I have found myself recently sliding back into what I call ‘Old Alice’. Behaviour I thought I had ‘grown out of’. Such as, sending strongly worded emails, mostly to my parents, occasionally to newspaper editors, protesting and buying fun stickers. As we get older and more ‘mature’ we are often more conscious of our internal contradictions. I’m constantly banging on about how we need to rewrite the narrative on female beauty but still worry my forehead is looking less youthful than is good for it. I call myself an environmentalist but still take planes. But am I going to stop campaigning? No.
We must make continual changes to our personal lifestyles in order to collectively reduce our impact on the earth. Yet, as some areas of the media are slowly becoming aware, this will not save us. We collectively need to focus on getting our leaders attention, for them to make large-scale changes. Those in power need to hold corporations accountable and set ambitious targets to save our Earth.
I don’t care if you’re a Range Rover driving carnivore; even if the only reason you care about the environment is for the ability to go on safari, ski through Val-d’Isère and not having to explain to your grandchildren why your pictures of the Maldives are the only way they’ll ever see them.
Whether you think your deity made the Earth or the Big Bang, it isn’t going to happen again. We aren’t going to get another earth of transparent frogs, colour-changing lizards, and trees older than the dawn of human civilisation as we know it. Let’s stop pointing out reasons why we aren’t ‘entitled’ to criticise others because of our own innate hypocrisy. We need to come together to get the attention of those with real power to make wide scale change.
Parliament can keep bickering about budgets, Brexit and other ephemeral bullshit all it wants, but while they do so the planet burns destroying every economy they are so preoccupied with.
You don’t need to already be a vegan, hemp wearing Joni Mitchell look alike to help with the groundswell. We are all sliding up and down the lesser and greater scale of hypocrisy. Let us not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. We must try to minimise our hypocrisy but also use it to get angry with the very system that has brought the industries and narratives of need into our lives. Join me in the protest as I wear my blazer and loafers, but if you want to wear organic sandals more power to you! The point is, not only is there room for us all, there is need for us all.