Our climate change experiences

Most of these talks and pieces of writing come from the ‘Climate and Me’ event which we ran in  February 2021. However, we would welcome your story too. Please contact us here if you would like to contribute something.

Benter Ndeda. On the shores of Lake Victoria in Western Kenya, climate change has caused unpredictable weather, from flooding to drought. For our rural community already living a hand to mouth existence, some families lost either their homes or their crops in March due to the floods. You can watch her talk here.

Hafsah Hafeji a horticulturalist from Leicester talks about how climate change has impacted her own food growing and that of others in urban Leicester. Watch her talk here.

Kate Milman from Derbyshire in England speaks about her house being flooded just over a year ago – and knowing that it may well continue to be flooded repeatedly from now on. Watch her talk here.

Alisha Cover and her cousin speak about the impact of climate change on weather and crops in Jamaica, St Anns. Watch her talk here.

 

 

Masaba Rogers from Uganda talks about the changing weather and rains impacting on his work and village. Watch him here.

Leicester based Ded D’Sillva speaks about her experience of surviving Dengue fever which is becoming more widespead in Sri Lanka and other countries as climate change alters local environments and encourages invasive species. Watch her talk here.

Ashish Agrawal will talk about Kedarnath landslide in North India, a disaster killing 5000+ people which was a result of man made ecological imbalance, partly climate change, in the region. Watch his talk here.

Selma and Leyla, a couple of young women from After18 (a charity supporting Leicester’s young refugees) share their experiences of storm and flood in Vietnam and Afghanistan. You can listen here.

Dr Momodou Sallah. Global Youth Work is a pedagogical approach, building on Development Education and Global Education that seeks to, in the first instance, promote consciousness and then support commensurate action, to reduce the imbalance, by those most affected. Using examples of running Africa’s first solar powered taxi service in The Gambia, a compressed earth brick machine, and locally made solar dryer, this short presentation will illustrate examples of combatting environmental degradation and dealing with climate change, after foregrounding it with the issues under discussion. Watch this presentation here.

Mick Westrip, an organic food grower from the Welsh boarders. We are a 3 acre certified organic small holding, growing a wide range of produce. We established here in 2008 and have already recognised changes in our local climate in that short period. Watch his talk here.

James Kataliko writes here about the destruction of the forests in the East of the Congo and its impact on the life of indigenous peoples. The forest does not belong to us alone, and it stores much of the world’s carbon.

Alison Crane speaks about wildfires, hailstorms and heatwaves in Australia. Even in an Australian city, the bush fires of summer 2019-20 impacted my son and his family with smoke and air pollution. Coupled with record temperatures in the 40s, it wasn’t safe to go outside. Watch her talk here.

Zina Zelter: my experience of climate change.

I’m privileged. I know this. I grew up in a country which has exploited other parts of the world for centuries. Where I, and the majority of the people I know, live comfortable lives built on that exploitation which still continues today. And where my comfortable life, and those of the people I love, pour greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and cause climate change, which so far is mainly impacting on the Global South and the ice-fields of the Poles.

So my experience of our changing climate is primarily one of emotional guilt and pain and fear. And I know I’m lucky, because so far I don’t have to worry about my food or water supply – or if tomorrow I’ll have to become a refugee. Instead I lie awake and hurt because I’m afraid that my daughter will have to exist in that world – and that across the world millions of people already do.

I dream of floods which rise to the top of my home surrounding me. And of being implicated in wars caused by climate driven famine.

And when things happen here which show me local climate change – the young trees I passed every day which died in the drought the year before last; the highest flooding I’ve ever seen in Aylestone Meadows in decades of living here a few weeks ago; a tree I loved at the end of my garden brought down in a gale last year; the scarily hot weather last Summer – I mostly grit my teeth and don’t let myself grieve, because I’m one of the lucky ones so what right do I have to complain? And so I campaign on climate issues and try to block it out.

But I hurt so much. When I stop and let myself really think about the climate – like now as I type – it’s hard to breathe, and it burns in my chest, and if I let myself, I feel like I could cry for ever. And it seeps into my dreams every night.

Privilege, guilt and pain all mixed up together. That’s my experience of climate change.