Young Friends' note on collective response to climate emergency

Kirsty Philbrick writes:

Young Friends met in January to think about our responses to the climate emergency: how it makes us feel, what concerns us most and our hopes for the future.

These questions were not new to us, but things that we (and our peers) think about often. Many of us have been called to act through personal choices and in joining the global school strikes for climate.

We feel distressed, overwhelmed and scared for our own futures and for the future of many plant and animal species. As much as we often feel disempowered, that things are not changing, we also feel empowered, that this emergency is an opportunity for people power, for people to come together to make drastic collective actions to turn this crisis around.

We feel hopeful to be part of a community of Quakers who are thinking seriously about how we act and react in response to the climate emergency. We think we need to be quick and creative in our thinking and actions. We need to invest time and money now to make big changes. The conversations and changes we need to make will not be easy, but if we come together with a sense of the possibility, we can enjoy the process!

Some of our first thoughts are:

  • Can we make our gardens wildlife havens and welcome human visitors? Offering beautiful peaceful places in the middle of suburbia and creating valuable community spaces.
  • Can we use plant milks in all teas and coffee in meeting houses? Not because choosing vegan milk will save the world – but because it may be a small step that reminds us regularly of bigger steps we need to take. Or maybe we need to think further outside the box and go for tea without milk?
  • Can we as a community declare a climate emergency and along with that declaration commit to taking proportionate action?

We don’t have the answers, but would like to be part of the conversation as we think and learn more about what we need to do and support each other to act.

Compiled by Alex, Isabel, Erin, Tiffany, Pearl and Kirsty on behalf of the West Young Friends Area Network, Jan 2020.

“Ungardening” can help turn your garden into a wildlife haven (photo: GNM)

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