April 2019 Climate Change Part 4: Boycott Everything?

from by Kimwei

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To get involved in creating a sustainable future, see the Extinction Rebellion Homepage rebellion.earth

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TRANSCRIPTION: Boycott Everything?
During a Dartmoor exploration I met Olly, a resourceful young man who set himself the very reasonable goal of living at carbon zero. This meant he aimed to create no carbon footprint, so he could rest easy, knowing he was not polluting the planet.
The trouble is, this seemingly reasonable goal is almost impossible to achieve in a world that uses fossil fuels for producing and transporting… everything. Olly’s answer was simple: boycott everything.
Wearing more than shorts, sandals and his ample beard, and carrying the biggest backpack I’d ever seen, Olly moved through the world without money; an modern-day-forager, ensuring that no object was produced produced for his benefit. Anything 2nd hand or dumped in a skip was fair game and hitchhiking ensured no additional fuel was burned on his account. I was struck by how much excess our society must throw away on a daily basis for Olly’s lifestyle to work. By the time we met, he had already lived happily this way for 5 years.
Certainly Olly’s life was low-impact, but was it sustainable? His answer was “no”, because it relied on a wasteful un-sustainable society. I was fascinated by his lifestyle, but he himself had lost faith in it.
“Now I’ve no carbon-footprint. So what?” he said in the end “At uni, I majored in film. If I had laptop and camera a rented flat, I wouldn’t be living so green but I could make documentaries. Get other people to live green too. If I could get 10 people to cut down their emissions, I’d be making more difference than I am by myself.” And he has a good point. When making personal change and encouraging collective change conflict, which is more important, and which will take us further towards a sustainable future?

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from Pause For Thought: BBC Radio Devon, released January 30, 2017

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