“What can I do about climate change?” “Very little. What can WE do about climate change? EVERYTHING.”
I have had the pleasure over the last two years to meet many people who are working for a future without fossil fuels – people who are taking steps to protect habitats, or change emotions, or change the system we live within. From 15 April I will be meeting hundreds more as I walk with others across England for four months.
The Buzz Tour will visit a cross-section of England to help ‘pollinate change’ through inspiration and skill-sharing. The walk is open to anyone who wants to shape a better future, so please join us! Some people are coming for a few hours, others for a month and they are all part of the journey. You can also keep track of our journey on our website and social media pages, and help us by donating cash or equipment.
We will visit projects where people are practising permaculture, mindfulness, direct action, local economic trading schemes, Transition towns, art and craft as dissent, community energy production, habitat conservation, divestment and alternative education. If you haven’t heard of some of these things – fantastic! You’ll find many new experiences and tools.
A window of opportunity
We are no longer ignorant of the consequences of our actions, individually and collectively. When our grandchildren ask us what we did to stop climate change it will not be a defence to say that we did nothing because we did not know. Our society has known for decades but the evidence is now overwhelming.
In March, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) released its report on the widespread consequences of man-made climate change, which will affect every human on the planet. Its language is technical and scientific, and the news coverage uses emotionless, passive language. The content, however, should be a call to arms for us all. We live during a quickly closing window of opportunity to protect life.
To make the large emissions reductions that are required in the next two decades will take a massive cultural change. There is no single solution to save us; there are hundreds! Changing our lives will not be quick or easy but we can help each other to do it, and bridge the gap between good intentions and systemic change.
There is a lot that behavioural psychology can teach us about how to approach culture change. All group change starts with individual change. The society that we have been born into narrows our choices and rewards destructive behaviour. For example, how easy do you find it to buy food that has not been harvested and transported with fossil fuels or wrapped in plastic? Environmentally harmful actions have become the norm.
It is extremely difficult to act against the persistent tide of a harmful system which surrounds you and so we are forced into harmful choices. That does not mean we consent to them. But to change this society, we must do more than not consent: we must actively show our dissent together, and work together towards the future we want.
There are three broad types of action on climate change: protecting the natural resources we have left, changing ourselves, and changing our system and culture. Maybe you already do work in one of these areas and would like to help others? Maybe you know about climate change but have no idea where to start? Maybe you know the types of action you want to take but need to find people to work with, or to build your skills? Connecting with the Buzz Tour will be a way to do all these.
A vital part of changing our lives is the time to reflect upon what we experience. On the tour we will walk together, to reflect, understand, inspire and learn. The Buzz Tour will be a ‘walking university’ where people can come and share their skills. Every week we will be posting what we learn and the contacts we make on the website building up a store of inspiration.
Culture change not climate change.
Grassroots posters giving an alternative take on the general election
Hundreds of people surrounded the fences this weekend. Hera Lorandos spoke to women who have suffered inside.
Laying out the case for Labour's leadership of a Progressive Alliance, Jeremy Gilbert argues that far from posing a threat to the Left, the Progressive Alliance offers a golden opportunity to end Tory rule and build a 21st century government committed to social justice
The Greens have stood down in Brighton Kemptown to clear the way for Labour, and the Lib Dems won’t stand in Brighton’s other seat, Green-held Pavilion. Davy Jones, who would have been the Green candidate in Kemptown, says this shows the way forward
The snap general election represents a unique opportunity to defeat this terrible government. We believe that visual artists have a crucial role to play!
Drax is the UK's biggest source of CO2 emissions – and we're paying for it, writes Almuth Ernsting
For the past 3 years, Barby Asante and members of London-based artists' collective, sorryyoufeeluncomfortable, have been responding directly to the vision of James Baldwin. Ahead of the nationwide release of a new film about the American activist and author, they reflect on the enduring relevance of Baldwin in Britain today.
Housing campaigners' gains in Bristol are spurring on a national movement to build a renters' union, writes Stuart Melvin
A new Espionage Act threatens whistleblowers and journalists, writes Sarah Kavanagh
We need an anti-austerity alliance, not a vaguely progressive alliance, argues Michael Calderbank
Greece’s heavy load
While the UK left is divided over how to respond to Brexit, the people of Greece continue to groan under the burden of EU-backed austerity. Jane Shallice reports
On the narcissism of small differences
In an interview with the TNI's Nick Buxton, social scientist and activist Susan George reflects on the French Presidential Elections.
Why Corbyn’s ‘unpopularity’ is exaggerated: Polls show he’s more popular than most other parties’ leaders – and on the up
Headlines about Jeremy Corbyn’s poor approval ratings in polls don’t tell the whole story, writes Alex Nunns
The media wants to demoralise Corbyn’s supporters – don’t let them succeed
Michael Calderbank looks at the results of yesterday's local elections
In light of Dunkirk: What have we learned from the (lack of) response in Calais?
Amy Corcoran and Sam Walton ask who helps refugees when it matters – and who stands on the sidelines
Osborne’s first day at work – activists to pulp Evening Standards for renewable energy
This isn’t just a stunt. A new worker’s cooperative is set to employ people on a real living wage in a recycling scheme that is heavily trolling George Osborne. Jenny Nelson writes
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 24 May
On May 24th, we’ll be holding the third of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
Our activism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit…
Reflecting on a year in the environmental and anti-racist movements, Plane Stupid activist, Ali Tamlit, calls for a renewed focus on the dangers of power and privilege and the means to overcome them.
West Yorkshire calls for devolution of politics
When communities feel that power is exercised by a remote elite, anger and alienation will grow. But genuine regional democracy offers a positive alternative, argue the Same Skies Collective
How to resist the exploitation of digital gig workers
For the first time in history, we have a mass migration of labour without an actual migration of workers. Mark Graham and Alex Wood explore the consequences
The Digital Liberties cross-party campaign
Access to the internet should be considered as vital as access to power and water writes Sophia Drakopoulou
#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part III: a discussion of power and privilege
In the final article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr gives a few pointers on how to be a good ally
Event: Take Back Control Croydon
Ken Loach, Dawn Foster & Soweto Kinch to speak in Croydon at the first event of a UK-wide series organised by The World Transformed and local activists
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 19 April
On April 19th, we’ll be holding the second of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
Changing our attitude to Climate Change
Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Technology spells out what we need to do to break through the inaction over climate change
Introducing Trump’s Inner Circle
Donald Trump’s key allies are as alarming as the man himself
#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part II: a discussion of power and privilege
In the second article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the silencing of black women and the flaws in safe spaces
Joint statement on George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard
'We have come together to denounce this brazen conflict of interest and to champion the growing need for independent, truthful and representative media'
Paul O’Connell and Michael Calderbank consider the conditions that led to the Brexit vote, and how the left in Britain should respond
On the right side of history: an interview with Mijente
Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Reyna Wences, co-founder of Mijente, a radical Latinx and Chincanx organising network
Disrupting the City of London Corporation elections
The City of London Corporation is one of the most secretive and least understood institutions in the world, writes Luke Walter
#AndABlackWomanAtThat: a discussion of power and privilege
In the first article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the oppression of her early life and how we must fight it, even in our own movement
Corbyn understands the needs of our communities
Ian Hodson reflects on the Copeland by-election and explains why Corbyn has the full support of The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 15 March
On 15 March, we’ll be holding the first of Red Pepper’s Race Section open editorial meetings.
Social Workers Without Borders
Jenny Nelson speaks to Lauren Wroe about a group combining activism and social work with refugees
Growing up married
Laura Nicholson interviews Dr Eylem Atakav about her new film, Growing Up Married, which tells the stories of Turkey’s child brides
The Migrant Connections Festival: solidarity needs meaningful relationships
On March 4 & 5 Bethnal Green will host a migrant-led festival fostering community and solidarity for people of all backgrounds, writes Sohail Jannesari
Reclaiming Holloway Homes
The government is closing old, inner-city jails. Rebecca Roberts looks at what happens next
Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey
Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace
Pass the domestic violence bill
Emma Snaith reports on the significance of the new anti-domestic violence bill