We live in anxiety-inducing times. There’s no getting away from it. The world’s definitely heating up, the glaciers are definitely melting, and extreme weather events are becoming an increasingly frequent occurrent; all that, and we haven’t even mentioned a certain pandemic that we’ve been collectively wrestling with, as a species, for the last 18 months (oops, just mentioned it, sorry).
In August of this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) issued their starkest warning yet. It brought home, in no uncertain terms, just how rapidly things are heating up, the ‘code red’ nature of our situation, and – perhaps most grimly of all – stated that some of the devastating changes the planet is currently undergoing are “irreversible.”
“This, then, is our coping strategy”
It was, in short, enough to make anyone of sound body and mind want to grab a bottle of the strong stuff and immediately curl up under the dining room table like an unborn foetus. And, look, we’d be lying if we said we hadn’t been tempted to put the out of office on and do precisely that. Ultimately though, where would such behaviour get us? Not very far, we’d wager.
This, then, is our coping strategy. It’s a round up of stories, interviews, short films and photographs – all of which have an environmental focus. Last month, for example, I grabbed a word with anti-capitalist and Labour For A Green New Deal Co-Founder Chris Saltmarsh. The transcript from my Q&A with Chris, and an excerpt from his new book ‘Burnt: Fighting For Climate Justice’ both feature in this online issue.
Elsewhere in our Green Issue, we’re delighted to welcome Chris Sayer back into the fold with not one but two pieces. A passionate fisherman at heart, for his first story this month Chris headed out to sea on a popular Cornish fishing vessel, accompanied by photographer Tom Young, to find out more about why rapidly dwindling shark numbers are actually bad news for humanity (something else to worry about).
On top of this, Chris has also found time to speak to photographer Lucia Griggi about the images she feels best captures the sheer scale of change in the world’s natural places caused by the climate crisis and general human impact. The shots are great and, at times, genuinely quite moving. Brace yourself.
With winter on the horizon, and ski trips very much back on after last season’s write off, Paddy Maddison has done a piece all about skiing and snowboarding’s sustainability paradox and how some in the industry are working to ensure the winters of the future are still very much snow-filled.
Stuart Kenny, meanwhile, has ventured to Romania’s Southern Carpathian mountains in pursuit of bison and bears. The bison he goes looking for on his eco-tourism adventure were brought back to the region as part of a rewilding project and, as Stuart discovers, this has had a positive knock-on not just for nature but also people in that area and the local economy as well.
Contained within this collection of environmental stories, you’ll also find Robin McKelvie’s visit to Eigg. Eigg, if you’re not familiar with it, is a small Scottish island that in 1997 was bought by the community that live there. Since then, the islanders have pushed on with their very own green revolution – turning Eigg into the world’s first island to generate all of its electricity from sustainable sources. Thanks to An Sgurr, which towers above the place like Cape Town’s Table Mountain, it’s fair to say that the views here aren’t bad either.
Also making it into our Green Issue, Emily Woodhouse caught up with Isaac Kenyon from Pedal 4 Parks to talk about an epic (and, at times, eccentric) UK-spanning cycling challenge that’s shining a light on climate solutions and the excellent people working towards them. Emily’s piece also touches on the importance of getting outside, in terms of our mental health. After the last year and a half, it’s a part of Isaac’s story that many of us will find incredibly relatable.
Wait, there’s more. This month, Hannah Bailey found time to catch up with Sam Osbourne – the founder of sustainable, Cardiff-based, brand MAKE. MAKE take surplus fabrics from the outdoor industry, that might otherwise be thrown away, and turn them into hyper-trendy bits of kit. Sam has a lot to say about “greenwashing”, and clearly has a good thing going on – a thing that has sustainability at its very heart.
Making the cut this time round, there’s also a rad Blackleaf film all about a pilot / organic farmer in Northern Ireland. It will certainly give you (sorry) food for thought about the diets of the future.
In the run up to COP26, we’ll also be populating this issue with some other ‘Green’ bits and pieces so be sure to check back on it now and then. Also, be sure to keep an eye out on Outdoors Magic over the next few weeks. There’s a new Green Gear Guide about to drop. There’s loads of eco-friendly outdoor gear and outdoor brand stories in it and, honestly, it might just be the best one yet.
Right, that’s enough out of me I think. Look after yourself, look after each other, and, if you can, help people in the outdoor and adventure space to look after the world. We’ve only got one, after all.
Jack Clayton || Editor of Mpora
Read our Green Issue here.
Featured Image Credit: Andrew Coelho
If you’re struggling with anxiety, brought on by the climate crisis, the pandemic, a mixture of the two or something else, mental health charity Mind have a useful list of contacts on their website.