Vote - GPA
Dedicated to transformation and healing here at Tazeen.TV, the accelerated warnings on climate change recently have me curious about what actions we each need to take in order to help save our planet?
Isaac Cordal’s powerful sculpture which went viral in 2011 depicts politicians discussing global warming. 8 years on.. and I question what an effective solution, with co-operation between global leaders leading to a drastic reversal of destruction to our biosphere looks like?
Spirituality and the Environment
All religions agree that creation is an act of God should be treated as such. Spiritual leaders are critical to the success for global solidarity for ethical, moral and spiritual commitment to protect the environment and ultimately creation.
UNEnviroment shares some valuable insights from different religions. Confuciasm for example shares, “… sustainable harmonious relationship between the human species and nature is not merely an abstract ideal, but a concrete guide for practical living.” (Int. Confucian Ecological Alliance, 2015), Judaism shares, “And God said;” Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed--to you it shall be for food.” (Gen 1:29, whilst Sikhism says, ““You, Yourself created the Universe, and You are pleased…You, Yourself the bumblebee, flower, fruit and the tree.” (Guru Granth Sahib, Maru Sohele, p1020).
Time is running out…
It is now well documented that we are depleting the Earth’s natural resources, polluting its air and water, destabilising the climate and driving many of its species to extinction.
Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.
Since 1970, we have lost one third of the world’s wildlands, and in that time 50% of all vertebrate land animals have vanished. One-third of the world’s coral reefs, the “nurseries” of the ocean, have died and another third are expected to perish by 2030. Climate change is only adding fuel to the fire, with rapidly increasing global temperatures wreaking havoc on the delicate balance that has allowed life to flourish since the end of the last ice age.
Global emissions are reaching record levels and show no sign of peaking. The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990.
Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow.
The situation in which we find ourselves is not just tragic for the thousands of species that will never again roam the Earth, but could threaten the very existence of our own species, homo-sapiens.
Experts have been advising us of the critical need for action for sometime.
What are the Solutions?
Recently, Sir David Attenborough gave evidence to the parliament’s business, energy and industrial strategy committee on how to tackle the climate emergency:
“We cannot be radical enough in dealing with the issues that face us at the moment. The question is: what is practically possible? How can we take the electorate with us in dealing with these things?”
In our own home, the momentum teenage activist Greta Thanburg with her weekly sit-ins outside parliament touched my kids as it did the world deeply. Their insistency that “we do our part” nudged us as a family, into opting for an electric car when forced to change our former diesel car.
Reduce emissions and move to renewable energies
Thanburg’s actions gained worldwide following with students walking out of schools in well over 100 countries. Her actions have propelled some of those in power to make changes.
After initial reluctance German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government joined the European efforts to adopt to an EU-wide emission target. In the UK, the parliament declared a climate emergency and adopted new emission targets, partly in response to the protests
The increased need to hear our youth and their views on climate change is vital as Attenborough’s recent documentary “Climate Change- The Facts”
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00049b1/climate-change-the-facts attests global warming is “our greatest threat in thousands of years….It may sound frightening, but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.” David Attenborough
To the parliamentary select committee he remarked, “I’m OK, and all of us here are OK, because we don’t face the problems that are coming. But the problems in the next 30 years are really major problems that are going to cause social unrest, and great changes in the way that we live, and what we eat. It’s going to happen.”
Some scientists believe it is possible to reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C and even, as asked by the latest science, to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Yet United Nations Environment Programme stresses that even with pledges made under the Paris Agreement, global temperatures could still rise by up to 3.4°C this century, forcing people to adapt to extreme new weather patterns.
How do we drastically reduce the Carbon Footprint?
For a real and lasting reduction to the carbon footprint, there needs to be an accelerated shift in consumer behaviours as well as producers moving towards green solutions.
Clean Energy demand and supply
We need to step up our use of clean energy like wind, wave, tidal and solar energy. Energy efficiency upgrades, sharing mobility and using electric vehicles will all help in move us towards zero carbon pollution. Whilst we move towards electrifying everything, we also need to prioritise greening the grid.
Change Consumer Behaviour: Less clothes, less meat, less plastic
Increased awareness may increase our level of consciousness to the problem and force us to consider shifts in our consumer patterns. For example, as a trained image consultant and having worked in the fashion industry, I am well versed about fashion revolving around latest trends yet the industry is behind the curve on the only trend that ultimately matters- the need to radically alter our patterns of consumption to ensure the survival of the planet. The fashion industry produces 20 per cent of global waste water and 10 per cent of global carbon emissions - more than all international flights and maritime shipping. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of water globally and it takes around 2,000 gallons of water to make a typical pair of jeans.
Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. Washing clothes also releases half a million tonnes of microfibres into the ocean every year. Whilst some entrepreneurs are already designing the fashion of the future such as Gothenburg-based Nudie Jeans which uses organic cotton for its jeans and offers free repairs for life-customers as well as giving customers a discount if they hand in their old jeans- more solutions are needed and fast!
What is drastically needed are more development and wider adoption of more sustainable production methods such as waterless dyeing, using waste as a raw material, and development of innovative solutions to the textile waste problem.
A big consumption pattern that is coming to light is the use of plastic.
To help save our wildlife and the landscape, reducing plastic consumption has a direct impact on cleaning up the oceans and our environment. This with increasing marine protected areas will all make a difference to our oceans.
Another consumption habit that has a huge impact on the environment is food. For the past decade the UN has urged a global move to a meat and dairy-free diet.
A vegetarian diet is arguably better for the planet and Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), also urges people to observe one meat-free day a week to curb carbon emissions.
To learn more about the UN’s focus on one of the urgent problems today read this.
And for those like myself who love learning through documentaries, thought-provoking documentary Cowspiracy explores the negative impact agricultural farming has on the environment. Food Inc too is a documentary first released in 2008 where Robert Kenner takes a look at how the meat industry is adopting more and more questionable methods to supply demand.
The documentary which first really awoke me to the reality of climate change over a decade ago, was Al Gore’s 2006 “An Inconvenient Truth”.
The Climate Change Reality Project, its sequel released in 2017, confirmed the alarming rate at which our planet is being degraded. Al Gore’s tireless campaign has been critical for the sustainability revolution and he shares:
“We have entered an age of environmental crises and of widening social divides. Incremental improvements to address these challenges are no longer enough; our economic system requires a fundamental upgrade to sustainability.” Al Gore
High profile environmental campaigners such as actor and activists, Leonardo DiCaprio through setting up a foundation dedicated to long-term health and wellbeing of all Earth’s inhabitants has had real impact over the last 20 years by supporting nearly 200 projects from 132 different organisations across climate science, marine and land conservation, critical species preservation and indigenous rights.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation (LDF) and new partnership “Earth Alliance” recognises how indigenous peoples inhabit 80% of the world’s intact forests and high biodiversity ecosystems. In many cases they are the only defenders of our planet’s last wild places. LDF supports indigenous communities who are on the front lines defending their lands, water, people and culture from mounting pressures. Around the world, the seizure of land for fossil fuel extraction and oil pipelines, and the clearing of forests for the exploitation of resources like timber, minerals and palm oil not only impacts the planet’s ecosystems -- it also ravages countless indigenous and local communities. LDF funds indigenous led programs that teach local leaders how to map and document their territories, defend their indigenous rights, implement renewable energy solutions, develop sustainable livelihoods, and increase the impact of their public advocacy efforts.
DiCaprio’s documentaries Before the Flood and Ice on Fire (aired on HBO in June) are well worth a watch.
Ice on Fire, leaves you feeling hopeful in a world obsessed with the apocalypse as it focuses on science and technology, and letting ordinary people share a smorgasbord of potential ways out of our impending climate doom, from agriculture that heals the land and enhances the soil to technologies that pull carbon directly out of the air, allowing us to turn back the climate clock.
Yet will Di Caprio’s, Al Gore’s, Attenborough’s, Thanburg’s campaigning, and the work of UNEP be enough? And how do we take some of the solutions proposed and ensure their implementation globally?
What if we could use our personal sovereignty to actualise a global entity in-charge of the biosphere and ensure a worldwide programme to save the planet?
Recently Cambridge University announced the establishment of the Centre of Climate Repair, (an initiative aimed at investigating radical methods to repair the earth’s climate). Earlier in May, my former residence Jesus College, hosted BBC Radio 4’s flagship political debate programme chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby.
The debate highlighted our paradigm of nationalism and internationalism governing world politics and forced me to reflect on how a global co-operative solution will manifest with the rise of nationalism? How can we bring such change at a time when global politics is becoming increasingly polarised?
Could Angus-Forbes & Vote-GPA be the solution?
Former mentor and colleague from my banking days at Merrill Lynch, Angus Forbes. Founder of Vote-GPA proposes “Global Planet Authority” as the solution to save our biosphere. His recent book “Global Planet Authority” brings his passion for progressive governance and sound knowledge of environmental degradation to the forefront. He advocates for quite a unique solution, which has the potential to save the planet in an unprecedented way.
So what it is Global Planet Authority? And how will it come into being?
To find out, watch his conversation with me here:
To enter our FREE competition for a free signed copy of his copy of his book enter your details here:
Our lucky winner (to be announced on 25th July, 2019) will also get the opportunity to spend time with Angus and his wife Dame Darcey Bussell at the book launch on September 10th.
In the meantime, perhaps it’s time for a revolutionary change in the governance of the biosphere. It is time to build towards our first ever action of global self-determination. maybe it’s time we all #Vote GPA?