The UK Government recently carried out a consultation on its Statement of Environmental Principles. The Statement will have legal status through being referred to in the Environment Bill, still slowly making its way through Parliament and now in the House of Lords. This Bill is supposed to repair the damage done by Brexit pulling the UK out of the shared EU arrangements for environmental protection.
For more than a generation of economic globalisation, to turn the old adage on its head, it seemed to many that “wealth is health”. In the bargain, as everything, including health, came seemingly to rest on the willing shoulders of money, huge fortunes were not only made but universally sought, in what has come to be called an “aspirational world”.
When I heard that Culture Declares emergency was organising a series of ‘Letters to Power’, I thought to myself: “Rupert, you should probably write one”. You see, I have spent much of my life attempting to talk to, persuade, even beg those with power - our elected leaders, heads of banks and businesses, big organisations or media companies, for example. I have written many, many letters to power before.
‘Test, trace and isolate’ is not working and is unlikely to work well anytime soon. With the Government failing, community medics and volunteers reveal how we can save ourselves.
“Rebuilding local production is an action which will simultaneously make us less vulnerable to the ever-growing vicissitudes of the deteriorating global climate as global just-in-time supply chains are increasingly fragile.” Emma Dawnay and Rupert Read of think tank Green House argue, in a newly published report, that it is time for Britain to seek a Brexit that will really take back control.
Many of us who are awake to the climate nightmare cycle through periods of despair on the one hand and desperate hope against hope on the other. We veer between not seeing how we can possibly make it through the long ecological emergency, and declaring that we must and will. Between being tempted to give up, and throwing our all into a no-holds-barred defence of Mother Earth.
Our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been characterised by two vast failures of imagination:
1) Many people and most governments —particularly those of the United States and the UK — have failed to imagine exponential growth and how bad it can get.
What are the underlying reasons for this first failure?
The direction of conversation in the latest trade talks is designed to deepen the UK’s dependence on other economic systems while isolating us from our EU neighbours.
Rupert Read from Extinction Rebellion warns of the false hope of Green Revolution but argues the Coronavirus crisis has revealed our vulnerability and made a kind of restoration possible.
Rupert Read and Tara Greaves on recent ONS figures that prove the much-hyped Oxford Model based on Coronavirus immunity was based on false premises.