Along with 190 other artists and cultural institutions, today I signed a Declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency.
Humanity faces the combined catastrophes of:
a mass extinction of vital biodiversity
a degradation of ecosystems health everywhere.
This is the Climate and Ecological Emergency, or the Planetary Emergency.
Of these, climate change is the major threat multiplier because it is non-linear, containing many systems that feed back on each other and accelerate change. This has now become an emergency situation because governments and industry have not shown the necessary leadership, and, so far, have not acted fast enough. We are not waiting for more efficient wind-turbines or cheaper solar-panels. What is lacking is visionary leadership. Fortunately, humans are capable of responding in a remarkable variety of ways to accelerate climate solutions and adaptations, and arts and culture can help stir up human response as well as creating new stories and visions for our world.
The declaration movement is gaining pace internationally. It started with Climate Mobilization in the US and Australia, and is now promoted by Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement, School Strike for Climate and other groups calling for urgent action. More councils across the UK are declaring all the time, including the Greater London Authority, and are committing resources to tackling this emergency. Their declarations state they will work with civic partners, so this is where Sarasa Sound (and many others, maybe you too) come in.
Here is my Declaration:
I Cathy Eastburn, of Sarasa Sound, declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency
I pledge to work with and support my community, my fellow-musicians and therapeutic sound workers, and local and national government in tackling this Emergency, and I call on others to do the same.
These are my intentions:
1. I will tell the Truth
Governments, and their public broadcasters and cultural agencies, must tell the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and communicate the urgency for far-reaching systemic change.
I will communicate with others and support them to discover the truth about the Emergency and the changes that are needed.
2. I will take Action
Governments must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
I pledge to work towards reducing my emissions to net zero* by 2025.
I will challenge policies and actions of local and national governments and their agencies, where I interact with them, that do not help to reduce emissions or consumption levels.
I will actively work to imagine and model ways that my work and practice can regenerate the planet’s resources.
I will not take any oil, coal, or gas corporate sponsorship for my work or participate in projects that take such sponsorship.
I call on my peers and institutional partners to refuse fossil fuel funding too.
3. I am committed to Justice
The Emergency has arisen from deeply systemic injustices. Arts and Culture can imagine and forge shifts in the ways we relate to one another and the world, in our values and behaviours.
I will do what is possible to enable dialogue and expression amidst our communities about how the Emergency will affect them and the changes that are needed.
I will support demands for more democracy within our civic institutions and government.
I believe that all truth-telling, action and democratic work must be underpinned by a commitment to justice based on intersectional principles*, led by and for marginalised people.
*Net zero means that on balance one's activities are zero emissions, taking into account all possible greenhouse gas emissions and actions taken to mitigate or offset those emissions.
*Awareness of how systems of power combine to multiply the impacts on those who are most marginalised in society.
How making this declaration will impact on my work
- I will no longer participate in performances or projects sponsored by fossil fuel companies
- I will continue to refuse to fly to performances or projects - and will encourage colleagues to consider the impact of their travel to gigs
- In my therapeutic work I will make space for people to come to terms with the truth of climate breakdown, including the difficult feelings that inevitably arise such as grief, despair, anger, guilt, anxiety, loss, and provide support for people in coping with these feelings. I will focus on helping people develop greater equanimity and resilience.
- I will offer therapeutic sound sessions to Extinction Rebellion, including during the upcoming International Rebellion Week (wc 15 April 2019)
- I will share my Declaration, and the rationale behind it, with people I work with: other musicians, other therapeutic sound workers, venues and other partners.
- I will calculate the approximate greenhouse gas emissions of my work, reduce where I can, and offset the others, so that my work is carbon neutral ASAP and no later than 2025
- I will share useful resources with other artists and therapeutic sound workers, to help them take positive action to mitigate climate change and to adapt to climate breakdown.