Solidarity with Planet Earth Statement
a glowing sphere in the depth of space
echoing spirals edge
in the immediacy of breath
no homage is too great
for all that we are
in dappled coat of lemur
otter, wet mink
deep sea turbulence
the peaceful colours of life
blue, green, white
changing through aeons
in our hands
continued good fortune
agape with tears
of cow, whale, human
with such grief
with our tiny
As part of Arika’s shared beliefs we want to speak about our understanding of our relationship with our planet.
We know that as individuals and as humans we are not separate from the earth but are part of it.
The mysteries of life are within both us and the whole earth.
Human understanding, knowledge and wisdom about planet earth has ebbed and flowed, expanded and contracted, shifted forms over thousands of years.
All forms of poetry, mathematics, philosophy, dance, gesture, gaze, community, architecture, painting, sciences, experimentation, writing, speech, memory, touch, divination, movement, journeying, worship, religion, medicine, ecstasy, spirituality, sculpture, visions, foretelling reciprocated and initiated by humans stem from our larger whole. Our bodies move between life and death.
Without the continuation of biologic life on earth, human societies will not continue.
All forms of expression, exploration and endeavour are relevant in the daunting task of averting catastrophic climate change and halting the devastatingly rapid loss of species diversity.
Time is of the essence when it comes to delimiting climate change to the degree that it may be possible for mammalian life to continue on this planet.
It may seem that the solutions to our predicament lie solely on the physical plane – reducing C02 output, finding alternate forms of energy generation, methods to biologically digest plastic waste etc. If all of human ingenuity was applied to our difficulties no doubt we would be astonished at the technological solutions revealed. However our societal inequalities, wars, economic competition, oppression and mistrust of one another prevent us from addressing this – our globally shared and most urgent disaster. So the solutions to our crisis are multifold – until we can cooperate with one another we cannot bring about the practical changes we need to save ourselves. We cannot co-operate sufficiently to address climate change as long as oppressive hierarchical social structures predominate – so dramatic change is necessary on all levels: political, cultural, spiritual and practical.
Terrible damage is already unfolding. The question is now can we collectively respond in a way that will enable some form of life to continue? We have less than 10 years.
Without proscribing what exact forms solutions to anthropogenic climate change would comprise, we advocate recognition of the following:
(For our thoughts on addressing loss of species diversity please refer to our Solidarity with Animals Statement)
- Our world is catching fire
- Currently no scientific body of national or international standing disputes the existence and critical nature of climate change.
- The global north bears more direct responsibility for climate change than the global south. The world’s richest 1% emit double the carbon of the poorest 50%.
- The global south bears the harder brunt of climate change in terms of loss of lives and wellbeing.
- There is no realistic chance that the human technological development necessary for space colonisation will outpace our current rate of environmental destruction. Our collective fate, for better or worse, rests here on this planet.
- Rising to the challenge of averting fully disastrous climate change involves those of us living lifestyles that involve comparatively high levels of resource consumption, in the form of the world’s harvest and extracted substances of the earth, reducing our appetites.
- Despite the emergence of multiple studies in the 1960’s acknowledging and predicting problematic anthropomorphic climate change, plus ever increasing consensus on the subject by scientists in the 1970’s governments and industrial bodies did not (in general) respond constructively. Instead companies commissioned research into climate change and utilised this knowledge to make adaptions such raising the height of oil drilling platforms to accommodate for rising sea levels. They continued to promote fossil fuel consumption and draw profit from this with full knowledge of the devastating consequences. Throughout the 1980’s all major fossil fuel companies continued to meet regularly to discuss current scientific research on climate change, plan adaptive industry responses and strategise to misinform the public about the realities of climate change.
- Climate change denial is hindering our collective mobilisation to address this issue. It is generated by a well-funded coalition of fossil fuel companies, industry groups, conservative think tanks and a tiny handful of scientists.
- World leaders are not to be trusted. Governments are not to be trusted. Billionaires and millionaires are not to be trusted.
- Fossil fuel companies are willing to take us all to hell for a short-term profit.
- Tackling climate change involves acknowledging the enormous degree of irretrievable loss that has already occurred: both human and animal lives lost, animal species forever gone, landmasses that were generational homes beneath the waves, crops lost, livelihoods gone, traditional ways of life gone, starvation creeping over, insects leaving this plane of existence, a poisoning of lifes’ possibilities.
- Tackling and responding to climate change requires co-operation on a global scale.
- Solutions also need to be and have the capacity to be appropriate to the specific requirements of local environments and human cultures.
- Reducing or stabilising global human population levels would assist significantly with addressing climate change. All ethical consideration and empirical research leads to the overarching conclusion that this must be done with the aim of enhancing bodily and personal autonomy of women and girls, not further degrading it. Ensuring reproductive justice is the key solution.
- Indigenous peoples are politically active in conserving natural environments and combatting climate change. The territories of the world’s 370 million indigenous peoples cover 24% of land worldwide, and contain 80% of the world’s biodiversity.
- Constant economic growth is not sustainable. Capitalism is not sustainable.
We recognise that the following reforms would reduce suffering, save lives and have a significant and positive effect in halting irredeemable climate change:
- Think global, act local!
- Reduce, reuse, recycle.
- Divestment from fossil fuels and nuclear energy – coal, oil and gas burning is the main cause of climate change.
- Leave coal in the earth.
- Leave oil in the earth.
- Leave gas in the earth.
- Stop all fracking now.
- Prevent the fossil fuel, nuclear, chemical, banking and motor industries from distorting collective decisions making away from rational and effective solutions to climate change; they act to of serve their own short term interests
- Transfer to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower etc.
- Support people working in environmentally damaging industries to retrain and transition to work in sustainable areas of their choice. For example, here in Scotland a transition training fund supported unemployed former oil and gas workers to retrain and enter sustainable industries.
- Support and solidarity for all organised action against fossil fuel companies, whether it takes the form of litigation or direct action
- Eliminate food waste
- Reduce world population numbers via:
- access to reproductive justice for women
- full educational opportunities for women and girls
- economic empowerment of women
- equitable access to political power for women and girls
- an end to societal tolerance of violence against women and girls
- Remove subsidies from fossil fuel and meat industries
- Reduce meat consumption
- Support indigenous peoples’ lives and struggles to protect their lands and cultural autonomy (for further thoughts on this see our Indigenous People statement)
- Protect existing forests and woodlands
- Wherever possible ensure reforestation of previously forested areas felled by humans
- Protect global peat land masses – ban all but sustainable palm oil production, eliminate hobby garden use of peat and create environmental sanctuaries in peat based land masses
- Protect and expand protected land environments – this will reduce species extinction and increase the possibilities for future generations to regenerate our legacy of loss
- Protect and expand protected marine environments – this will reduce species extinction help to restore the oceans natural balance
- Thoughtfully reintroduce indigenous animal species to areas where they have been eliminated by humans – their presence will help to heal the environment as a whole
- Utilise Greenfreeze (invented by Greenpeace) fridges – conventional refrigeration is one of the major contributors to climate change
- Mass increase of microgeneration projects – roof top solar, small-scale hydropower
- Increase silvopasture – this method of cattle husbandry is preferable to field grazing or barn raising
- No second homes – this is no time for self-indulgence of the wealthy
- End all low paid, sweatshop and slave labour
- Support union power and encourage its revolutionary tendencies. We the people need to control the means of production
- Shift from industrial farming methods that are destroying the soil and releasing tons of CO2 into the atmosphere to organic and regenerative methods. Modern organic farming produces crop yields similar to conventional agriculture but avoids the use of synthetic chemical inputs, genetically modified organisms, and antibiotics, while choosing management practices that support biodiversity, soil fertility, and human and environmental health.
- Create safe cycle routes
- Create and protect safe walking routes
- Create strong public free or affordable public transport infrastructures
- Convert public transport to electrical modes
- Bring about a rapid phase out of private ICE vehicles and convert to hybrid, electrical and biodiesel modes
- Establish as many local networks of food production and distribution as possible
- Increase vegetable gardening at home
- Compost all human and animal excrement
- Feed carnivorous pets on a mainly chicken based diet
- Increase houseplants in home and work spaces
- Don’t drink bottled water
- Avoid unnecessary consumption – every object involves extractive, manufacturing and distribution processes that contribute to climate change.
- Ban all unnecessary packaging
- Manufacture all items that can be made from sustainable materials in that form instead of plastic
- Reduce air traffic – in the UK 15% of our negative impact upon the climate comes from aviation. And 70% of flights are taken by the same 15% of wealthy fliers.
- Ban all domestic flights apart from emergency use
- Reduce air freight
- Reduce international travel by introducing frequent a flier levy
- Reduce internet use (which accounts for approximately 10% of the world’s energy consumption)– specifically reduce video calls and stream in standard as opposed to high definition
- Reduce water usage
- Invest in investigating alternate and less developed methods of generating electricity such as piezoelectric
- Invest in investigating alternate and less developed technologies that generate environmentally friendly solutions to the many driving forces behind climate change
- Expose sham solutions such as polluting companies paying to “offset” their damage by ostensibly protecting existing forests etc.
- Make sure all housing and public building is effectively insulated with non-toxic, safe materials
- Create legal obligations for the building industry to follow best practice to eliminate excessive waste from building processes
- Update building code to ensure minimum heat wastage
- Challenge the constant pressure to dispose of functional clothes generated by the fashion industry. Creative self-expression through personal style doesn’t involve following annual trends generated by wealthy fashion houses – au contraire!
- Bring land ownership into collectively accountable forms – e.g. support collective or charitable buy outs, support a return to crofting, restrict individual or corporate ownership of large areas of land, allow for allotments…
- In countries, such as the UK, which no longer have the land mass available to generate enough food choose the most responsible methods of food importation and distribution
- Recognise that many people are forced to migrate or flee due to the direct or knock on effects of climate change – have Scotland welcome new migrants
- Every sizeable and/or funded organisation needs to monitor, share, assess and remedy their involvement in climate change and take responsibility for being part of solutions
- Be part of generating fruitful and kind-hearted philosophical, spiritual, political, personal, collective discussions about ways of understanding human’s interconnected relationship with our planet that challenge unexamined hegemonic worldviews.