If this article is to be believed, the body that regulates advertising in France has a record of protecting corporate interests over the interests of the environment. For example they banned this video promoting electric bikes because images of traffic might create ‘a climate of anxiety’! What’s the answer? Use the power of social media to counter their bias by sharing this video as widely as possible.
This from the excellent Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine for May/June 2020: “We need a new ideology based on connection: between individuals, between institutions, and between our societies and Nature. At the heart of this is education.” Food for thought indeed.
With shops in the UK reopening today the government seems desperate to get back to business as usual. And while no one wants to see the misery of high unemployment, it’s good to be reminded about ‘the absurdity of our “real world” politics and economics’ in the face of the physical reality of climate change. So how do we build back better? This article suggests we should learn from nature.
Why does this photo make me want to laugh and cry at the same time? On the one hand, I’m amused that people would want to queue (socially distanced) for hours in a car park – as the caption says – for meatballs. Or at least for something flat packed that can probably wait. On the other hand, I’m depressed that the lure of consumerism is so deeply ingrained in people that they feel the need to do this. Then there are the journeys these people have presumably made to get here, every one of them I would guess ‘non essential’ and contributing to the pollution load on our planet. I loved the silence of lockdown, the clean air, the bird song, the empty roads briefly colonised by wildlife (and cyclists). But photos of shoppers queuing outside furniture stores and fast food outlets somehow suggest we have learnt nothing. Especially this photo, from the air: the people look like ants, every individual choice adding up to a collective failure to understand that they are part of the problem. The store looks like nothing so much as a factory or a machine. People being fed into it. We are the meatballs.
Author George Monbiot turns out to be a natural educator too. In this article he describes how he has explored ecology education with his daughter during lockdown. A project-based approach centers learning on the living world. The results speak for themselves. Truly inspirational.
A timely question in the latest issue of the EL Gazette which concludes: ‘Management gurus agree that if you want a competitive advantage you must be two of the following: cheaper, faster, better or greener. And then you have to prove it.’ To my mind ‘greener’ = ‘better’. Yet another reason to pursue carbon neutrality – and then tell everyone.
Green investment projects which cut greenhouse gas emissions as well as stimulating economic growth deliver higher returns on government spending than conventional stimulus spending: read more. Let’s use our position as influencers to help deliver this.
Excellent to see that Oxford University has at last committed to removing its investment money from fossil fuels. It’s no wonder: when young people are choosing which university to attend, this is one of the first things they need to ask. It’s their future after all. More here.
A recent survey by Ipsos of 14 countries suggests that, on average, 65% of people want climate change to be prioritised in the economic recovery. Let’s take this chance to avoid going back to business as usual. Read this excellent recent article in The Guardian by George Monbiot.