The best thing you can do for the planet is be here

I’m spending this weekend supporting young people as they devise and execute their first ever overnight outdoor expeditions. Pretty cool.

I am also cautiously optimistic on reading the following news that they might even have an outdoors when they grow up:

Analysis of climate pledges by nations at the COP26 meeting indicates that such commitments could ensure that global warming does not exceed 2 ºC before 2100 — but only if backed up by short-term policies.

It is easy to set ambitious climate targets for 30, 40 or even 50 years in the future — but it is much harder to enact policies today that shift energy systems towards a more sustainable future.

I’m a believer that the best thing you can do for the planet is be here. Properly be here. Show up to nature in all your glory and bask in the wonder of being.

Happily, Sunday is also the ninetieth anniversary of the 1932 Kinder Trespass, which has become a potent legend in the fight for our right to roam.

As I wrote in my anniversary article last year, ‘spending time in nature is the keystone of a healthy society and, in England and Wales at least, there is not enough nature to go around’.

These are not idle words, but based on scientific findings like this, from a Spanish study published last year:

Individuals with greater nature relatedness are more likely to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and have greater well-being. … This result implies that by nurturing nature relatedness, societies will achieve the double dividend of well-being and sustainability.

Again: for the sake of our future and the future of our children, we need you to trespass and win back our inalienable right to nature.

Stay honest, people.

Published by

David

David Charles is co-writer of BBC radio sitcom Foiled. He also writes for The Bike Project, Thighs of Steel, and the Elevate Festival. He blogs at davidcharles.info.

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