COP26 – Don’t go back to sleep

Illustration by Chris Riddell – © The Guardian

And the winner of COP26 is… The fossil fuel industry!!!

I borrowed this line from The Guardian because it perfectly sums up my sentiment. Disappointment & fury.

COP26 was a cop-out

COP26 was a cop-out of epic proportions. Not that I expected much from it, but HOW DARE THEY?!

World leaders have gathered 26 times (26 times!) since 1995, and look where that’s got us: ever closer to the brink of climate chaos. Empty words, watered-down agreements and other non-binding promises – “blah blah blah”, as Greta Thunberg puts it. Where is the leadership? Where is the climate action? Where is the just transition?

Instead, we got served another sickening mouthful of business-as-usual, with a generous side of greenwashing.

But I’m not swallowing it.

We can’t buy our way out of this crisis, whether it be with paper straws or electric cars. I hope this much has become clear at last. Of course, we can and should make lifestyle changes to reduce our personal impact on the planet. But these don’t amount to much in an economic system designed to serve the few at the expense of every living being, human and non-human.

Related / Similaire  Time to roar for Planet Earth / Rugir pour la planète

World leaders and big business would have us believe that the climate crisis is our fault. It is not. Period.

 

Increasingly, we are being taxed for “choosing” fossil fuels, while no practical or affordable alternative is made available – whether it be a top notch public transport system to reduce car use, or a subsidised retrofitting programme to make our homes warmer and greener. So let’s not be guilt-tripped by our so-called leaders while the main global polluters keep going about their dirty business. 

Enough already.

If COP26 was a wake-up call for you,

Don’t go back to sleep.

Open your eyes to the big picture: we all are prisoners of a monstrous economic system that pits us against each other in a frantic race for productivity, and leaves us burnt out, lost and lonely. In other words, it leaves disconnected from ourselves, others and nature. 

Because capitalism puts profits over people and nature, it breeds inequality and destruction on a planetary scale. This is a model built on the premise that eternal economic growth is not only desrirable but necessary, on the hyper-individualistic idea of every man for himself, and on the pervasive lie that there is no alternative. 

Don’t go back to sleep.

Stay with the anger, the fear, the grief over what’s been lost and all else that we are yet to lose.

Resist the temptation to buy your way out of these uncomfortable feelings. 
Resist the temptation of quick fixes and short term solutioneering. Recycling, compostable coffee cups or self-declared “greener” electricity providers might give you a good conscience, but these well-meaning solutions don’t challenge the system that landed us in this mess. Besides, they once again put the onus on individuals to do the right thing, while business-as-usual continues unabated.  
Resist the temptation of distraction. It is time to face the terrifying realisation that nobody is coming to save us.

Sit with these uncomfortable feelings of rage and panic and grief. This is your wake-up call.

Don’t go back to sleep.

The ecological emergency is asking us to slow down and say stop. It is asking us to rethink our place in the world. It is asking us to stop destroying and start nurturing the natural world.

Real meaningful climate action comes from within. It comes from heartbreak. And so I hope the failure of COP26 breaks your heart as it has mine. I hope that you are now ready to challenge, disrupt and say no to the systematic destruction of the planet.

Because there is no place like Earth.

Further reading

 

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