Can we turn the 2020s into ‘The Regenerative Decade’? In this series of interviews about what that would imply, we talk ecology, deep adaptation, grief, compassion and passion, connecting with nature, resilience, revitalisation, restoration, revolution… – the bigger picture, in other words.
“Find your village!” says our guest in the 21st regenerative episode: Shane Ward, who is a regenerative land use and soil health consultant, founder of Action Ecology, and an Earth Protector trustee as well as a registered Conscientious Protector.
Inspired by recent developments and his work with Better Futures Forum, a new platform where New Zealanders facilitate the transition towards a more resilient Aotearoa, Shane talks about community engagement and a refreshed revival of local democracy coming out of the coronacrisis. “We need to get better at managing complexity and to get better connected in order to gain resilience,” he says.
This is the presentation Shane refers to in the interview:
Climate, Food & Future: Regenerative Agriculture & the Challenge of Change
Action Ecology Founder Shane Ward delivered this seminar at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, in October 2019, looking at the scale of the crisis we face across climate, biodiversity and land use, the root causes behind why we find ourselves in this mess, the comparison between industrial and regenerative agriculture and examines the knowledge we already have for how we navigate our way out towards a better world.
“We must not let the process of discussing and planning how our approach to a global food system that can operate within planetary boundaries be captured in back room meetings by corporate interests looking to maintain a profiteering monopoly through continuing their industrial, extractive approach to agriculture. That path leads us to collapse.”
~ Shane Ward
Shane was recently interviewed on the How to Save the World podcast, discussing the Better Futures Forum and Regenerative Agriculture:
Nature isn’t cancelled
Transcript of Mik Aidt’s introduction and conclusion of The Regenerative Hour no 21.
We know what we are in for. We can see it coming.
Seven out of ten of us actually think that the climate crisis is as serious in the long run as the coronacrisis, the pandemic, is in the short run. That’s according to a survey that Ipsos did where they asked 28,000 people in 14 different countries.
And we know what we want.
Ipsos found that two out of three of us think that when our governments are beginning now to spend billions of dollars on stimulus packages to revive the economy, they should do it in a way where they also deal with the climate emergency. Which means they should start cutting our emissions. Two out of three of us want a green recovery.
Because we care. We care about the climate. We care about the animals, the ecosystems, all these things that we can see now are dying and going extinct. We care about our children, who we can see are getting more and more anxious, and for good reason, because they can see all the graphs and the reports on tv.
[Audio clip from National Radio News in Australia on 17 January 2019: “Health authorities are warning Australians to stay out of the heat today as temperatures climb yet again, after heat records were broken yesterday. Australia’s ongoing heatwave has been pushing temperatures to almost 50 degrees Celsius.” ]
So we want our leaders to take strong action, not some time in the future, not tomorrow , we want it today. We want real climate solutions. One survey after the other shows this.
Even before the bushfire – the Black Summer – took off in November last year, The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,424 Australians about the climate emergency, and they found out that two in three Australians – to be precise: 63 per cent of the population – agree that government should mobilise all of society now to tackle climate change.
A majority of voters – also those who vote for the Coalition and Labor – are all saying this. 66 per cent agree that Australia is facing a climate emergency and should take emergency action, just like Australia was able to mobilise everyone during the world wars.
We can read the headlines in the news, like this newsletter from The New Daily, 23rd of May 2020: ‘Climate predictions coming true: Hurricanes getting stronger, heat is getting wetter’
Or the bloggers, like Umair Haque, who is writing on 26th of May: ‘If the future is like the present, our civilization will collapse’.
And the Science Advances magazine, on the 8th of May 2020, writing: ‘The emergence of heat and humidity too severe for human tolerance’.
That’s science language for actually screeming in our ears, “Folks, this is existential now!”
A Danish physicist wrote, “If we continue as now, my son’s generation will most likely become the last generation on Earth.”
For a long time now, the scientists have been saying that by the end of this century, humans will be experiencing heat and humidity levels that we’ve rarely – if ever – have suffered previously.
And “such conditions would ravage economies, and possibly even surpass the physiological limits of human survival,” the scientists have been saying – talking about this distant future scenario. But here were are, in 2020, and now the new research is showing us that these conditions are already appearing. The climate emergency is happening.
[Audio clip: “Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise despite all the warnings from scientists…” – excerpt of interview with University of Sydney ecologist Thomas Newsome in ABC News Breakfast: ‘11,000 scientists declare climate emergency warning world faces catastrophic threat’.]
And then we look to our leaders and how are they responding? Well, if what’s happening here at the moment, in this city I live in, if that is anything to go by, you can say that our leaders are pretending to be listening… but they are not taking action.
Here in Geelong we have a Council that stated just a few months ago that they recognise that we are in a global climate emergency, and yet, now when they are about to sign off on to the budget – the annual budget for the municipality’s activities – for the next financial year, there are no signs of a climate emergency there on the papers and in the figures. Nothing seems changed, as far as I can tell, from last year. Maybe a few commas here or there, maybe a couple of hundred thousand dollars that have been moved from one position to another, but nothing – nothing! – that would be appropriate when you talk about that there is an emergency here now at our doorstep.
[Audio clip: School student: “So yes, we skip school, but you skip the fucking planet!” – NSW Rural Fire Service firefighter interviewed on 7News Sydney: “(Through your corrupt behaviour,) through your taking money from under the table, you are killing us. You are killing Australia.” ]
I don’t know, maybe it is not our leaders, our politicians, we should blame. Maybe it is our system – this so-called democratic system which is betraying us – and most severe of course at the national and international level, where we are seeing now governments and central banks are talking about spending trillions of dollars to rescue all the polluting industries. They are planning to invest new trillions into building more of this climate-destructive infrastructure that keeps the wheels in the fossil fuel industry running.
In other words that they are planning to lock in rising temperatures for decades to come, absolutely ensuring an ecological catastrophe. Locking in smoke, flooding, tornadoes, death and destruction, like we saw it here in Australia this summer.
We know now what climate change looks like and what it feels like. The horror, the smoke, the evacuations, the deaths, the fear.
[Audio clip from AP4CA’s video on Facebook: “My daugther was terrified. She thought she was going to die. She still has nightmares.”]
7,000 buildings burned to the ground. One billion animals roasted in the flames.
And now with the coronacrisis, we have been shown what empty shelves in the supermarkets look like, when people act like selfish horders, and the shops are closing and the streets are empty.
But we know what the solutions look like too. And we know we are the majority. We have the majority with us.
We know from the polls what the people of Australia want. And people in the rest of the world.
We want climate safety.
[Audio clip: School striking student in Geelong: “We may be young, we may be old, but we can make a difference.”]
I don’t know why we are not actually demanding a referendum on this topic, because we would win and we would have our way, if we only had a democratic vote on this topic.
The problem is that we are not speaking with one voice.
Of course there are some people who talk about rebellion. There are the Gretas of the world who are calling for the revolution. But the big problem with this is that most people – each of us – are painfully aware that our own actions are a part of the problem. So as long as we keep using and we feel we are depending on the oil, coal and gas, and the consumption which pollutes the air, it is like we are asking to start a revolution against ourselves. How do we turn that around to become a revolution for ourselves?
There are some pages missing still in the recipe for how we transition to climate safety. And that is why here in The Regenerative Hour I have been on the lookout for new ideas.
Buckminster Fuller once said that, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, you have to build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
[Audio clip from Russell Brand’s video on Youtube: “The coronavirus [crisis] is obviously a particularly unique and battling situation. It really only serves to highlight that the way we have been living for a long time, the way we have been organising society for a long time, is unusual, dislocated, disconnected, and unconscious, and this, I suppose, provides for us a real liminal space within which we can ask questions like: How do I want to organise society? How much do I want to work? For what reasons do I want to work? What are my values? What is important to me? What do I care about?
And these are pretty good questions to be asking yourself while you live a finite life on a finite planet in the infinite space. What is real? What is important? What do I care about?
So, I am not surprised that no leaders have any real clear ideas, no journalists, no scientists, nobody really knows what is going on. In fact, perhaps, one thing we can take from this is that we need to collectively organise new ways of living, collectively envisage new ways of living , and it seems to me at least that we can’t rely on the old systems or the old authorities to provide us with solutions.”]
Says the English actor Russell Brand – actor turned activist, I should say, because he is becoming a bit of youtuber talking at length about problems and solutions in videos he posts every week on Youtube. This one titled ‘Stay Alert! The Beginning Of The End Of Covid’. It has already had almost 300,000 views since it was posted two weeks ago.
“To change something, you have to build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
But where are the best ideas for such a new model? How do we get to that level of action that is required?
I think in so many of the talks and the articles that have been coming out lately, it is clear that this Coronavirus crisis has taught us something – something significant.
Here in The Regenerative Hour, I’ve been talking with people like Gilbert Rochecouste about Glocalisation and with Tim Hollo about Commoning and starting with the “bottom up”-approach with what we can do in our own communities.
Today my guest in The Regenerative Hour is Shane Ward, who I also had a chat with in September last year, in the fourth Regenerative Hour.
Shane runs a company called Action Ecology – and back at that time in September he was telling us about the power of regenerating landscapes, sustainable food systems, restoring the soil and about how – if we want climate action – we have to stop thinking in silos, we need to think in systems.
So today, I’m keen to hear how the bushfires and the coronacrisis has influenced his thinking.
Shane is part of a group called Better Futures Forum, which is a group that says it will “seize the transformational power of COVID-19…”
I called Shane on Zoom to get an update and to learn how a regenerative thinker like Shane Ward thinks that we should move forward now to “build back better”:
– – – –
I guess what it boils down to for me is that to address the climate emergency, all the petitions and the marches we’be been doing, letters we have been writing to our politicians, and walking to their offices and so on… It is not going to really cut it.
To address as big a problem as the climate emergency we will need to look at how we can improve our democracy.
And that journey begins with you and me. We are the missing ingredient in that recipe.
Jolene Elberth from the Australian Conservation Foundation wrote a piece in the magazine Dumbo Feather, which she titled: ‘Why democracy must start with us’. “Democracy is something we often don’t explicitly think about. But whether we like it or not, it’s all around us. Like nature, it’s a living system to be nurtured by community—especially now,” she writes.
As Shane said: “A lot of the worlds problems can be solved in a garden” – and I guess right now we should probably see our democracy like a garden just as well. Jolene says:
“We should treat our democracy as a living system, something to be cultivated and nurtured. And like a garden, growth happens over time. But we must also be prepared to cut out and discard the parts that are rotten in order to make way for new growth. (…) For too long we have left decisions [about energy and how we regulate our emissions] to economists or to a small handful of decision makers, influenced by powerful corporate players. Decisions as critical as these must be subject to democratic debate and deliberation. They should be made in the best interests of people and the planet, and propel us forward into the future we want for ourselves and our families.”
“We are so many around the world who support a ‘green’ economic recovery. This disruption to our lives could be a pivotal moment to remake our economy so it’s good for life. For all life. For people and nature. For that to happen, a wide range of voices need to be heard. If we are going to remake our economy—and tackle the climate crisis—we are going to have to get involved.”
The truth is politicians are not leaders. They are followers. We know that. Right now, they are misguided by big money. They clearly need our guidance. They need to hear our voices. Or maybe even more than that, we need to become them.
The days are over when we could just leave this up to somebody else.
We are to blame for this mess we are in – most of all, as long as we remain standing on the side, as bystanders – when we just sit in our couches and observe one catastrophe after the other rolling in on our tv screens…
I think it can be expressed in just these two words: “Demand better.”
Take this headline for instance – 26 May in RenewEconomy: ‘Spain approves push for 100% renewables, bans all new fossil fuel projects’. That is the story about Spain now approving an ambitious plan to reach net zero emissions.
Similarly from Denmark, just last week, the government announces the biggest investment in the history of that country – an investment into two new energy islands.
And closer to Australia, New Zealand has done the same: banning all new fossil fuel projects.
In Denmark, people are pushing at the moment for the government to stop looking for more oil in the North Sea.
People all over the place are demanding better, and importantly, they are getting results from it.
Here in Australia, there are actually signs that we could be leaving the dark ages of coal and gas after all. Like, take a headline like this one – from 9News and AAP on 25th of May 2020: ‘Diverse groups back move to clean economy’.
“An unlikely alliance of business and environment groups have banded together to make a stand on the importance of a cleaner economy. The group say that beyond the coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s prosperity depends on dealing with long-term challenges like moving towards net zero emissions. The alliance includes the Australian Industry Group, Business Council of Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society, Property Council of Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.” That is significant.
Demand better connections across the floor, across the barriers, the old stereotypes that we have against each other. If we are going to win this particular war, the war for climate safety, I don’t think it will be won on the barricades. It will be won through creating friendships and connections, through kindness and by coming together despite our differences.
And I notice at the moment, thoughts like these, about how we nurture our democracy, and rethink it maybe, they are circulating quietly under the surface in local community groups and climate action groups, like for instance the Australian Parents for Climate Action, the Victorian Climate Action Network, the Transition Streets groups, the permaculture groups, Fridays for Future groups, and Geelong Sustainability, and so on.
To get involved, find a local group like these, and then: “join the regeneration”.
It takes a village to raise… resilience. To foster new ideas. To manage the complexity and to cope with the problems. To help and support, and to get things done.
The UN Decade for Ecosystems Restoration begins in just half a year from now. We are still in what could be the beginning of… or what in the future could be remembered in human history as the Century of Regeneration.
So I say, like Shane, “Let’s go forward into something better.” Let’s explore what happens from that moment on when we start to believe that we actually deserve better and that we can demand better.
Music: Elphnt: ‘A Great Darkness Approaches’, Wayne Jones: ‘Resolution’ and ‘Connection’, Illiad: ‘Density & Time’, The Whole Other: ‘A Guy Walks Into A Bar’, Twin Musicom: ‘A Dream Within A Dream’. All from Youtube Audio Library.
→ Dumbo Feather – 25 May 2020:
Why democracy must start with us
“Democracy is something we often don’t explicitly think about. But whether we like it or not, it’s all around us. Like nature, it’s a living system to be nurtured by community—especially now.”
→ RenewEconomy – 26 May 2020:
Spain approves push for 100% renewables, bans all new fossil fuel projects
“Spain approves ambitious plan to reach net zero emissions “no later than 2050,” including 100% renewable target and a ban on all new fossil fuel projects.”
→ 9News / AAP – 25 May 2020:
Diverse groups back move to clean economy
“An unlikely alliance of business and environment groups have banded together to make a stand on the importance of a cleaner economy. The group say that beyond the coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s prosperity depends on dealing with long-term challenges like moving towards net zero emissions. The alliance includes the Australian Industry Group, Business Council of Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society, Property Council of Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.”
→ ABC News – 26 May 2020:
Bushfire royal commission hears that Black Summer smoke killed nearly 450 people
“Smoke from the Black Summer bushfires killed nearly 450 people and affected 80 per cent of the population, health experts have told a royal commission hearing. The commission, which is looking into Australia’s preparedness for and responses to natural disasters, is hearing from health experts about the short and long-term impacts of bushfires.”
→ The New Daily – 23 May 2020:
Climate predictions coming true: Hurricanes getting stronger, heat is getting wetter
→ The Conversation – 21 May 2020:
Global warming now pushing heat into territory humans cannot tolerate
“The explosive growth and success of human society over the past 10,000 years has been underpinned by a distinct range of climate conditions. But the range of weather humans can encounter on Earth – the “climate envelope” – is shifting as the planet warms, and conditions entirely new to civilization could emerge in the coming decades. Even with modern technology, this should not be taken lightly.”
→ Science Advances – 8 May 2020:
The emergence of heat and humidity too severe for human tolerance
2070: Billion people outside what people are known to survive in
A recent study has revealed that by 2070, depending on population growth and modelling of warming, between 1 and 3 billion people could be living in climatic conditions which are outside what people are currently known to survive in. This raises many other issues, from food security, given that agriculture and livestock rely on the same conditions as people, to conflict due to increased migration. As well as this, the most impacted regions are among the poorest in the world, where adaptive capacity to these changes is low.
The Guardian spoke with the study’s authors: “There are limits to adaptation. If you have enough money and energy, you can use air conditioning and fly in food and then you might be OK. But that is not the case for most people.”
→ Read the full study here
Antarctica : What happens if the ‘Doomsday’ Glacier collapses?
→ New York Times – 1 October 2019:
Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds
Is the Gulf Stream collapsing?
Arctic sea ice news & analysis
El Niño Theme Page
→ Climate News Network:
Arctic sea ice loss affects the jet stream
Climate Change in the Arctic
It “is clear that the earth is on an unsustainable trajectory. Something will have to change at some point if the human race is going to survive.”
~ J.P.Morgan: ‘Risky business: the climate and the macroeconomy’
“Coronacrisis will bring radical transformation”
“Coronavirus is the political, economic, and psychological event of our lifetimes that will drive disruption and transformation for years to come.”
Analysts from Bank of America Merrill Lynch have released a paper which discusses major themes that will dominate coming decades. They say the coronavirus pandemic will permanently disrupt the world’s economies and accelerate some macro trends that would have taken years to play out.
“Historic global crises like wars, revolutions, and pandemics often feel like they put history on fast-forward. Processes that normally take decades or longer to play out unfold in a couple of weeks.
Coronavirus is the political, economic, and psychological event of our lifetimes that will drive disruption and transformation for years to come. It will bring a radical transformation of the kind that occurs only once in a generation.
The consequences could be far-reaching, ranging from social unrest to further instability in oil, new economic doctrines, and re-evaluation of the social contract in sovereign states.”
→ Read more on abc.net.au
New spaces of collective power
“As our lives start to open up again, we should put our effort into projects and policy interventions which both help to embed that new common sense and also actively cultivate new, widely distributed power. Mutual aid groups provide one ideal focus for this work. These self-organised community groups can be the basis for local, decentralised democratic and practical projects from local food to community housing, shared transport and energy microgrids. The projects generate social cohesion, reduce environmental impacts, and become, over time, new spaces of collective power beyond both market and state.
With so many businesses going under, there’s also space to rebuild with cooperatives, where the workers and customers collectively make decisions that are in their community’s interest rather than in the pursuit of profit. These grassroots initiatives open space in the political conversation for programs like universal housing, a shorter working week, universal basic income and mass job creation to flourish.
The structures of power which have led us to where we are—a troubled, deeply unequal society on the brink of ecological collapse—are weaker right now than they’ve been in generations. For those of us struggling for change, it would be a mistake that could set us back many more years to continue to seek that change primarily by asking governments to deliver it.
The evidence is clear that they simply won’t do what’s necessary. And, by turning to them, we’re actively buttressing their collapsing power and abdicating our own.
The crown-shaped virus has given us the opportunity to reshape power, to hammer the pyramid flat. It’s time we recognised our own collective power, and used it to build the world we so desperately need.”
~ Tim Hollo, Executive Director of the Green Institute
The five giants of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness on the road to reconstruction
“Allied victory in Second World War – ‘their finest hour‘ is the only reference used in these metaphors – required the mobilisation of a whole society (including its artists) towards a common goal. People tolerated it because they recognised an existential threat to themselves and all they valued. Such moments are thankfully rare and leaders who invoke them must recognise the resultant obligations.
Britain could mobilise in this way only because it established a national government, in which different voices could be heard. It was one of that government’s greatest achievements to have turned its mind, in the depth of the country’s struggle for existence, to the world after. Drafted in less than 18 months, The Beveridge Report proposed a plan to defeat ‘the five giants of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness on the road to reconstruction‘. The Labour government elected after victory in 1945, used that plan to put in place the Welfare State and the National Health Service that is saving our lives today.”
~ François Matarasso
If you liked this podcast, I’d recommend you also listen to:
Shane Ward in The Regenerative Hour no 4 – September 2019
“The pandemic is very quickly teaching us what’s important: health, love, food, a safe and comfortable home, creativity and learning, connectedness, and being able to get out into nature. Shouldn’t those things be the pillars around which our societies are organised?”
→ Open Democracy – 29 April 2020:
How to fix the world
“Beneath our current problems lies a deeper crisis: a crisis of imagination. But the ideas we need to fix the world are already here.”
→ Shift Australia:
“At Shift, we know that the issues confronting our communities and our planet can be overcome, but only if we engage in collective action to create big, systemic change.”
“The corona pandemic, a pretty mild affair in the scheme of things, is telling us that we are now in the middle of a historic cycle where hyper-connectivity combined with hyper-complexity could rapidly lead to decline, if not collapse.”
→ TheTyee.ca – 6 May 2020:
Global Boom, Pandemic, Crash: Is History Just Repeating Itself?
“The coronavirus pandemic is, among other things, a tribute to human ingenuity and our relentless pursuit of globalization, an impulse thousands of years old. Previous civilizations, from the Romans to the Mongols, traded aggressively and invaded new ecosystems. It didn’t end particularly well. If Peter Turchin is right, we face the end of a 300-year cycle, as did previous far-flung empires.”
→ FoodTank – March 2020:
The 2021 Food Systems Summit Has Started on the Wrong Foot – But it Could Still Be Transformational
“Fixing food systems and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are two sides of the same coin. Food and agriculture account for 21-37% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and one third of land is severely degraded and losing productivity. 820 million people are still hungry, while 2 billion are lacking micronutrients and 1.9 billion are overweight or obese. Yet, until now, agriculture has been ignored in climate talks, while nutrition has been largely neglected in attempts to eradicate hunger. This is why the UN has broken with protocol and called a World Food Systems Summit in 2021.”
“In the forty-three years between World War II and creation of the IPCC, nothing was done about the slow accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere, because governments didn’t recognize it as a problem. Through the following thirty-two years, however, emissions accelerated and catastrophe loomed ever nearer. Yet even with warnings flashing brighter orange and then deeper red, emissions were still left largely unrestrained. That failure resulted, and still results, from the single-minded focus of Big Business and its backers in governments worldwide on limitless wealth accumulation.”
→ Resilience.org – 30 April 2020:
The Recent History of GDP Growth, CO2 Emissions, and Climate Policy Paralysis, All in One Table-Runner
Free THINK RESILIENCE course
In order to support everyone who has been impacted by the coronavirus shutdown, Post Carbon Institute is offering free access to its ‘Think Resilience’ online course. Thousands of people have taken the opportunity to sign up for the course in the past couple months. Sign up today while the course is still free for a limited time.
Democratised energy: a fairer and faster transition
“As we build out renewables to tackle the climate crisis, by far the smartest way to do it would be with as much ownership as possible by ordinary people, not hereditary princes or multinational corporations. The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation has published a useful white paper pointing out that the wind shouldn’t really be controlled by private interests, and that recognizing this fact could make for a fairer and faster transition.”
→ Rosa Luzenburg Foundation – 19 May 2020:
The Wind Commons
“Public ownership for a full, just energy transition.”
Demand a better plan
“Despite all the demands from climate activists, scientists, and even policy makers, hardly a single country is taking the shift to renewable energy seriously. Even countries and regions that claim to be working toward an energy transition are failing to do what would be required in order for the transition to succeed. What’s behind this surprising and disturbing state of affairs?”
“The energy transition requires either finding ways to hook up millions of new intermittent power sources in such a way as to provide electricity that matches demand day and night, summer and winter, or giving up on the luxury of having 24-7 access to power at our fingertips. And it requires finding ways to curtail the energy demands of manufacturing and transport systems and to run those streamlined systems on renewable electricity rather than solid, liquid, or gaseous fuels. In short, it requires a plan.”
~ Richard Heinberg
→ Post Carbon Institute – 20 May 2020:
Nobody takes the renewable energy transition seriously
“Australia is grappling with the devastating impacts of the worst drought in living memory and the most destructive wildfires ever seen. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the last three years were the driest on record and there are no signs this will change soon.
What does this mean for our country?
With drier soils, wildfires become more extreme and harder to control. Farmers across Australia are at the mercy of droughts and flooding, causing food and economic insecurity nation-wide.
This is why the Global Evergreening Alliance and Ark2030 have launched “Restore Australia”. Our goal is to leverage existing investments and successes, drawing on the strengths and capacities of all significant stakeholders and using proven best practice and emerging innovations, to support a massive-scale coordinated effort to restore the health and productivity of degraded farm, range, and forest lands across Australia.”
An inspirational climate awareness and resilience presentation by professor Jem Bendell from the United Kingdom.
Jem talks to a group of 60 university students in an academic context about the Deep Adaptation framework, but the points he makes apply to all of us, I reckon – to businesses, organisations, councils, and ordinary citizens.
This is about making new connections and finding new meaning as we realise the consequences humanity now faces because of our generation’s inadequate response to the escalating climate and ecological emergency.
“How do we face this terrifying future? It is a journey of learning and unlearning for the teachers as well. It is about despair as part of the pathway, preparing the way for transformation,” Bendell says.
“Only the youth of the world, like Greta Thunberg, are saying, “Stop the fossil fuel madness.” Shame on us all if we don’t demand that governments put global emissions into rapid, sustained decline immediately, with the ending of the fossil fuel era and its rapid replacement with clean, zero-combustion, renewable energy sources. Then we will have a future. Today we do not. If our governments can do it for Covid, they can do it for the climate, for humanity, and for all life on this precious planet.”
~ Peter Carter
→ Eudaimonia – 26 May 2020:
If the future is like the present, our civilization will collapse
“Why the 21st century is going to be the most dramatic and disruptive one of all.” By Umair Haque
→ New York Magazine – 19 May 2020:
Welcome to the End of the ‘Human Climate Niche’
“We tend to think of climate impacts as discrete threats: a wildfire, a hurricane, a drought. By the year 2100, it’s possible that parts of the planet will be hit by six climate-driven natural disasters at once. Wildfires tearing through communities cowering terrified by a rolling pandemic only counts as two.” By David Wallace-Wells
→ Nexus Media News – 25 January 2020:
These Apocalyptic Myths Are Coming True Thanks to Climate Change
“That could be a problem. If people start to believe the end is nigh, they might give up on tackling the carbon crisis.”
→ The Atlantic – 4 January 2020:
Australia Will Lose to Climate Change
“Even as the country fights bushfires, it can’t stop dumping planet-warming pollution into the atmosphere.”
→ ABC – 3 January 2020:
Omnicide: Who is responsible for the gravest of all crimes?
“This is the killing of everything. Omnicide. All of us have conspired to create the conditions in which this mass killing of humans, animals, trees, insects, fungi, ecosystems, forests, rivers — this ‘omnicide’ — became inevitable.”
→ Eudaimonia / Medium – 11 October 2019:
The Beginning of the End of the World
“Why we have to take the idea of civilizational collapse seriously, and what it really looks like.”
→ Medium – 17 July 2019:
The Darkness is Descending
“This may be the fall into another Dark Age. We are actually in a battle to prevent the dark forces from destroying us and our planet.”
→ New York Times – 16 February 2019:
Time to Panic
“The planet is getting warmer in catastrophic ways. The age of climate panic is here. And fear may be the only thing that saves us.” By David Wallace-Wells
Voices for Greta
Step into the climatesafety bunker – our carbon clarity clubhouse
Are we ready to shift our mindset and choose a different future?
I am. If you are too, let’s meet. And I don’t mean physically, for now, but in The Tunnel – the digital tunnel.
We have a members’ area on climatesafety.info which is growing little by little. Its a space for figuring out how we can act as individuals and as a community in a climate emergency.
The choices we make right now matter. Have a positive think about how you will step in and become part of a regenerative and transformative renewal. It’s all happening in The Tunnel. What we need to do, is get ready for the action, once we come out on the other side.
~ Mik Aidt
“The most important word in today’s world is ‘together’.”
~ Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General
→ See more Regenerative Hours from The Sustainable Hour team