From today, VICE UK will be devoting much more of our time to environmental coverage, under the banner "Save Yourselves". Expect features, reports and investigations; documentaries about the most significant environmental issues facing the UK; and a climate-focused takeover of our Snapchat channel every Friday.
Why are we doing this? Because, famously, the planet is not in a good way.
You've heard that we have 12 years left to "limit" a climate catastrophe. Some more profoundly bleak stories you might have missed: the first UK death linked directly to illegal air pollution; a warning that plummeting insect numbers could cause "a collapse of nature's ecosystems"; a think-tank helpfully pointing out that world leaders are ignoring the "environmental breakdown" unfolding in front of us.
Confronted with all this, it's easy to feel hopeless. You've got a KeepCup, you turn your lights off, you thought 'oh, good' when your office switched its printer stock to that very thin recycled paper. You do everything you possibly can. Yet polar bears are now eating dolphins because the Arctic is warm enough to tempt them north.
Yes, it's depressing, but it's worth remembering that government and big industry play a much larger role in wrecking the planet than you and your easyJet mini-breaks. The Tories might have banned micro-beads, but that's the environmental equivalent of tackling a forest fire with a pint of Fosters. What they need to be doing is actually trying to reduce air pollution, or calling out the world's most powerful climate change denier when he decides to ditch the Paris Agreement.
But they're not doing either of those things, because they're not being made to feel like they have to. The good news: you can make them feel like they have to, because politicians are pushovers.
Think about immigration: enough people talked about it and it became a political priority. British voters already care about the environment, they just need to be louder about it. If you're looking for tips on how to care loudly, try Extinction Rebellion, who have been intentionally getting themselves arrested and demanding that the government declares a climate emergency; or Fridays for Future, the kids skipping school to protest government inaction.
If you don't fancy getting arrested, or are not a child, some more ideas: organise your own protests; write to your MP; set up a community garden so popular it puts your local Tesco out of business; raise money to replace your town's diesel buses with electric vehicles and publicly shame your council for not doing it themselves. Or, you know, share all of our coverage with your mates.
Save yourselves; nobody else is going to bother.
– Jamie Clifton, Editor-in-Chief, VICE.com
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