Vivienne Westwood's 10 Steps to Climate Revolution
Vivienne Westwood's surprise appearance at the London Paralympics calls for us all to behave more responsibly. Here she explains her 10 practical steps to 'Climate Revolution' – because a revolution is what we need to tackle runaway climate change.
Some of you will have seen me at the Paralympics closing ceremony unfurling my banner proclaiming a CLIMATE REVOLUTION. I planned it as a surprise, telling almost no one – ironic, as my name wasn't announced nor were my actions reported in the press. Interesting.
It has been four years since the last Olympics and Paralympics were held in China and four years since the New Economics Foundation announced their '100 Months' campaign – the amount of time they estimate we have to stabilize the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere before the risk of uncontrollable planet warming becomes unacceptably high.
The London Paralympics Becomes a Stage of Awareness for Climate Change
Now, at the London Paralympics we are halfway there – 51 months and counting. It's time to realize we need a revolution to Stop Climate Change. So I unfurled my banner – we have a real chance to win this fight if we stop our delayed thinking, seeing everything with old eyes. It's time to make our voices heard – on the streets, through social media.
The Climate Revolution has Already Begun
Man-made climate change is accepted by most people. Through every walk of life people are changing their values and their behaviour. This seems to be happening in the US, despite it being politically backward. This continues to build the Revolution.
We need a formal inauguration of the Revolution and a plan of operation.
Help Stop Climate Change – Resist Economic Propaganda
Our economic system, run for profit, waste and based primarily on the extractive industries, is the cause of climate change. We have wasted the earth's treasure and we can no longer exploit it cheaply. This shows up as a symptom; the symptom of climate change in this case is the financial crisis.
Economists treat economics as a pure science divorced from the facts of life. The result of this false accountancy is a wilful confusion under cover of which industries wreak havoc scot-free, ignoring the subsequent human and environmental cost.
If we want a sound economy we have to have a sound environment - stop climate change.
Vivienne's Plan of Operation
1) Affirm the connection between climate change and the financial crisis.
2) Implement two measures without which we cannot stop climate change:
i. Establish the Arctic Commons
ii. Save the Rainforest
Both of these are possible right now.
3) Tackle the need for clean energy. The quickest safe option is nuclear. The problem is that the public is against it. We think this is because of false propaganda from the press who have massively misrepresented the facts to satisfy the thrill of a good scare story. (You can still be part of the Revolution even if you don't agree – it's just that time is running out and we need to decide.)
4) Curb the Corporations, especially the extractive industries and agribusiness. (We notice a recently coined word, 'Corporocracy'.)
We shall now form a cabinet of operations so that we can rally the troops who are already forming.
How to Join the Climate Revolution
Many people have changed their way of living. The more this happens, the greater the Revolution, the greater the chance of saving our planet.
1) Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
2) Quality v Quantity
3) Buy less, choose well, make it last (we don't want the 'latest thing' just for the sake of it.) "I never waste money I spend it" – Oscar Wilde. Maybe you'll give a
donation to an NGO or charity.
4) Prepare and cook your own food.
5) Cut out plastic
6) Inform yourselves
7) NGOs: there are thousands, follow one in particular and give your support. You will learn a lot. You will know if we've blown it or not.
8) Consider the responsibility of not having children.
9) Take an active part in the Revolution as it starts to build.
10) Engage in art and culture.
This Article was originally published on Vivienne Westwood's blog.
For further information on sustainable issues, matters and ways to make a difference, visit Permaculture Online for many more inspiring articles.
"The quickest safe option is nuclear" is simply not true.
Yes, nuclear is much lower carbon than fossil fuels. But it still doesn't make sense for numerous reasons;
Renewable electricity technologies are "two to seven times more effective than nuclear power plants on a per kWh basis at fighting climate change."
Additionally, uranium is a finite resource just like fossil fuels are. The more nuclear power stations, the faster we use up this limited resource. If were were to run the world on nuclear we'd run out pretty fast. Even on optimistic assumptions of fuel availability, global reserves of uranium will only support a 2% growth in nuclear power and will only be available for 70 years.
Nuclear is by no means quick either. No new plants have been built in the UK since 1995 and that took 7 years.
And of course, no one has yet figured out how to deal the radioactive waste either.
We agree - nuclear is not an option. Her comments indicate that she has woken up to the realities of climate change and how severe they now are but she needs to explore how we are going to cope with the inevitable effects of it and not make the situation even worse.
Overall I agree with the article, but like the previous two comments, I think nuclear is ONLY good for decarbonising electricity production, that doesn't mean it's a solution. We'll have to learn to live within our renewable means, which by most accounts will be less than we are used to in the overdeveloped world now.
Also, I take serious exception to the sentence "Economists treat economics as a pure science divorced from the facts of life." As a biologist, which wikipedia confirms is considered a pure science, I find this offensive.