In support of the Global Climate Strike, I am not engaging in paid work today. I’ll also be posting about the climate crisis on social media, writing to my MP and local councillors, and joining a local protest.Why strike? Because we cannot continue as if everything is normal. Because our house is on fire.
I have been trying, for over a decade, to lower my personal carbon footprint and to be aware of the environmental impact of the choices I make – but the political system and the infrastructure of my society has not changed far enough or fast enough to support me in this. I can buy green energy at home, but when I go into a public building I have to assume it is running on fossil fuels. I can wash out and save up my recycling, but I don’t have kerbside collections and I have to ask a friend with a car to help me take it to the household waste centre. I can limit the amount of flying I do, but 15% of people in the UK are taking 70% of the flights. I can work hard to avoid using fossil fuels personally, but we still haven’t banned fracking.
What am I asking for? For society, structurally, to take this seriously. For our society to commit to a transition to much greater economic equality (‘make wealth history’ as the Earthbound Report used to be called) and much less emphasis on paid work as the bar to entry in the community. For government to commit to ending fossil fuel use. For every organisation to ask whether they are part of the solution or part of the problem – and to have the courage to say: no. This work – extracting fossil fuels, travelling regularly, producing luxury goods, making unrecyclable items, making items with planned obsolescence – is part of the problem and therefore we will stop. For everyone to start thinking and talking in terms of doughnut economics.
I can’t install a Digital Climate Strike widget because I don’t pay WordPress anything to run this blog. But I will refuse to talk about anything else today.