It has gone largely unnoticed that a major conference on climate change has been taking place in China, and that it has ended in acrimony between the Chinese and American representatives and with little progress being made. The next conference in Mexico in November does not look hopeful for achieving major change either.
As we witness serious intransigence over a most significant aspect of the future for humanity and the planet, there are signs, despite this, that progress is being made. In the UK some towns are recycling human and animal waste to produce enough energy to power hundreds of homes, and schools and hospitals are making large quantities of compost from their kitchen waste to be used on local farms. This is “localism” at its best, and it is not complicated or costly to achieve.
I believe that, even while world leaders procrastinate on introducing environmental changes that might change the balance of economic power, people at a lower level will ensure it happens nonetheless. Those pundits who argue that there is no point in revolution if the whole world does not do it simultaneously are being proved wrong. Companies in the US are unilaterally reducing carbon emissions and demonstrating a commendable sense of corporate responsibility, just as many families in many countries are doing what they can, too, to honour the needs of Gaia.
The winds of environmental change are blowing. Sometimes they will be harsh, sometimes they will be gentle, and they are there to encourage and teach us. The more we are willing to listen and to participate in the planetary lesson plan, the sooner we will all reap the benefits and emerge with the prize.