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Requiem for a lamp

I’m saying “goodbye” to an old friend this morning. For the last 23 years, whenever I’ve been working at my desk, across three different properties, this old, battered lamp has lit my work. Last week — in the middle of a lecture — it finally, catastrophically fell apart.

A broken anglepoise lamp.

I didn’t even choose it. It came into my life because my girlfriend of the time was working at Terry Farrell & Partners, a firm of architects. They were having an office refurb (or was it a move? I can’t recall at this distance) and she grabbed some things that were being thrown out.

She left it behind when she exited my life and, amusingly, my relationship with the lamp has lasted well over ten times longer than my relationship with her… But I’m proud that I’ve used this thing that came my way for so long. This lamp has had over two decades of extra use after it was first consigned to the bin, and in an era when we’re ever more aware of the climatic cost of a throw-away culture, this small choice has proven to be surprisingly satisfying.

Trees and the climate crisis

The trouble with trees:

I do worry, however, that a destructively naive view of nature and a rush to get trees in the ground will sweep all before it.  We risk repeating the errors of the past and once again cause great ecological damage.  Simple solutions to complex problems are always wrong.

Tree-planting has a role to play in combating the climate crisis - but it’s not everything, it appears. That brings us back to rewilding.

Why aren't we taking Australia's bushfire apocalypse more seriously?

David Wallace-Wells:

But the response to what’s transpired in Australia — again, over a period that has stretched into months — is unfamiliar, to me at least, and not in a good way. Those California fires transfixed the world’s attention, but while the ones still burning uncontrolled in Australia have gotten some media attention outside the country, in general they have been treated as a scary, but not apocalyptic, local news story.

It’s a harrowing glimpse into the future that awaits many of us if the climate crisis continues in its current direction. And we’re just not paying attention to it.