What it Feels like to Try to Save the World



Latterly I have been trying to save a piece of the world.

A little corner.

A tiny slice that is important just because it’s a last haven for many things – for turtles that need the safe sanctuary of a quiet beach to nest; for fledgling tiny fragile cupcake coloured corals; for fish that flit like brilliant shards of cut glass in shallow waters; for bygone days of frayed old fashioned charm.

My reasons to try to save it are complicated and many – Ant loves this place. Our kids love it. They’ve all done a fair bit of growing up here. It’s provided safe harbour in times of storm. But mainly I have wanted to save it – from potential big development – because I want to indignantly stamp my feet and say, NO. No, you can’t have it all (If we, women, can’t, you certainly can’t). You can’t have all of it to appropriate, to build upon, to sink cement roots into ancient rock that you first sweep clean of almost as ancient forest, chasing away the birds, the bush babies, naughty, naughty vervet monkeys. You can’t have a piece of paradise to plunder.

Jeez, we’re a destructive species: how many Beach Resorts do we need, for god’s sake?

So. Armed with passion and informed by reason (which, for the record, is more important than passion when you’re trying to save the world) I articulated a (granted, amateur) proposal and I pitched a dozen, two dozen, three dozen, fifty, one hundred conservation bodies, eco warriors, celebrities.

There is a lot of money in conservation; one of the world’s most generous philanthropists gifted a billion dollars to save Africa’s wild spaces last year. But there is still – apparently – not enough.

There is new, sharper, focus on Saving our Oceans.

But not, apparently, this bit of ocean.

I crack on. A harpy on a mission. I harangue people at parties, email Conservation Directors and Wildlife Societies. I bang on until people begin to look at their shoes whenever I come close. And I think: I’ve been here before, haven’t i?

Last year, in Chile, in Pichilemu where the beaches are the colour of soot, not meringue, where the sea, then, was ice-cream headache cold, not bathwater warm, Amelia taught me about personality types. I was, she established an INFJ, the Advocate.

Does that explain my crusade?

No. No it doesn’t. I  bang on because sometimes you just have to.

Sometimes it’s just the right thing to do.




One Response to “What it Feels like to Try to Save the World”

  1. parlezvousmoo Says:

    Welcome back RM! Much love.

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