To What Extent Should we Practice What we Preach?

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old Swedish climate activist, gave an impassioned warning to world leaders to act now on climate change, Thunberg told her audience at Davos: 'I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic.'

In the UK a new climate change activism group called Extinction Rebellion is demanding that the Government must tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens. The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels. A national Citizen's Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose. To encourage the Government to meet these demands Extinction Rebellion activists are prepared to carry out acts of civil disobedience and face imprisonment to demonstrate their commitment to the cause of defeating climate change.

Yet will such protests have any impact? An article from explores why climate activism has failed so far to change people's attitudes and asks us to practice what we preach before expecting the bulk of the world to change. What would an average person's post carbon life be like? Would you be prepared to live that way yourself or would it be so unpalatable to contemporary sensibilities that few would want to contemplate it and promoting it would do far more harm than good?