am aiming to be – I’ve decided to resist what I perhaps feel is being put on me.
I have to ask myself how much I, as one person, have the power to do and how much I actually want to do. And, through this process, it’s become easier to work out what’s “my stuff” and what is being put upon me by the outside world.
My reflection was long; my conclusion is short. I’m doing what I can to help save the planet but I’m absorbing too much from the demands of the outside world and that’s not as it should be.
I need to remember how to filter. I need to push back against the mass of information that is being live-streamed into my brain and I need to remember how to process it for myself so that I can regain my balance. Unless I process this huge amount of information for myself and decide what matters to me and what doesn't, I will remain unbalanced. And that's not a comfortable position to be in.
So, rather like someone listening to a radio, I need to turn on less and tune out more.
By: Lulu Sinclair
As with all blogs, this is the personal view of the writer. Others may disagree.