Are we reaching a tipping point?
Are we reaching a tipping point?
We’ve all heard about tipping points when it comes to the climate, points of no return (which in a climate disruption context are often described as ‘runaway climate change’) or otherwise described as the point of moving from one stable state to another. What we don’t often speak of are tipping points in public sentiment and social movements. However the same theories hold.
Today the NSW Land and Environment Court has rejected the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine on social and climate change grounds. For the first time an Australian Court heard expert evidence about the urgent need to stay within the global carbon budget in the context of a new fossil fuel project and they rejected the mine.
A paper published in June 2018 (found here) researchers found there was a quantifiable number of people who need to take a stand before large-scale social change takes place. And this number? They say 25%. (check out this short video if you want to see more).
Centola from Network Dynamics Group and one of the researchers involved stated: “When a community is close to a tipping point to cause large-scale social change, there’s no way they would know this”
So are we close to that tipping point?
Short answer, I don’t know.
This is only really answerable in the future however there are millions of us pushing to reach that point. Let’s just have a look at how young people could be moving us from one stable state to another stable state.
In August 2018 a 15 year old girl (Greta Thunberg) sat outside the Swedish Parliament building, striking from school and demanding we tackle the climate crisis for what it is, a climate crisis. Kids in Australia heard of her actions and began to mobilise, they started striking at their local MP offices and outside Parliament buildings. Before we knew it thousands of school students were in the streets and paddocks of Australia demanding a better world. They are staunch, fierce and will not be told to go back to school. Kids around the world continue to walk out of their schools and demand their political leaders ‘do their jobs’ and clean up their mess with tens of thousands expected to hit the streets globally on March 15th including here in Perth.
One of the most inspiring aspects of working with these kids is their intersectionality. They already understand the connections between climate change, colonialism, social justice, workers’ rights, gender equality, capitalism, the patriarchy, ableism and so much more. When you speak with these kids they are courageous. Adults are talking about needing to ‘step back and let the kids lead the way’. The kids, they are demanding the adults of the world clean up their mess and fix this. This isn’t another opportunity for adults to avoid responsibility. This is our opportunity to amplify their voices, to respond to their demands and to get to work.
If you can be there on March the 15th find a strike near you and attend (hit me up if you want to volunteer). If you can share their social media (search School Strike 4 Climate and #climatestrike) and promote their demands do so. If you have influence make sure you are using it, and if you don’t know how to make the most of your influence and opportunities get in touch… we have a team of people willing to collaborate as we work for a better world.
Jaime of It’s Up 2 Us.
Incredible congratulations to the community of Gloucester and their supporters for this historic result.