An Author in Exile – Pippa Bartolotti

with No Comments

I reuse, upcycle and avoid buying anything new. I compost, grow food and love DIY. When I married my American husband, everything we wore came from British charity shops. It was great fun putting it all together on a minute budget.

We live under the shadow of climate change, and all our societal inadequacies will be magnified.  I campaign. Most of all I campaign against pollution, racism, inequality and corruption, because I know that a better world is possible.

Joe and I came to the USA in February 2020. The intention was to stay for about 3 weeks. We had been married for just 2 weeks, and our intention was to celebrate our wedding with his American family. 

In New York city they were soon to be dying of Covid-19 at a rate of more than 900 people a day. On March 14th, the day which would have been our wedding party, we went into voluntary self-isolation and at the time of writing on 27th May, we still haven’t made it back to Wales.

It is the stuff of dreams and nightmares. A virus with no cure, expected, inevitable, all warnings ignored. I wrote about it 2 years before it happened.

Will it be the same with climate change? Expected, inevitable, all warnings ignored?

I wrote about all these things in my book BARBARIAN.

I am a writer, therefore I read. It was doubly easy for me to see this corona virus coming because I had already looked at the scientific research. I knew humans would have no immunity, and I know the incidence of such viruses will increase as we recklessly invade more rainforests and fatally compromise the balance of nature. 

Just like the scientists who predicted the corona virus, the scientists predicting global warming are being side-lined.

We built a fragile economy. 2 months of lockdown and it’s on its knees, and we are about as far from solving the virus problem as we are from solving climate change. The difference is that stopping climate change would be easy.

The heady mix of viruses and climate change will destroy the economy as we know it. All could have been prevented, or at least minimised, but hey, let’s party on till the bitter end. They did in BARBARIAN. It is meant to be a warning.’

As leader of the Green Party in Wales I worked hard to bring in a new direction – one which would minimise the effects of climate change, and at the same time deliver quality jobs and more security – but truth is hard to sell. There is no joy in being right when you have to watch the suffering which could have been prevented. A better world is possible – but it will not be created by magic. We’ll have to work for it.

My first campaign was at the age of 10 when we marched round the school calling for the girls to have the same access to the school field as the boys. We pretty much succeeded, but here’s the lesson: we girls settled for too little, just like our mothers. We accepted 2 days out of 5. 

I have barely stopped campaigning since. My motivation has always been the same – to minimise suffering and save lives. Freedom is nothing unless it is shared, and happiness is not a lone pursuit.

A better world is eminently possible, but only if we listen to the beautiful natural intelligence we were all born with, and act on it.

Share

Leave a Reply