Groundhog Day or End of Days?” On the cyclical nature of #climate activism in the UK

There have been several distinct waves of action calling for #climate action in the UK over the last 30 years, each bigger than the last. But these waves only last 2-3 years, and seem to leave little behind.

[image courtesy of the wonderful Marc Roberts]

This is a problem because momentum is lost, credibility is lost, along with a sense of hope. People with skills and knowledge are lost to the movement (often forever), wheels fall off/get re-invented.

What are the CAUSES of this (across activism, but also unique to climate). Is it something that only afflicts the UK? Only afflicts climate campaigning?  What have people tried to do about it? With what effect?

What COULD be done? What resources would be needed to either overcome boom and bust altogether or else cope with it better than we have been doing?

#GroundhogDayOrEndofDays involves interviewing (at least) 15 people who have been involved in activism (usually climate, but not exclusively) for more than 5 years., asking them a bunch of questions. Where possible I will put the transcripts online for other people  to look at.

I will present my findings at an academic conference in June. Then an article will appear, probably behind a paywall, and dressed up in all the sorts of verbiage and “theoretical” constructs that you have to do to get stuff published.  I will add that to my CV, get a job and move on – so long suckers….

No, wait, did I say  that or just think it?


Before, during and AFTER this conference, I will be trying to share findings in decent ways, that are likely to ‘land’ with other people, and get this conversation started (or rather, continued).  The  entirely wieldy and viral hashtag is #GroundhogDayOrEndOfDays

The point is not an academic paper or two (though those will happen, obvs), but new ideas, new links, new action and hope that we can use the coming period of quasi-abeyance usefully.

“Yes we’re toast, yes it’s futile, but that does not give us permission to give up.” 

This is a banner I’ll be taking to the next climate march but one.  Am sure many will join me…

Questions, comments, suggestions?

One thought on “Groundhog Day or End of Days?” On the cyclical nature of #climate activism in the UK

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  1. Groundhog Day, is by and large a Western phenomenon, we have it so good, there is no urgent need for change. Until such time as our standards fall to those of third world countries, the “she’ll be right mate” thinking will prevail.
    Our political system is such, it is hard to find any real difference between Left and and Right, both sides talk out of the corner of their mouths and gullible us, re-elect them!
    To really address environmental degradation, will cause us all pain, I’d ask are we ready for it?

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