The climate crisis hasn’t gone away. There’s a clock in NewYork counting down to irreversible climate change. It reckons we have just over 7 years. The COVID crisis hasn’t gone away and shows signs of rapidly becoming more serious. The Sustainable Futures Report is getting increasing numbers of followers all over the world, but even after more than 5 years the actual number is tiny. There’s nothing to be cheerful about in any of that.
What’s the reason to be cheerful? Quite simply, if we are not positive, if we are not optimistic, we have nothing left. There are denialists who don’t want to believe that humanity is at risk. There are lobbyists who don’t want us to believe that humanity is at risk. There are conspiracy theorists who believe that COVID is a hoax and all part of a plot to control us. They’ll probably tell us that any measures to deal with the climate emergency are all part of the same hoax. Take comfort from the fact that these are all minorities which make a good headline so may be more prominent in the media than they deserve, but don’t ignore them; stand up to them.
Are we at a tipping point? On the point of runaway climate disaster? A tipping point as mass extinction accelerates out of control? Or a tipping point as politicians and public realise it’s time to act?
This time I’ll be catching up on stories shared during August, by listeners from Australia, Japan and other parts of the world. Closer to home, XR’s protests continue to make headlines, although you may not have seen them as XR blockaded several presses last weekend and many papers did not make it to the shops.
But first, let’s talk about diet. If we’re environmentalists should we be vegan?
On the Sustainable Futures Report this time I have two guests: Sammy Bishop, a recent graduate in human physiology and a vegan, and Deirdre Lane who describes herself as a green finance expert who’s morphed from traditional commodity markets to empowering citizens on sustainable actions. She is not a vegan.
You can imagine that the news hasn't stopped during August and in fact, I've got five pages of hyperlinks, each of which could lead to many minutes of podcast. As I said in last week’s trailer to this episode, the Greenland ice sheet is still melting at up to a million tons per minute, and millions of tonnes of GHGs are still being released into the atmosphere. Yes, that slowed down a bit during the lockdown, but not enough to stop the total quantity in the atmosphere from continuing to grow. And now we’re back to close to normal and the British government is urging people who work in offices to go back to them so the sandwich bars don’t go out of business and eventually they hope we’ll be back to business as over-consuming and polluting as usual.
This week I’m going to look first in detail at the latest news from the Arctic and then I’m going to talk about rebellion, because rebellion is seen by many as the only way to get governments to react and take the action that’s essential in the face of the climate crisis. Extinction Rebellion is staging mass protests in London, Manchester and Cardiff this week, as I’m sure you already know. Their central demand is for the government to pass their Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. You may not have had time to read it. I have. I’ll tell you what it says.