A love letter to the planet

18th February 2022

Andy Williams

Co-founder, the wordy 'other half' | Intrigued by good content, and what it achieves | Bit of a nerd, quite creative, loves to write | Father, cyclist, activist | [ he/him ]

Mid February feels like a good moment to write a love letter. This one is for Planet Earth. 

Dear Earth,

Sorry it’s been a while. We’d have written sooner, but it’s been difficult to know what to say. When we were little everything about you was simple, bright and beautiful. We were boggled by the size of the sky, and we wanted to climb a mountain just to see if we could reach it. We mixed that shade of blue over and over, daubed it on big sheets of paper, and painted cup-sized rainbows in the corners. We coloured the bottom-half green and there it was: a portrait of you. We saw. We loved. We felt you loving us right back. 

Things would be so much easier now, if we hadn’t lost touch with you as ‘you’. Not a ball of space dust carved by heat and water, and clothed in life by chance and time. Those things are true, and no less wonderful for being so. But it turns out not as clarifying or moving as our childish sense of wonder and communion. Logic and rationalism are powerful things but, on reflection, they never wrote a symphony, or painted your portrait. 

We’re trying to find our way back to that rock-steady devotion. More than that, we’re trying to accept the hurt and damage we’ve caused you. We’ll fully accept it in our heads and our hearts, and in our bellies and our bones. Anything less is dishonest, and posturing, and politics. Anything less, nothing changes. 

We offer a new respect, equality, a willingness to compromise. And a radical compassion, bringing together our empathy, understanding and action. We’ll act individually, as a team and as a business. We’ll help other businesses act too. 

This isn’t easy for us, or for anyone. The relationship between you and us will change beyond recognition. But we’re going to try. 

Yours truly,


Last and First

It’s February 18th, 2022 and winter is going out as it started, with unusually violent Atlantic storms. Storm Arwen kicked things off in late November. Even as she waned I stood on St. David’s Head, Pembrokeshire, in winds so strong they felt like gravity gone sideways. 

This week, a first for the UK Met Office: two named storms separated by just one day (and half the length of a small island). I will not be on St David’s head this time, in the 100+ miles per hour winds predicted from Storm Eunice. Though I know a couple whose ecohouse perches above Whitesands Bay. They’ll be sleeping downstairs on the sofa again, I imagine, just in case. 

The UK has always had violent storms, and it’s easy to mix up weather with climatology. But ‘once-in-a-decade’ storms are happening annually. And annually, there are another handful that still make headlines. We know why, even if we’d rather not. And we mostly know what we have to do about it.  Thing is, it feels so daunting. So unimaginably tough. Where do we start? 

How about we start by falling in love with our planet all over again. Think about it – all of us are selfless in our desire to shield and care for the ones we love. That love helps us make compassionate choices, and steers us through difficult moments. So how do we begin that process?

Well, you could binge-watch Attenborough documentaries (never a bad idea). Or you could try writing your own love letter to your Planet Earth.

And once you’ve done that decide what your ‘radical compassion’ looks like. Here’s where we’re heading.


Tech for Good

Part of our radical compassion is helping others of a like mind have their impact. We’re a PR and content marketing business, after all. We thought we’d make a start here, by profiling some less-well-travelled ideas and ventures focused not on doing less harm, but making a positive difference. Some of these are impact businesses in the formal sense, meaning they report returns based on people, planet and profit. Others fall more broadly into the category of Tech for Good.

It’s very easy in a discussion like this to get seduced by Moonshot projects: the coming together of many strands of science, government and commercial enterprise to launch some grand, planet-saving technology ‘for the good of all mankind’. Nuclear fusion would be an example. But don’t be distracted.

We do have to mobilise every person on this planet – all of their talents, energy and ideas – in the fight against climate disaster. But Net Zero will be achieved with the help of many different technologies, on both sides of the carbon equation: reducing emitted carbon, and increasing carbon sequestration. Not all of that tech will directly reduce emissions, or directly increase carbon capture, either. Some of the most important will nudge us into changes in behavior. Some will facilitate better auditing, pricing and trading in carbon. Many of the innovations in these areas are unsexy, and unsung. Here are a few to think about. 

Regenerative agriculture, carbon tokenisation and trading

UN has estimated that if half of the 2 billion hectares of degraded farmland around the world was converted to regenerative agriculture, it would recapture enough carbon to stabilise emissions of CO2 for 15 to 20 years, while also meeting humanity’s food production requirements. ‘Regen-Ag’ completes a trinity with rewilding and reforestation, expanding ecosystems and biodiversity too. 

For example in Wales, Exhibit C is a pilot project allowing communities and organisations that invest in sustainability, to trade the carbon savings they make. You have a tonne of CO2 that you can’t remove from your balance sheet any other way? Then buy a tonne carbon credit from the communities on Exhibit C. It’ll come with genuine provenance and no small amount of love. 

Bath-based Ecosulis’ mission is to accelerate global rewilding, which it sees not just in terms of developing space for nature, or improving human health and wellbeing, but also as a financially viable venture. Can rewilding be parcelled up, tokenised and priced for sale. Ecosulus says yes. 

Voluntary carbon trading has many problems. Fixing them – ethically, practically and as a properly functioning marketplace – is essential if we are to accurately balance the Net Zero equation. Toucan is tackling this challenge head on, allowing units of carbon to be minted as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with trading facilitated on a blockchain-like distributed ledger for authenticity and transparency. Get this right, and every forward-thinking farmer, forester and landowner could have a ‘second crop’ in every hectare – the carbon they sequester. 

Over the course of 2022 Cohesive – through our twice monthly ezine The Clec – is going to be exploring a lot more solutions and businesses in this vein. If you’re one of them, reach out to us in the comments below or contact us at purpose@wearecohesive.com. We’d love to learn more.


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