On 25th September 2021, our Community-led Climate Action Autumn Gathering capped a series of events for Scotland’s Climate Week and the European Day of Sustainable Communities 2021, #EDSC21.
We welcomed 50 participants in Edinburgh and online. This event was a great way to share ways of tackling the personal and political challenges as change-makers seeking a fairer, more just society, a great way to learn about what we are and can do together in our regions, and nationally, to build networks, increase capacity and act effectively.
After an introduction from SCCAN events circle lead link Tami, author Alastair McIntosh talked about the importance of communities. Between stories of connection and relationships as opposed to some of the fallacies in public policy, Alastair made us critically think about how social justice, human rights, and community empowerment effectively push progress. We discussed community buy-outs, community land ownership, and the threat of eco-colonialism.
Glasgow Govan-based Alastair McIntosh’s new book Riders on the Storm explores “… things like community, land and developing wisdom. That’s what my focus is these days, and I use the science as a springboard into that. Its about riding the storm, not in the sense of denying or exaggerating it, but being and doing what each of us can in our own situations to weave the weft to the warp of what the future lays out. My intention is to have participants explore around that.“
In Alastair’s words, in order to (re)build communities of place, it is essential to understand that ‘a person belongs as much as they are willing to cherish and to be cherished by this place and its peoples.’
After Alastair’s inspirational speech, we had insightful talks from community organisations about their projects – Philip Revell, SCCAN’s convenor, Adam Price and Alison Stuart from North East Scotland Communities Climate Action (NESCCAN), Joan Lawrie from Thurso Community Development Trust and Suzy Goodsir from Climate Action Fife.
Breaking into regional groups – North, South, Greater Edinburgh and Greater Glasgow – we talked about how to transform action into community results and what the next steps are to create physical and virtual community hubs where we can network and create true and sustainable transformation for a just transition.
Thank you all for joining us on this warm and productive gathering. A special thank you to Alastair McIntosh for his inspiring address. He gave us plenty of food for thought – and for our journey.
Rewatch Alastair McIntosh’s main talk here : https://youtu.be/U2SovtHjmis
1st question « Will humans go extinct?…How to to pull our communities back to safety? » : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ejnf5gKIjuM
2nd question “How can we remember our own indigenous way of being with nature?” : https://youtu.be/gzj9U5iAR7c
3rd question: “How can Scottish civil society be more effective at reducing carbon emissions in Scotland and, going beyond, give a voice to those who are not being listened to in the world?” https://youtu.be/CCoKqeZNzlA
4th questions : “How might we come back if COP26 doesn’t go as well as we expect?” https://youtu.be/PUqTAurRkLI
More about Alastair McIntosh here: http://www.alastairmcintosh.com/
Riders on the Storm: the Climate Crisis and the Survival of Being, his latest book, from Birlinn, 2020 : http://www.alastairmcintosh.com/ridersonthestorm.htm
‘Imbued with the deepest hope for a better world’ – Sir Jonathon Porritt