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This can be the year when we recharge nature – and ourselves

6 827 0

It’s going to be a rough year. The fatal combination of escalating climate breakdown and the capture of crucial governments by killer clowns provokes a horrible sense of inevitability. Just when we need determined action, we know that our governments, and the powerful people to whom they respond, will do everything they can to stymie it.

Witness the disasters in Australia. In mid-December, on the day the nation’s lethal heatwave struck, Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper the Australian filled its front page with a report celebrating new coal exports and a smear story about the chiefs of the state fire services, who were demanding an immediate end to the burning of fossil fuels. The response of the prime minister, Scott Morrison, to the escalating catastrophe was to embark on a holiday overseas as his country burned.

Some of the Earth’s largest land masses – Australia, Russia, the US, Brazil, China, India and Saudi Arabia – are governed by people who seem to care little for either humankind or the rest of the living world. To maintain their grip on power, which means appeasing key oligarchs and industries, they appear prepared to sacrifice anything – including, perhaps, the survival of humanity.

I know that the protesters who made 2019 the year of climate action will continue to step up. We will do all we can to focus the world’s attention on the greatest crisis human beings have ever faced. But with hostile governments blocking a collective international response to this emergency, the struggle will feel increasingly desperate.

I admit that I’m feeling quite close to burnout. I believe resilience is the most useful human quality, and I’ve sought to cultivate it, but in 2019 I felt my resolve begin to weaken at times as it has never done before. Part of the reason is doubtless my continuing health issues: the repeated complications and procedures that have followed my........

© The Guardian