Little bit of a different direction this week as we await outcomes of the G7 meeting in Cornwall. Whilst many of us are doing our best to live more responsibly, there is still only so much we can do on a personal level. Without serious government action agreed between all the major economies and enacted rapidly then it will be in vain. Over the last 2 years there has been an incredible change in climate and ecological awareness, yet unfortunately whilst there is lots of talk, rhetoric and plenty of good intentions; there has not yet been any action that amounts to a change of direction. All the G7 governments are powering forward with forecasted record economic growth, construction and fossil fuel investments. The talk at the G7 will pretty much set the scene for COP 26 in Glasgow and so it really matters this year. I have been trying to think what message I would like to deliver to our MP. What words might make a difference do you think?
Figure 1: Mount Recyclemore; the amazing waste electronics sculpture by Music Magpie for the G7
Continuing with the global rather than local (my house) focus, here is a link to what I found to be a very interesting article on the so-called ‘nuclear deterrent’ and which touches on climate chaos too; as it considers the two paths are converging. I haven’t read any of Schell’s books which the article is based on - has anyone else? We have certainly moved away from the internationalist politics and treaty-making of the post-war 20th Century back into an era of populist nation-state building, which is the first step in making war (of any kind) more likely. Meanwhile the biting realities of climate change and its effect on resources will push in the same direction. Back in the day we woke up to this, but it seems that neo-liberalism, and the excessive consumption and exploitation it is build on, somehow distracted us. I personally believe the reason so many people are upset/angry/abusive when confronted with the reality of our race towards oblivion is not because they don’t believe it (in which case why would it provoke them so much), but because on some instinctive level we are all fully aware that the way we are living is not just unsustainable, but also deeply wrong. To acknowledge this, to focus on it, is to admit our culpability.
Another issue is that some of those who are aware of the scale of the crisis facing us believe there is nothing anyone can do and therefore why not ‘live while we can’, because the future looks bleak and hopeless. The task is not to prove we are indeed hurtling towards extinction -but that there is hope. For that we need to return to international accords and the dismantling of this ridiculous idea of competing ‘nations’ in favour of cooperating communities and regions. This is my message to the G7 this month: stop prevaricating and act in a way that solves the problem, not which you believe is ‘palateable’ to the voters. More of us are behind you than you can imagine and there is strength in working with us not working to silence us.
Figure 2: Message to the G7 over the A303 from Extinction Rebellion Salisbury
And before you think I’ve forgotten: I’ve fined myself another £20 this month. Apparently there are lots of hitherto unconsidered grey areas in my plan. Is it acceptable to give someone a lift to the station so they don’t miss their train? Probably not (what do you think?), so that’s another £20 into the kitty. Whilst collecting a friends daughter from Bournemouth uni to store her belongings in the garage while she travels home on the train. Probably ok? If you’re reading this on Facebook, please comment, if on the website you can scroll down to leave a comment as it’s getting lonely at the end of this one-way conversation!