Sharkish Talk

by Angela Cockayne

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It is now thought that there has been a fifty percent loss of the global population of animals during the last fifty years.

This fills me with shame, sadness, guilt, and grief, knowing it happened during my lifetime on ‘my watch’ and that somehow even only minutely, we are all implicated in this.

At the rate we are going, the loss of biodiversity; 30,000 species a year, will have a catastrophic effect on our own species.

We have a moral responsibility to protect biodiversity, from the charismatic polar bears, whales and tigers to the microscopic plankton that fuel ‘our’ oceans, they are all inter-connected. We are ever only custodians of all that we possess and to leave the world to the next generation without an attempt to acknowledge,  or try and ‘tidy-up’ our mess, or somehow even apologise, feels immoral.  When we live in hope that our children will inherit a ‘better world’ than our own.

Increasingly I do feel somehow implicated in a sense of collective responsibility, and so focus my work towards raising awareness of our environmental plight. I personally try to live sustainably,  it’s challenging; getting rid of my car, I feel selfish taking an overseas holiday, ( but still do) and have become a ‘vegan’ in an effort to address my part in the damage the impact of 10,000 years of agriculture has had upon the land. I know that on an individual scale this is of almost no importance or consequence, but if collectively we all started to adopt more sustainable practice, like the way we are now willing to avoid single use plastic bags, this could have a significant impact.

We cannot reverse as yet the Co2 emissions released over the last 100 years but we could try and restrict its impact. It is a huge challenge for all humanity to try and live more ethically, responding to climate change.

The problems we have created through man made emissions, have become totally overwhelming, even thinking about the data makes me want to hide under the duvet. Unfortunately it now seems to me the ‘Tide of time has come for sharkish talk’ to quote Melville if we are to avoid an environmental catastrophe.

In the same way we are now beginning to address gender inequality and abuse we need to stand up on massive collective scale to form a new global consciousness responding to global warming.

It has become morally imperative and we need to elect responsible  governments to take collective action on our behalf. The land is pillaged and traded for fossil fuels; oil, gas and coal which pollutes the air we breathe. The oceans have become an unsustainable larder, dump and sewer. We must collectively respect ‘our’ natural environment and resources, because they don’t belong to us, they never did.

Mother nature is unwell we to need to protect ‘our’ oceans, ‘our’ soil, ‘our’ trees  ‘our’ water, the air we breathe and above all the fellow species with whom we share the planet.  We have behaved like they belong to us for generations selling them to the highest bidder, so perhaps it’s now time to take some moral respsonsibility for them.


 Small deeds can form a global consciousness

Think sustainably

Consume less

Reuse and repair

Travel strategically, plan to combine tasks

Save energy

Save water

Shop local

Eat less protein/ meat /dairy

Grow your own food

Harness sustainable energy

Recycle more

Trade skills and produce with friends

Have fewer children

Shower less we were born to smell

Wear clothes for longer