#MyBiosphere: Boakesey Closs

In our regular feature in Isle of Man Newspapers, authors from different walks of Manx life offer a personal perspective on #MyBiosphere. This month, Boakesey Closs writes.

In our regular feature in Isle of Man Newspapers, authors from different walks of Manx life offer a personal perspective on #MyBiosphere. This month, Boakesey Closs writes:

As a child at grammar school, greater emphasis was placed on ways of replacing fossil fuels when they ran out than on climate change and global warming.

These were considered a slim possibility, but of no great concern. Sadly, things have changed dramatically since then.

Recent reports about the shrinking of glaciers and the Antarctic ice sheets are deeply worrying and suggest that change is progressing at a faster rate than previously thought.

Whether it has a large or small effect, global warming will affect our Island. We are not in a bubble and can’t avoid it.

Climate change will affect our ecosystems and there is the potential for profound changes depending on how much sea levels rise in the near and long term. It’s no longer a case of ‘what if…?’, it’s ‘when?’ and ‘how bad will it be?’

Despite all the scientific evidence, there are still those who deny that climate change and/or global warming are real. Unfortunately, some of these are in positions where they are able to lobby governments and convince them to do nothing, to the detriment of all of us.

That’s where we on our wonderful Biosphere Island, have an advantage, an opportunity to demonstrate what can be done.

For a small Island, we have a diverse range of habitats, flora and fauna. Recalling your school science lessons, you’ll know that removing and changing one part of a food web has a knock-on effect on the whole ecosystem. We need to maintain the status quo, within natural fluctuation rates, in order to maintain our environmental stability.

There are some on the Island who say there’s no point, that we’re too small to have an impact on the global situation. I disagree.

Last year, the well-known lone sycamore on the Hadrian’s Wall gap was senselessly felled. The response was phenomenal. Not just across Britain, but worldwide, people reacted in anger and disgust.

What struck me, however, was that every single day countless trees all across this planet are felled for timber, to create farmland or for other reasons. Nobody bats an eyelid. Yet this one tree created a visceral response in millions.

We are one small Island, but there is power in being small and being independent.

We have the autonomy and can choose how to deal proactively with the threats posed by the impending situation.

As individuals, we can take responsibility for our own surroundings – cleaning up dog mess, not dropping litter and, in general, keeping an eye on the local environment.

As a nation, we need to support our lawmakers and the people who implement projects, so they make wise decisions that will protect this island for future generations.

As the quote goes: ‘We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.’

If we do this then, like Hadrian’s Tree, we will inspire the rest of the world. We can show what can be done and encourage other nations to follow our good example.

Boakesey Closs is the current Manx Bard and a former teacher, especially of sciences.

Posted up on 17th February 2024


If you love the Isle of Man and want to help keep it special, there are a variety of ways to get involved in UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man projects. Here are a few suggestions.

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