'When you organise politically to demand a declaration of emergency, you cannot avoid the question of democracy. If such a declaration means anything, then it marks a fork in the road. It says that our existing political systems have failed, that they have been no match for the scale of the crisis, and this seems hard to refute. But having acknowledged their failure, two paths remain: more democracy, or less.'
This week's episode of Notes From Underground is a reflection on what it means to call for a declaration of climate emergency, one of the distinctive demands of the new climate movements. Just last week, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary declared 'climate emergency' their word of the year, one marker of the extraordinary momentum which has gathered around this language over the past twelve months. So this is an invitation to think harder and speak more clearly about what it means to organise around such a demand.
In Notes From Underground, Dougald Hine (co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project) invites us to go deeper into the context of the new climate movements and what they tell us about the moment in which we find ourselves. This is a weekly series, running through the winter of 2019/20. You can read the essays at Bella Caledonia, watch them on YouTube, or listen to them as a podcast.
Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)