Terms of Engagement
This website started with the idea of doing a project about climate towards the COP 26 in Glasgow. The idea was. How do we engage ordinary people in the climate debate. How do we convince ordinary people that we all have some skin in the game. What are the connections that directly relate to peoples day to day experience that would help them to put climate at the top of the agenda.
We spent a lot of time thinking about this because We are just as confused as anybody else on where I should spend my energy in relating to this most important issue. We can soon discovered a plethora of ideas that could be done and is being done. The internet is buzzing with ideas for saving energy, what corporations are up to, disinvestment in oil campaigns, gardening projects, renewables and alternative economics. Doesn’t take a lot of research to discover people are on the ball. There “is” an alternative and it is ready to go.
But the other major problem we have is we are not winning enough, or fast enough to force the changes that are needed. We can have alternative lifestyles if we have the knowledge or can afford them. And most folk would probably would agree, this would be great. But the problem is how do we take with us the many people who are not being reached, and that we will need if we are to win sustainable change? Why we could think could we not put Jeremy Corbin in power? Why did we end up with banking family toffs running the country? And incredulously why did working class people vote for them? How after spending all of that social energy did we end up with the worst perpetrators in the country of deniability and regressive policies in power?
There are many answers that could be given to these questions. but the one in question here is. “How do we engage ordinary people in the climate debate.” This is a much more important issue even than transferring who has the key to number ten Downing Street. Because the problems of this question runs far deeper than presenting alternative technologies, saving energy and campaigning for a greener world, even when most of us want it.
Part of the problem was put succinctly in speaking to a friend who in the early eighties ran an arts project in the east end of Glasgow. An arts project that was inspirational in its output and had solid grass roots ties to working class politics and is still there today. He summed up what has been lost and needs to be found again from back then and for today He says:
“Both myself and the local activists that set-up the project had an agenda, a class viewpoint and connections to wider working class politics and action. It’s the widespread lack of purpose nowadays that is so different.”
In building resistance to climate destruction, we have made fantastic progress in delivering an alternative for the new world. We now need to concentrate on taking all of our people with us. And we can only do that by renewing the institutions that gave a sense of purpose to these communities and to understand the different forces that are working to pulling them apart. So this project is not so much about defining climate alternatives but about the many barriers to building power that prevent them being achieved.
What is being offered here are not solutions but small parts of the puzzle that might help widen awareness, particularly for the benefit of our young, of the many critical connections between people that will need to be made at the grass roots level in understanding and growing our movement towards global stability.