To cultivate the radical center and build consensus around climate initiatives, we need to speak to the values of our audience.
What does it mean to truly understand the reality of humankind’s ecological predicament, and what should you do with that understanding once you possess it?
It’s a major challenge for us as a society to learn again how to see the world as populated by entities that are far more marvellous than car collections and museum galleries. And to recognize that they require a transformation in our ways of living and cohabiting.
Some people say that now is not the time to be talking about the climate emergency because people are feeling anxious, afraid and overwhelmed, and that you and I should desist from dating until the COVID-19 crisis is over. I suspect that those saying this never took the climate and biodiversity emergencies seriously in the first place, and they don’t understand that just as the causes of our troubles are linked, our solutions must also be linked.
In a year where biblical calamities have rained down upon the world – as floods, bush fires and locust storms– this fracture has not emerged in the highly stressed natural world but from within a globalised human society. After ignoring the cries of Cassandra for decades, the horse has finally entered the gates of the cities, releasing billions of tiny invisible lifeforms that are no respecters of age, gender, wealth, position or race.
The first thing to overcome with the coronavirus is fear. The virus is certainly dangerous. The likelihood is we will need to learn to live with it. A “new normal” will emerge with its own protocols for traveling, meeting, caring for each other, grieving those we lose, and living our lives.
It is in the other English tradition – a tradition starting with the Charter of the Forest, later championed by the Levellers, later by the Chartists and the Co-operatives, the trade unions and the original Labour Movement that brought us the Welfare State – a tradition of resistance to autocracy and privilege – and a tradition that one that can be championed without being compromised by imperialism and militarism. Secondly his new Charter would be a set of principles which, if implemented, would block the politics of Singapore on Thames
If we were to consider the recent election and its aftermath as a dry run or a sort of stress-test for the way the more liberal half of America will respond to the emerging climate crisis, the outlook is mixed, at best.
To orientate to the world properly we need to have a proper feel for the huge amount of what we don’t know…
Condemnations have rightly been forthcoming from a whole range of senior figures from celebrities to government officials, less attention has been paid to the roots of the crisis.
We are now forced to address the legality of ecological exploitation if we are to achieve the high law of morality to protect our ecosphere.
We have no choice but to deal with the collapse of journalism, but we also should recognize the need for a journalism of collapse.