Yes Yes Yes
Environmental activists find themselves answering the same questions again and again, and one of these most frequently asked questions is “You’re saying no to coal power fire stations, no to airport expansion, and no to nuclear, but what do you want?”
I often find it hard to put into words what it is that I do want, especially when the things that we are fighting against appear more immediate. However last weekend’s Camp for Climate Action outside RBS headquarters in Edinburgh reminded me what I would like to see in the future.
Sustainability. Relying on sources that won’t dry up or run out. When I see a wind farm from a train window I feel like I’m looking at the future, and it’s safe and clean and far from the eyesore it’s made out to be.
Community. Climate camp has a strong sense of interdependence and a genuine sense of community. People look out for and support each other, which we saw at Edinburgh when protestors stuck together in stressful situations and made quick decisions as a collective.
Empowerment and self reliance. So many people are disempowered, and feel like they are unable to do something unless they have trained in a particular area. Climate camp is a space where people learn by doing, and within hours you will find yourself putting up a giant marquee or cooking for a hundred people.
I say yes to compost toilets, yes to recycling, yes to grey water systems, yes to reusing everything and anything you can, yes to educating yourself, yes to including everyone, yes to mucking in, yes to vegan food, freegan food and local organic produce.
Yes to consensus decision making, to being cooperative, to taking the initiative and not waiting for someone to give you permission to do what needs doing.
Yes to helping out your neighbour, and yes to helping out someone who lives on the other side of the world to you. Yes to active participation, yes to creativity and yes to fun.
Yes for all of these and for taking action to bring the institutions which threaten this future for my generation and for generations to come to their knees.