Moving Planet Day - St James’ Piccadilly – London - September 24th
IDENTIFYING THE MONEY POWER BEHIND CLIMATE CHANGE
The Climate Scene – by Dave Hampton – the carbon coach
Good morning. May I start with inspiration by Grace Lee Boggs who is 91 yrs young: “Do something local, do something real, however small. And don’t ‘diss’ the political things, but do understand their limitations.” So - the short version of my talk is - Just Do It, locally, and with good grace. (Thanks Grace.)
It’s an honour to be first to speak today. My intention is to:-
- scatter a few seeds – and maybe spark some gracious conversations later
- speak from the heart –share some simple but radical notions
- set out an action list - an A to E list - arising from my personal analysis of the Changing Climate Scene. And it is an urgent ‘A&E’ situation too.
The overwhelming reality – and it is overwhelming - truly, madly, deeply so is that – all of us together in the West are complicit. We are combusting hundreds of millions of year’s worth of precious, and previously safely long-buried, ‘Ancient Sunlight’. We’re taking Vitamin FF fossil fuel (past life lifted from its grave) & metabolising it daily. Each year, we squander one million years worth of ancient sunlight ! We are on fire. Who will say, “STOP IT!”
Unlike most other very serious issues facing humanity today, the cause of climate chaos is, very unhelpfully, completely invisible. Invisible bonfires: the OBscene damage to our Home planet - UNseen. So let’s make it visible. Blow up a 10 gram Purple CO2 Balloon. The average UK lifestyle leads to emissions of 100 of these balloons per person/ per hr. Think disclosing tablets for plaque on teeth, there was even a chemical that turned purple - when a swimmer urinates in a pool! The other meaning the talk title is the climate SEEN.
Once we see it– we may also see we are the money cause. It is MY money that sustains the bonfire. Denial is cheap – and costs £1.40p per litre, 13 pence per kWh, £1 a therm, or £50 a cheap flight.
Al Gore says we treat our atmosphere – our ocean of air - like an open sewer. My aim these last few years is to face up to this - to me and my carbon shadow – and to look it in the eye – name it – size it up – and disclose it. It’s big and it’s not pretty. In panto ‘it’s behind you!’ This is the inner work – removing the carbon plank from my own eye and – or is it a splinter?
It seems that what needs to be done is actually quite simple: Dr Seuss said “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” And Einstein said “When the solution is simple, God is answering.”
In 2009 there was a campaign The Solution is Simple – backed by Alain Robert who climbs up the tallest city buildings -without ropes- to draw attention to the climate crisis. In the campaign:
1 – Stop Cutting Down Trees. Plant More Trees.
2 – Make Everything Energy Efficient.
3 – Only Make Clean Energy
That simple message, 3 years ago, was that we had 100 months - to tip the balance - of all history – one way - or the other. It is 63 months now.
So here is my A to E for the ‘A&E’ that’s urgently needed for our Earth:
A is Activism – activism is beautiful. There are brave people all over the world risking everything. At Climate Camp, Climate Rush... I don’t say we all need to break the law, or climb the Lloyds building, or go to jail, but we can be witnesses, and state that these are our friends doing these amazingly strong actions. I’m publicly proud of them. Frankly they deserve more support - they deserve our participation too – in the fight for our kids future.
B is Being the Change. By the way when Gandhi said ‘Be The Change’ it was a lovely invitation to become personal beacons of inspiration - all BEING the change. Not people going around saying the words Be The Change! He’s done that bit! Being the change is cool – delightful – educational and fulfilling... it has to be done for joy. Not righteousness. One attracts, the other repels. So don’t waste any opportunity to joyfully cut your own carbon, and be proud of what you’ve done. I wish i could say I cycled here today, but I did take the train. And by the way, I don’t fly, not atall. That feels right for me. And crucially - I’m very happy not to fly.
C. There are two C’s. C and C. Contraction and Convergence as proposed by my friend Aubrey Meyer and as endorsed by almost every intelligent human on the planet, such as the Archbishop of Canterbury and most spiritual leaders. But agreeing that it’s obviously right - is not enough! We have to demand world leaders DO it. It is coming. Soon we will have C&C.
My D is for DOING. Deploying clean energy generation equipment in our home towns, on our roofs, on our community centres, in our fields, New clean community power station capacity - solar panels, solar farms, wind turbines - YIMBY - Yes In MY Back Yard. “Every hour, enough Sun’s energy reaches the Earth’s surface to meet the whole world’s energy demands - for a year.” Wind & solar have vast potential. Don’t let ‘them’ tell you otherwise. (Plus renewable energy – long term – is all we got!)
E is for Ecocide – again the subject of a whole talk –but I believe Polly Higgins’s work around Ecocide and giving our Home Planet Earth a legal identity and legal rights is probably THE vital missing part of the whole, giant, jigsaw.
So – that’s my A to E – and we can – very quickly – against all odds – combine to TIP the status quo in the world – peaceful energy revolution.
So, here’s a glimpse of what all this will look like in the near future:
Activists will be respected and their advice sought by leaders (rather than capitalists)
Burning carbon unnecessarily will stand out like a sore thumb - like me turning up today in a Hummer!
We’ll have accepted C&C equal rights to pollute the air – we will restrain ourselves - paying heavily if we exceed our shrinking carbon quota (and receiving a payment if we don’t.)
We will be Doing It - Deploying solar and wind like crazy. Not least because it will be astute too. We will all be building new locally run solar and wind and living off free clean power from the elements for life... eternal power!
And because of Ecocide Law and Planetary Rights, banks, corporations, lawyers, governments even, will take account of the legal rights of the natural world – Mother Earth is the Parent Company – the Holding Company plc – and eco crime will be punishable in Law. Because Nature doesn’t do bailouts. The clear message to business will be - to make any further profit, always avoid crime of ecocide.
Thank you so much for listening – there is one more I need to add.
And it’s the letter W. I add this for me, as much as for anyone. It is time for us/me to graciously accept the Peace that goes with knowing we are going to win this. We have to start to know this. Now, at last, however slowly, we ARE winning, and we will win. Be winners not losers. That was W.
And that’s isn’t mindless optimism, it’s 'by design' - the engineering of the psychology of Victory.
PS In a question after this talk it was suggested that the Zeal of Youth would have topped things off!
Activism: The Just Do It film – many screenings are free of charge www.justdoitfilm.com
Activists modelled on suffragette movement -Climate Rush – http://www.climaterush.co.uk/
Being The Change conference 2011 – London – 1/10/11 www.beingthechange.info
Contraction and Convergence as first proposed by the Global Commons Institute www.gci.org.uk
Eradicating Ecocide book and Planetary Rights - www.eradicatingecocide.com
http://www.thehamiltongroup.org.uk/common/ecocide.asp The Ecocide Trial - The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom - 30 September 2011 - PLEASE NOTE - The Trial is open to the public on a first come first served basis and starts at 9am. The trial is being shown on TV screens outside the courtroom for those not able to get into the Courtroom. It can also be watched live through this SKY link: Sky News
The Transition Town Network www.transitionnetwork.org
http://graceleeboggs.com/ Grace Lee Boggs – 91 year old activist and philosopher
www.borderlanders.com Navajo Indian and Jungian Psychology
www.thework.com The Work of Byron Katie