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Guest blog by Josie Appleton: The discussion about climate change is full of sweeping rhetoric – references to "consciousness", "future generations", doing "something that matters". Yet somehow, in practice, climate politics ends up being so banal: it is about targets, carbon calculations, energy bills.

Guest blog by Josie Appleton: The discussion about climate change is full of sweeping rhetoric – references to "consciousness", "future generations", doing "something that matters". Yet somehow, in practice, climate politics ends up being so banal: it is about targets, carbon calculations, energy bills.

My essay on the RSA Arts and Ecology website The challenge of climate change: Towards human species consciousness is really a thought experiment, to try to look at climate change through a deeper moral/existential frame:

"The first lesson of climate change is that we are living in the anthropocene. Through our actions we have changed the very operations of the atmosphere; we have changed the chemical composition of the Earth. The situation of climate change is an awesome and weighty reminder of how much human powers have increased. This implies a responsibility to use those powers for good, and not to fritter them away or use them destructively."

I suggest that we need to develop a "human species consciousness" – to act consciously as a species on a planet. What might this look and feel like? How might it affect our views on the future? How would we choose?…

Read the essay.

Josie Appleton is a writer, and convenor of the Manifesto Club, which campaigns for freedom against the hyper-regulation of everyday life. She has contributed to a number of publications, including the Spectator, The Times, Times Literary Supplement and Daily Express. She has written The Challenge of Climate Change: Towards human species consciousness for the RSA Arts and Ecology website.

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