We are killing our planet with a wanton abandonment that depleted and impoverished future generations will view with dismay. With 75 per cent of flying insect biomass lost in 27 years, our soils in crisis, the sixth mass extinction underway and runaway climate change all but inevitable, Greta Thunberg rightly implores us to act like the house is on fire. She doesn’t want hope or platitudes; she wants action.
Meanwhile our government (Sajid Javid in particular) and most business leaders claim the ground of reasoned, rational sobriety with pleas for stability and continuity, and for us to be patient and trust them. What is reasonable, rational or trustworthy about continuing on a course that science tells us is doomed, in order to afford a last grotesque bout of consumption?
The slow and marginal change advocated by government and businesses will not be enough; a few nods to corporate social responsibility while rejecting any initiative that threatens short-term economic growth or our individual right to consume with abandon, doesn’t come anywhere near to matching the gravity and urgency of the crisis we face. We are locked into a capitalist, consuming paradigm which is leading us to imminent self-destruction, but seems unchallenged nonetheless.
Frustration is breaking out across the world; it just needs a leader. The fact it has taken a 16-year-old with an extraordinary gift for stating the obvious with glaring integrity to galvanize the world into action does not reflect well on the rest of us. Could Greta be our last chance, our only hope of redemption? It is an extraordinary burden for such young shoulders.
When democracy fails to serve our common interest and that of our children, it is time to take to the streets. Sajid Javid has called on police to use the “full force of the law” against Extinction Rebellion protestors causing disruption in London to draw attention to the issue of climate change. He and many of our leaders urgently need disrupting before they lead us into the eternal flames of irreversible climate change and ecological breakdown.
We have been sending pallet loads of veg to feed the protestors and will continue to support them and the school strike for as long as it takes to see action and good governance.