The Environment Movement must centre equity, inclusion and our emotions (mainly love but not only love)

Weekend pondering at 420 ppm CO2 as COP15 starts and COP26 is on the immediate horizon. I’m  not an expert on theory of change, but here are my best guesses at tackling the #Ecological Emergency and the  #ClimateEmergency

1) If we do not centre equity, justice and decolonisation, our zero carbon lifestyle will be just as destructive as this one.

2) We will need to upscale current technologies and develop new ones; but it won’t be enough. Tech bro wannabe saviours need to check their egos.

3) Many of us must change our lifestyles; but we must ask that with empathy. It will be liberating for some and painful for others.

4) I trust communities more than politicians to lead the way. I trust cities more than nations. But we’ll need all of them.

5) I do not think capitalism can get it done. I don’t. But it’s the prevailing ideology now, so I expect those institutions to fucking try. Businesses.  Investors.  Political Enablers.  Media Enablers.  Educational Enablers.  If you are not ready to throw out the system, then you have the primary obligation to ensure the system does not kill us, does not destroy the environment, does not perpetuate racism.  We’re all locked into the system – for now – but we do not have to be complicit.

6) Even if you’re not protesting, thank those who do. The changes needed are too bold, too big to achieve without determined activism.

[I think there is much to unpack here with the word protest. But I would like to make one based on the theme of this entire list. There is no single solution. Similarly, there is no single form of appropriate protest. All protests have happened across a spectrum of disruption. Arguably, the most disruptive protests force the establishment to engage with the more polite ones. I do not know. But I think if our premise is there is a right and a wrong form of protest we do not understand how a movement collectively affects change. This is especially relevant given global efforts to criminalise and control protest, which is why we wrote this: theguardian.com/environment/20]

7) This challenge is so pervasive that everyone can contribute by doing what they love – science, art, journalism, politics, music, finance.

8) Love will be the most important driver. But we’ll often need to embrace the power of our anger and sorrow.

9) We’ve all got something to offer. Conversely, no one person or one idea will be the saviour. Set aside ego and embrace community and inclusivity.

An even 10: We cannot stop environmental destruction without a love for humanity. We are as much of nature as ants, trees, lichen & bacteria. Our lifestyles cause harm, but we’ve also created beauty and discovered wonder. All of us and all yet to be born are worthy of saving.

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Wildflower Meadow on the campus of the University of Bristol, specifically designed to support pollinator biodiversity. Beauty is everywhere, if we choose to see it, if we choose to nurture it.

 

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