Your leader doesn’t do enough to act on climate change.
Depending on where you’re from, your reaction to that sentence may be anything from ‘well, I guess…’ to ‘good Lord, that’s an understatement’. In the UK, it’s been true for a long, long time, and in the US – well, let’s just say it’s so bad that many people long for the days of a leader who didn’t do enough (Obama was no climate saviour, in spite of the saintly climate glow he wears now that the Orange One is in office).
Fortunately, others are standing up to fill this space.
Towns and cities are key. Just this summer, while making the US literally the only country in the world not to ratify the Paris climate agreement, Donald Trump tried to speak for a city: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris”. To which the Mayor of Pittsburgh promptly replied that “Pittsburgh stands with the world and will follow Paris agreement”, presumably before dropping a gigantic mic and strolling off stage.
Towns like Totnes in the UK, and Austin, Texas in the States, have also led the way by getting 100% of their energy from renewables. It’s also genuinely fine to see a proudly Conservative place like Georgetown, Texas getting to 100% renewable energy too.
Individuals giving up their old lives to feed the hungry.
Communities coming together for complete self-sufficiency.
Cities finding innovative ways to use their waste water.
Companies committing to an electric future.
International organisations bringing people together to push for energy reform.
This is what it looks like when people step up to act where leaders have failed. The plural of anecdote is not sustainability, but these examples – and many more you’ll meet in the chapter – are the sound of people giving a damn about their homes and communities, their cities and their planet. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s something worth writing about.