We, the people, are fucking angry!

Politicians, take note. We know the Earth’s climate is fucked up and we know that you know too. That’s why we’re so fucking angry about your persistent failure to take it seriously.

Crowd_2We, the people, are fed up with being lied to and taken for fools. We’re fed up with your fudging and thoroughly pissed off by the attitude of your pals in Big Money who don’t give a shit about anything except – Big Money. You can all abandon your own grandchildren to the effects of runaway global warming if you will — but not ours.

divine rightIt’s our world and we want it back. Unlike kings, parliament is not backed up by Divine Right. The power we delegated to you has been abused, frittered away, sold off – and not even to the highest bidder. We have been sold out.

But we are the people and we are sovereign. So, just this once, we are taking back that power and exercising it ourselves, directly – over you.

Because what’s at stake is the survival of civilisation as we know it. And any civilisation, even the one we know with all its fragile foibles, its inherent weaknesses and its outright, shameful failures is still better than none at all. Yet the Earth will burn before you lot stop fiddling.

Beware the people. You’ve scorned us for too long. But we’ve got a brand new box of matches: it’s called the Internet and we will use it to remind you, forcibly, that all power comes ultimately from us – not from money and not out of the barrel of a gun. For we the people are sovereign and if we choose to we can stomp all over you.

You should heed this warning – you might not get another one. The Paris climate conference in December 2015 will be your last chance to get it right. To put aside your silly squabbles, your pork barrel deals and your blinkered thinking; to look at the big picture, the shit and the fan; to move on from nit-picking procrastination and point-scoring; to cooperate and take the hard decisions.

If you get it right we’ll all be in for a rough ride – rougher than we can imagine. That’s why you’ve ducked those decisions up till now, isn’t it? Down that road lies political suicide – that’s the pitiful excuse for your inaction, isn’t it? Well, listen – I’ll tell you a secret: we don’t give a monkey’s for your political careers.

Contrary to what you like to think, we the people are not entirely foolish. We know that cutting CO2 emissions drastically and rapidly will be desperately hard. We’re not kidding ourselves. We know there will not just be discomfort and hardship: there will be suffering and strife and great distress. There will be pain, anger and frustration and many will die – perhaps millions. There will be cock-ups and injustice and sheer bad luck, because we don’t have the time to design a nice, tidy, zero-risk master plan. Change on this scale has never been attempted but it’s no longer avoidable, even if means martial law as a prerequisite. We have no choice but to plunge in at the deep end and trust that we’ll be able to manage the worst of the bad as events unfold.

Order from chaosWe the people are capable of accepting all that if – and only if – you stop talking to us like children; if you tell it the way it is, and if we believe you are sincere – the biggest if of all, for you have squandered all but the last dregs of your credibility.

What we care about is preserving a world in which our great- great-grandchildren will be able to know the same happiness we’ve enjoyed: music and silence, sunshine and storm clouds and silk-washed dawns; knowledge and thoughtfulness and understanding; love and pain and anger; moon drops and snowfields, the perfume of the dunes and the purr of a cat; because it takes all that and more to make a life.

We the people are big enough, wise enough, generous enough to accept that a period of transition lasting for two or three generations – however painful and chaotic it might be – is but a small price to pay if it ensures that future generations may flourish by the thousand. Morally, this is a challenge we cannot refuse.

Yes, morally. There’s an important factor we’ve lost sight of amid the shambles of what currently passes for public debate over climate change; and that something is ethics. All too often options are discussed, evaluated and dismissed within an exclusively economic framework — we can’t afford to do such-and-such. Whereas we ought to be saying, “Morally, we have no choice. We have to tackle this and we have to get it right and the hell with what it costs!”

in our millionsWe’ve probably left it too late, almost certainly in fact. But we, the people, will not go down without a fight. So during that Paris conference we will flock to our national capitals the world over and in our millions we will lay siege to our respective parliaments. We don’t need unions or associations to organise us – and certainly not political parties. Like spontaneous order appearing out of chaos, we can organise ourselves. We’ll get to Paris, New York, Berlin… by bus or train or tram, by bike or on foot if need be, and we’ll surround your august assemblies. You won’t be able to get in or out, your privileges will be stripped away.  We’ll call you rude names and shit on the doorstep. Above all we’ll be present – visibly, audibly, undeniably present – and in such vast numbers that you won’t be able to pretend we don’t exist.

This is not something we want to do. That’s why you’ve got away with doing nothing for so long. We’d much rather sit on our collective arse and let you get on with it. Indeed that’s probably what we shall go back to doing if you make a decent fist of things in Paris. But we’ll need to be sure that you’ve taken the right decisions and that you won’t renege on them. So you will need to be exceedingly convincing.

We are the people. You only rule with our consent. And we, the people, are fucking angry! Remember that.

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