It seems like a strange tie to make: extremism and extraordinary weather, but the links are clear. The cruel reality of climate change often causes a rise in ideological beliefs and systems that are themselves catastrophic and cruel. People in desperate situations do desperate things. If I and my family were starving and someone knocked on my door, offering me and my children food in exchange for my allegiance and obedience, I know it would be hard to say no.
Food shocks (sudden failure of crops or aquaculture) are a terrifying reality for many on our planet, and their increase in frequency is something governments rarely mention. The average household has 2 days of food in it. We have about 2 weeks’ worth of food at any given time in the UK. It’s a scary thought, how fragile we are, ain’t it? Without food, society’s normal rhythm will simply stop, and then implode. Like a living Rick and Morty episode, where we’re the joke, it’d be… well… utterly, awfully shit. I’m not sure there’s a better adjective? Open to suggestions.
The global food supply is complex and inter-reliant. A loss of crops in one part of the world can have catastrophic effects on another. The famine in Yemen is a heartbreaking example of this. If our weather continues to be as unpredictable as it is, these shocks won’t stay abroad for long. Syria had the worst drought in modern times before the rise of ISIS. The refugee crisis is as much a crisis of resources, climate change and inequality as it is one of people following desperate and cruel ideologies.
Chaotic climate change and ecological collapse equate to complete social collapse. Social collapse means schools, hospitals, shops and police stations are closed. It means no one comes when you dial emergency services. It means looting and pillaging and murder and rape. It means no welfare state for the vulnerable and disabled. It means no distracting entertainment, unless you make it yourself. It means no judicial system or democracy. It’s like Mad Max, The Purge and ‘2012’ all rolled into one dystopian orgy. But less entertaining, I suppose, because people aren’t watching it, they’re living it. Sort of less fun to watch people kill each other over drinking water when it’s people you know. And make no mistake, muchachos, that’s what we’re looking at.
In such a scenario. people are just as likely to die at the hands of a fascist government or roaming mobs of hungry folk as they are heat waves or endless deluges. Why am I writing they? I mean we. I mean me. I just don’t want to write it, but it could mean my son.
Oftentimes it is difficult to see rebellion as an option in our everyday lives. Our economic and social system is fast paced, relentlessly busy and stimulating, with every moment filled with information, networking, or entertainment. Especially in a time of austerity, our minds are often occupied with practical matters or basic needs. But rebel we must. 3-4% of the population needs to be actively engaged in a movement before it changes the political course in a significant and lasting way, and we don’t have long. You, you who are reading this? Rebel! Rebel I say! Get freaky with it. Y’know. In a non-violent way.
It might be uncomfortable. In fact, it bloody will be uncomfortable. Rebellion always is. It will be exhausting sometimes, and scary. It will be full of grief and celebration and work. But it will also be fun. It will be connecting. it will be illuminating. It will be alive and awake and the opposite of lonely. It will be exciting, sometimes. It will be emotional. It will be authentic and meaningful and good.
And it will be About: Bloody. Time.