What does Climate Leadership look like?

february-temperaturesDuring the last few weeks we have been receiving repeated news that we are currently in a ‘Climate Emergency’ and unprepared to deal with the consequences.  The Northern Hemisphere passed the 2 Degree threshold (even if only briefly) and it’s got climate scientists running out of adjectives with many despairing at our lack of adequate response.

Many of us in the Climate Movement have been confronted by the recent news – whilst it’s not altogether unexpected it doesn’t make the reality any less impactful.  It’s so upsetting and depressing for many that I am talking to a colleague about how to provide emotional support and safe spaces for activists and campaigners to process the recent news and their responses.  The last thing we need is for those of us active in the movement to become numb or closed down due to the emotional toll, and that’s a very real consequence of working in this space.  Many people ‘burn out’ after a short period of time and need to ‘move on’ to other work… Given what we are hearing we need to find ways of supporting people through these spaces and creating ways for people to remain engaged and effective.

And given this news, what leadership is needed?  One author who has been writing on this theme for many years is David Spratt and his latest discussion paper highlights some of the issues to explore.  One of his criticisms of the ‘movement’ is that we are often guilty of ‘Brightsiding’ and fail to tell the truth, or advocate for adequate policies and action.

Whilst I don’t agree with all of David’s assumptions I think he asks very important questions and encourage as many of you as possible to read his discussion paper here.  And if you are struggling emotionally with the latest news reach out to someone, connect with friends, colleagues and/or activists – it’s a really difficult time right now and for those of us following this and aiming to make a difference it can be hard to remain hopeful.

As many of you know my work is crowd funded and I am currently working to raise $25,000 for the years work.  If you can make a tax deductible donation please do so here.

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