Is the Tide of History turning our Way?

What an extraordinary time we are living through! Change certainly feels to be in the air. For the last 40 odd years I and millions of others have been arguing for a radically more ecologically sustainable future. Since those early days we have seen the emergence of countless groups around the world seeking greater environmental protection, social justice and peace. In 2007, Paul Hawken argued in Blessed Unrest that there were perhaps 2 million such groups, more recent estimates suggest the figure could be as high as 10 million, but the numbers are not the critical factor. It is our collective energy, creativity, actions and influence that will create the change we need. I find much in this movement that is inspirational and which gives me hope for the future. Perhaps we are approaching a historical tipping point. Most of us are active in lots of ways. A few examples:-

  • Avaaz, the internet based global civic society organisation was founded in 2007, and now has nearly 14 million members. Its influence is growing in line with its membership. One wonders where it’ll be in five years time at this rate of growth. What would a global activist network feel like with a billion members?
  • Meanwhile on the local scene things are developing in exciting ways. At the Hereford in Transition Alliance meeting on Friday I met John Oubridge from the newest local group, Archenfield Community Transition, which seems to be getting lots of local interest.
  • Herefordshire New Leaf has been doing some work under the DECC/LEAF programme, for which I’ve just finished a report, which has kept me very busy these last few weeks, and which I hope to have up on this site in full within the next couple of weeks.

It feels to me like we are just beginning to get traction, that some at least of our politicians are starting to listen, and in some places and in some ways taking action. Will it be too little and too late to save humanity from being victims of the sixth great extinction, the only one to be caused by the actions of a single species? Only time will tell.