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What we are doing is insane

Last update: 1.02.15 First posted: 1.02.15 by in

Grey Whale
Gray Whale by Eric Neitzel CC BY NC ND 2.0
Thousands of species of animals are already endangered or critically endangered due to human activity including the mountain gorilla, the snow leopard and the blue whale. Fish stocks are depleted due to over-fishing and may never recover. The Amazon rainforest, home to thousands of as yet undiscovered species and potentially the medicines to cure all our illnesses, is being slashed and burned to make way for cattle farms.

Many, many more species will be lost forever due to human population growth, a total disregard for environmental standards and climate change.

Globally we emitted about 36 billion tons of CO2 in 2013 and the trend is growing and exponential. We need to be making consequential cuts now if we want to keep the global temperature within 2°C. If we continue polluting as if nothing is happening we could easily see an increase of 4-6°C. Enough to make extreme weather in Britain normal and the tropics all but uninhabitable.

As well as polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases we are also pumping it full of acid-rain causing chemicals, carcinogenic particulate matter, radioactive material and chloroflourocarbons. We pollute the ground and soils with heavy metals, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that run off into streams and rivers. Which then make their way into the seas where we add sewage, industrial waste and vast amounts of litter which blows off the land and ends up in the bellies of fish and seabirds.

Meanwhile, the 85 richest people in the world own more wealth than the poorest half of the world. There are nearly a billion malnourished people in the world, yet we throw away more than enough food to feed them all. Here in Britain, the number of families dependent on foodbanks is soaring while the British economy is booming.

Insanity is the answer to insanity

children smiling in a slum
photo by Michael Hunlewicz CC BY 2.0

Growing vegetables in your street or your own backyard, cooking and eating them. Going organic. Buying goods and produce locally. Working a 12 hour week. Reducing, reusing and recycling. Making do and mending. Buying things secondhand in charity shops. Turning rubbish into craft. Using and supporting open source software. Setting up a housing co-op, a community café or a timebank. Standing up for what you believe in.

You may be frowned upon, critised or scorned – because the system we live in is crazy. However, it’s a system which menaces life as we know it – maybe even life itself. The only way out of this system, which is crazy, is to be crazy and challenge the system.

We’re setting up a festival of climate alternatives called Alternatiba Todmorden which will take place on Sunday 3rd May 2015. The idea is to get people together to challenge the system by doing workshops, conferences and presentations on the solutions to climate change in a festive day out for all the family with local food, music and activities for children. We’ve only got 3 months left and there’s still a lot to do. There aren’t very many of us and we are learning as we go along. So do something insane. Join us. joe@altertod.eu

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