Pretentious Ecological Doomsday Statement

climate change

2015, so far at least, has been a year characterised by me getting repeatedly distracted from banging on about the thing I need to be banging on about, which is the environment.

First there was the general election. And then there was Corbyn’s unexpected but delightful transition from pariah-status fringe parliamentarian to Labour leadership frontrunner. I sunk hours into writing about both.

Now Corbyn’s won, I can already feel myself being sucked in again – instinctively reaching for the keyboard to defend him with every new ludicrous slur or piece of borderline-criminal media impartiality. I’m at risk of becoming the political equivalent of one of those overcompensating macho boyfriends who hospitalises anyone who looks at their girlfriend a bit funny.

But from here on in, I hereby pretentiously pledge, I’m going to exercise more self-discipline. The environment is the most important issue of all. It’s at the centre of everything I think and do politically. Grasping the terrifying scale of the ecological crisis we face was what finally turned me into a raving anti-capitalist.

The Western way of life isn’t just gaudy, unpleasant and bad for the soul. It constitutes the single biggest threat to humanity’s continued existence in the history of the species. I mean that with as much weight as I can muster.

We’re living in a dream world – labouring under the catastrophic illusion that our obscenely wasteful, shallow, carbon-belching lifestyle is somehow ‘normal’. We’d need four and half earths to give that lifestyle to everyone.

We’re barrelling obliviously towards an ecological tipping point, beyond which climate change, resource use and habitat destruction will all accelerate rapidly. Millions if not billions will suffer, and without the most radical turnaround in human history, millions if not billions could die. There is no greater potential source of human suffering than ecological collapse. Preventing it should be the most important priority of every government, society, and individual human being on the planet.

About the best thing I can do with my daft little life is go on about the environment again and again and again, and try and convince others to do the same. Because without some sort of eco-revolution, quite possibly in my lifetime, civilisation is sunk.

I’ll be continuing my rambling adventures through what I’ve called Modern Socialism and Radical Atheism. Very soon, I’ll launch the first bit of my much-delayed Economics for Non-Sociopaths series.

And there will still be stuff about Corbyn and everyday politics put up here. There’s no question of me being able to resist it entirely. In fact, I’ve got about three Corbyn-related posts in the pipeline. But he doesn’t need another rubbish amateur propagandist. From now on, there will be less on him – and, hopefully, a lot more on the environment.