Nancy moved first. That triggered Sid. I was awake at 6.22am but I didn’t dare move. In the end, cramp beat me – there is a limit to how long the human body can resist a dog jammed into its neck. I stretched at 7.18am.


Now both poodles are snuffling on the rug, furiously rubbing the sleep out of their ears, winding themselves up into go-go-go mode. I have to rapidly clean my teeth and pull on some old trousers – the dogs won’t wait for me to shave.

I emerge from the bathroom and they are yipping and spinning. I’m sucked into their gyre, and our hurricane sweeps down the stairs and hits the new day at storm force ten.

I need that joy. The unrefined, unconstrained, uncontrollable explosion of just being alive, that beautiful, pure and simple love of life, because if I’m honest with you, life is getting difficult... Because things are getting difficult for life. All life: mine, yours, the poodles’, for every living thing on our beautiful planet.

All the creatures flying or climbing about me in this week's flamboyant cover of Radio Times are declining or endangered UK species. Try to identify them all. You might struggle because many will have disappeared from your life long ago – and no miracle by this humorously robed saintly sinner will magic them back. It’s going to be tougher than that, so we all have to get tougher.

Chris Packham on the Radio Times cover
Chris Packham on the Radio Times cover.

So who or what is to blame? I bet you already know. For starters it’s our continued dependence on fossil fuels. That is an absolute certainty, so whether you like, tolerate or loathe Just Stop Oil’s methods, you just can’t disagree with their essential motives.

You might even sympathise with Cressie Gethin’s need to get her urgent message across (see the new issue of Radio Times magazine for more on this). The activist group wants – and we all need – a rapid transition away from oil and gas towards renewable energies.

But what can you do if you are not of the road-blocking, paint-throwing, gluing-on disposition? Simple – you can have an instant and phenomenal impact by simply changing your bank account.

The big six high-street banks are still investing in new oil to the tune of billions of pounds a year. They are using your money to send us all to hell in a handcart. It takes a few minutes to switch (see Paul Lewis’s advice in this week's RT) and you won’t be arrested – you will be empowered! Please do it now. Please act.

OK, you’ve all just had a massive impact on reducing new fossil fuel exploitation, but what next? Well, they say you are what you eat, but I say, “We have to learn to eat to survive.” Food connects us to nature with every bite and food production is why many of the species on our cover are endangered... including the human.

We have to change our diet for our health and the health of our wildlife and the environment. Look at our cut-out-and-keep feature, stick it on your fridge and change what you put in it... Eat for a better future.

We have it all to fight for because we are careening towards a last stand for life on Earth. So, in this week's Earth Day Special RT, I hope you are repaired, prepared and inspired to conspire to make a difference. And that’s point number one – I, you, we can make a difference. We are powerful, we count and when we stand up to be counted, we have to make it count. Let’s go!

Read more:

The Earth Day special issue of Radio Times magazine is out now – subscribe to Radio Times here.


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