This is probably the most courageous thing I’ll ever do, but as I was wandering around Europe over the summer, I spent a lot of time thinking: how can I do a better job at communicating the urgency of the crisis we all face and the actions we must take, so we have a fighting chance in the future? And that is when the idea for Climate Courage popped into my head.
A show I plan to do every fortnight, where I’ll go through the challenges we face, the solutions we can ALL get involved in and we’ll look this crisis straight in the eye. I will be as gentle as possible with my message, especially when dealing with such a challenging issue, but we must face this and part of that is facing the discomfort.
Every day we don’t face up to this crisis, our future gets worse. Many will not like what my guests and I will speak about, but we’ll speak about it anyway, because we must stop treating this like the elephant in the room. Equally, I feel compelled to do my part, no matter the personal cost, because I owe it to my boys and to all children.
I talk to thousands of people about the climate emergency (professionally and personally) and one thing is clear – too many are feeling useless, or worse, terrified for the future, and that is making people freeze up. We can’t freeze up anymore, we need to get moving.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I want to share with you the conclusions I’ve made after researching this crisis for years. The focus here will be on the actions I believe one billion people must make to give us a chance, and the adaptations we must be getting in place, with or without our government’s support. Being prepared is critical, or the societal collapse predicted will come to pass. Hey it’s already happening.
Here’s the video launching Climate Courage
And here’s the script adapted. If you want to search for references, I collect everything at this blog – which I update regularly.
Who do we trust when it comes to the climate crisis? Here’s the top three
- Family and friends
- Climate scientists
That means you and I are more trusted than climate scientists, which is why we must speak up and share with our communities – in person and online.
Trust is a HUGE part of the multiple challenges we face, and we need to sort it out. We also need to learn to trust in those worth trusting. An issue we will discuss in this series.
Do I have the authority to speak?
When it comes to my authority to speak up, I’ve spent three decades tracking the climate emergency. However, it was the IPCC report of 2018 when I finally said to my husband, it is time for me to go all-in. Are you ok with that? I knew we had no time left and NOTHING was being done.
But this is a burden for a partner to deal with. He sees the impact it has and suffers it with me. This is not an easy story to share with the world. However, I tell you, he’s an absolute legend. It’s challenging being married to me these days, especially this year, as we’ve watched the climate accelerate.
For those who don’t know me, let me explain how I think and take on board information. I need to understand the whole picture of a story before I can make sense of it. Therefore, I do not claim to be an expert on the issues (even though I do go deep on many issues) instead, what my brain works overtime on is piecing it all together to make sense of the bigger story.
That is what I’ve been doing for many years now. I read and watch everything. I go wide. I look for patterns. I bring it together. Therefore, Climate Courage is all about sharing my understanding, and I am happy to be called out on anything I get wrong. I am always happy to learn.
Being abused on the other hand, I have no time for that. I know how much work I do to learn, so being abused by trolls is something I do not pay attention to. That’s a benefit of being an active blogger and contributor on social media for more than a decade. It armours you.
Another important aspect I am planning to share is, my thinking and plans for our family for the future, so you can see it through that perspective as well. I don’t have an answer for our family’s future right now – it’s not obvious yet – but I will share my thoughts and any conclusions I make. I have no intention of keeping this knowledge to myself.
As I said, I speak to thousands of people, and from all of these interactions, no one knows what to do and so many are in a place of deep fear and hopelessness. That cripples you.
And it’s because we are in trouble
We are at risk of likely passing six tipping points
- Greenland Ice Sheet collapse
- West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse
- Collapse of ocean circulation in the polar region of the North Atlantic
- Coral reef die off in the low latitudes
- Sudden thawing of permafrost in the Northern regions
- Abrupt sea ice loss in the Barents Sea.
Equally, 2022 is the year the climate emergency really freaked out all those paying attention, including the climate scientists.
For me the moment of OMG was Hot poles: Antarctica, Arctic 40 and 30 degrees Celsius above normal on the same day at the start of the year, something still not explained. We’ve heard climate scientists say we were not expecting this until 2050. In Australia, one weather pattern wasn’t expected until 2080. One of my biggest concerns is too many still believe this is all going to hit in 2100. If we think this way, we won’t be ready. It’s not going to happen then; it’s happening now and it’s escalating rapidly.
Then of course we’ve seen the droughts this year, including China’s 70-day drought – the longest and harshest ever recorded. We’ve seen fire and heat domes across Europe, the US, the Middle East, India, Pakistan.
Famine is on the rise, and it will get worse, as farmers won’t plant crops next season, because it’s a waste money with 30 – 50 – 90% crop failures the norm in the current weather environment.
We’re chopping the trees down, we’re consuming and polluting, rain anywhere on earth is full of forever chemicals, our rivers full of pharmaceuticals, we’ve passed six of the nine planetary boundaries.
And of course, in Pakistan, the largest body of water ever released on earth from a glacial lake melt happened. Pakistan has 33 other lakes at risk of bursting.
We are in trouble.
We are in a climate emergency, and while the world’s politicians seem unable to call this what it is and unify us around a common mission to do what we can to give our children the best possible future, we are here and what we do now matters.
BUT what can WE do?
And that is the question I am always asked. The challenge is the messaging is always confusing. For one, the media is a bloody shambles and has been for decades. Unforgivable, but more and more media are joining the climate fight. Please subscribe to publications you value, so they can do their important work.
However, in 2022, many have woken up to the issue we face because it’s staring us in the face, and yet, emissions haven’t stopped rising. We are well on the way to passing the 1.5C limit set in Paris, and it’s more likely we are looking at 3.2. We don’t want to get there, especially when we look at the impact of 1.2 – which is where we are now.
We hear 100 companies are responsible for this, or 10 financiers can halt this crisis. For us, we just need to recycle more and eat less meat. Get our personal carbon emissions trackers working too.
The problem is, we don’t have time for this anymore. Much of the change we’re embracing would have been great back in the 70s. Now it is not enough.
It’s time for all-in, let’s get the job done now!
And part of that is accepting this reality: we are all responsible – especially those in the wealthy West or those with wealth in the developed world.
Those 100 companies wouldn’t be pumping out their poison if it wasn’t feeding a growing appetite for the life we have built – from single-use plastics to construction to transportation to how we eat, how we live, how we work.
Those 10 financiers wouldn’t be putting the money in if the demand and profit wasn’t there.
I truly believe we are ALL responsible, and until we understand this bit of the story, we can’t overcome.
We won’t vote in leaders who will do what is necessary to give us a fighting chance. Instead, we’ll vote in leaders who promise us riches, growth and progress. This is already happening. But they can’t deliver that in a world passing tipping points, and any time those who can’t deliver are in power means we delay addressing the crisis.
Every day of in-action makes things worse. We need to build a consensus and get moving, with or without those who can’t see what is before our eyes
What we really need is one billion people imperfectly changing and doing all we can in our communities to reduce impact AND get adaptation plans in place to ensure the best outcome for our neighbours. Many will have to leave their homes and migrate. We’ve gone too far. And we need to get ready for that too.
We must make sacrifices – and yes, I know people don’t like that word. There is also grief – not just the grief of facing the true scale of what we’re up against – and that’s a hard grief to walk through. But grief in having to give up traditions and aspects of our lives we can no longer have.
This is small things – like giving up an annual traditions, like gifts or even Christmas crackers. But it is also the big things. An example for me is at some point, I will need to move somewhere in the world, and with family in the UK and Australia, I may never see one side of my family again. This is where we are.
The grief is a part of what we face.
I am also a mother. I am a parent. I look my boys in the eyes every day and tell them I won’t give up. I won’t stop fighting for them and for every child in this world, because they deserve that.
And I call on all parents to join me. Our kids should be in school, learning and developing skills for a future we can guarantee them. They should be saying it’s all right, the adults have got it, let’s do what we should be doing right now – and that is learning.
Right now, my priorities for my boy’s education is making sure they know how to shoot, how to fight and how to grow food, because I’m a realist and an optimist.
I still have HOPE although I listen to the Doomers and I hear their message too. It’s not looking good. This all means we have no time to lose.
The topics of Climate Courage so far
Because this is about us and what we can do, I’m going to break it down into segments that make sense.
As I obviously don’t know everything, I will also invite experts to help explain some of these ideas and concepts. If you want to join me, please reach out.
We’re going to cover things like
- Is where you’re living safe? And if not, what can you do
- Food, drought and famine
- We’re not going to ‘sustainability’ our way out of this crisis
- A doomers view
- How we dress and fast fashion – I have an awesome panel for this conversation
- Pets, yes pets
- The waste crisis
- We need a raise in human consciousness
- Dealing with the doubt and having the confidence to speak up
- Pensions and money
- The media
- Demographics, voting and boomers
- A meatless future
- What businesses need to go?
I want to break it all down and help people understand each of these pieces of the story, because until we face it and acknowledge it, we’re just not going to do what is needed.
We need to change, not just how we live, but how we think. My friend Enrico recently said it’s a spiritual revolution and I’ve got to tell you, I think he’s right. That’s why raising consciousness is a topic.
Is this easy? No.
But do you know why no one has any hope for the future? Because they do not believe humanity can make this transformation. And well, I don’t agree with them.
We can and MUST make this transformation. But we have to stop being distracted by the bullshit – the shiny stuff.
We also must stop reacting to those fighting against us and keep moving forward without them. Eventually, they will stop or they won’t, but it doesn’t matter. We give them too much airtime.
My pain in 2022
This year has been hard, the hardest I’ve ever faced. I felt spiritually exhausted when I left for holiday in June 22 and to be honest, I feel like I’ve lost some of my life force too. As we were travelling across Europe, I never stopped moving, because I was desperately escaping my brain. I wanted to stop thinking about it, just for a short while. That was close to impossible.
I came back home and my shoulders are slumped, I’m tired, I’m in despair. I have spent a lot of time thinking about why that is. And this is what I think is happening.
Business as usual Vs climate awareness
There is a duality in the world between those of us who can see what’s coming and those continuing with business as normal. I mean, even governments who get it don’t know how to speak about it!
Some leaders are starting to speak, and it was important when Macron spoke about the end of the age of abundance – which is very correct.
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the source of my dark feelings and I realized it wasn’t eco-anxiety, it’s the fact nothing is changing. Everyone is hanging on to this life, because we love it. I get that. I do too.
But that time is now over. And you know what, if it helps, give yourself until the end of the year, and party like there’s no tomorrow, love life in all its glory and then get started.
Because change at home is a process anyway – it takes time to get there. I’ll keep sharing what I am doing on the home and life front regarding the changes we are making and I encourage you to do the same – share share share!!
The time is now my friends. It’s not a nice thing to face – I completely understand. But we are being pushed towards a dystopia or a Mad Max future where it’s everyone for themselves, and we don’t need to go in that direction.
We can get ready.
We can face this square on.
We can start building what we need, to take care of those climate refugees who won’t be able to stay at home.
We can help the countries on the front line of climate change by investing in the infrastructure to help them survive. If we can help people stay, it means we will have less people crossing borders and we know how well that goes down. We’re not even doing the minimum here.
We can get ourselves and our families ready. And I’m going to share with you all the ways I know how, as well as with amazing guests, who can expand and deepen what I share.
I hope you join me for this journey. Once I’m done, I’ve committed to my husband and boys that I will then focus on us, and getting us ready for the future, whatever that looks like.
Three environment resources to help navigate this challenging territory. 1. Knowledge, constantly updating. 2. Individual action and awareness, so we do our part. 3. Resources for those struggling with eco-anxiety. Please share with your community.
Uncommon Courage: an invitation – my latest book
Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 has given us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.
Better yet, order it from your local bookstore, so you can #SupportLocal.
You can read the reviews, including a five-star review on Book Commentary, another five-star review on ReaderViews, a review on BookTrib, and three more on Booklife, another five-star review on Book Commentary and another on Blue Ink Reviews. I’m also collating reviews on my Website too. Have a look and grateful to everyone who has written or recorded one.
Come and join the conversation in my Facebook Group Uncommon Courage.
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