SO, COP26 came and went. Hate it or love it, the international climate conference, which finished last week was, if nothing else, a big conversation about the future of life on earth.

More locally, while delegates in Glasgow were debating the difference between phasing-down and phasing-out coal usage, and whether a commitment is the same as a promise, a small group were out in Taunton High Street and Priorswood, having our own conversations with about 300 passers-by.

At the beginning, our placards read ASK ME ABOUT COP26, but by the end of week two, the text had been changed to TELL ME ABOUT COP26, to reflect the fact that giving out information is not enough. And all the time we were accompanied by drawings by children of a planet on fire and the disappearance of yet another species, as an urgent reminder of what is at stake.

Half of those we spoke to felt pessimistic about the possibility of change, or about the willingness of politicians to take adequate action.

One person, perhaps sensing how quickly the media circus moves on, was already thinking about preparing for COP27 next year, and many had ideas for small contributions we all can make now.

There were those that were in favour of moving from current Government Wild-West policies to more regulation to help us all stick to our resolutions.

Some were anticipating the festive season: How about giving someone a one-cup kettle, or holding a post-Christmas bring-and-buy sale? A more ethical bank account, insurance policy or pension scheme might be more effective, but it doesn’t have the same feel, does it?

Much of the two weeks, I had Bob Dylan’s sombre Not Dark Yet going through my head, but often lightened by the generosity of many conversations about change, and the inspiring trumpeter Louis playing “What a wonderful world” in the background – and long may it be so!