10:10 – having a bad day, going nowhere fast

10:10 inspires me, and The Guardian’s environmentalism has been one of its few redeeming features. But this:

It’s a bit like Joel Schumacher’s film Falling Down.

Bill Foster has become monomaniacal about reaching his destination. He abandons his car on the free-way and takes a direct route on foot through the most troubled part of L.A., enacting summary justice on transgressors he encounters. He’s not an unsympathetic character – just embittered to the point of violent misanthropic insanity. You know he has to die.

But while you’re relishing the carnage over at Harry’s Place or (more than likely) Spiked, keep in mind that inertia and targeted discredit are bigger forces for harm than shrill environmentalism. For those who haven’t noticed, there’s the bloodiest of wars going on between climate scientists and various agents whose interests are entrenched in greenhouse gas emissions, and in general, we-the-public are not helping.

Watch University of Plymouth Professor of Geosciences Communication Iain Stewart’s BBC series Earth: the Climate Wars. Read sociologist Anthony Giddens, listen to ethicist Clive Hamilton, and follow Open University geographer Joe Smith’s Creative Climate initiative. If organisations like 10:10 fail, we’re going down.

7 thoughts on “10:10 – having a bad day, going nowhere fast

  1. He’s not an unsympathetic character – just embittered to the point of violent misanthropic insanity. You know he has to die.

    …. we’re going down.

    Interesting connection there, Flesh!

    • Bill had to die because of the age-old dramatic code – lawbreakers must be punished one way or another.

      We’re going down because, as Johann Hari argues, the only alternative is compulsion.

      It’s not libertarianism which makes me fear that, since I accept his argument that individual liberty has to end where harm to another begins. My difference with Johann Hari is that it’s short-sighted to simply force. If we’re all to be compelled to do some or other right thing, my position is that it’s still best to do the compulsory thing voluntarily i.e. consciously and reflectively – those qualities which are the safeguard against the next anthropogenic disaster. Otherwise we-the-public are approached by policy makers as simply an inert force to be repositioned temporarily until the next time we become a problem. I hate that, and it’s always so painfully inevitable.

      Compulsion or not, you always need to keep the arguments and practices alive.

  2. I completely agree with you, force will probably be counterproductive. It often is.

    Sadly though, rare are the people I meet who seem to have these good qualities of consciousness and reflexivity that you mention. In fact, many people seem to spend most of their time cultivating precisely the opposite in themselves. Why I do not know. Maybe it makes life easier to bear?

    Has it always been this way?

      • Thanks for the link. However, surely by university stage it is too late to develop good character? That and the fact that most people don’t go to university anyway.

        I’m puzzled by your comment about learning being about changing, especially in this context(ie climate change and human destructiveness.) Haven’t we humans changed far too much already? Maybe we actually need to learn to accept nature, not always to be forcing change?

      • Take your point – on a population level early years are the most formative in terms of your life course, particularly in educational terms.

        Higher learning takes place at a time (in most cases) when we cease to be dependent on care givers, when we have full agency, and enter into it by choice. As the research they cite demonstrates it’s by no means too late to develop in adulthood the kinds of qualities the nef emphasise. Did the way you interact with the world stop changing when you hit 18? We become acculturated to the settings where we are, and where we want to succeed. The principles of underpinning those settings communicate themselves tacitly.

        And on change, I’m talking about a purposeful, deliberate – rather than reactive and unreflective – response to the problems we encounter.

      • Aah you mean change in the intransitive rather than the transitive (Marxist “change the world”) sense. Sorry, I misunderstood you.

        Yes. It cetainly seems like a goal worth aiming at. It would be good though to see primary and secondary made more e-ducative, in the original sense of the latin, instead of the current battery farming approach that we see at the moment.

        However, still can’t help thinking that TS Eliot was onto something when he observed that “human kind cannot bear too much reality.”

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