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  • Ian McClellan

Week 44: I will listen to Sir David Attenborough.


A real conversation happens when two people (or more) are ready to talk, and the same people are ready to listen.  


I do not believe this is as common as we think. 


This week, I was thinking about individuals who when they talk, have the world listening. And who, if the world answers, respect that you must listen in return.


That’s the privilege and the deal of a real conversation. 


Sir David Attenborough is a hero to me, and I believe he is one of these individuals.


This week's project planetwise is read beautifully as always by the fabulous LJ, if you'd like to read the sleeve notes please visit this week's Project Planetwise on the link below.


It's a bit different. The question I had in my head this week was: if I could have a conversation with the World right now, what would I say? I wrote it all down, and we've set it to music.


And over and above what I have to say, I believe we should listen to Sir David. 


The rhythm and structure is not mine. It is also a tribute to the great words that eventually became the Baz Luhrmann song, Everybodys’ Free (to Wear Sunscreen). Another hero, for different reasons.


If you'd like to read along, the words are here:


Ladies and gentlemen of the world, the politicians and organisations of 2020,

Listen to Sir David please.

If I could offer everyone one tip for now and for the future,

Listening to Sir David would be it.

Every optimistic thought of Sir David Attenborough's has the power of a million scientists,

Whereas the rest of my ideas, have no basis but my fear of apocalyptic climate change and eventual destruction of the planet.

I will dispense this advice … now.

Remember the power sources and the endless resources of our youth?

Oh nevermind,

Our children will not enjoy the power sources and resources of our youth, because they are running out.

And trust me, in 10 years we'll look up at the dirty skies, and at the barren lands

And recall in a way that we can't grasp, how much possibility lay before us

And how easy it could have been different…

Climate change, is not in our imaginations.

Do not worry about money, or votes - or worry because our money and votes

feel as effective right now to our planet as bubblegum is to an albatross.

The real trouble in our lives is likely that we'll turn around and see that

We did not listen to our great minds

And that our world ends at 4pm on a wet or burning Tuesday

Because we did not do the one thing that scares us...

Change.

Don't be reckless with what you throw away,

Remember that everything we throw away must end up somewhere.

Recycle.

Don't waste your time on division.

Do not be blessed.

Do not be outraged.

We are all different.

Use this energy to practice being kind.

Remember that spiders are fuzzy and cute, and that worms are handsome.

If you succeed in doing this, tell everyone you know

Keep your old shoes for one more year, go paperless with your bank statements.

Walk.

Don't feel guilty or overwhelmed by the social media accounts of other people's lives.

The most of the important changes you can make in your life might only take three minutes to decide

And they are not that interesting to photograph.

Give up single use plastic.

Be kind to the bees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll get it right, maybe you won't.

Maybe you'll be carbon neutral, maybe you won't

Maybe you'll eat more plants, maybe you'll plant your one millionth tree on your 75th birthday.

whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either.

Dance like no-one is watching, because they probably are not anyway

Enjoy nature

Experience it every way you can

Don't be afraid to put your nose in the soil, or to swim the ocean

We live on the greatest rock we know.

Grow things - even if you have nowhere to do it but your own windowsill.

Take care of them, but don't worry too much about perfection,

A carrot does not taste different or take offence if you think it is ugly.

Get to know where all your food comes from,it will surprise and delight you.

Be nice to your local stores

They are the best place to get your Christmas presents this year

and they will appreciate you more than the cardboard box on your doorstep.

Try sustainable alternatives, but always read the label.

Make a list of all the things you use but you don't love, and never buy them again.

Because we the more can buy,

The more we forget that nothing is a choice too,

What we do not ask for, does not get made.

Nothing has no footprint, and uses no resources.

Love.

Accept certain inalienable truths.

The oceans are rising,

Biodiversity is decreasing

And when you are old, you may remember that when you were young

Polar bears were real,

Our corals were a rainbow

And you had the power to change it all.

Respect the planet.

Respect and listen to the person next to you.

Maybe you have a million followers,

Maybe you have a million voters.

It doesn't matter if each of your shouting just drowns the other out.

Don't buy commoditised food.

The life of a chicken, should not cost less than a fast food meal.

Be careful who you listen to

Be patient with those who are not ready to listen to you.

Changing, is a form of destruction.

Doing it, means we have to break off little bits of ourselves, look at them in the mirror

And be prepared put them back together a little differently.

But trust me, on Sir David.


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