Planet Shaftesbury: 19-8-21

Photo from recent Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show display.

It has been strange, this cautious and careful return to meeting in person indoors after 18 months of lockdowns and reliance on Zoom meetings. On the one hand we pick up the sense of continuity from before and it can feel as if hardly any time has lapsed at all. On the other there is that sense of something we once took for granted now seeming quite special, something to treasure – despite remaining masked except when speaking for the duration.

But as far as Planet Shaftesbury is concerned, those 18 months have seen a considerable amount of change, as regards public awareness and governmental/corporate acknowledgement that, yes, climate change is real, we humans and our activities are the cause of it and something has to be done in the face of an increasingly evident emergency. Change up to a point. As one of our number observed, climate change denial has been replaced by climate change delay. Statements of commitment abound, decisive, widespread and effective action is still apparently a rarity.

Our meeting – at which there were approximately 16 of us, mostly familiar faces but some welcome newcomers too – concerned itself largely