July 18th, 2022
It seems very appropriate that I’m writing this on the first official ‘extreme heatwave’ warning in Britain; and the day after my youngest grandchild turned one year old….
I’ll start with optimism, swiftly followed by a ‘call to arms/action’!….
Yuval Noah Harari (whose books you may have read, like ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’) and colleagues at Sapienship have been doing some calculations….
“If humanity invests just an extra 2% of Global GDP in developing eco-friendly technologies and infrastructure every year, this would be enough to prevent catastrophic climate change, while also creating lots of new jobs and economic opportunities.”
They go on to say: “Shifting 2% of the budget from here to there is what politicians do all the time. So we should pressure them to just do their job. It’s a concrete, clear and feasible target – 2%”
So there is achievable hope.
But, as Greta Thunberg said at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, hope is not enough. Hope has to be earned.
If you, my readers (maybe only my mum….?!), do not want or are not able to be involved in practical activism, I believe it’s essential that we all engage with our politicians/MPs, even if some seem completely unreachable…..
So, as the Sapienship report says:
“Pester politicians relentlessly”!
I’ve sent mine this link https:www.sapienship.co/decision-makers/2-percent-more
He (Mark Harper, Tory MP who was considering standing for the leadership/prime minister…!) knows ‘where I’m coming from’ so I didn’t elaborate further (probably written to him 3 times a week for 2 years!).
But it might be good if you add something personal to your letter/email, if you’re not regularly in touch with her/him….
One specific way you could engage this week is by sending a letter to your MP objecting to the government’s reckless aviation strategy, Jet Zero (copying in Robert Courts, the Aviation Minister; and Greg Clarke, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Levelling Up, ultimately responsible for airport expansion planning decisions).
Jet Zero is another example of ‘greenwashing’ – increasingly, ‘the norm’ these days.
In one way, the practice shows that the people with power realise our urgent concern about the climate crisis, but they are cynically trying to get away with plans dressed up as solutions.
We must not fall for being misled.
Jet Zero expressly supports aviation expansion. So how does the government square this with the desperate need for a drastic cut in emissions? As the group opposing expansion at Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) puts it, “Put simply, Jet Zero is a con. It’s an aviation industry wish list masquerading as government policy.”
Follow this link for a template letter and e-mail addresses – https://www.galba.uk/jet-zero
To return to the topic of the 2022 Glastonbury Festival, my ‘Generation Y’ son and I had a discussion about how heartening it is to see the current ‘Generation Z’ young people engaging with ‘issues’.
A Guardian article on July 15th highlighted a number of inspiring young people – embracing climate optimism through Tik Tok of all places… (sounding my age there….?!)
When Zahra Biabani (from Houston, Texas – ‘of all places’….), aged 23, learned that 56% of Gen Zers believe humanity is doomed, she started posting weekly positive climate news stories, which were met with a lot of gratitude. Climate optimism, Biabani says, isn’t about discrediting the trove of science and evidence that the climate crisis threatens our future on Earth – it’s a way to cultivate hope so people continue fighting.
Hear, hear (another outdated phrase….?!).
All generations need to join together, and keep fighting.