We don’t need to see our options for responding to climate change as a narrow repertoire of lifestyle choices (lightbulbs etc) or lobbying the powerful to make changes on our behalf. We can change the world ourselves, starting with our own communities.
Consumerism prefers to imagine society as an atomised sea of separate individuals all pursuing their own ends – a bleak and soulless every-man-for-himself vision that is a big part of the reason why we are in the mess we’re in.
The drastic changes needed to decarbonise our society will require something more than mere tweaking of our individual shopping habits. We currently live in a world that punishes sustainability and rewards high-carbon behaviours. Changing our consumption choices won’t fix the problem; we have to change the conditions in which those choices are made – and that means changing the world around us.
Luckily lots of people have spotted all this as a brilliant way to move forwards and have got cracking already. From the Transition Towns movement to the Low Carbon Communities network, good people are getting together all over and starting the great work of rebuilding our society from the bottom up. Find out who’s doing what in your neighbourhood, and if nobody’s doing much, then maybe it’s time to get something started…