I hope [parents for a future] will be fuelled by rage—the righteous rage that springs from love for their most vulnerable. Rage that the world has left it too late to enjoy a smooth transition to a system that can last…. I hope they’ll be honest and courageous enough to face the dreadful reality that things are going to get worse for our children for quite a long time to come even if we now truly do our best…. [Climate disasters] are coming; they are worsening. We can only seek to mitigate them in the true sense of that word. Which means adapting to what is here and what is coming in a manner that mitigates the force of the blow, shrinks as fast as possible the ongoing harm we are doing, and transforms our system to a better one: more local in its economics, more resilient, less materialistic, slower, more equal, more caring and relational, saner…. I hope that you, parents of the future, take it into your own hands, together, to change things in this way, in this direction. I hope that you won’t wait around for [governments] to fix things, but that you’ll get on with transforming your community, and what you can; because y(our) kids can’t wait.Excerpt from “A Proposal: Parents For A Future” (p. 150), Parents For A Future: How Loving Our Children Can Prevent Climate Collapse by Rupert Read, UEA Publishing Project, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, 2021.
PROFESSOR RUPERT READ is based in the Philosophy Department at the University of East Anglia. He is widely known in the UK for getting the BBC (in 2018) to change its policy of featuring climate-deniers to ‘balance’ the facts when reporting on dangerous human-caused climate change. He has been a national spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion and for the Green Party, and was formerly a two-term elected Green Party local Councillor in Norwich. He is an expert on the Precautionary Principle, on which he has won AHRC grants and written reports for Parliamentarians. He is author of Philosophy for Life: Applying Philosophy in Politics and Culture (2007), This Civilisation is Finished: Conversations on the end of Empire and What Lies Beyond (2019), and Extinction Rebellion: Insights from the Inside (2020).