20 September 2019

Tim Flannery is wrong to feel like his decades of climate campaigning have been a failure. As Guy Rundle explains, huge projects take significant time to bear fruit: “No one who really strives for meaningful achievement does so with a single lifetime as a frame. The fact or possibility of one’s actual children, or a more general notion of future generations, is essential to any sort of life that is projected, that involves projects, in which the meaning of work today is underwritten by the future result. In the shadow of the climate catastrophe, cast from future to present, it is clearly still possible to live a life of pure sensualist hedonism — anything from BASE jumping to sex, drugs and hip-hop — and that makes it clear that the need to respond to the climate/biosphere catastrophe has passed from being a merely moral-obligational demand, to being a moral-existential one. It’s either total abandon, or commitment to collective action. There is now no middle space to hide in. Cultures and societies which don’t respond to it — collectively, militantly, non-tokenistically — will simply have the bottom drop out of their world”. We must support the Global Climate Strike today, and build on it tomorrow. Only long-term, sustained organising will achieve what is required of us.