Agitate for change
Mike Berners-Lee advises us (‘Footsteps disappear’, NI 519) to avoid pension and savings schemes that invest in fossil-fuel companies. Our choices must be to leave the banks and insurance companies for those with ethical policies without such investments – in each case telling them why we are leaving. In the case of pension schemes to which we are tied, we have to question their policies and agitate for correction. Unity is strength: the actions of many individuals taking their money out of the hands of the offenders will be effective.
Ways of seeing
I enjoy NI immensely. Your articles, features, writers and topics are on the mark, told within our truths, inspire the wish to act, and sometimes, only sometimes, take action for one’s self. This last part is the crucial crunch that sometimes makes us allies, activists, a game-changer, or remain a sceptic.
There are many ways to give blame and not too many ways for taking responsibility, which is a choice one has to make for oneself, and it is not always because of the effects of all human activities that have a negative effect, as you state in your edition on climate change (NI 519).
Some principles I live by today: kindness, sharing, moderation, modesty, agreement by the collective were part of my original Inuit culture. These values get in the way of making people become filthy rich. Getting rich does not inspire people to care for one another, abuse of power does not serve the greater good.
There are many people on the planet, we are all connected, we all live on this revolving globe, we all hurt, we ignore, and we have the capacity to do the greatest work. I continue to find ways to be less a colonizer, to become more human, to live within the moment and I thank you all for the many ways we see to say the same thing.
I’m enjoying your timely and well-written edition How to avoid climate breakdown (NI 519). However, I would like to see you give more emphasis to the very important topic of protecting old-growth rainforests. There is good evidence to suggest that intact tropical forest is a key player in keeping carbon in the ground. I feel that protecting rainforest should be added to every carbon detox list, such as the one by Mike Berners-Lee.
I love Sue Branford’s article about the Sateré people but am left wishing there was some way I could support the fight of Brazil’s indigenous people against the appalling Bolsonaro. After such an article, could you have details of organizations helping these people?
The letter criticizing striking schoolchildren who want adults to take political action regarding climate change (NI 519) was extremely condescending. These school children, who are often supported by their teachers, understand that the situation is urgent. The comments about turning off bedroom lights and not carrying bottles of water sounded like a typical critical parent. As far as refusing single-use plastic bags is concerned, in Bellingen it was a local youth group that persuaded the local supermarket to stop supplying free non-recyclable plastic bags and to replace them with compostable bags.
Re: your section on the Adani coalmine (‘World in motion’) – the mine has now been approved by the Liberal government as a result of pressure from hard-right MPs worried about losing their seats in the federal election. Now, Bob Brown, the veteran Green campaigner who helped to save the Franklin river, is heading a convoy opposing the mega-mine.
Re: Letters, NI 519. I think it is uncalled-for to question the dedication of children striking for their future, when older generations, who have contributed to climate change as well, have not acted to save their own children’s futures.
It is also unconstructive to criticize people fighting for climate justice because not all of their actions are carbon-neutral. One of the main reasons that people are protesting is that we live in societies that are geared towards consumerism, which do not make it easy to buy carbon neutral products. I think most people are aware that they are contributing to the problem; that should not preclude them from campaigning for change.
Maybe if those that support climate justice stop criticizing each other for long enough to stand together, we can achieve real change.