In this week's editor's letter, Lisa Corneliusson wonders why COP21 is virtually impossible to understand.
Feeling hopeful these days?
Didn’t think so.
The asylum regime reverted to EU minimum in Sweden makes me cry.
“We simply can’t do it anymore”, says our prime minister. We simply cannot unite ourselves to be human? Share small parts of our extremely privileged little lives in the name of people having equal rights to life?
Another thing that almost makes me almost-cry is reading about the upcoming climate summit in Paris. The parts where experts say that the conference will do nothing to actually change global heating. The assumptions and percentages and promises are, according to a whole bunch, all pretty much whatever. Emissions are still too high and just kind of exported elsewhere than the EU (read this) and carbon prices are still too low (read this). There’s still not enough focus on reducing renewable energy prices (read this).
Also troubling is the fact that even though I try to grasp the specifics of COP21 and the surrounding climate debate, I really don’t. I’m afraid to even write about it here, it feels like I might get it wrong. It’s an economists’ matter–not easy for any other person to understand. Which means–very easy for any other person to ignore.
Can some public relation genius please tap into this huge problem? Make the climate crisis understandable: yes it is very urgent indeed.
Other things on my mind:
Transparency brand Everlane is diverting Black Friday profits to its workers. <3
Resee might be the best online second-hand store this year. The Prada boots above are from there.
“Companies must consider the herding communities in their supply chains, and make it worth their while to farm less, but better.” Solving the cashmere crisis, read here.
Editor’s letter by Lisa: climate summit as peace summit
Two of the world’s leading thinkers on climate change shared the stage for the first time this week. They talked about Paris.
Like my dear ex-colleague Johan Wirfält said at his introduction at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern earlier this week, it really was a big event taking place that night–two of the world’s leading thinkers on climate change shared the stage for the first time: Johan Rockström, professor in environmental science and Naomi Klein, author and social/environmental activist known for books like No Logo, The Shock Doctrine and the latest This changes everything.
Johan Rockström started by pointing out he’s one of Naomi’s biggest fans. He also said her books aligns with science, which Naomi appreciated.
The two agree on putting climate on the top of the agenda, but they approach the goal of achieving a “decarbonized safe future for humanity” differently. In these dark times, when, as Naomi said on stage, we haven’t recovered from the attacks in Paris yet; the ground moving beneath our feet; I want to take a moment to focus on what they actually agree on.
A week ago, Paris meant climate summit.
Now, Paris is disaster and terrorism.
But stil, we cannot change the subject.
Social and ecological change causes turbulence. (The historic drought in Syria, for example, is one of the factors that lead to the acceleration of conflict.)
You can’t disconnect terror from climate change.
Climate change destabilizes regions.
So, as Johan Rockström said:
“We must go to Paris, we must talk about a rapid transformation to a climate future as a venture of peace.”
Naomi Klein agreed:
“Let’s see the climate summit as a peace summit. We can’t be afraid to have confidence in what we know in a time of crisis.”
Take an hour and listen to the conversation between Johan Rockström and Naomi Klein here. And stay safe and confident in what you know. <3
Editor’s letter by Lisa: #isitworthitletmeworkit
Is hashtag activism powerful or pointless? Lisa Corneliusson weighs in on the debate.
There’s a lot of corporate hashtag activism going on lately.
What do you think of hashtag activism in general? Is it positive in the sense that it introduces an issue to people otherwise not engaged at all? Or, does it lower the bar to really engage in an issue and hence lower the impact? Is there enough connection between online activism and real-world results, are there long-term goals involved with launching a hashtag, and can marketing money be better spent?
Awareness–which is usually the ambition of a hashtag–is indeed hard to measure (the best example I know of a hashtag that has really brought awareness is #BringBackOurGirls). But despite this “first kiss” potential of a hashtag, I think there are other positive aspects in the togetherness of a #.
Like when it offers opportunities for participants to join a conversation.
And when it manages to create a sense of unity for people in devastating times.
No doubt, the hashtag has recently been taken hostage by the creatives at marketing and pr agencies. In the fashion industry, an increasing number of brands choose to launch hashtag campaigns encouraging the consumer to give their best sustainability tips. Sometimes fun and functional, and sometimes a very easy way out of not focusing on one’s own production processes. (And yes, Make it last is also sometimes to blame and shame here.)
I’m trying to figure out when I follow a hashtag. It’s either when there’s a specific event going on and the best real-life way to follow it is via a hashtag. Or, when there’s a real conversation going on and getting richer by the hashtag.
I’m also thinking about when I think a hashtag campaign is a good one. Mostly, it is when the hashtag is a part of a bigger initiative, possibly like a gathering tool.
One good example from my little window of the world is the #whomademyclothes campaign, launched by Fashion Revolution. It’s activated yearly on the day of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, 24 April, and it encourages participants to take selfies showing the label on their clothes and ask the brand #whomademyclothes. It’s had some major impact when it comes to Google hits. Then, some brands answer, most don’t. But either way, the campaign, initiated by senior fashion professionals, has led to collaborations with e.g. the European Union and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office in Brussels. It’s team also work across different industries to make their voice heard–only this month, they will travel across five UK universities to galvanise student support over pressing issues regarding sustainable practices in the fashion industry. (Read more about the campaign here.)
One of the founders of Fashion Revolution is Orsola de Castro and she’s become one of my role models since I started learning more about sustainable fashion. Look her up!
Emma and I joined another hashtag campaign this week. By signing/hashtagging #EarthStatement, we support a call from scientists to world leaders to act on eight essential elements to be included in the global climate change agreement. This agreement will be on the agenda at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December (“COP21”), which is an event that we’ll write more about here on Make it last.
And oh, there’s one more use of the hashtag that I really like… It’s whenever Jimmy Fallon says it. Yes I’m indeed that old. Good night.
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