A New Year’s Resolution For Us All

Source: Flickr vanhookc CC BY-SA

Source: Flickr vanhookc CC BY-SA

The new year is traditionally a time for new beginnings.

Many of us will have resolved to make changes to how we go about our personal lives. Some of these can reduce our environmental impact – if done the right way. For example:

  • Walking or riding a bicycle as a means of travel will improve our fitness and mental health as well is reduce the environmental impact caused by motorised transport that currently requires mining and (quite likely) petroleum – a fossil fuel that releases greenhouse gases when burnt – for energy.
  • If we eat locally produced food in season we will dramatically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases associated with food’s production, transport and storage.

Collectively, these small – but important and ongoing – steps can lead to some of the much bigger, system-scale changes that are needed in order to make human civilisation sustainable.

That’s a good thing, of course.

Yet if we rely on each of us individually deciding to make such changes, we could miss the whole point of our efforts: ensuring that the life-support systems that our world provides us with are safe for human civilisation.

Despite what we may be lead to believe, we humans are part of, and dependent upon, the Earth’s ecosystems: they are our life-support systems.

Yet we have changed the natural and physical world that is our common home so much that civilisation faces imminent collapse – unless we make transformations on the scale and at the speed that was undertaken by many countries during World War II.

Moving to an emergency, ‘war’ footing is something I have been advocating for many years. When you think about it, it makes sense.  Ian Dunlop was the first person I heard mention the term, and it resonated with me for a few reasons:

  • We are now in a long-term emergency regarding our future – and an emergency situation requires an emergency response.
  • This is a war in the sense that we are fighting for our lives, for the continuation of civilisation and life as we know it – including the continuation of the human species.
  • The scale and speed of the transformation needed is at least the same as that undertaken in World War II.
  • We know that it can be done because it has been done before.

All of us – collectively as well as individually – need to move to an emergency, ‘war’ footing if we are going to have any chance of winning the fight to save human civilisation and life as we know it.

Stay tuned for help with how you can take action – and sign up now to subscribe so you can have my latest news delivered straight to your inbox.

In our changing climate, from here on in, we’re all affected so we need to be all in on the action to deal with it!

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