25TH EPISODE OF THE REGENERATIVE HOUR: 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.
Today I did something I’ve never done before. I did an angry podcast, and put myself in front of the microphone most of the way. My mood was triggered by a couple things.
A young climate activist took her life in Melbourne last night. A tragedy.
The kind of news stories and headlines about climate science and scandalous climate inaction that have been ticking in recently are horrifying. But the complete lack of media coverage or public response that these stories are met with is possibly even more horrifying. On social media they are met with silence just as well.
I have been angry and upset for many years over this topic, but have usually refrained from expressing that anger verbally.
The podcast is also inspired by some kitchen conversations I’ve had with random 23-25-year-olds in my neighbourhood about how they feel about the current state of the world and their future outlook. I guess this is my way of responding to them, putting it out there, and suggesting what needs to happen now.
We hear a three-minute call for female leadership by musician Brian Eno, a democracy speech from 1940 by Charlie Chaplin, an excerpt of a TED-talk with Jane Fonda, followed by Juice Media‘s ‘After The Fire’, and Friendly Jordie‘s reasoning for why, if you haven’t already, you need to change your super annuation fund to one that doesn’t invest your future pension in the destruction of the climate.
If the podcast gives any meaning to you, maybe you know someone you could share it with, and then talk about your reflections and responses with this person or these persons.
Mentioned or played in the podcast
→ BBC Rethink – 26 June 2020:
Brian Eno: Rethinking The Winners
“Musician Eno investigates the kinds of leadership available to us.”
Making peace with the future
“Helping each other is the key to solving many of these changes. If you sit alone, then you cling to what you know. If you are more people coming together about it, if you have a community of someone who helps you, someone who shares with you, then it becomes much much easier to make these changes.
So I think the key to solving the climate crisis lies in the community and togetherness between people. Right down at floor level: that they help each other. And that we get together around saying: we actually need to reinvent our existence. We actually need to reinvent all technology.
Community is the key to solving the climate problem, and that means people’s… not just “active participation”, as it is termed in the language of politicians, or something like that, where people are to be “co-involved” or “deliberated”, because that is NOT what it’s about at all. What it is about is that the entire population rise to the level of feeling that ‘We are making this happen!’ “
~ Tor Nørretranders, Danish author, in a podcast interview with 23-year-old Sara Mering. The podcast is in Danish language.
Join the single paddler
“An image that best sums up climate emergency campaigning for me is a dinghy of people about to go over a waterfall. One passenger is frantically paddling to avoid the drop. The others look anxious – some even very alarmed, but they sit idle and somehow resigned to whatever outcome the single paddler can achieve.
Climate emergency campaigners work really hard. They have sacrificed money, careers, job security, and family time. Some might have ditched the dinghy and swum their loved ones to safety if that were possible but the dinghy metaphor doesn’t extend that far. There’s no Planet B – we’re all in this together.
To be clear, a climate emergency means breaking business as usual to the same degree COVID-19 has broken it and more, but swap staying home, face masks, and hand sanitiser, for green armies, mass retrofits, and technological leaps. Grassroots campaigners forged the climate emergency path, campaigning for what is necessary, not what is convenient.”
~ Bryony Edwards
→ Continue reading on www.voteplanet.net
Recent news about the state of our planet
→ Associated Press – 9 July 2020:
UN: World could hit 1.5-degree warming threshold by 2024
“The world could see annual global temperatures pass a key threshold for the first time in the coming five years, the U.N. weather agency The World Meteorological Organization said.”
→ The Guardian – 9 July 2020:
CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere nearing levels of 15m years ago
“Last time CO2 was at similar level (of today) temperatures were 3C to 4C hotter and sea levels were 20 metres higher”
→ The Guardian – 9 July 2020:
Why I don’t have a child: my climate crisis anxiety
“If I don’t think the world will be livable in the future, how can I bring a child into it?”
→ The Independent – 9 July 2020:
Climate crisis: Siberia’s record heatwave forecast to continue during July, raising major fears over wildfires and Arctic heating
“Exceptional warmth after hottest winter ever is ‘warning cry’, scientists say. Siberia’s record-breaking heatwave is reportedly forecast to continue during July, raising the likelihood of worsening what are already among the worst wildfires ever known in the region, and further thawing the region’s vital permafrost.”
→ The New York Times – 12 July 2020:
Fracking Firms Fail, Rewarding Executives and Raising Climate Fears
“Oil and gas companies are hurtling toward bankruptcy, raising fears that wells will be left leaking planet-warming pollutants, with cleanup cost left to taxpayers.”
→ The Guardian – 19 May 2019:
The heat is on over the climate crisis. Only radical measures will work
“Experts agree that global heating of 4C by 2100 is a real possibility. The effects of such a rise will be extreme and require a drastic shift in the way we live”
→ Professor Jem Bendell – 15 June 2020:
Climate science and collapse – warnings lost in the wind
“Over the past year more scientists have spoken candidly about the implications for humanity of recent climate observations and research. They have begun to warn more clearly of the potential and even likelihood of societal collapse due to the direct and indirect impacts of dangerous climate change. These warnings are being lost in the winds of news cycles and drowned out by scientists who prefer assessments that are less challenging to humanity and our elites.”
The things that make you go grrrrr…
Climate crime scene
It’s time to call out the climate criminals.
How young people feal in Victoria today
59 per cent of young Victorians – 15 to 24 years old – reply they feel “emotionally overwhelmed” when asked what they think about climate change.
That figure rises to 84 per cent when asking young healthcare professionals in the age between 18 to 39 years. That’s more than eight out of ten of those young people you meet in the healthcare sector.
Note: This is what Victorians told the researchers BEFORE the Black Summer bushfires set in.
The question we have to ask is: how come no one is talking about this? Are our leaders and authorities, councillors included, paying any attention to this?
And if they are, what are they doing about it? – considering that the trend for these figures keep going upwards.
And if they are not doing much, where is then the media people who could be asking them the relevant questions?
Or, could they not be covering this topic in their papers and programs, interviewing Victorians about their feelings and how we best address these emotional responses? Why on earth isn’t this happening?
The things that make you go wow!
Positive signs of #storychange
→ Matador Network – 8 July 2020:
Sydney is now powered by 100 percent renewable energy
“Sydney, Australia, has taken a big step toward its sustainability goals. Since the beginning of July, the central borough of the Sydney metro area, known as the City of Sydney, has run entirely on renewable energy. Nearly 250,000 residents now benefit from clean power for all daily operations, including buildings, street lights, and public spaces”
→ RenewEconomy – 1 July 2020:
City of Adelaide reaches 100 per cent renewables through Flow Power deal
“All corporate and community buildings, council event infrastructure, electric vehicle chargers, barbecues in the Park Lands, water pumps, street lighting and traffic lights – everything that council operates – will be powered by renewable electricity. The electricity to be provided by renewable generation each year is equivalent to powering over 3,800 homes.”
→ BBC Future Planet – 8 July 2020:
The law that could make climate change illegal
“A new and ambitious climate law recently passed in Denmark makes the country one of a small number of countries beginning to provide new blueprints of how government can genuinely tackle climate change. Its law could turn out to be one of the closest things yet to a law that would make climate change – or at least the lack of effort to stop it – genuinely illegal.”
→ The Climate Beat – 8 July 2020:
Three pipeline reversals suggest a turning point in the climate story
PROFESSOR JEM BENDELL:
A new paradigm is needed
“After 30 years of warnings but no meaningful action, the current (very conservative) estimate is that dramatic changes are needed within the next twelve years, just for a chance of avoiding ‘run away’ climate change. Less optimistic readings of the data indicate that rapid and uncontrollable climate change has already begun. That will mean failed harvests and with it, exploding price rises and, understandably, social unrest. A new paradigm of Deep Adaptation to environmental breakdown is needed to reduce harm and risk in a very uncertain future. As friends and neighbours we might stockpile food, nurture our gardens and install solar power, but government is needed to build the sea defences, mobilise emergency food production and distribution, rebuild transport systems and integrate large numbers of people fleeing droughts, floods and related conflict.”
→ Jem Bendell – 7 January 2020:
The economics of extinction: a reason for rebellion
”What would a sane society do, knowing that one of its luxury food supplies was being exhausted? Consume less perhaps? Or grow more?”
Pivoting to the endgame
Listen to Greta
Greta Thunberg has just published an open letter, “Face the climate emergency”. It was signed by 20,000 people within the first three hours. She says: “The system can no longer be fixed. We need a new system.” Do you agree with Greta? Then speak up for her – and for the youth and all life on this planet.
→ It’s time to #FaceTheClimateEmergency
“The most important word in today’s world is ‘together’.”
~ Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General
Make it our common purpose
“Most of us recognize that climate change is real yet we do nothing to stop it. What is the psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but act as if it is not?
George Marshall’s search for the answers brings him face to face with Nobel Prize-winning psychologists and Texas Tea Party activists; the world’s leading climate scientists and those who denounce them; liberal environmentalists and conservative evangelicals. What he discovers is that our values, assumptions, and prejudices can take on lives of their own, gaining authority as they are shared, dividing people in their wake.
With engaging stories and drawing on years of his own research, Marshall argues that the answers do not lie in the things that make us different, but rather in what we share: how our human brains are wired–our evolutionary origins, our perceptions of threats, our cognitive blind spots, our love of storytelling, our fear of death, and our deepest instincts to defend our family and tribe.
Once we understand what excites, threatens, and motivates us, we can rethink climate change, for it is not an impossible problem. Rather, we can halt it if we make it our common purpose and common ground.
In the end, Don’t Even Think About It is both about climate change and about the qualities that make us human and how we can deal with the greatest challenge we have ever faced.”
~ George Marshall: ‘Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate’
Greta needs your help
Voices for Greta
Welcome to the climatesafety clubhouse – our ‘carbon clearance house’ where we focus on carbon clarity, story change and a green recovery.
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. Words 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
Some of the feedback this podcast received on its first days
“This is fantastic!! Best one yet! Cant wait to share it. We all need waking up…including me and this is the antidote.”
“Thanks for your inspiration! I think the time has come to release the fear in me into action. There is a blanket of depression over all people with conscience and care for our children – and ourselves, because as you rightly say in the podcast – it is no longer a matter of 10-20-30 years – where the lives will be ebbing out for some of us in our senior years – it is now!”
“Listening with a very vulnerable heart. This is such an important and sad sad matter. Thank you for your angry words. 🙏 thank you for the courage to speak out loud. 2w”
“Mik at his very best – justifiable anger in amongst a very clever arrangement of information, humour & inspirational clips. A must listen & share.”
“You have donated 7-8 years of your life to this and it’s time to ramp things up.”
“Listened to it – thought I’d just scan it but all that fucking swearing hooked me in. Well put together – it flows just like water.”
“This is the only post that is a must read/listen to today!”
“Let’s continue to build that climate army.”
“There is an incredibly huge undertow of people willing to see massive transformation of our country. Lets start tapping into it.”
“I listened to this today. Thank you for sharing your feelings of anger – something we all regularly feel! I feel rage! I feel disgust! I feel frustrated! But I too feel so much love for this amazing planet – and am inspired to care for it as best I can out of love not anger! I care! We care! Together we are with you 100%!”
“I listened to your podcast – and I have barely heard half of it – that was enough. It’s been a bit of a wake up call for me. I am considering whether to drop my well-paid job to go all in as a climate activist. Because you are perfectly right – it is 11:59 – something has to happen and it has to happen now. I feel quite convinced that I can establish one or more projects here in my area, where there are a number of public projects aiming to reach 100 percent carbon neutrality by 2030. I believe I can become an independent climate voice in our region and develop ideas – together with others – that can generate funding, so that I can make climate action into a way of life. I am in a position where I can manage with the first years without pay.”
“Mik, I’ve just listened to your regenerative hour and it was excellent. I found it mainly inspiring, speaking in truthtelling in a very clear way. So thank you for that, and may the ripples keep moving out and transforming many hearts. It has the power to do so. Good on you.”
“Oh I was with you the whole way in your rant as you call it – brilliant as others have said: at your best, Mik”
“I often think exactly the same, Mik: Has my facebook account been blocked? Have my over 1,500 FB friends all gone on holiday? But cute animals, then suddenly there is a reaction!”
“Powerful stuff! You’re obviously feeling as frustrated as I about what appears to be unbridled stupidity.”
“How cool are you and how important is what you do !! 1000 thanks!”
“Your anger hit me. Would have written right away. But goddamnit, I was a little too emotially stirred. Felt wildly wildly bad, like in a bad movie… but GOOD ON YOU for having aired this episode.”
“I listened, got scared and depressed. Hell I did. Your points were sharp, well-placed and well-argued… I have been thinking about this all yesterday and again today. I’m with you all the way in this.”
“You hit the bell when you talk about facebook and a sense of nobody being out there. I’m rarely on FB though, so I don’t see posts, because there are so infinitely many and it drains time and energy. But you hit it on the nail with the cute dog contra world fucking doom. And that’s because we can’t ignore it any longer. I have a thousand frustrations about not being able to act on all fronts. But that’s the way it is. We hide our heads in the sand like ostriches because it’s the easiest thing to do. Even though we know it only makes the situation worse. The answer lies, as you say, in coming together in our communities. We must unite. I heard the other day that studies show that it only takes 10-13% of a population making an active change to create a significant societal change. So maybe that is all we need to unite: a tenth of residents, so in Geelong region that means 23,000 people. Every tenth house in your street.”
“In order for you to reach more ears listening to this angry man episode, you need to shorten it. And no doomsday music. Only your voice. Shorten it to 10-12 minutes (is it possible ???) and then send it to SBS, radio stations and the world’s leading newspaper editors… and write as a headline: YOU BLOODY HAVE TO LISTEN! Or This is not a photo of some cute, tiny dog. This is a goddamn SOS! Or send it to Coldplay… maybe they could take the angry angle to heart.”
“This is serious shit and you know this to a much greater degree than I do (and dare think about). We must act… not worry ourselves to death. We must help people find the courage to act. I think it is critical we keep hope intact.”
“I am listening to Mik’s podcast and I am angry; and even when I am holding 8 week old Obie I am full of sorrow. And I want to see the road out. And I want humanity to stop living its silly little life and embrace it’s BIG life together. For never before have I realised so deeply that we are all ONE.”
“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
~ Pete Seeger, American singer
→ See more Regenerative Hours from The Sustainable Hour team