This month’s Eco-Action Column is brought by Bromsgrove Extinction Rebellion.
It’s all related.
The public are struggling with the cost of living crisis which will only get worse into the autumn.
Many are facing the impossible choice between keeping warm or having enough to eat.
The price of energy, petrol and raw materials has suddenly increased steeply, yet the value of our labour has been steadily diminishing.
The situation is much worse even than this as we are still on the escalator driving us to produce more and consume more which continues to increase our emissions of polluting gases and accelerates climate breakdown.
We know it is not sustainable. We are sacrificing the futures of our young people to make short-term profit. But for whose benefit? What is going on?
When politicians and business leaders talk about GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and growth they are quoting an ideology which has dominated our economics, but ignores human well-being and the ecology of our planet.
It depends upon creating new demands for products we mostly do not need, puts us into a competitive dog-eat-dog situation in the labour ‘market’ and ramps up demands for resources and energy.
It degrades the planet’s ability to provide by undermining its life support systems.
A quarter of all income generated this way goes into the pockets of the richest one per cent of the population (millionaires and billionaires), making them even richer. Growth has not been steady, but is exponential. After decades things have become critical.
We know what we need to do immediately to avert climate breakdown – scale down fossil fuel reliance and do a rapid roll-out of renewable energy.
In the UK we need to invest big-time in home insulation to reduce energy demand and make things manageable for people.
These policies will help overcome the cost of living crisis.
The horrible war in Ukraine shows our dependency on oil and gas supplied by other states and underlines our mutual reliance for food supplies.
Beyond a certain level we in UK surpassed a long time ago, there is no relationship between GDP growth and well-being.
We must reduce excess energy and resource use to bring the economy back into balance with the living world in a safe, just and equitable way. We can do this whilst ending poverty, improving human well-being and ensuring flourishing lives for all.
A high percentage of people I met door-knocking in Bromsgrove this week shared their concerns about fossil fuel reliance and our Government’s inability to do anything about it.
Visit xrworcs.org.uk/local-groups/ for more on Bromsgrove XR.