Be the change

Hardly an imaginative title for a post but one that resonates loudly. I continue to be increasingly frustrated with people, including myself! That is not a great place to be…

Tomorrow sees the start of two weeks of disruption around the world by Extinction Rebellion to highlight the need for climate action. I will be there too, just as I was in April. But there is a backlash narrative that continues to grow, almost at the same rate as the support for XR grows, that of personal action.

XR make a great play of not criticising individuals, it is about system change after all. And yes, to a large extent they are correct, but that leaves a wide open door for some privileged activists to assuage their guilt as they book the next holiday, or at least it leaves the doors open for these accusations.

And yes I do know activists who fly regularly for their holidays, who eat meat, and so on. Activists who focus solely on system change while only making tiny changes to their own lives, changes that do not hurt.

But we will not get change that way, we will just stoke anger at the disruption that we cause. We must show leadership, not aggression.

It is surely incumbent on all who want change to be the change we want to see? How can we lead the way unless we, um, lead the way?

But I recognise that some changes are very difficult, particularly those that impact on family members.

However, there is simply no need to fly again. Ever. There is no need to eat meat again, ever (unless you are truly starving or anaphalatically allergic to all vege protein alternatives). Most of us can grow food, reuse, repair and so on. Most of us can make sure our energy consumption is minimised.

Why not work out what your footprint is and see what you can do to shrink it, i.e. tread more lightly on the Earth. My favourite calculator is here:

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