Children running excitedly

What if our Best Times are Still Ahead of Us?

What if we lived in a world where we were all valued members of a community? Imagine if we all had enough to eat and our food made us healthy! What if we all had equal opportunities and we lived in a sustainable way? Could we restore the Nature that brings us so many benefits?  How about we took cars off our streets and our children could breathe easier: wouldn’t our lives be better?

I believe we can make that lifestyle a reality.  But only our governments now have the power and the finance to create that better world. Except they are thinking of keeping their seats and seem only to consider the short term. To live that better life we need to find a way to make them change. WE must hold them accountable, so every last one of us needs to take action. If we are to persuade our governments to act sustainably, all of us have to be involved and actively pushing for that change. If we are to have hope that individuals can make a difference we need to form alliances with other people that care.

There are thousands of people out there working for that better world.

Jade Begay (an indigenous women’s leader) asked the questionWhat if our best times are still ahead of us?” at a gathering of Connected Woman Leaders who were discussing the Climate Chaos facing us.

That group was set up in 2017 to tackle some of the world’s long-standing threats such as Climate Change and Economic Inequality. They have said that their intention is “to shift the narrative of fear to one of hope and radical optimism.”

In a blog discussing their intentions, one of the co-founders of the group, Pat Mitchell, talks of environmental groups forming global alliances for climate justice.

They also spoke of a new climate justice project called Project Dandelion. This was introduced by Mary Robinson (ex-President of Ireland) at Cop 27, to tackle the massive injustices faced by poorer nations and indigenous peoples as they try to deal with all the threats that are facing them.

For me, Pat Mitchell’s most interesting comment was that she “came away more deeply convinced than ever that women leaders (and our male allies) must make climate personal, must make it a priority, talking about it at every opportunity, and must envision the future we want and move urgently towards it.”

That, of course, is her opinion. However, for me, that means all of us must participate, as each of us has something to offer. Even if you just speak to friends and neighbours or your book groups about taking action, you can make a difference.

So, we need to picture that future we want, to ensure that our best times are still ahead of us. We must talk about it as often as possible, with as many people as possible.

I have said often in my blogs that I believe we must do this with Active Hope, i.e., internalise the worst that is facing us but then make a plan about how we can make a difference and then just get on with it. In order to do that in the short time we have available I believe we must join with others to produce a global movement for change.

Alliances bring hope

To achieve the pressure we need globally to persuade our governments to move on, we need a massive movement of people. Alliances between organisations help us to enrol more and more activists. There really is a space for everyone. Please find your space. Our children deserve that.

Here are some interesting alliances for you to think about.

Extinction Rebellion “The Big One” London

This was four days of public protest. A demand for government action on the Climate and Ecological Crises and an opportunity to establish alliances. I have just returned from this wonderfully motivating weekend, exhausted but thrilled to have met so many different types of people caring about making our lives better and acting on that sentiment. There were 200 other organisations taking part, each one committed to making that difference we so sorely need.

Climate Justice March organised by Extinction Rebellion

There were groups ranging from Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace, Just Stop Oil and Animal Rising to anti-war groups, a Climate Change choir, religious groups and what seemed like endless other activists. Each group had their own slant on the issues that face the world. But all demanded that the UK government stops new oil and gas prospecting and starts keeping their promises about the agreement we made in Paris to keep the rise in temperature below 1.5 degrees Centigrade.

Youth Groups and Alliances

Over the last few years young people have been one of our most potent weapons in the fight against Climate Change and for Climate Justice. Globally there are many powerful and courageous youth leaders. Have a look at this introduction to the film Youth Unstoppable made by a young filmmaker about her feelings on this movement.

World’s Youth for Climate Justice

A global campaign to take Climate Change and Human Rights to the International Court of Justice. They want to determine whether states have an obligation to protect their current and future citizens from Climate Change.

Fridays for Future

An international movement of young people active against Climate Change, inspired by Greta Thunberg and her school strikes.

Here is what they say they say they stand for:

“We are fighting for our future and our lives because they are directly threatened by the climate crisis and the ecological breakdown. We are taking action against it because we want to protect the beauty of the earth, the diversity of species and the lives of all beings. Our goal is to overcome the climate crisis and to create a society that lives in harmony with its fellow beings and its environment.”

Great people to have on one’s side!

It is Their Future We Need to Think About

Children happy to be at school

Climate Action Network

A global network of more than 1,900 civil society organisations in more than 130 countries driving collective and sustainable action to fight the climate crisis and to achieve social and racial justice. They believe that “The political will to change the world will come through local communities and grass roots movements fighting together in solidarity to bring about a climate just and equitable world.”

Moving forward to those better times

These are just a few of very many alliances throughout the world that are building the momentum to allow us to create those better times. But it needs every last one of us to contribute in a very positive way.

Gone are the days of thinking that if we recycle, use less plastic, and cut down on our meat consumption then everything will be fine. Of course we need to do those things. But we need to do so very much more.

If we are to create a liveable world for our children, a world where we can breathe, see the sky, and listen to the birds sing, a world where our work is more meaningful, we are part of a real community, there is equality and justice, and our lives make sense, we must fight for it.

Of course Utopia doesn’t exist, and it can’t ever be perfect, but it can be so much better, and our children and their children could thrive.

But it needs YOU to become involved.

Please talk to your friends and neighbours today to discuss what you can do together.

Thank you.

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(Photographs above are 1. by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash, 2. by Doreen Hosking, 3. by Yannis H on Unsplash)