From denialism and doomism – to climate activism
“XR would be better off reverting to some of the more spectacular and targeted interventions that Greenpeace and Plane Stupid pulled off in the past, than messing up the commutes of workers who’re already suffering the fallout from the pandemic.”
There’s a lot of gloom and doom around the climate – but perhaps it’s a convenient thing for some of the players:
“Fossil fuel interests are working to dampen the public’s enthusiasm for taking action on climate. For a classic example of defection, look at BP, which gave us the world’s first individual carbon footprint calculator. Why did they do that? Because BP wanted us looking at our carbon footprint not theirs.”
The ‘dampening of enthusiasm’ is becoming outright ‘eco-anxiety’ – which can be paralysing – as revealed in a new study as reported in Nature:
Climate change is causing distress, anger and other negative emotions in children and young people worldwide, a survey of thousands of 16- to 25-year-olds has found. This ‘eco-anxiety’ has a negative impact on respondents’ daily lives, say the researchers who conducted the survey, and is partly caused by the feeling that governments aren’t doing enough to avoid a climate catastrophe.“
This study provides arguments for anyone who has any connection to youth mental health — climate change is a real dimension into their mental-health problems,” says Sarah Ray, who studies climate anxiety at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.
The results, released in a preprint on 14 September1, found that most respondents were concerned about climate change, with nearly 60% saying they felt ‘very worried’ or ‘extremely worried’. Many associated negative emotions with climate change — the most commonly chosen were ‘sad’, ‘afraid’, ‘anxious’, ‘angry’ and ‘powerless’
With more on the report here:
Young people are feeling powerless for sure – but many are channelling their concern:
“Some people might be proactive in taking measures to protect the planet’s resources, while others might feel so powerless to stop the degradation of the environment they can’t handle thinking about it at all,” said Erica Dodds, chief operating officer of the Foundation for Climate Restoration
No matter where you fall on the eco-anxiety spectrum, the steps you take to recognize your symptoms and improve them will likely be advantageous for the planet, too. Where to begin? See if any of these eco-anxiety symptoms sound familiar and use the expert-backed strategies provided as fuel for positive change.…
But there’s action – and there’s action, as pointed out by Will Self recently:
XR, to gain any headway against the forces of reaction needs to drop the pantaloons and get serious with its tactics – which are always the way to defeat a stronger opponent who can hold territory: tactics use time to gain power over space, whereas strategy enacts the opposite. They’d be better off reverting to some of the more spectacular and targeted interventions that Greenpeace and Plane Stupid pulled off in the past, than messing up the commutes of workers who’re already suffering the fallout from the pandemic.
This, and rank hypocrisy is what prevents XR from gaining further traction: everyone watching them cavort around their puce street furniture knows that they’re just as ensnared in the hydra of heating as the rest of us; so in order to become a truly grass roots movement they have to convince us they’re rooting a lot of grass. Not just smoking it.