Like or not, 2020 was a year that taught us a great deal. Perhaps in this difficult year, we learned more about ourselves than any year before. For the majority of people who will read this and myself included, the restrictions placed on us by the Government in relation to coronavirus was likely the greatest limit of freedom we’ve ever experienced. To put that into historical context, we are incredibly lucky that for many of us, this was the first great national trauma or episode of our lifetimes. Our grandparents likely fought much worse.
Reflecting back on a year of adjustment, limits, and fear, I am doing my best to see these things with the skills they’ve encouraged me to develop: versatility and adaptability, working within difficult and strained conditions, and being courageous and choosing love. It hasn’t been easy, at one point, I was so close to giving up, seeing my business teetering on the brink as customers and contracts fell apart. I chose to dig deep into the most beautiful and commendable part of my work ethic and instead bounce back with greater determination, but, it wouldn’t have been possible without you. Every web visitor makes a difference, every click, every reader, every customer, every contract, they are all the components of a great turnaround, but it’s not over.
I’ve found reasons to be hopeful that 2021 is a beacon of hope for myself, but I’ve also found reasons to believe it can be the same for you, and for this wonderful planet. Here’s why:
Reason one: Vaccines
I hope this year we will be able to thank modern science and the vaccine-makers for globally ending the pandemic and allowing life to go back to pre-Covid ways, if such a thing is feasible. Already vaccines are out there and being used and their participant rates will surely soar. Pandemics don’t end abruptly, but seeing things shift in the other direction will give everyone a lift.
Reason two: Governments are taking action
The EU, the UK, China, and Canada have all announced major investment plans to give the fiscal stimuli needed for a carbon-reduced future. Sadly, Mexico and the USA have gone in the other directly environmental in recent years, but let’s try to look at the positives. The EU’s ‘Next Generation EU’ is a project worth €750 billion with about a third of that designated for climate action. Incoming US President Joe Biden plans to spend as much as $2 trillion on developing the clean energy industry and creating plenty of jobs in the process.
Reason three: Renewable > Fossil Fuels
For the first time ever, total investments in renewable energy will outweigh total investments into fossil fuels. Finally, the day has come, and whilst it will take a few years to reap the rewards of this news, it’s got me feeling quite hopeful. It’s almost like the renewable energy equivalent of the Singularity.
Reason four: ‘Restore our Earth’
This year, the Earth Day Network is using ‘Restore our Earth’ as their slogan and framework for their upcoming activities. This aligns quite nicely with the drum that I’ve been banging for the last few years, especially in regards to rewilding. I just can’t accept that as humans with only one planet that the general consensus would be that we should simply adapt to the damage caused by climate change and try to mitigate environmental collapse. No! We must transform the environment and restore our planet to former glories, and fortunately, that’s going to be a huge theme in 2021. So, let us replant forests, clean the oceans, rebuild wildlife populations, and rebalance ecosystems. Who wouldn’t want cleaner air, purer water, and more fertile soil? We can have those things, we just have to change.
Reason five: The British countryside
I love the British countryside, it’s a beautiful ecosystem full of wonderful flora and fauna. It’s also the natural habitat of my favourite little critter, the humble hedgehog. What I’m excited for in 2021 is the UK Government’s ‘Path to Sustainable Farming’ plan, which can bring about a revolution for the UK countryside. This might just be exactly what farmers need to ensure that their livestock are managed sustainably and the land they own is protected for future generations to enjoy.
What else am I looking forward to?
Well, there’s plenty! I’m looking forward to seeing industries bounce back and my friends get new employment and financial stability. I’m looking forward to the electric vehicle movement picking up speed and fewer fossil-fuel-powered vehicles on the road. New leadership in the United States can mean great things, with hopefully some positive knock-on effects making their way over the Atlantic. I’m also looking forward to practising gratitude and continuing to be happy with the things I have, without bemoaning or mourning the things I don’t.