By Vivienne Westwood
Exchange Business as Usual for Green Economy.
Before the French Revolution in 1789 most people believed in monarchy and the divine right of kings. After 1789 they believed in democracy. We need to change old for new as quickly as that. If not, we’re dead.
To do this we must:
Destroy the Credibility of the Press (Mainstream Media)
The press repeat what politicians say. After the recent Paris Agreement, President Hollande said, “This is a major leap for mankind”. The story is: 195 countries have promised to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero in the next 50 years. This time it’s different because China is with us.
Most people now think Climate Change is under control, our leaders are taking care of it.
The press went on to tell us that the agreement is not binding and the UN says we (business as usual) are on course to hit between +2.7 and +3.5. But most people ignore that unsettling part of the information. They already “got the story”. Once they got the story there is no room for other information, especially if it conflicts; the hole has been filled and everybody’s back to square one. People don’t see any other way than business as usual. No change.
Mainstream media channels are owned by the pundits of business as usual. If the story had been presented the other way round, through a channel of The only way we can stop climate change is by means of the green economy then people would have seen COP21 as a disaster. Activists are trying to get through to people; the mainstream media is in the way. Back to square 1. My friend has a plan to puncture the credibility of mainstream media. We shall get involved.
Propagate vision of new world.
Our organisation, Climate Revolution, means the same as the title and substance of Naomi Klein’s book, This Changes Everything. It means the very process of changing to a green economy will give us the world we want. We can stop Climate Change by living in harmony with the earth (instead of raping it). This will activate the best in us, bring true human values to the fore. It means that by changing to a green economy we will need to build community and care, fair distribution of wealth, right to life, comfort, culture (not consumption), justice, happiness (give each individual the opportunity to develop), peace – not a war economy. Jobs that benefit the whole world – more teachers, nurses. It could even give us a new religion – love of the earth.
Be Specific and attack the source of the problem. The politicians pretend that business as usual can control Climate Change. Only specific actions can do that:
e.g. Save the Rainforest – be specific, stop the loggers. Climate Revolution is working with the charity, Cool Earth; working with indigenous people they are ring-fencing the forest to stop the loggers and so protect the interior. They are on track. So far they have raised £20 million in actual money and in kind from practical support from governments. We need another £114 million to save the whole world equatorial forest by 2020. The Queen has welcomed the Commonwealth’s commitment to protect the forest in her name using the Cool Earth model to halt the destruction of rainforest.
Also check out Mike Hands and the Inga Foundation which stops the need for slash and burn by planting the Inga tree and thereby enriching the ground sustainably. Again, working with tribal people.
e.g. Save the Ocean – Be specific, regenerate. We are still talking with, especially, Paul Watson from Sea Shepherd about this. Paul tells me the Ocean currently sequesters up to a third of the carbon emitted by human activity, roughly two billion metric tons each year. Greater diversity and increased populations of phytoplankton will increase the sequestering abilities of the Ocean. The phytoplankton is also capable of providing 50- 80% of our oxygen.
To make this happen, we must get the fish back: automatic, if we stop industrial fishing. To responsibly address climate change we need to allow the Ocean to repair itself and stop the destruction of the world’s forests. The planet has two lungs, one green and one blue. Saving the oceans and the rainforests are the most effective things we can do.
Our politicians accept climate change. We do not.
NGOs Unite. Work together to fight every battle. Work nationally in the UK – then link internationally. Prevent damage before it happens, e.g. fight fracking. In California a fracking well shaft broke (they all break at some point). Due to this, methane (x80 more powerful than CO2) has leaked into the ground and is shooting into the atmosphere. My friend just found out about it on the internet, yet it’s been kept quiet for 2 months. They can’t stop it. It’s a bigger disaster than BP’s Mexican Bay oil disaster.
2,000 people evacuated so far, a no-fly zone for fear of combustion. Fracking is bad economics; good for investors to play with, bad for everything else.
e.g. Fight TTIP, the end of democracy.
We need to win every battle – and be seen to be winning.
Intellectuals Unite. The world suffers from the isolation of intellectuals. During the Renaissance intellectuals were the most influential members of society. I am an intellectual; I am a reader and an art lover. I need to understand the past to understand the present. As an activist, today I spend more and more time on the problem of climate change and how to save ourselves. I must therefore give a very broad view of what is an intellectual: even a kid on a demonstration who has had little education is already an intellectual. An intellectual is someone, like me, who wishes to understand the world as it is, and his place in it.
We have already begun to form a movement; in 6 colleges and schools young people are forming active cells to oppose governments and fight climate change. They will ask their professors and visiting speakers to join, they will expand the movement to other colleges and link with intellectuals from all walks of life.
The beauty of such a movement is that it is inclusive, open to everyone. If intellectuals re-unite they will lead public opinion, this would enable democracy to protect the public interest. Otherwise we have Donald Trump.
It is time to swap the old myth of fossil fuel for the green revolution. If only a country could lead by example: France would be my choice. Then France, together with Germany and the rest of Europe. Then we would have a future.
Exchange business as usual for green economy To do this:
1. Destroy credibility of mainstream media
2. Propagate vision of new world
- e.g. Save the Rainforest – Stop logging
- e.g. Save the Ocean – Stop industrial fishing
NGO’s Unite – Win every battle nationally, e.g. fight fracking, e.g. fight TTIP. Link internationally.
Photo credit: express.co.uk