Today I'm going to take a break from my usual topics of music, life, what's happening next, etc. and address THE topic of today.
Yes, I'm talking about the Global Climate Strike that's sweeping the globe today. I'm totally one of the people taking part in one of the 5225 events in 156 countries, spanning across every single continent in the world saying, we must take action. So if this is not your cup of tea, skip it, or unsubscribe, but I will be using my voice and my platform to take part in this.
I have been eco-anxious since the 80's when I woke up to news from my radio-alarm clock telling me that there was a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica. It was the first time I felt that cold grip in my heart, feeling that my future and the future of our planet was in jeopardy.
Fast forward to today, and it's difficult to stay optimistic. The ozone layer seems to be the least of our worries.
Over the years art has provided me a way to process my eco-anxiety. All Monsters Are Human, the song and the video, are the latest examples, and the album Hadal that I did with my band Velcra was all about the hopelessness that I felt about the future.
However, I don't think pessimism and hopelessness can help us here. It's impossible to move through life without hope, without optimism. Depression and anxiety are hard to beat, but staying stuck in that place of hopelessness is of no use and the best way to overcome them is by taking action.
So what CAN we do?
When I had my first baby I became really conscious (and anxious) about the climate issues and started to research for solutions. What I found out was that the number one contributor to climate change is energy. So fixing our energy is the number one thing we can do. I went on a mission to find a green energy company that we could migrate to from our cheap but dirty energy provider.
I discovered Ecotricity, which I love. The company was founded by a guy called Dale Vince in 1995, who built a single wind turbine to power an old army truck in which he lived. Today Ecotricity provides electricity and gas to 100 000+ UK households. He's basically the Elon Musk of England, but instead of dreaming of moving to Mars, he's building windmills.
That's him below. What a dude.
So here's the step number one: change your household electricity to a green supplier, whatever it may be. There are loads around nowadays. The Good Energy Company, OVO Energy, Pure Planet... Research your local providers. It's also a myth that they'd be more expensive. They are absolutely not anymore.
Beans for Beef
The day my album Villainess came out was supposed to be the highlight of my year. But my day of joy was badly overshadowed by the flames and smoke rising from the Amazons. I was deeply shocked by the fires and the devastation that is happening. That bit of rainforest is never coming back. It's going to be turned into farmland so that we can keep eating cheap beef. Oh, and the news may be old, but the savagery against the Amazon keeps going on. And as a meat-eater, I have myself to blame.
More than 90 percent of all Amazon rainforest land cleared since 1970 is used for feeding livestock. Raising livestock for meat, eggs and milk generates 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It's the second-highest source of emissions (after energy) and greater than all transportation combined.
To put it simply, eating meat and dairy is bad. Really bad.
So what can WE do?
First of all, send money. I have set up a donation to protect an acre of Rainforest per month via Rainforest Action Network. Every month. You can do it too, here.
And of course, there are others. Greenpeace is good (google for your local one). Just join and set up a rolling monthly payment.
But the biggie is to quit meat. I've never really been inspired to become a vegetarian or a vegan. I like meat. I loooove fish. But after all this, I want to make a change.
The truth is, it's kinda hard to be vegan, especially if you're a foodie and don't REALLY want to quit meat (guilty as charged). But I don't think going strictly vegan is necessarily THE only answer.
Since making this decision, I've managed to eat vegan about 5 days a week. But if there's butter on my veg or no oat milk in the fridge, then I'm not going to fret it. I like a bit of sushi when meeting with my friends on a Friday night. Today I ate a sausage for lunch. But overall those 5/7 days means I've cut my meat and dairy consumption by about 70%. So that's far better than deciding I'm not going to do it because it's hard.
Here's the totally boring vegan dinner I had tonight. It's a walnut and fig burger with sweet potato fries and an avocado dip. I never would've thought of ordering it before. It was delicious.
Here's an even simpler approach; just quit cow. Eat all the eggs, chicken and pork you want, but quit cow.
A team of scientists concluded that if every American made one dietary change: substituting beans for beef, the U.S. could still come close to meeting its greenhouse-gas emission goals.
Even if nothing about the current consumption of energy or transportation changed, and even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheese, this one change could achieve somewhere between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet US greenhouse-gas emission goals.
So just quit cow. How easy is that?
I believe I can fly (but I don't want to anymore)
The third biggie is transport. Cut it right down. Stay home. Hygge or whatever.
If you are a car-person then this is going to be hard. If you're a city-dweller, prefer trains and don't fly that often, then you're on the right track. I'm glad to say, for the most part, I am the latter.
This year, so far I'm making 8 flights (or 4 return flights) - two which are this week. In the past, that would have made me feel cool, and like a cosmopolitan it-girl, but now I'm thinking 4 out of these 8 flights I could've perfectly chosen not to do. Just because flying is affordable and doable and normal, doesn't mean we should do it. So that's my note to self: say no to flying.
Meanwhile, when I get a moment from beating myself up, I'm glad to notice the speed with which electric cars are starting to take over. Teslas can be seen everywhere now, and all other car manufacturers are scrambling to bring their own cool electric cars out. So this is happening, which is nice.
This became a bit of a rant, but I feel very strongly about this issue.
So tomorrow is a great time to decide to take action. Whether you go out to the streets or decide to eat beans instead of beef, do something, anything.
I think the underlying issue is that the reason we're not taking action is that we don't really believe that this stuff is serious. That the world is at the brink of collapse. Or that what we do as individuals can have an impact.
It's easy to point the finger at the bigger culprits; what does it matter what I eat when the big guys keep burning coal. But of course our consumption matters. The whole economy relies on our shopping habits.
So let's think less about what others are not doing and start doing it ourselves right now.