But I want protestors to avoid the fatalism I saw in London, and to remember that protest and disruption do work, no matter how little or how much. The actions of climate protests have instigated real action before, and they will, and must, do so again.
Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD, is Executive Director of Climate Emergency Fund. She is a clinical psychologist turned climate activist whose work helps people to face the truth of the climate emergency and transform their despair into effective action. She addresses the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?”
Because the so-called ‘emergency’ isn’t going to solve it for us. Moreover, it isn’t going to get ‘solved’ as such at all. The start of the new beginning we need, is to admit that we have failed. And then seek, everywhere, and together, a real way forward.
Assemblies can be the way to break the business as usual logjam that is paralysing effective action. For that, they need to be given the time and range of expert input to be able to arrive at their own understanding of the level of the emergency, and the transformations needed to address it.
Prof. Chomsky has long argued that the roots of the climate emergency, and of our failure to deal with it, reach deep into the capitalist economic system.
From devastating wildfires to rising methane emissions, Earth’s vital signs are continuing to deteriorate, scientists warn.
Ten months since our major cities were blanketed by smoke from the Black Summer bushfires and nine months since the National Climate Emergency Summit considered the radical emergency footing that is now Melbourne’s COVID-19 reality, a quiet suburban revolution is taking place.
We need to maximize our species survival fitness within a dual strategy: bring our world together to out-cooperate the world-ending dynamics we’ve set in motion to ensure the maximal just survival of humanity, wildlife and the ecosystems we depend on, and shift the global economy to a secure state of temporary rest until we are truly ready for transition.
It’s too late, of course – too late to turn aside from the language of emergency. I’m not here to argue that we should, only to invite my friends who are using this language to think harder and speak more clearly about what it means; to recognise that there is fire in this language and to have a care for what might get burned down.
Hear the language of the emergency? Is it to galvanise progressive change or engender fear? I’ve been in a few emergencies. I’ve even been in a house on fire. Clear thinking and quick strategic action were required. Fear and panic are highly contagious and are not helpful in an emergency. I’m noticing even committed permies around me are doubting whether our methods and principles are enough to avert catastrophe.
What does a real Climate Emergency action plan look like? The answer is defined by the science − by the physics and chemistry. Some find it hard to imagine this is actually happening. Some think it seems ‘unrealistic’. But ask yourself about the alternative of risking the collapse of civilisation, the death of billions of people and the extinction of much of life on earth? Is that ‘realistic’? No economy on a dead planet.
Last week a new paper in Nature caused a stir and world-wide headlines, and for good reason.
“Climate tipping points – too risky to bet against” by Lenton, Rockstrom, Gaffney, Rahmstrof, Richardson, Steffen and Schellnhuber look at the “evidence on the threat of exceeding (climate system) tipping points, and whether we still have any control over them” because this “helps to define that we are in a climate emergency.”