Courage

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Issue 312
January/February 2019
Courage

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Courage
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issue cover 312

Cover: Anna and Elena Balbusso www.balbusso.com

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Now, more than ever, we need to muster our courage to make change.

All reaching up by Elena Skoreyko Wagner www.elenastreehouse.com

All reaching up by Elena Skoreyko Wagner www.elenastreehouse.com

When I talk to other people about climate anxiety our experiences are often the same. First, there’s a heavy feeling of powerlessness, which can be overwhelming, but often this is followed by a sense of grim determination. Perhaps this is where courage comes from. In the words of Harper Lee’s Atticus Finch, “real courage” is when “you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” Now, more than ever, we need to muster our courage to make a change.

From Heathrow airport in the UK to Germany’s Hambach Forest and the Zone to Defend in France – as well as the growing non-violent movement Extinction Rebellion – the actions of peaceful activists across the world featured in the following pages show that feelings of dread can be transformed into optimism and hope.

Non-violent protest isn’t the only way to do this, of course. Natalie Bennett writes in the Ecologist section: “Everyone has a role, from promoting actions on social media and answering questions from family and colleagues… to baking quiches and cakes for the protesters…” In our Arts section, Alice Kettle writes about a project bringing together refugees, asylum seekers and concerned people across the world to create incredible textile landscapes and stitched ‘forests’ to form a “unique kind of activism”. “I’m just an artist. I can’t resolve these issues,” she writes, “but I can show that I care.”

The future doesn’t have to be worst-case scenario, and if we work together it can be something to celebrate. In our Keynotes feature, Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson lay out ways we can do this by addressing the inequality that is currently crippling society. “Change on the scale needed can only be achieved if large numbers of people commit themselves to achieving it,” they write.

“We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it,” WWF UK chief executive Tanya Steele said on the launch of their Living Planet report in October. The end of 2018 may be remembered as the moment the realities of climate breakdown hit the mainstream. There’s still a chance 2019 will be known as the year we began to change things for the better.

Marianne Brown is Deputy Editor of Resurgence & Ecologist.

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