It’s been eight days since I took the coach to London and participated in the Climate Justice March.
I had seen the event being advertised long before, but was hesitant to go. Does demonstrating even matter? Does it change anything? I ended up going to meet certain people and to feed my curiosity. And what can I say, I did change something, at least for me personally.
It felt empowering to walk through central London demanding more climate action. Being able to walk on the streets normally full of cars and stop the never ending flow of christmas shoppers made me feel strong. Hearing speeches by those doing incredible things made me want to do incredible things as well. But this all was caused by the design of the event, and the event was designed for us, the demonstrators. Us that already care, not those that still need to be convinced. Did anyone in Downing Street even look out of their windows when we conveyed our message? Did anyone read the flyers we gave out or stopped to listen to the talks? Most likely not, and that may sound frustrating.
However demonstrating made me realise that first and foremost, a demonstration is not to convince the others but to motivate ourselves. Because using my voice felt empowering. Because being amongst likeminded made me feel like I am not alone with my worries. Because breaking up my daily routines for this march gave me the feeling that I am actually doing something, that I am active. An activist.
So demonstrating might not save the world, but it has the potential to save my mental health. For me as a participant it meant being active without being organisationally involved. Just turn up, do something and go back home. This march was an outlet for my frustrations with the world and those who run it, and it was motivating me by showing me that there are many others fighting together with me. It gave me energy to continue and to be powerful and loud.
So rest assured, when the next march comes up, I will be there. Join me!
Do we need to brainwash society to stop climate change?
Let’s face it, people are egoistic. Eventually their actions are taken for their own personal good. If this personal good means a strong morale and a sense of responsibility towards the rest of the world, then great. But usually it isn’t. Most people, I believe, are led by much more simple objectives, let it be the desire for goods or for public recognition.
Tonight I attended a panel discussion on climate change, with a lot of smart people in the room and great ideas being brought up. But what the panel failed to remember is that they are by no means an average of the country’s population. Bluntly put, most people don’t give a f*. And even those that do, for what purpose do they care? Is it actually the belief that they can make the world a better place, or is it the desire to gain votes, attention by the public or the selfish desire that their voices need to be heard?
I don’t know and I don’t want to judge, since I am by no means better myself. My friend Ollie was speaking at the panel discussion and I helped him prepare. And while I think he did a great job in explaining his position, amongst these high-ranked speakers, a part of me was jealous of the opportunity he had and I had not. It is hard for me to remember myself that certain things are outside my area of influence. Even if he wouldn’t have been at the panel, there was no way I could have taken his place. But was in my area of responsibility and what I did well was to prepare him for the event. I did my share and put my talents in use, only not in the spotlight where egoistic me would have enjoyed to be. And yes, this feeling is part of the reason why I am starting this blog. To be honest about the way I feel on climate change an environmentalism. It’s not all hugging trees and planting flowers. It’s egos, personalities and internal conflicts as well.
Back to brainwashing. Looking at the course of history, I don’t believe in there being any timeframe where individual human action was not led by egoistic motives. The outcomes differed due to different values and circumstances. So if we cannot stop egoism, what we can do is utilize it. If we only make people feel that the most egoistic thing they can do is stop climate change, they will by all means do it.
How are we going to achieve this? I don’t know yet. But once I find the answer I’ll let you know.