Sixteen years ago whilst working a New Years Eve late shift at APTN I decided that the time had come to re-engage with some things that had engaged me 25years previously, and which then had been put aside by the arrival of children and a career.
So I spent the quiet evening looking around the internet to see what was going on around SECornwall.
Greenpeace had been in the news with some recent action, but I couldn't find any way to join or help them other than simply donating.
Friends of the Earth did have local groups, but none near enough to be useful. Back in the early 90s I had been in the Labour Party in Saltash, but that wasn't really what I was looking for now.
Eventually I stumbled on the Green Party website and read their Philosophical Basis document which I found inspiring, and it seemed easy to join them so I did.
Which led to 16years of local and national activism with various groups, most recently of course with XR.
So this midwinter was again a time of reflection. It seems to me that not only has my personal involvement in eco/green activism had minimal (or even zero) effect, but that more generally the last 50 years of successive waves of activists trying to push forward a radical eco agenda has had almost no impact in the large picture.
It is 50 years this week since Blueprint for Survival was published - still a highly relevant document.
For several years (as I've often said in here) I have been highly sceptical of the value of taking placards for a walk in the streets. But really all of the talk and persuasion, all of the blockades and NVDA, all of the canvassing and lobbying, have been just as ineffective.
What is the point of endlessly repeating the same ineffective actions.
Can one man start a genuine revolution on her own? - probably not. Can a revolution succeed without breaking things? - of course not; a social revolution involves breaking down the old order in order to clear the ground for the new.
So here is my thing for now - at least until I find a cadre of genuine modern revolutionaries. This year I will spend daylight work hours at Gwel Dulas - planting and growing and tending and harvesting. That is good practical work putting local food on our table and nurturing a healthy thriving bio-diverse eco-system - albeit on a small (3 acre) scale. Practical Activism - practivism.
That seems to me likely to be far more effective in terms of results/outcomes than any amount of railing against the way things are.
The way things are remains, of course, very negative and self-destructive, but it can't be changed from within - the feedback loops are too strong. I believe it will self-destruct eventually, but the last 16 years have not brought that point any closer.
If I have spare time during daylight I will use it for cycling, walking, talking, cooking, coding and family. In the evenings I will continue to read, watch movies, listen to music, think, and write.
2022 is going to be a good year.
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