In the Anthropocene Era, the first geologic era featuring wholesale human impacts, we gamble with extinction. Extinction comes slowly but we can see its distant shadow clearly in 2019, and my great-grandchildren will be middle-aged in 2100, when impacts threaten to be truly dire.
When I turned 60, one of my aims was to spend at least one of my next ten years focusing heavily on some kind of activism. I consider my writing to be meaningful and moral, but direct politically oriented action, irksome though it often is, was something I knew I would have to turn to at some stage. Now, four years later, I commit to working every day of the 2020 Rebellion Big Year to turning back the tide of climate change.
How? I’ve chosen as my vehicle the movement Extinction Rebellion. Its aims align with mine: tell the truth, act now (take Australia’s emissions to zero by 2025), and appoint a binding citizens’ assembly to decide how. It is full of passionate, wonderful people sacrificing much for future generations. It is effective, insisting upon nonviolent direct action as a key strategy.
I may do other things as the year progress. Let’s see.
How do I structure this kind of Big Year? I commit to spending some time (call it a minimum of half an hour even in ferociously busy times) each and every day of 2020 doing activist work or keeping tabs on climate change science and global politics. I commit to averaging 2 hours a day on this activity. Amidst my writing projects and within a hectic family life, this will be demanding. But I commit.
As part of the Rebellion Big Year, I commit to blogging often, both to document my own progress and thoughts, and to tease out insights and implications. Given the nature of activist work, my blogs will be rather non-specific, often reflections on my own mind rather than diaries of activity. Nonetheless, I vey much look forward to an inner dialogue during a year that will seem most unfamiliar to me.
Hope is action. Inaction is no future at all. We must all rebel in some shape or form.
2 Replies to “Announcing: Rebellion Big Year”
I admire your commitment and agree that anthropogenic climate change is a severe threat to our future generations. However I fear that your goal is unrealistic, reducing Australia’s carbon emissions to zero by 2025 is impossible. Just like our friend Takao Takahara who is committed to eliminating all nuclear weapons , I admire him greatly but do not think we are capable as humans to achieve his goal. I therefore remain pessimistic on these 2 major issues but my thoughts are with you!
Andrew, yes, zero in 2025 is a big ask. The trouble with “more realistic” goals is that you end up with 2050 goals and no action, the assumption being that technology and commerce will deliver the shifts. The world does have to halve its emissions by 2030 but the first step is for the government to program the reduction next year, and an audacious 2025 sets a citizens’ opening gambit.