Rituals as a Lifeboat for our Planet
From Kasia Stoinska
Welcome to the Chaplaincy of Joyful Abandon where today we are talking about ritual. Ritual sees us through the changes in life, from such small transitions as walking into a café, through to the large transitions of saying goodbye to loved ones, ushering in the rain or welcoming the return of daylight. In particular, we are exploring in this episode whether ritual might help us to speed up how we change, given our climate crisis: rapid change on our part is now a matter of survival.
I am Harriet Harris, Theologian and Chaplain to the University of Edinburgh. With me is Andrew Simms, author, political economist and campaigner, who has been called by New Scientist magazine a 'master at joined up progressive thinking’.
Andrew is co-director of the New Weather Institute, coordinator of the Rapid Transition Alliance, assistant director of Scientists for Global Responsibility, and a research associate at the University of Sussex. He was a co-author and publisher of the original Green New Deal in 2008. Andrew devised ‘Earth Overshoot Day,’ marking when in the year we start living beyond our ecological means and, with Prof Peter Newell, proposed the Fossil Fuel Non Proliferation Treaty, now a major international campaign. He also coined the term ‘Clone Towns’ describing the homogenisation of high streets caused by chain stores. His books include Cancel the Apocalypse, Ecological Debt, The New Economics, Tescopoly, and Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth? His latest, Economics: A Crash Course, is the first beginners guide written from a plural, new economics’ perspective, co-authored with David Boyle. Andrew’s other current campaigns include Badvertising – to stop adverts fuelling the climate emergency, and Car Free Mega Cities. And he is editor and contributor to a collection of ‘modern folk tales for troubling times’, described by Caroline Lucas as like sitting round a campfire hearing stories from your favourite people. This book is compiled for our time of climate crisis and pandemic, and you can find the link to it in the write-up for the podcast. And we are offering a free copy to the winner of this podcast’s challenge, so listen out for what you have to do to
Andrew sees ritual as a lifeboat for our world. He is on the lookout for rituals that will help to connect us to one another, to nature and to the seasons, and also ones that will help us to let go of things and habits we have accrued that are no longer serving us – from petrol cars to over-shopping. So with this podcast episodes comes a challenge and an invitation. Please email in to [email protected] with ideas for rituals for the health of the planet.
We will look forward to reviewing, sharing and implementing your ideas, and will award a copy of Contagious Tales, the folktales for troubling times, to the person who submits the most efficacious proposal. Email [email protected] with ideas for rituals and the chance to win a copy of the book.