Unfortunately, the funding bid was unsuccessful. It was disappointing, yet I’ve still been busy, building links with the Cooperative movement in Portugal and supporting them to get funding for a forthcoming conference in June. Down, but not out. The plan, although stalled, is still a plan, defined and written, ready for the wider world. Instead of a quick bolt out of the blocks, it will come from a standing start, and that is ok.
During these times, many of my activist friends have once again taken to the streets to keep raising awareness about our climate crisis. It hasn’t gone away, and if anything, the continuing Russian/Ukrainian war is exacerbating the need for action. Politicians have fallen back into what they know, exploiting existing fossil reserves to ensure our fuel security. This, despite the serious warnings of following this pathway by the UN Secretary General. So we find ourselves yet again, fighting deep-pocketed lobbyists, vested interests and without visionary leaders.
Within all of this, I fight small battles. I have also started reading The Precipice, by Toby Ord. Not a moment too soon either, although I had put off opening it for fear it would be too depressing and take me further into the darkness than I cared to go. I was wrong. As an avid science-fiction reader, my thoughts have long been with what humanity could achieve and how we might reshape ourselves. These books take the latest research and extrapolate the ideas into a myriad futures. Perhaps, this is why I can so easily understand the severity of the climate crisis, I can watch it unfold in my mind’s eye.
This is why also I find so much of what is presented to humanity, limiting and wonderless. We are boxed in to the role of Homo economicus, when we are so much more than we realise. Those folks who kick back against Earth Defenders, and there are many who die globally protecting their lands, are understandably fearful of change. Without a strong, absorbing vision, without agency to deliver this themselves, what pathways can be seen beyond those who are dictating the maps?
I can reflect on the funding application that the projects they want to inspire are global and massive. I can understand the need for these. However, we also need communities to feel enabled, to empower themselves, through collaborations and partnerships, by innovating and sharing knowledge across and between different participants and sectors. Everyone does need to play a role in the future, regardless of whether they believe in the climate crisis or not. As I’ve said before, we can all start from a basis of shared values and differing opinions, indeed these are what has given humanity great depth and huge leaps of progress. I am certainly not a technophobe and see a clean, green future requiring much greater investment in the delivery and deployment of non-fossil-fuel-based technology. How this is delivered equitably, ensuring the remnants of our ecosystems are protected whilst moving forward as a society, should be open to everyone to participate.
We already have a huge array of solutions available to ourselves, but getting this information out there and into the everyday is key. Without the deep pockets, stuffed by planet-altering extraction, how can we achieve such information ambitions? We can all start somewhere, low hanging fruit is normally a good place. Get the easy wins – recycling, low carbon travel, green energy, reduced meat, reduced consumption – choose these and then springboard to other actions. Get involved with local environmental groups, be part of the conversation and focus activity that will enable a positive future.