MCFly speaks to local campaigners Pauline Lozoya Hocking from Climate Survivors about how she got involved in climate change issues and what sustains her
What is your campaign trying to achieve?
I don’t know that I have, or have ever had, a specific campaign…. but
what I have, and have had, for well over twenty years since I first became
aware of climate change is a desire to raise awareness of the true nature
of the problem and the solutions that exist in abundance + of course the
ever ticking clock and finite timescale for action. This has translated
into a myriad of actions (or campaigns) including youth projects, gardening
projects, film making, events, classroom sessions, dialogues with decisions
makers and – over the last 3 years – a regular commitment to the group Climate Survivors.
Why did you get involved?
After a crazy time as a lost and struggling young person – a time so self
destructive that I almost lost everything and could have easily died or
gone to prison (and not for respectable political reasons) – I found help
and it was like my life restarted. I began studying and took up French and
Spanish. I did a language exchange with a Swiss physicist called Serge.
He wouldn’t stop banging on about acid rain, ozone layers and climate
change and I thought he was an alarmist. But suddenly, something clicked.
I had an OMG moment and have been banging on about climate change myself
What sustains you?
Meditation, salsa dancing, hugs, chocolate, laughing with friends, lots and
lots of love in my heart and an undying belief that humans are capable of
and can achieve a much better world than the one we are living in.
What was the last big success your campaign had?
The nature of my ‘campaigning’ means I don’t have a straightforward answer
to that – but the big positives that have given me and others joy and had
lasting effects are – young people who are now adults saying that our
environmental youth work changed their lives and attitudes for the better;
the planting of a youth and community orchard in Platt Fields that
continues to mature and provide free food for local people; the making of a
young people’s film on climate change that has been seen by several
thousands and helped them understand and act on climate change; the setting
up of Climate Survivors and our joint writing of a ‘Charter for Abundance’
… that I suppose is now becoming a genuine campaign……..
If people got involved in your group/campaign, what sorts of things would
they end up doing?
In our Climate Survivors group it’s not so much about what you end up
doing, but how you end up doing it. The aim is for all to feel good,
supported and heard. So many groups become torn apart by clashes of
personality, egos dominating, internal conflicts, schisms, rifts…. I’m
sure we’ve all experienced these. I remember a visiting speaker from South
America saying “If humanity is to survive, we must realise we are one”.
When we are ripped apart by negative emotions – we are not one.
My self-destructive period mentioned at the start of this coal face interview
was the exterior expression of internal emotions storming within me.
Sometimes meetings to ‘save the world’ can be catastrophically stormy.
Yet, I believe, the ‘human’ technology exists for this not to be the case.
There are simple techniques that can be employed in meetings that bring
out the best in us, rather than the worst, and put us in touch with our
common humanity. Whatever the campaign or initiative, it benefits from
being born from and sustained by a positive and happy group of people.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in the world, what
would it be?
Everyone knowing how to meditate. I would wish for everyone to find that
beautiful loving peaceful place within – whatever might be going on on the
outer. When you have peace within, knawing desires to mindlessly consume,
accumulate profit, zoom around the world, simply don’t exist. Our choices
become more conscious and compassionate and within our control. Our desire
to hurt or injure others dissipates and we want to hug them instead.
What advice do you wish you could give your younger self?
None whatsoever. Young me had to go through what young me had to go
through. And now I’m happy, fulfilled, passionate and wouldn’t change a
thing. Having said that – of course my greatest desire is to be part of
changing the whole bloody world. Ha ha!