One Bubble: Earth
It will soon be two years that I have been windsurfing round Europe. Before that I circumnavigated Britain, via Ireland and Northern Ireland. I’ve met many people.
The family of the sea have of course been accepting. The nationality of a seafarer matters little, and there is none that does not drown. Every seafarer knows that the sea is bigger than they are. This knowledge unites them.
I’m now in Turkey: beyond Europe, and - until I got here - beyond my comfort zone. It embarrasses me to think that I had been apprehensive. As with everywhere else, here are people who want to help, younger people with aspirations to build their lives and perhaps do something worthwhile, older folk beyond those worries and carrying on with what they know. People with the same humanity as in the comfort zone from where I had come.
Fear of others divides us. It feels safer to live within our bubble of family, friends, neighbours. We are wary of those outside our group. We know that they are not our people. Rather than see ourselves in others we fortify our bubble. This is Brexit.
The intention to keep others out is understandable. For our own security and well-being, most of us shut the front door of our homes. At a local level it makes sense to understand the world in terms of small bubbles.
But when it comes to Brexit most have misidentified the threat. And this skewed focus delays action on the most pressing issue of current and future generations: the climate crisis and breakdown in the global ecosystems upon which we all depend.
There is no adequate response to this threat when we wall ourselves off from others. The climate crisis is upon us now and demands action now. The response requires a joint effort, and it requires countries who have already acquired a certain level of wealth to lead the way. Anything less is an abject dereliction of our duty as joint custodians of this planet. A strong and united EU is our best hope for achieving this.
We must understand that we are all in this together. Climate change and environmental destruction are clear threats to the sustainability on life on our planet. The consequences of inaction threaten the security of us all. As humans we must cultivate our shared humanity and face our shared threat. We must be united in defence of one bubble: Earth.
I had been wanting to write this piece for a long time, but until yesterday I never felt the time was right.
And then a group of children arrived in the square, exited at the pigeons, joyful as they learnt something about their world.
Our forefathers went to war for their future generations. We are asked just to take notice and act.