Last week the UN published its latest assessment of climate change, reemphasising that our climate IS changing, that human activity IS the cause, and that the changes themselves are widespread, rapid, and intensifying. Tellingly, this edition lands whilst much of the planet is engulfed in extreme weather, with headlines full of record setting heatwaves, unprecedented wildfires, prolonged droughts, sustained downpours, and flash floods – the likes of which we in Brent have had the recent misfortune.

Brent & Kilburn Times: Cllr Muhammed Butt says the recent floods have been brought about by our unsustainable way of lifeCllr Muhammed Butt says the recent floods have been brought about by our unsustainable way of life (Image: Francis Henry)

These are entirely unnatural disasters, brought upon ourselves by our unsustainable ways of life. It does not have to be this way – we can change our wasteful consumption of finite resources, we can undo our excessive encroachment into the still natural and wild environment, we can cease to be a drain on this exceptional and priceless planet. The choices we make today will have a profound and lasting effect on our future and the futures of those who follow. To do nothing is to condemn ourselves and our descendants to untold misery and chaos. This is a climate emergency, we must act now.

On the topic of now, though appearing to abate, Covid-19 retains the advantage. We must continue treading cautiously, wearing a mask whenever in an enclosed public space, TfL services included; respecting social distance; and, crucially, getting fully vaccinated. Please listen to the experts, book your jabs – they are safe and they work. Protect yourself and your loved ones. Help us all win back what we’ve each missed so much these past 18months.