Sunday, November 1, 2015

A clear spot to run to: where now for me in the environmental movement?

One of the advantages of now being employed outside the environmental movement is that I have more freedom to ask myself questions about it. Questions such as: 

  • what kind of role would I like to play in the movement? 
  • what do I think the movement should be doing?

I've held onto these questions since the summer during a few months of informal sabbatical from tree-hugging, give or take a little online activism and some local activity. Inevitably, the two are connected - I want to do something which makes a difference while also being meaningful to me.

And, in trying to answer that second bigger question, I'm minded to approach it in an entirely subjective mood. There are enough people trying (and one supposes mostly succeeding) to be objective, with political analysis 'n' socioeconomic data to spare. Adding my voice to that would be fairly redundant. 

What I think I could do with more of, conversely, is a personal perspective. A point of view, a way of speaking outside of 'policy voice' and the sociolect of the NGO's - valuable though they are. 

Outside even the wider discourse of campaigning. Certainly beyond the outrage clockwork of social media.

Finding myself a clear spot to run to where I can see it all and my place it in more clearly. 

How? Well, if I've learned anything about myself from writing this blog it's that personal space for me is criticism

Not raining on the parade  - but talking about what I do and don't dig, maaaaan; what I take from what I learn and what I experience. Looking at the ideas of others and asking: does that also work for me? 

And in Isaiah Berlin terms, I'm a fox not a hedgehog: I'm going to mine as many unlikely sources as as I can to find what I can use. I'll use science-fiction as much as science fact; art as much as activism; poetry and philosophy as much as politics.

So - expect a series of reflections, reviews, quotes, riffs, fragments and aphorisms in the coming weeks and months on this blog - all providing partial answers to my questions. 

I admit, this is labyrinthine thinking - all curves and turns and blind alleys rather than straight-line solutions. But it's what I need right now. I'll come back to the straight-line approach when I'm good and ready. For now, I'll hope you follow me.

(and apologies to the good Captain for appropriating his lyric for this one)


  1. Looking forward to reading more Tim! I'm missing your labyrinths :-)