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Opinion

Chris Packham: ‘We are ALL in deep, deep shit’

The television presenter and environmental activist is the guest editor of this week’s Big Issue magazine and he is asking us all to focus on the biggest issue of all: the climate crisis

I love The Big Issue, always have, it’s one of the ‘brands’ that tries to keep Britain ‘great’. That’s why I’m so honoured to have been able to help shape this issue of The Big Issue to focus on the biggest issue of all. Ever.

For me, this magazine is a constant reminder that inequality, and sometimes ignorance and intolerance, remain an inescapable insult to our intelligence and our all-too-insular lives. But the reality is simple… we are ALL in deep, deep shit, and any little privilege you might find comfort in now will be gone tomorrow unless we all act to make a difference, a difference there is still time to make. Just.

In 1977 Nasa launched the Voyager 1 space probe, and after speeding away from earth at 40,000 mph, on February 14 1990, from a record distance of about 3.7 billion miles, it took the photograph of our Earth – the pale blue dot. Of the frame here, which comprises of 640,000 pixels, it takes up only 0.12 of a pixel, it’s tiny, suspended in space, hanging on a sunbeam. It’s a grain of sand in the infinite universe, it’s our planet, our home, the only one we’ve got. We’re not going to find another, there is no lifeboat waiting for humanity, this is it, our grain of sand, our one and only world and it’s in trouble. Crisis.

We have become frightened of fear. But fear is an important emotion, it’s a motivator, it gets things done and we have to get things done. So please join me in being frightened of the problems we face, they are truly terrifying. But critically, as all our contributors reveal, we have real hope, for the simple reason that we have so many of the solutions at our fingertips.

We have the scientists, the politicians, the agitators to make us think, we have the artists and communicators to show us the beauty that we stand to lose and we have the youth poised to make a difference. And at their disposal the abilities to recover, repair, restore, to rebuild, rewild and reintroduce, all tried and tested and proven to make the natural world, our world, a better place. We can fix this. You can fix this. You.

And to make that easy, the magazine is full of simple steps you can take to make a difference, right here, right now. Please act. Our planet needs us and it needs you more than ever. Ever.

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Also in this week’s bumper 64-page Big Issue magazine, guest-edited by Chris Packham:

  • An exclusive interview with the figurehead of the environmental movement Greta Thunberg. She tells The Big Issue what needs to happen next
  • Chris Packham vs Professor Brian Cox – two of the great science broadcasters – one who looks up to the stars, the other who focuses on the forest floor – take in the origins of life and how global governance is the way to save the planet
  • Ahead of November’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (aka COP26) in Glasgow, we bring together the youthful idealism of 15-year-old environmental activist Holly Gillibrand and Claire O’Neill – who was COP26 president until Dominic Cummings intervened last year.

And much more!

Get your copy of The Big Issue from your local vendor in England and Wales right now. Vendors in Scotland are still unable to return to their pitches due to Covid-19 restrictions. You can still support vendors through The Big Issue Shop or subscribe to get the magazine every week. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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