“I dare you to be great – go on, stand up and speak out. We get to determine what the future is. Let’s engage in the big questions of our time, not the ones we already know the answers to. Ask questions – big ones that make a difference. And once you find the answer, let’s make it happen.” 2014, 2nd edition I Dare You to Be Great
Polly Higgins, Earth Law Expert, Mission LifeForce
On the 16th March last month, I saw a post flash up on Polly Higgins’s Facebook page connecting Polly Higgins’ work with Greta Thungberg’s globla #schoolstrike4cliamate. Polly is the law expert who has been leading an international campaign for well over a decade now to see ecocide (the manmade destruction of living nature systems) legally recognised as a crime.
I have had the honour of meeting Polly twice and she inspired me, even before I met her, to stand up and add my voice that ecocide should be urgently recognised as an international crime.
Some of you following on this blog will remember my work to raise awareness of ecocide as a crime, in Ireland in 2013; I successfully argued a motion that the Green Party of Ireland and Northern Ireland support Polly Higgins’ work. The move in my creative practice to stand up for this law surprised me (particularly as I’m an introvert). However, I came to understand in my doctoral research, that eco-social art practices (embedded in place ecological art practices) develop one’s ecoliteracy (knowledge of the environmental science and ethics) to such an extent that one often feels compelled to act (you can read about my journey to this point in my ebook here)
But what caught my eye in the Facebook post last month was an open letter and video message to Polly and Greta Thunberg’s #schoolstike4climate campaign. Someone had spent time creating a video to show how powerful it would be if Greta Thunberg’s million+ student’s school strike movement connected with Polly Higgin’s work to criminalise ecocide (an international crime of ecocide would immediately signal to corporations and heads of state that they would be legally accountable for ecocide crime). Brilliant, I thought – that’s it! (You can see the video below)
However, in a few days time, myself and other followers, collaborators and supporters of Polly’s work were told shocking news. Polly has been diagnosed with multi-organ cancer and given a prognosis of living only a number of weeks. I was completely shocked by this news but the Facebook group that has sprung up to support reveals she is philosophical and going forward, amidst hospital procedures. It must be so very hard but this sounds so like Polly!
The environmental journalist George Monbiot has since written an article on Polly’s ecocide law work – and he quite rightly argues that our greatest means to support Polly at this time, and her legacy, would be to step up and help support her work.
I have put the explanatory video of Polly’s Mission LifeForce campaign below. So take a minute to sign up yourself, for all our futures. Some of you might like to look at Polly’s third book too, I Dare you to be Great, not so well known as her first two award-winning books on ecocide crime, but its a message of values and spiritual practices for all of us (check out Polly’s video’s on this topic too). It is extraordinary how Polly has been so dedicated and thoughtful to support us in all stepping forward to help stand for the better world we know is possible.
PS: There was a one-line update on Polly’s Facebook page last week (2 April) that simply said they are trying to connect Greta to Polly!
CONCRETE WAYS YOU CAN HELP… Polly Higgins – earth lawyer, inspirational pioneer for peace & justice:
1. sign up as an Earth Protector at IAmAnEarthProtector.org – and get 20 of your mates to sign up too… Polly says she would love to *live* to see #OneMillionEarthProtectors … wouldn’t that be incredible?!
2. contribute to the work Polly has carried so graciously this far, which is so important and *must* continue whatever happens. Ecocide must be made a crime if we are to see an end to the wanton destruction of our one and only, achingly beautiful, living planetary home. You can do this via Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all that you have done and that heart and voice of yours that has emboldened us all.
Daisies are always cheerful – here’s some daisies for you Polly, that thrive every year just in front of wee Hollywood forest in Ireland. The trees have doubled in size now, and in January this year, the Irish government announced a pilot grant scheme to landowners to move towards permanent, non-clearfell forestry.
Bless you Polly xxx