These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the National League South in a swanky new ground. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

EARTH UNITED

To be printed in the National League South game v Billericay on Saturday 16th March 2019

I love football. I love watching the game with a group of people who have little in common apart from the fact that we are from Slough, often like a beer and make some noise. I hate politics or the kind where we are at each others throats, where Brexit has become an all encompassing drone.
And yet we seem to be happy to ignore what's really coming round the corner.
We depend on so many of earth's life support systems, but it would only take one of them - the soil, aquifers, rainfall, ice sheets, pattern of winds, pollinators, biological diversity - to fail to trigger catastrophe. When the Arctic sea ice melts beyond a certain point this could render runaway climate breakdown unstoppable.
So forget Brexit, the collapse of our insect populations would give any sane society pause for thought and yet we carry on like the bees and other insects that pollinate our food are just annoying buzzing things we can live without.
The world produces an estimated 10 tonnes of plastic a second and our oceans are being suffocated in the stuff. About 5 trillion pieces currently float in surface waters, mostly in the form of tiny, easy-to-swallow fragments that have ended up in the guts of albatrosses, sea turtles, plankton, fish and whales. We then eat some of these fish and so end up eating plastic (which is probably more nutritious than some of the grub served up at football grounds.)
Any sane society would cut plastic waste as soon as possible, and yet here we are sipping from a plastic water bottle that is tossed in the bin as soon as we've drunk it dry.
Thanks to intensive farming, the worlds topsoil could be gone in 60 years while we continue to build on the best farmland in our never ending quest for economic growth - hardly the smartest move if we want to grow the food we all need to eat. And when we do grow it, we throw an unbelievable one third of it away each year. 
We spend billions on the possible threat of a terrorist attack but don't seem to prepare for the climate chaos that's being unleashed. I've only just heard about ocean heatwaves which are killing swatches of sea-life similar to wildfires that burn huge areas of forest.
We criticise kids for school strikes which aim to remind politicians they need to do something now about our changing climate. Telling them they are ruining their education, while we are ruining the planet we all live on won't wash. It's the adults who need to be given the detentions for their head-in-the-sand attitudes.
We've got solutions to many of these problems, and we need to act fast, yet our politicians haven't got the brains or recycled bottle to change.
I'm not going all Forest Green Rovers and say Slough should change from playing in amber and blue to green, or that we should have a wildflower meadow in the goalmouth but we are called The Rebels and we could for example aim for zero waste on match days. Ditch the plastics, turn the food waste into energy and power the floodlights with all the hot air that's generated on the forum.
I don't blame people for wanting to switch off when the environmental problems seem so overwhelming but when I look at football crowds, and think if us lot can get on under a common purpose surely that's possible when it comes to looking after the planet?  Seeing as we all live and rely on it to survive. 

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