Review: Humanist Climate Action

Review of our October meeting.

As Cop 26 opens in Glasgow this week bringing world leaders together to commit to radically slow down climate change, the message is clear: we have 10 years to turn this around. By 2030 we need, across the globe, to implement a plan to limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Humanists UK members who want to hear humanist voices in the conversation, and humanists to be seen to be active environmentalists, have formed the Humanist Climate Action (HCA) network, and committee member Tasha Gray gave us a timely talk on what it’s up to.

After reminding us that 5 crucial measures of climate change – too much C02 in the atmosphere, record heat, arctic ice melting, permafrost thawing and forests being cut down – are still all going in the wrong direction, Tasha said as humanists we:

  • recognise the science of climate change
  • take responsibility individually and collectively for solving society’s problems
  • care about nature and the quality of life for future generations.

We have to act.

HCA works to promote environmentally friendly policies and support other environmental campaigning groups with similar objectives; to challenge disinformation, and beliefs not based on evidence; to encourage humanists to adopt greener lifestyles, and finally to make the humanist voice heard in religious or belief-led environmental initiatives.

Tasha believes we need to give others hope and confidence that we can change. She pointed to some incredible innovations such as solar panels in China that can capture energy from raindrops, or bacteria in Japan that can eat plastic waste; or the ‘Seabin’ that sucks up rubbish in the ocean, invented by Australian surfers.

Our very own government, for all its faults, has backed the biggest offshore wind farm in the world: Hornsea One.

Examples of what each of us can do:

  • contact our MPs and councillors to tell them we care about this and demand reductions in C02 emissions, increase in forested area etc
  • If we are meat-eaters, eat less, and eat sustainably-produced meat
  • Walk, cycle and use public transport more, drive less
  • Go on holiday by train more, fly less
  • Invest in ethical banks
  • Buy our electricity and gas from green fuel companies
  • Choose products which are unwrapped, or wrapped in paper or reusable and recyclable materials
  • Support our local wildlife areas
  • Feel good about what we can and do do, not bad about everything we are not doing.

Al Gore: “Believe in the power of your own voice. The more noise you make, the more accountability you demand from your leaders, the more our world will change for the better.

You can click below to access Tasha’s notes from the meeting and the slides accompanying them: