Insights

The first rule of climate change is that you DO talk about climate change

ClearlySo's Ronan Loughney shares his insights on climate change mitigation and the importance of joining the Global Climate Strike.

By Ronan Loughney · September 20, 2019

Of all the things that come to mind when I think of Climate Change, it’s the film Fight Club.

I think about this passage:

“We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives.”

It still packs a punch for me. But not because it’s true.

Ironically, the over-consumption which the book rails against has finally created a Great War for us all to join together in.

Climate Change.

Never before have we been faced with a truly universal problem, which threatens not only our entire species, but all life. Which means that wherein lies the size of the challenge also lies the potential for positive change. How we grow our food, how we live in cities, how we use transport, where we get our energy from all need to change, and so there is an opportunity to rebuild things in a way that has formerly been deemed as utopian: a society which is more connected to nature, whose values reflect those of the individual lives which compose it, and which is therefore more inclusive for all.

Indeed, it would seem that we need to rebuild our institutions in this manner in order to meet the challenge which now faces us: unless we finally begin to understand that our economy exists only as a subset of the ecological system, we cannot create the economic frameworks which will tackle climate change such as carbon taxes, and models which factor in ‘real costs’ which include so called ‘externalities’ such as pollution and wider impacts on health; unless we can finally begin to see that our roles as citizen, consumer, community member and individual are not at odds with one another, but are in fact mutually informative, we will not be able to create governments which truly look after our wellbeing (http://wellbeingeconomygovs.org/); and unless we understand that our society and the challenges facing it are truly global and that all communities and people have their role to play, we will not be able to coordinate actions internationally which reduce emissions connected to global trade and tourism.

In my work at ClearlySo, I’ve been encouraged to see more and more of the business community taking steps in this direction. ClearlySo help businesses that have a positive social and/or environmental impact raise capital, of which many are coming up with creative solutions to help tackle climate change. For example, Bulb Energy and Tonik Energy, who provide customers with 100% renewable energy, bio-bean, who recycle waste coffee grounds so they don’t end up in landfill and emit methane (a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide) and LettUsGrow, who are using advanced aeroponic technology to reduce the carbon footprint of fresh produce.

More remains to be done and it is sad that we require our own ‘Great War’ to create the change many have wanted to see for so long. But we have been aware of the problem facing us for decades. It is only when we understand that this is an emergency situation which requires us all to muck in that we may finally do what is required. Humans aren’t driven to action by facts, but emotional drivers such as scarcity, compunction and, crucially, the behaviour of large groups. Calls to war are predicated on all of these motives. It’s time to sign up.

Because I believe in our ability as individuals and organisations to make a difference, I won’t just be talking about climate change. I’ll be marching for the climate and encouraging my colleagues to do so too at the Global Climate Strike, this Friday, September 20th at Millbank, Westminster –

https://act.350.org/event/globalclimatestrike/17902?.

I hope that you can join me there too.