This piece was sent to TTL by Judith Knott, one of our supporters, who was inspired by XR


1 A summer ago (before XR and Greta
Arrived on the scene) a survey found that ninety
Per cent of Brits accepted the reality
That climate change was happening (Presumably
The rest lived on another planet?) Yet only
A quarter were very worried – decidedly
Worrying! I wondered what unsettled them
If multiple interlocking crises in the
Entire web of Life didn’t? Just easier
Not to dwell on it? As Naomi Klein perceives:
“It’s not that people don’t care. It’s that they care
For five seconds” Surely not fully aware…

2 But how can publics “Get It” if most media,
On and offline, don’t?! You’d hope that the steadier
Outlets were mindful of responsibilities,
Yet an FT writer saw no difficulties
Asserting in comments on XR, April last,
That “Haste would only make sense if we
Genuinely did not have time.” In his anti
Activist spin he (and many others) had still
Not grasped exactly why timing will be
Everything! An emergency has been declared
Because of real anxiety; uncertainty,
Concerning the “Known Unknowns”..

3 Connections triggering chain reactions too big
To handle should mean moving as quickly as
Possible. We could risk climate mayhem if
Cutting carbon’s too much bother or expensive..
I want to know if such dismissal just comes from
Knowing little – after all, we don’t know what we
Don’t know! Inertia from a tendency to think it
Niche and other; a complacency believing
It’s not about us; boredom with that nagging
Crisis in a surplus of crises where many
Are more immediately compelling…

4 In among a lot of Half Knows are the Think They Knows;
The US President, Pro-fossil status quos,
Absent from Summit discussions on climate
Thinks he knows “more about the environment than
Most” – not apparent when, with Prince Charles man to man
He claimed the US “right now has among the cleanest
Climates there are” I wonder if his Royal host
(Who has long “got” global warming) held his tongue or
Tried to reason with “based on all statistics” Cor!
Does Trump understand global warming at all?
His own State of Emergency involved a wall..

5 Yes climate changes, but not this rapidly (Ten
Times faster than in the last 66 million
Years) Numbers numb, but surely sufficient reason to
Feel alarmed, when “alarmist” ice models come true
Thirty years early. Oil companies, you know,
Knew it was serious forty years ago, and
Panicked at what it might mean for their industries,
Imitating Tobacco’s dishonest strategies;
Paying to shoot the messengers; throwing
Scientific validity……..Into Doubt..

6 Climate scientists kept to what they knew – precise
And too unemotional for a 24 hour
News cycle only too eager to empower
Self-styled “sceptics” who colourfully disparaged
Decades of research in combative coverage.
Unwilling to categorically pronounce “cause”
For each extreme weather event without pause
For study, “impacting” seemed somewhat feeble
When up against the unequivocally scornful.
Few would notice much later that Hurricane Harvey
(Bill 190 billion) was made three times more likely
By global heating: this just the one hurricane’s beating…

7 What nonsense permitting politicians to argue
Against scientific consensus! What do they know?
Those who “Don’t Want to Know More” can flick a page,
Fail to click, simply change over to disengage;
We can choose our news; listen to tittle-tattle,
So turning off the unbearable is utterly,
Totally understandable! But also why
Caring and daring to disrupt; pressurising
Power is now vital. I’m just grateful there are
People camping out in a crowd in wet October,
Getting arrested! Feel proud and Thank you..

Judith Knott