If we’re f**ked on the climate, what can we do?

Blasted Peruvian uplands, ploughed up and burned for superfood maca.
Blasted Peruvian uplands, ploughed up and burned for superfood maca.

Those who visit this blog know how concerned I am about climate change, and the psychology of human denial of the urgency of approaching catastrophe.

Our 32-year-old son Alastair is now on a kind of retreat in Peru, where we as parents were ourselves recently doing much the same – and where, as picture illustrates, we saw close-up the devastation we humans wreak wherever we go.

So, here – cross-posted from Facebook – are Alastair’s urgent musings on climate change and survival, which I thought were well worth a wider airing.

(I’ve just toned down some of his expletives, but look forward to responses…)

“So, here’s a question.

If we’re f***ed with climate change if we don’t start reducing our economic activity so that emissions can drop at never-before-achieved rates…. how do we do that without huge numbers of people losing their jobs and livelihoods and therefore their ability to feed themselves and their families?

In all the debates around climate change and how politicians and governments aren’t doing enough, I’ve literally never heard anyone ask this question, let alone answer it.

The science is absolutely clear; we need to reduce the rampant churn of resource consumption dictated by our current economic system.

But if the question of how people feed themselves – realistically, right now, today –  if that question isn’t asked, let alone answered, how can we possibly make any coherent yet rapid move on this issue? Either via capital-P Politics or via local direct community organisation.

Continue reading

On Anglo-German Reunification and Reconciliation

Mark and Jutta Brayne, marriage number 2, November 2013

Being showered with confetti – completely unexpected – at our second wedding, November 1 2013 in the Register Office of North Walsham, North Norfolk.

A hundred years from the start of World War One, I’ve finally found the peg I’ve been seeking on which to hang my first Braynework blog post in nearly a year.

It’s been the most extraordinary year, in which I left Cirencester and my former partner Sue, sold the beloved Wychcroft home which we bought in 2003, moved to my childhood home of Sheringham in Norfolk, divorced, bought a wonderful new house round the corner from my elderly but still sturdy mother – and to cap it all, remarried my first – German – wife Jutta.

Yes, a breathtaking amount of change in well under a year. And a challenge to describe with sensitivity to others involved on a public blog that’s visible to strangers, to psychotherapy clients and supervisees, to relatives near and far – and to friends present and former (for there are those, as is inevitable when couples split up, who sadly did not wish to join me on this journey).

For the two of us, it’s been an exhilarating, entirely unexpected, and enriching journey, involving struggle, challenge and no little screeching of emotional tyres/burning of relational rubber as we rounded the next corner.

There is much that Jutta and I could – and hopefully one day will – write about about our journey away from each other in 2000 after 23 years of marriage, and back together again 13 years later as empassioned psychotherapists and, with luck, rather more settled souls, 

For the moment, though, let the job of public acknowledgement of this odd couple’s new togetherness be done through the memory of an address we co-wrote and read at our local Anglican church in High Barnet on the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 1995. Continue reading