gorilla in nature

Emergency funding and the climate crisis

During a quiet moment on my paddleboard whilst on holiday, I retrieved a single use face covering from the water.  The poignancy of the moment inspired this article.

Our 2021 Fundraising ROI’s benchmarking study gives all of us many reasons to feel cheerful.  For many charities, income held up and return on investment actually improved.

Access to emergency funds saw many charities in a position to plan for the future in a way they’d never been able to before.

And yet during the past year, it’s been easy to slide into an anxiety spiral laced of pessimism and (if I’m honest) wine.  I feel fear about the fact that the world (and humans’ place in it) is not as robust as I once thought.  In my darkest moments, I feel despair at the looming climate crisis.

This one quote, shared by a respondent of our 2021 Fundraising ROI’s survey literally haunts me:


“As a charity focused on conservation of wildlife, there were not many emergency funds available for us to apply to”.


The irony looms so large and I feel like I’m alone in the realisation that humans’ treatment of the natural world probably caused this pandemic in the first place!!!  Those in the know, (working in the environmental sector) predicted the pandemic.  I’m assured that to them, none of this is a surprise.

Of course its normal for humans to deal with the clear and present danger, rather than the reported looming crisis which many still choose ‘not to believe in’ (for the sake of convenience and fear I presume?).  Making hard decisions to bring discomfort and unfamiliarity into your life on account of a danger you’re not currently experiencing (unless you’ve lived through flood, drought or wildfire in recent years…), is difficult for humans who are creatures of comfort and habit.

But the seeming lack of ability to connect the dots is frustrating to me.  We have chosen short term solutions over long term planning, and our government and those closest to them have seemingly revelled in the money-making opportunities presented by this global health crisis.


Does the following concern you as much as it does me?


  • Single use face masks (WHY do these even exist???)
  • Non-recyclable plastic PPE
  • Covid testing kits with individual pieces wrapped in WAY MORE PLASTIC THAN IS NECESSARY
  • Increase in car use because people fear using public transport


I have so many questions.


  • Where exactly is all this plastic going?
  • How will we clear it up once this current pandemic is over?
  • What about the next pandemic?


Of course, we had to deal with the situation.  I don’t decry efforts made to keep people safe.  I am happy that the government made emergency funding available and I am pleased for the charities that benefited, but I’m horrified that environmental charities were left out in the cold when it is clear (to me at least) that the destruction of nature and the loss of biodiversity is the reason that this pandemic happened in the first place.


Was short termism the ONLY way to deal with an immediate crisis or was there another way?


What sort of a world will we be left with once Covid-19 ceases to become part of our day to day?


Long term thinking is one of our core values at LarkOwl.  We work hard to make sure that the charities and non profits we support are given realistic expectations about the opportunities available to them.

We want them to be able to exist for as long as they are needed and for them to be able to operate in a way which is efficient, non-wasteful and pro-active rather than re-active.  We help them to make decisions which are calm, measured and generated from a place of optimism and assumed abundance.

To witness our country and parts of the wider world focusing on short term gain at a greater long term cost hurts my heart.  All I can do is make changes in the places where I do have a degree of power and control, support those doing good work and continue to talk openly about these topics (hoping and praying that our readers feel just as passionately as I do).


If you want to know more about the natural environment, the importance of bio-diversity and a case for rewilding, I highly recommend this book (which changed my entire perspective on countryside management when I read it…).


This book is a super fun guide to reducing food waste (and has tons of gorgeous recipes) and has seeped into my subconscious in a way I didn’t expect it would.

Posted in Fundraising.