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Let’s get the best minds in the world to create a sustainable revolution

4 min read

COP26 – is it going to be, as Greta Thunberg said, “empty promises and more blah, blah, blah”? Is it going to be headline news for a few weeks and then be dismissed from the front pages?

Many scientists reckon this is the last chance to save humanity and the planet as we know it. We are basically driving ourselves to extinction. What kind of stupid animal would have that knowledge and do nothing about it? Maybe it would be a good thing if we actually did propel ourselves to extinction. After all, would anything else on our planet suffer if we disappeared? 

Actually, most things would thrive without our destructive nature. We are not a keystone species. However, even if we are all doomed, we need to do the right thing, don’t we? If you were drowning, would you just let yourself sink to the bottom? No, you would fight to get to the top. 

I passionately believe our planet, and our place within it, is worth fighting for and if we can learn from our mistakes and come up with solutions for a better future, we should fight as if we were about to take our last breath. 

Our biggest enemy is indifference. Leaders of the world need to attend COP26 and be ready with their firefighting equipment and prove they can give more than “empty promises and blah, blah, blah”.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. So, by definition, we are insane. The “absurdity of humanity” is the phrase that springs to mind. Time has run out for us to do the same thing over and over. Time has run out for us to stay insane and absurd. We need policy that makes dramatic change. 

We created the industrial revolution, now let’s get the best minds in the world to create a worldwide sustainable revolution. 

The pandemic has proved that, as a species, we can make dramatic and speedy changes when faced with a crisis. Who would have thought we’d all be wearing masks, working from home and under lockdown rules, all over the world, with just a few days’ notice? Who would have guessed we could come up with a vaccine in a gobsmackingly record time if all the top scientists in the world came together with government backing and funding? 

We have to convince world leaders that the climate crisis is a bigger crisis than Covid and will ultimately kill far more people. We need that same urgency.

I admit, I’m as confused as most of us about how we go about changing centuries of bad habits. I’m as guilty as most of us of doing the right thing most of the time but then doing things that are horribly hypocritical. 

I don’t have the answers, just as I wouldn’t know where to start with designing a vaccine to battle Covid. But we have some incredibly bright minds among us; bright minds that need funding and encouragement to come up with outrageous ideas; minds that recognise this is a world crisis and a last chance. 

We need the same panic, the same world support and will that got behind the Covid conundrum. We need climate anxiety to be converted into positive action for change. We need every industry and every government throughout the world to put the planet before profit, and our children’s future before our own egos and greed. 

Our economic structure needs to change. Our attitude to greed has to change. We created the industrial revolution, now let’s get the best minds in the world to create a worldwide sustainable revolution. 

Let’s not paralyse people’s creativity for future solutions with fear and anxiety. Let’s fill those creative minds with hope, with financial backing and with urgent excitement. Let’s come out of COP26 with optimism, drive and a mind-blowing plan, passion and energy for positive change. 

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