My letter to the Wellcome Trust, in response to The Guardian’s Keep It In The Ground campaign, and a rallying call to all the rest of us. Lets not click an online petition and divests ourselves of our personal responsibilities to halt climate change.
We ALL nudge the drilling equipment into the Arctic with our daily activities. Oil companies will keep extracting it as long as dumb people like us keep demanding it.
So, lets STOP.
Dear Wellcome Trust,
Thank God for philanthropists who are motivated to change the world for the better. Like the Wellcome Trust.
The world is facing catastrophic climate change and it’s me, and everyone else like me, driving it.
We’re lazy, self-important hypocrites. We like to sign petitions that lay the responsibility at someone else’s door. Then we jump in the car, drive to the supermarket, get a latte in a disposable cup and buy unfairly-traded food flown to us in airplanes.
We wrap it in yet more plastic, drive it home, and throw it away when it gets forgotten at the back of our vast fridges.
Then we cement over our gardens to park our cars, drive our kids to school, and wonder why we’re all obese and the air is too polluted to safely exercise outside.
We heat badly insulated homes, shove clothes in tumble driers, and fly abroad to make ourselves feel better. That car journey, that disposable cup, that flight, none of that really matters in the great scheme of things. And anyway, I’m busy, and important, and need to drive and fly and wrap my kid’s disposable shitty nappy in plastic and throw it in the landfill.
We need your help, Wellcome Trust. Not because anything you are currently doing is wrong. To the contrary. It’s people like me who are nudging the drilling equipment into the Arctic every time we fill up our cars, book a flight, or buy any number of everyday household products containing petrochemicals.
I reek of hypocrisy, laying the problem at your door and demanding action whilst I carry on, fat and lazy, exactly as I always have. Glancing over my shoulder at my carbon trail and justifying it all away.
Engaging with fossil fuel companies is about as fruitful as engaging with someone like me, and hoping that good sense will prevail.
They’ll keep extracting it as long as dumb people like me keep demanding it. And we’ll still be filling up and pointing fingers as this beautiful earth goes up in flames.
We need forward thinking philanthropists like you to invest in renewables. To lead. To force an immediate rethink and bring about change.
You are our only hope.