First and foremost, you all need to know that the first print edition of CUB has officially hit the shelves! Find your free copy on practically every surface on Queen Mary’s campus; we really hope you enjoy reading the magazine, a lot of hard work, dedication and talent went into it and we’re all very proud.
Now, onto less urgent matters. It’s November; Hallowe’en flashed by in a blur of fake blood and Brexit personifications, reading week is upon us, Christmas is looming, and … people are still wearing shorts. Has anyone else noticed this? I have. I watched in both horror and awe as a girl wearing the smallest shorts ever created strode past with confidence (go on gal) and seemingly no idea that it’s winter. And who can blame her? It isn’t cold! Well, it isn’t as cold as it usually is! I am somebody who is perpetually cold. I wear turtlenecks on holiday. My teeth chatter constantly. But I’ve noticed it elsewhere – (mainly in the fact that my partner still insists on keeping the window open at night) this is a warm winter.
The reason behind this is, actually, rather urgent. The Doomsday Clock (a countdown to possible global catastrophe) read at three minutes to midnight this year, with the two most probable causes for reaching doomsday being Weapons of Mass Destruction warfare (we’re looking at you, Trump) and climate change. NASA’s website – http://climate.nasa.gov – tells us that global temperature is up 1.7°F since 1880, arctic ice shrinks around 13.3% each decade, we lose 281 gigatonnes of land ice per year and carbon dioxide is up 404.42 parts per million. It’s difficult to look at those figures without feeling helpless, and adopting an attitude of ‘what difference can I make’ and I agree; I think it was Sean Lock that said trying to do your bit for climate change was like showing up to the site of an earthquake with a dustpan and brush. But, if everyone considered how to lessen their carbon footprint, this time next year (and I don’t want to get carried away here) perhaps we could be four minutes to midnight? Here are a couple of tips that are easy to forget and seem minute, but could help…
Be energy efficient! You know when you’ve finished charging your phone? Turn the plug off at the switch. When you’re doing your laundry (once a year for most of you griminals) wash your clothes on thirty. Don’t leave your TV on standby; unplug it. Tiny, tiny things that if everyone did would create a big, big difference.
Watch what you eat. Look. I’m guilty of this. We all probably are, being, for the most part, poverty-ridden students. But try to eat organic food where possible and if you have at least one meat-free meal per week you’d help on cutting back on the 18% of greenhouse gas emissions that come from meat and dairy production. Maybe those vegans know what they’re talking about?
Recycle. I know it’s hard to resist the temptation to burn that 400 page module pack once your final exam is over; it’s caused a year of stress, six highlighters, and incessant Googling of ‘define [word-I-can’t-pronounce]’, but don’t. Don’t. Give it a second chance. Put it in a green bin (without its metal ring binder, please) and let it come back as something worthwhile. Like serviettes for balancing cake on. I dunno.
Get involved. Make petitions. Pressure your MP’s. Make a noise (with instruments made from the cardboard tubes inside loo rolls). Get on to your Nan about giving up driving to Morrison’s every Saturday, and catching the bus instead. Pass on the message. Do it for yourself, for future generations. Most importantly, do it for me. I really, really like earth. It’s beautiful. And I hate the fact that we’re like those people that show up to a house party, uninvited, trash the place, make everyone else uncomfortable (or extinct) then leave (to Mars) before the police are called (or the house blows up). It’s not fair.
Pick any, or all, and start doing something.