Aside from learning UN protocol, I was privy to stories of people in the developing world who were working so hard to climb out of poverty, but an increasingly unpredictable climate was pushing them back down.
My job was to tell these people's stories, to put a human face to climate change and remind compassionate people in the UK that climate issues aren't just making polar bears vulnerable, but people too. Especially people who live hand to mouth off the land.
Since I was surrounded by global poverty and justice issues at work (and was being paid to communicate about them), I didn't ever feel overly compelled to blog about them. I needed an escape so blogged about things like the cupcake competitions (yum!), the search for decent coffee in London (arduous) and ticking off our London list once we'd planned to leave (fun!).
As it turns out, removed from my job and the incentive of a salary, I am still passionate about talking about global justice issues and encouraging people to take action. And without an outlet like a job, I thought I'd bring it to the blog.
With this preface, I'd like to throw it out there for people to think about giving up carbon this year for Lent (it starts next Wednesday by the way!). Giving up carbon is definitely better than giving up chocolate in my books. And if you are interested, my colleagues at Tearfund have rustled up a helpful Carbon Fast to jump-start that low-carbon diet. It wont force you to live in a yurt or anything, just give some helpful reminders of easy things you can do.
You can download the 46 daily actions or sign-up to receive daily emails here.
Some of the actions are specifically British, like cleaning the limescale off of your electric kettle to increase efficiency. But most are pretty universal.
My favorite action to save energy is eating by candlelight – save the earth and create great atmosphere at the same time, sweet deal.
Anyway, please have a look at the Carbon Fast and see if you're interested. My plan is to focus on one action for the whole of Lent, but I haven't decided which one. Perhaps eating by candlelight every night. I'll have to check that one with Dan first...
How successful have you been with Lent in the past? Are you planning on giving anything up for Lent? Carbon anyone?