The topic of conversation this week is the ongoing climate crisis and our urgent need to act. We are joined by the remarkable Daze Aghaji, a university student and high-profile climate justice activist who has fought to combat the climate emergency at an international level. The climate crisis has the potential to impact all aspects of our lives and Daze urges us to tackle the issue, not just environmental grounds, but on social and cultural levels as well.
Raised in a one-bedroom flat in Tottenham, London, Daze has come from humble beginnings. When her mother started her own restaurant and saw success, she was given the opportunity to go to boarding school in the English countryside, where she says she loved being amongst nature. On returning to London, the levels of air pollution in the UK’s capital caused her to suffer from asthma and skin conditions; her love of the countryside began to transform into a desire to fight for its survival. Extensive work in Extinction Rebellion alongside political activism, becoming the youngest ever person to run for a seat in the European Parliament in 2019, are testimony to this desire to provoke real change and our episode encompasses numerous ways in which the spirit of this activism can be replicated.
One area where meaningful change can take place to better protect our planet is in the fashion industry. Fast fashion is an established and growing problem in our world, with the increased usage of cheaply made garments designed to be thrown away after a number of wears placing a considerable strain on our planet and natural resources. To have individuals disposing of clothes on a regular basis is an unsustainable model and one that must be replaced by an emphasis on sustainability and care. Whilst not shying aware from the difficulties of this, we discuss the issue that many sustainable labels are often too expensive to become items of mass consumption, we nevertheless advocate the adoption of an attitude of care. By seeking to look after what you own and consume, you will in turn look after our world.
“We need to do better and be taking ownership of the problems we created”Daze Aghaji
Issues like fast fashion can be fixed firmly at the intersection of social and climate issues. Not only do these pressing concerns damage the environment, but they also perpetuate the exploitation of under-developed or poorer communities and peoples. Daze references our colonial past in this instance, talking of the ways in which it habituated and engrained abusive and coercive tactics for economic gain. In our capitalist world today, some of that attitude most certainly remains. Large multinational corporations and companies must be held to account by the populations they supply, forcing them to consistently adopt more sustainable and eco-friendly means of production and operation. Our involvement as consumers is essential to the bringing of change in this area. A more forgiving attitude must be adopted if we are to both help our planet and the people who live on it. This forsaking of a fixation on profit margins or efficiency of production will bring a mirid of benefits.
“Climate change is a by-product of our social ills”Daze Aghaji
In our current climate, it is so important that we also discuss the implications of COVID-19 on the ongoing climate emergency. The spread of coronavirus momentarily paused the world as we knew it. We as individuals and communities were given time to think, read and educate ourselves on the pressing issues that so often are swept aside in chaotic everyday life. The outpouring of indignation following the murder of George Floyd, amongst the wider Black Lives Matter movement, is just one example of how this time provoked large-scale activism. Daze calls on us to also utilise this watershed moment to bring about real and meaningful change to the discussion on the climate crisis. We cannot be satisfied with promises to become carbon neutral or reduce emissions in the coming decades, real change must tackle the present as well as the future.
Extinction Rebellion: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/
Daze Aghaji: https://twitter.com/DazeAghaji