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Rise Up

My first wake up call to the ecological crisis was in 2014, when read an article that referred to the Club of Rome’s 1972 report, ‘The Limits To Growth’, which brought home for me what many people already knew: that the current, dominant economic and social system is profoundly, pathologically unsustainable, and its imminent collapse will be very painful. I think it was no coincidence that this wake up call coincided with the death of a dear friend, who was also a maternal figure for me. Personal grief has a way of making us vulnerable to wider grief, and often a close death is the first time people contemplate their own finitude and suffering in the wider world.

The opposite can also happen, sometimes simultaneously, where we get so caught up in our own pain that we just don’t have the capacity for wider empathy. Around the same time that had this reckoning with the ecological crisis, met the woman who became my long-term partner, and, in committing to this relationship, lost significant parts of my family. So, I understand from my own experience how the intimate and social traumas that accompany queer existence can affect our ability to engage with social justice issues. Some people quickly find their way to organised efforts for collective liberation, and so admire that. In my case, there was a significant lag.

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