All your life, you were taught to be striving for more. More money, more respect and recognition, more achievements, and yes, more consumption.
I’m not here to lecture you, but I want to ask you some pointed questions. No, you don’t have to share your answers with me, or anyone else, for that matter. However, I do expect you to be honest with yourself in your answers.
Are you blind, or ignoring the evidence?
The latest IPCC report on climate change is utterly damning. The science is overwhelming, and only shills or cranks disagree with it. Climate change is real, and the very existence of the human race under threat. Yes, that does mean our ability to survive as a species.
We have a small chance of turning things around, but that involves a path most of us have rejected up to now. A path that’s entirely free of fossil fuels, and a path of degrowth. A path that goes in the polar opposite direction of everything most people have done up to now. All your life you strived for more – now we need to learn to strive for less.
Why are you driving as much as you do?
Transport-related fossil fuel emissions are a primary driver of climate change. If you know this, yet shrug your shoulders, while continuing to drive just as much as before, why is that? Do you simply not care?
What will climate breakdown look like?
I’m sure you’ve heard all the stories about the heatwaves, but have you heard scientists’ speak of crop failures? Perhaps you have a large garden, or an allotment. Perhaps you’re now smugly grinning, thinking you will simply grow your own food.
If so, allow me to explain that the impact of climate change will decimate pollinators, and that crops will fail no matter how carefully tended. TL:DR version – no, you will not be able to survive simply by growing your own food.
And to lift the mood, remember that the UK government recently(ish) again legalised the use of neonicotinoids as pesticides, despite concrete evidence that those decimate bee populations. This is what happens when you vote in people like the Tories, who (in the words of then Prime Minister) David Cameron, don’t want to be hassled with “all that green crap”.
Why are you still flying for holidays?
Flying is the most polluting form of travel. You can justify someone needing to visit a very sick relative in New Zealand, but there simply can be no justification for yet another holiday to a sunny location.
The harsh truth is your holiday isn’t worth sacrificing the planet for. I’m constantly gobsmacked by the number of cyclists boasting on social media about yet another “weekend cycling break” to the Canaries.
Why would you boast of how you deliberately, knowingly and intentionally made the world less liveable?
What will it take for you to change?
Are you still denying the realities of climate change, despite the enormous amounts of irrefutable evidence? Did you fall for the lies from the vast PR campaign run by the fossil fuel lobby?
How much is enough for you?