Archives for posts with tag: Environment

(Imagining)  An Extraordinary Speech from the Prime Minister of Great Britain 
February 6th 2014 – check against (future?) delivery

 Image 

 

Dear People of Britain

 

It is with heavy heart that I speak to you today.

 

The British Isles are under attack.

 

We have no foreigners to blame, no scapegoat, no opposition.

 

Our attacker is extreme weather, and it is here to stay, for generations.

 

Many saw this coming; indeed the first warnings were fifty years ago. And I should like to offer an apology, as one of the many consecutive Prime Ministers who, over that period, felt we had to turn a blind eye, deny all reality, and instead speak to the more pressing ‘urgent’ (but ultimately, on a dead planet, unimportant) issues of the day, like “retail sales data” or “talking up the housing market (bubble)”. Prime Minsters and their advisers have, until now, mistaken the ‘urgent’ for the ‘important’. We ignored the latter. All I can do now is apologise. And speak today about what is important.

 

As you well know, I chaired a COBRA meeting yesterday, about the floods and storm damage. The normal pattern of parliamentary events (normal over the last half century) would be to issue a press release stating, very firmly, that Your Government is taking Immediate Action to ensure that the (perfectly predictable) tragedies you see on your televisions can “Never ever happen again”. In turn, you the people pretend to have short memories, and we move on.

 

But we all know this old approach fools no one – and is utterly broken. The truth is that extreme weather events will happen again, and again, with devastating regularity, severity, ferocity even. This much we know.

 

It is hard, as your PM, to say this to you, but:-

 

I . am . powerless . to . stop . this .

 

We could have prepared much better for these times. But we are where we are.

 

There are two things any PM could do now. One can be done in secret, without your support or participation. And already is, I am ashamed to confess. That is the deployment of state or private wealth, at the level of the individual or gated community, to try to buttress ourselves from the worst. At National scale we can establish “Fortress Britain” which probably sounds an attractive option to many of you. But sadly there is more bad news. There is no fund large enough to provide for inclusion of 63 million of you.

 

The truth is that hard decisions will have to be taken (already are being taken), behind closed doors, to ‘write off’ some parts of the previously-United Kingdom. It will become more and more obvious to you that ‘your’ government is presiding over a Divided Britain. Where a few percent of you are gated, protected, and nurtured. (A bit like ‘Westminster village’ may appear on TV.) And the rest of you? Left to rot.

 

I simply cannot continue in that role. When I wrote this speech I wondered if I would be escorted from the stage at this point, and the plugs pulled on the BBC cameras, but it appears I have another minute or so… to I shall continue… to speak from the heart…

 

I can’t continue to lead a Britain for the few. Not just because it would be wrong and unfair, though perhaps that is reason enough, but because ultimately it would fail. No fortress wall could ever be built strong enough.

 

In our hearts we know – as humans – the truth that all ‘beings’ are interconnected. Watching people or animals die – outside – would kill us – inside. Metaphorically and literally. No thanks.

 

And here is the hardest thing for you to hear: I invite you to wake, and open your hearts and eyes to the reality that ‘Fortress Britain’- for a wealthy few, is not just a **future** possibility, it is already here. It is the Britain we have gotten used to, these last 50 years. Watching poorer communities drown, starve, bake or otherwise go under. We are the rich 1 percent, globally. Being aware of this sets us free. So what is to be done?

 

If you wish me to continue as your PM – here is what I will do.

 

I will start to refocus all of our famous British ingenuity, creativity, resilience and effort towards realising how – all of us – that’s 7 billion of us – can live a decent life in ecological balance with our beautiful home planet. I would of course work with other heads of state on this.

 

This may lead to considerably less ‘luxury’ at home for all of us, right now, but how much is enough? Food and clean water on the table? A roof over our heads? That is achievable for us all. Imagine the prospect of participating in a decade or two of a great effort – in order to reestablish a working basis for productive ecological livelihoods – on this fertile planet – that can be sustained ever more. What a brave legacy that could be, for all who follow us.

 

I would work to immediately secure a global climate peace deal – acceptance of fair, binding and radical targets, for the phase out of all forms of pollution. All this can be agreed tomorrow, without one more day of dither and delay. This fossil fuelled delusion ends here. And a bright green future starts. (Yet we can’t be sure what it will look like.)

 

We can build a pathway into the future for our grandkids: we can build a bridge – to a future world – for all children, of all species, of all nations, for all time. Can we build it? Of course we can. We are a proud nation of Bob The Builder’s.

 

Many of us will not live to see the fruits of our labours, but we can set sail; with new resolve and determination, and address all the upstream causes of our major “falling-out” with the Mother of all Nature, the Earth that we ultimately – and utterly – depend upon. This is like building the foundations – of a new whole-Earth “Cathedral”. It may take generations to build. But it will be worth it. Imagine the pride when it is finished.

 

We can re-establish how we live, interconnected with one another, even the poorest, and with Nature once again. There’s no alternative. Not a living one, at least.

 

So today I ask – will you back me in this – or sack me.

 

Will you demand that I start to address the upstream causes of the many and various unfolding collapsing flooding consequences of our divided kingdom – and phoney civilisation?

 

– or –

 

will you kick me out of your fortress, and spend your savings building a wall. Higher still. The same wall that will divide you from your own survival.

 

Listen to your heart. I did. It wrote this speech for me.

All by itself. Maybe it speaks to you. Thank you.

Image

Above – Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Instutute

Imagine

It is 2016

An Asti Spumante cork has popped, in Rio perhaps

The whole wide world is celebrating – an historic Global Climate Peace Deal Protocol has been ratified

It is grounded in the wit, wisdom and will-power of this man, Aubrey Meyer, of the Global Commons Institute, who ‘discovered’ Contraction and Convergence (C&C) , its beauty, logic, nature, maths and inevitability, more than 25 years before it eventually came into force.

But, eventually, it did.

“Here’s one I prepared earlier” he said

Climate justice without vengeance

And they all lived happily ever after.