Is the climate emergency really an emergency?
Emphatically yes! The climate emergency is the most serious problem humanity has ever faced. We are only a small part of nature and connected with so many other living things in a vast ecosystem under threat. We have to wake up to the harm our species is inflicting on the Earth and therefore on ourselves. Doing nothing is consenting to the continued destruction of the planet!
So where does iBerry stand on climate change - or just sit on the fence?
Climate change is inevitable and is already with us. Its effects are likely to get worse but exactly how, when and where is difficult to predict. At one extreme there's undiluted optimism, hopes of intergovernmental cooperation, scientific innovation and an assumption that it all eventually gets sorted out and business as usual. At the other extreme, societal collapse or even human extinction is anticipated as the planetary ecosystem kicks back. Who knows?
Well, if that isn't sitting on the fence, what is?
OK! Both extremes are unlikely but a degree of societal collapse is inevitable if we can't adjust to sustainable living and we're not doing very well so far! Look, nobody really knows how bad it will be or how quickly it will happen but pushing for the best while preparing for the worst makes good sense.
But people don't want doom and gloom. What about eco-anxiety?
Anxiety about the extinction of species or threats to the natural environment such as pollution and climate change is a real, natural and a perfectly healthy human reaction. Accepting and managing the feelings that come with it can pose problems but support is readily available.
So what's your mission then?
iBerry on Climate Change is not much more than a year old so that's not too easy to pin down (see Mission Statement - unaccomplished!) In broad terms, we're concerned with climate change education and its role in creating informed opinion. We want to promote more understanding of how climate change is inevitable and is already affecting our lives.
Great! So your team of climatologists are handing down expert opinion and informing the ignorant masses?
Not at all!! iBerry is just as ignorant as many others when it comes to the scientific detail. We try to follow science by linking to many excellent websites that do provide reliable information including , parents and teachers and young people and ranging in level from very basic to expert.
We believe that a climate of informed opinion is essential if the inevitable lifestyle changes are to be accepted positively by populations, as a democratic challenge, rather than unwelcome impositions by the powers that be.
Hmm ..... But lists of links to various websites have limited value these days. Can't you offer something more immediate and up to date?
But we have! The iBerry Hub offers up to date news and information on climate change. It's powered by the 'Collector', a computer program we developed that scans over 30 climate change and environment blogs, updated daily. Relevant Twitter lists are also displayed.
OK, you've studied some science so what have you come up for climate change solutions? Nuclear power? Sucking CO2 right out of the sky? Not eating dairy products? Banning plastic straws? Why not just sit back and wait for a technological fix?
Nope! We've studied enough basic science to realise that the scientific consensus on climate change is clear and the real problems lie elsewhere. No doubt the vast majority of climatologists and scientists can be relied upon within their particular areas of expertise but we're certainly not going to sit back and wait for a technological fix!
Then what on earth is the real problem?
The real problem on earth is people, particularly those in the higher reaches of governments, who can't or don't want to accept that the climate emergency really is an emergency. People in high places will only listen if the others below shout loudly enough but that in itself is also a people problem.
But exactly what can be done to create a climate of informed opinion? Encourage noisy protests, break a few windows, annoy people by sitting down on the road? Great education I don't think!
It's not possible to be exact! Climate activism can and does take many different forms. iBerry supports non-violent protest but disruptive actions can alienate and be counterproductive. It can be a difficult balancing act to get right.
Some people can have good reasons for not joining protests and shouting slogans but can't they still do something useful about climate change?
Of course they can! Activism isn't restricted to protest marches. Every little thing can make a difference and part of our mission is to highlight actions that do - see ACTION! - Where do we go from here? Every action, thought, word and deed with the right intention helps, including the example given to others.
But some others have absolutely no interest at all in helping, even deny the science. How can you change their hearts and minds?
It all depends, some people are more open to persuasion than others and come from many different perspectives - political, economic, religious etc. so different approaches are called for. Discuss rather than argue, be tolerant rather than condescending and be willing to listen and learn as well as putting forward your own opinions.
Oh yes? I came across a religious fanatic who really believes that God gave humankind the Earth to use and exploit as much as we like! What then?
Fanatics may never change their minds but their misinformation and conspiracy theories should be called out. No violence please but if you have the knowledge and the stamina by all means forcefully tackle the worst climate change deniers with no-holds-barred argument and well-aimed ridicule! This is not only good spectator sport, it can also attract and benefit undecided onlookers.
Now iBerry, come clean. You're a .com website so how do you make your money? When are the ads and pop-ups coming along? Or are you selling visitors' personal details?
About the only domain available when we started off in 1999 was .com. We've never had ads and are completely independent with no commercial interests, paywall, login and no hidden agenda. We don't collect any personal information other than what's knowingly and voluntarily given - see our privacy statement.
And what about cookies?
We eat them but otherwise have little idea what they are or what they're for!
But you can't run iBerry without support can you?
Of course not. We've always relied on volunteer help and contributions. Anyone, anywhere, willing to assist in any way at all will always be welcome - simply contact us.
Any final words of wisdom?
There are no easy answers to the Climate Emergency but 'business as usual' is not an option. Traditional ideas, such as everlasting economic progress, are not sustainable. They must be challenged and alternative lifestyles seriously examined by everyone.
Living sustainably is not impossible and indigenous communities have demonstrated this for thousands of years and well before our own civilization began. Somehow, while respecting our inner values and beliefs and those of others, we must unite in hope, prayer, consciousness raising, spirituality, whatever is necessary, to raise our own awareness in facing the extraordinarily difficult challenges that lie ahead. Our choice is whether to fear a new path or embrace it.
One exhibit at the Bronx Zoo in New York City dared visitors to pull aside a curtain to see the most dangerous animal of all - revealing a mirror.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.- H L Mencken
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a
friend, an aquaintance or a stranger - Franklin P Jones
Problems cannot be solved by the level of awareness that created them. - Albert Einstein
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair:
"The best way to predict your future is to create it." - Abraham Lincoln
Be the change you would like to see in the world." - Gandhi
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
- Albert Einstein
One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." - Andre Gide
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson