Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Blistering Response to Dismissal of Climate Action Demands. Lizia Woolf

I myself have been in a hell of a struggle with hopelessness for many years.  Its like the tide coming in, every wave hits a bit harder than the last, but then I shake off the hit and keep on keeping on, until the next one comes along that knocks me over.  After all, hope is a survival strategy in hopeless times - I like that.  
Unfortunately, the general public apathy, disconnect, along with the profound lack of appreciation for the complexity of our society and its utter dependence on relatively moderate and predictable weather patterns sustaining our robust biosphere that's been millions of years (and more) in the making, has been chopping away at my will power.  Which then reminds me that simply curling up and hiding is another survival strategy (perhaps mental health strategy is more accurate). 
But, then someone like Lizia comes along to remind me this isn't simply another political game, this one is for keeps.  Lizia's impassioned response resonated with me and its worth sharing.

November 11, 2018

At a press briefing organised by direct action climate campaigners Extinction Rebellion last week, the BBC’s environmental analyst, Roger Harrabin, stated that one of the key demands of the group – a government commitment to zero carbon by 2025 – would simply not happen. He asked whether the group was setting itself up to fail.

In a passionate response which changed minds and hearts in the room, 20 year-old Lizia Woolf asked how she was supposed to react to a question like that. She said “Questions like ‘well, is it possible?’ They’re pointless! This is unimaginable to me, to ask these questions.”

Extinction Rebellion embark on a series of bold protests this week, culminating in a mass act of civil disobedience next weekend. Find out more at www.rebellion.earth

For more background:

Hopeless Realism

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 14th November 2018

It was a moment of the kind that changes lives. At a press conference held by Extinction Rebellion last week, two of us journalists pressed the activists on whether their aims were realistic. They have called, for example, for carbon emissions in the UK to be reduced to net zero by 2025. Wouldn’t it be better, we asked, to pursue some intermediate aims?
A young woman called Lizia Woolf stepped forward. She hadn’t spoken before, and I hadn’t really noticed her, but the passion, grief and fury of her response was utterly compelling. “What is it that you are asking me as a 20-year-old to face and to accept about my future and my life? … this is an emergency – we are facing extinction. When you ask questions like that, what is it you want me to feel?”. We had no answer.
Softer aims might be politically realistic, but they are physically unrealistic. Only shifts commensurate with the scale of our existential crises have any prospect of averting them. Hopeless realism, tinkering at the edges of the problem, got us into this mess. It will not get us out.    . . .      https://www.monbiot.com/2018/11/19/hopeless-realism/

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