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12 Resolutions by Tamsin Omond

Activist Tamsin Omond was asked by the Evening Standard to offer up her Resolutions for the year. Alas, they steered clear of this, and so – here we have them. Twelve personal Resolutions for the year. Take it away girrrrrl!

I’ve been burnt and I’ve burnt others. A couple of times now. Because a journalist will call promising a straight and serious interview. He’ll tell me that his readers are freaked out about climate change and want to know what they can do and then he’ll come into my house and ask me if it’s true that I’m bi-sexual with a promiscuous public school background. That’s his agenda - revolving stories around known-to-work formulae. Sexy, scandalous and posh sells stories and there’s nowt more sexy than a bi-sexual promiscuous ‘cheerleader for the mainstream’. Gross. The feminist inside me aches.

So this is their story.

And the real story? Or if not the real one, then at least my side.

The Evening Standard interviewer asked for my opinions, post-Copenhagen, on the green movement. This is (with the eloquence of retrospective writing) what I said:

It used to be that there were greens and then everyone else. Now we aren’t so polarised. There are many, many people-powered initiatives defining the future as a much greener place.

I was asked for ten examples of things that are filling the space between more radical activism and the real world - that are pulling the mainstream into a sustainable vision.

I came up with 12:

1. We live in a networked age. Climate Rush began on-line and I’ve got more friends than Gordon Brown. It’s never been easier to get your point across. Power to the people. Politics will never be the same again.

2. The disappearance of bees is one of the greatest threats facing us, and nothing helps you realise how bad that would be than having your own hive. Over Christmas ... did roaring trade.

3. Many people I know ditched the idea of a fat City salary when they left university because what was the point of a nice car and a mortgage without a future?

4. I’m obsessed with magazines like .... It’s easy to forget how full of promise the future can be.

5. We should be talking about climate change all the time but sometimes that seems almost as scary as the threat itself. The best way is to break it down, think about it is how it concerns us, our family, how we live now. Talk to your neighbours as you leave the house. Are they thinking about climate change?

6. I’m starting to like vegetables a lot, especially from my friends’ allotments, terraces or window boxes. And an ex who works on an oil rig(!) has been throwing “meat-free Monday” parties. (...)

7. It’s almost blasphemy to say it but some – some – of the big evil corporations are starting to get the picture. Two years ago, I boycotted Pepsi for bottling and selling tap water. This week, they announced they’re putting the $33 million that would have gone on an ad during the American Superbowl into encouraging new ideas from the grass roots.

8. The man at ... might be the love of my life. Flying from London to Manchester is pointless and emits more carbon than six months of flight-free living and Mr Seat 61 has dedicated himself to making train travel as easy as flying.

9. Not all companies get the urgency of climate change yet but their customers have more power than they think. Last week, I left the outer packaging of my shopping on the till at Tesco. And because of all of us the plastic bag is on the way out.

10. I used to ‘borrow’ my friends’ clothes all the time but now I get invited to ’swishing’ (clothes swapping) parties (...).

11. Not going to lecture anyone about flying and driving, but trains, cycling and walking are more fun.

Top New Year’s resolution for 2010: shop less, kiss more.

But none of those ideas made it into his piece.

There will always be different levels of what people can practically do to change their world and save ours. For some it will be flying one less time a year, others will give up their short-haul flights and some might go and take direct action against the expanding airports that threaten their local and our global environment.

In 2009 we drew up the agenda. 2010 is about everyone pushing it out there, fresh, hard and fast.

Tamsin Omond

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