The Day of action on Climate change in Stafford was always going to be an odd day. It was a challenge in that it was the first real project where a lot of different groups, Friends of the earth, Transition town Stafford, Sustainability matters in Stafford Borough, The green Party, The Labour party and a representative from the Conservative party were all involved.
It was, perhaps inevitably left rather loosely organised rather than tread on too many toes. In the end the weather was against one of the major plans, to chalk a road to Copenhagen on the road. Too wet. The chalk dissolved!
In spite of this, I think in the end the day worked. It was definitely quirky, a bit edgy. I ended up giving out flyers on the street. Most passers-by took these with little trouble, but there were some who said “I’m alright thank you” and passed on by. They were not ready to be disturbed.
Other notable quotes were “you need to worry about sorting out the mess the country is in before you worry about that”.
One youngish man ( or young to me )– in his thirties perhaps remarked “They really need to sort out their corporate image” He was clearly horrified with the face paint that adorned the faces of several rather reserved and thoughtful middle aged men involved in the rally.
I think the men themselves found this pretty challenging. In a way it is crossing through the pain barrier to say alright, this matters so much that we are prepared to look a little foolish to say it out loud. so when the political speeches were very professionally delivered despite the rain and the megaphones, and the belly dancers appeared we joined in and we followed them around the pledge tree. Doing little twirls on the way.
Finding ways to counter climate change is all about thinking differently and freeing ourselves to do this. Maybe in the rain in Stafford we were making a start on this process.
Later – in the church hall we went a little further. David Kidney gave a talk on the “Road to Copenhagen” to a good room full of people who really wanted to know what was being done, and had some searching questions to ask. Maybe all of these people went away with a much clearer idea of the part that they may be able to play.