THE north wind still blows and some parts still have snow, yet spring is most definitely in the air.

Birds are singing and flowers are springing up everywhere and still, there are people out there refusing to accept that global warming is something humanity either contributes to or can realistically do anything about.

Perhaps a belt and braces approach might be the best plan of action for our collective survival hopes. By erring on the side of caution and changing our environmental relationship with nature, we can make a concerted attempt to be more sustainable.

The accepted model of sustainable development indicates that we need to take into account environmental, societal and economic impact in equal measure in order to give ourselves the best chance of survival.

However, since the industrial revolution, economic considerations have been the driving factors. Lack of concern for the environmental and societal impact of this has contributed heavily to the true cost that we, and our descendants, will have to pay. With reports that London has exceeded its annual limits in air quality in one month, what I wonder is the knock-on effect in all our cities, towns and villages?

Asthma is on the rise and the number of deaths relating to respiratory causes is on a worrying increase. What price progress? Is environmental suicide and countless unnecessary deaths and suffering a price worth paying?

Meanwhile, the American Head of State would appear to see the whole world merely in terms of threat or economic opportunity. He has let his unsustainable, counter-productive views regarding the Paris climate accord be heard loud and unashamedly clear, even though, ironically, his views are far from clear or, as some might say, rational.

The short-term planning and lack of true vision that comes hand in hand with the length of political tenure both here in the USA and other societies around the globe, means political expediency rules the day.

Therefore, ambitious politicians feathering their nests by ensuring directorships and other such returns for political influence with regard to legislation that favours industrial capitalism over human existence, is proof positive on just how much greed blinds and divides us.

If industry had to pay the real cost of cleaning and clearing up its mess, it would no longer be viable to produce any of the many unnecessary and, ultimately, useless products that are produced merely to obtain profit. Perhaps the only way to ensure we have the best chance of survival within the confines of our eco system (an eco-system that would continue without us and is in no way dependent on our existence), is to take a much longer-term view when planning the development of any and all types of environmentally impacting projects and to ensure legislation isn't influenced by the immediate gratification of capitalism.

Planning of such projects should be left in the hands of a new transparent and more openly responsible civil service, free from the influence of short-term party politics. I’m sure that some of our politicians must have the best interests of their constituency at heart but unfortunately that isn't how that particular game works. Having our long-term survival in the hands of short-term visionaries is how we ended up in this spiral of environmental disaster.

What can we, as individuals, do to better ensure the survival of our offspring? Perhaps on an individual basis, voting for environmentally savvy political parties is one approach, but as the whole disaster is led by finance, we should not encourage those that seek to capitalise at the expense of our survival.

In other words, don't invest your hard-earned money in useless unnecessary consumerism. If you want your children and our species to have the best hope of surviving, forgo cheap flights and cheap fixes to an ever warmer foreign beach and embrace the beauty that we are so fortunate to inhabit, while we still can.

By Ed Deedigan, of Kandu Arts, Chippenham