It’s exciting, but there’s no respite. On my daily walks in the huge park behind my flat there are no stretches where I can chat unselfconsciously with myself, like I do in Canada. Always someone straggling towards you with their dog, even in the remote woody areas of the park. I feel irritation as they pass, knowing it’s unreasonable, worrying I’m getting too eccentric. Days go by and I don’t talk to anyone. I can’t afford to get more weird. But nor can I afford to lose the intoxicating feeling of freedom I experience every morning, knowing I am in control of every second of my day.
It takes less energy to be negative than positive, so it’s our natural state—probably something to do with survival in our animal past: expect danger everywhere, you’re about to be eaten. We have to make a conscious effort to think positively, so I guide my thoughts from fury at the sight of a human, to gratitude that I don’t have to speak to them (but they can see I’m trying to pass, why can’t they move their fucking dog off the path?… Stop it! Look at the sun shining through the leaves. Isn’t it lovely that you don’t have to pee? If you needed to pee you’d be griping the whole walk, so what about a little gratitude when you don’t need to pee)?
Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated in every borough and my sister and I debated whether to go into London to witness the biggest celebrations, or meet half-way between our homes at a smaller borough. We decided on the latter and the whole scene was very jolly, with lots of rides and food trucks, an excellent band and—of course—hordes of people, mostly families. I danced outside for the first time in months, compensation for missing my own yearly bonfire party this year. Everyone was smiling and pleasant and enjoying themselves. Then the fireworks started and they were unbelievable and they went on and on and the crowd ooh-ed and ah-ed, necks craned skywards. And I couldn’t help it; negativity started to creep in as clouds of smoke from the fireworks billowed across the sky. There are only so many types of fireworks. Do we really need to see ten examples of each type? And this is going on in hundreds of areas all over London, a million more fireworks than is necessary for maximum enjoyment. A billion more poisonous chemicals released into our overburdened atmosphere. Every child is holding a plastic whirligig with lights that sparkle when it whirrs around. Dozens of trucks carting mountains of plastic to the landfill fill my head. We are in a fucking crisis. Can’t we modify our lives a tiny bit, to save the future? Wouldn’t ten minutes of fireworks have been enough? It would have been enough!
I worry that I’ll never be able to enjoy anything again. If you see everything through the lens of the climate crisis, so much of what we are doing seems looney. Yet so many people think I’m the looney.
You can’t obsess about what you can’t control. It’s not helpful to get depressed by the excesses around you. Or to pray that a huge bomb wipes out half the world and gives the other half a chance. If I could make a deal with God, sacrificing myself and my kids in return for taking down 3 billion with us, I would.
So is it the rich I hate, or the masses of normal, stupid people? The only reason the rich are polluting more is because they have more wherewithal; normal, stupid people pollute as much as they can. Yet historically, there have been many times with the mass of normal, stupid people have risen up against wrongdoing and triumphed—the suffragette movement, the civil rights movement, the Arab Spring. But people have to suffer to make them rise up like that, and by the time we’re truly suffering from the climate crisis, it will be too late.
It’s the normal people you’re trying to woo, with your books and your Climate Action Game. So stop calling them stupid. But how can you like people who know, and don’t change? I’ll never succeed. Maybe it’s OK that we’re hurtling towards suicide.
What a depressing fucking blog. Sorry. I don’t really believe that. I am going to devote the rest of my life to fighting the climate crisis, in every way I can. For the future of my race—the human race.
It’s just the blame game; another mindless trap, just like negativity. Don’t we all need someone to blame? The left like to blame the right but their efforts to co-opt the crisis and link it inextricably with a checklist of left-wing concerns is undermining the chance of unity and with it our best bet for a successful outcome. No, if you want to save the climate you DON’T have to like homosexuals and abortions.
The left are tut-tutting over Bibi’s re-election in Israel, and insisting that democracy is under threat because he’ll probably align with the extreme and the religious. But whose fault is that? The left. If they’d agree to form a coalition with Bibi then democracy would be saved. If democracy is under threat in Israel, it’s the left’s fault as much as Bibi’s.
So much for thinking positively. Yank the mind back. You love the rich and the left and the mindless hordes. And of course I can still enjoy myself. There are so many wonderful things to do that don’t hurt the climate. Socializing, toking, meditating, eating, reading, fucking, going to first-class plays in the West End. I am in the best city in the world and I am free.
Tip: Take Tupperware to restaurants. If you don’t finish your meal, you won’t have to borrow plastic to take it home.