It feels like everybody is arguing. Everywhere. I see factions appearing, alliances being broken and nothing getting done.
Wherever I look on the Internet and more subtly in real life, people are screaming at each other. Blame is pouring out left, right and centre and nobody is listening. We are fighting Climate Change as though it is a War and that our neighbours are our enemies. They aren’t.
Climate change is, with very little room for doubt, the biggest threat that humanity has ever faced. What’s more, it is a threat that is solvable very simply. There is no reason that we cannot move very quickly over to renewable energy. Green energy production is easier, cleaner and more efficient than ever. In the odd Country that is making serious progress in this (In 2017 Germany produced 36% of it’s electricity through renewables beating it’s own target of 35% by 2020), the switch-over is proving to be routine and easy to manage.
The Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a beautiful and strange little place. The natural beauty around us makes it difficult to believe that we are only years away from a Climate disaster. It has a laid back vibe, which though wonderful for the most part, means that we are not great here at protests and marches and generally standing up for ourselves. In spite of this the International Group ‘Extinction Rebellion‘ has started to take a foothold here and the last event attracted over 300 people. That may seem a tiny number compared to the huge marches taking place around our cities, but believe me, for a protest on the Isle of Wight, this is great! The local newspaper run a story on the march, for which we were all grateful. But the comments…
The people on the March were torn apart, their message was made irrelevant because maybe they drove a car, took the occasional foreign holiday, cooked with gas, smoked cigarettes or weren’t vegan. I think this is the problem. Ordinary people feel blamed for climate change. As individuals no matter how much we do, we feel blamed for not doing more. Of course, every one of us should do as much as we can; switch your energy to a green supplier, reduce your meat and dairy intake, use public transport and make your voice heard by attending rallies and spreading the truth of it all.
Remember though, that Climate Change (and many of the rest of the World’s problems) are not the fault of ordinary people. By ordinary people by the way, I mean every single human being that is not part of or lobbying for the Fossil Fuel trade or deliberately setting policy that ensures that this continues.
We cannot blame people who are a bit more well of than us because they can afford more holidays, we cannot blame the poor in developing countries who can only afford to heat their homes and cook their food using dirty fuels and who have no way to dispose of their rubbish but into the environment around us. The only blame lays with the policy makers and those that use money and influence to ensure that they can continue to ride roughshod over every human that is not them. We must do our best and show kindness and respect to those around us who are also doing their bit. Even if their bit is imperfect. None of us are perfect. We have to stop shouting at each other to wake up, the people at fault are wide-awake and are choosing money and big business over compassion and sensible action.
In 2018 we were told that we have 12 years to get our Carbon emissions under control. The response to this? New Coal Mines in the North of England, Fracking in Lancashire, new oil drilling in the English Channel, mining of the Alberta Tar Sands and moves to dig up the vast reserves of oil buried under the Antarctic. These are the unsustainable decisions, made purely for money, that we must oppose.
Tackling Climate Change could be an act of love that unites us globally. It transcends political parties, geographical boundaries and issues of race and religion. For once we really are all in this together. The more we can tackle this on a Global Scale, the greater chance we have of success. So please, act with kindness and save your anger for those who genuinely deserve it; those willing to continue poking a dying planet for money to the detriment of every inhabitant on it. Be kinder for the climate, this is not a war it is a paradigm shift. I hope we can all realise, really soon, that we are all the same; a collective of living beings living on a sick planet that we can save.
Further Information & Reading:
An amazing photo and words about Extinction Rebellion Isle of Wight by Chris Jones.