VIVA LA REVOLUTION
Westwood donned the same garb earlier this month at the Paralympics closing ceremony, where she unfurled a giant banner that proclaimed “Climate Revolution.” The born-again environmentalist’s goal then, as it is now, is to use her brand as a vehicle to talk about climate change.
We have a choice, says Vivienne Westwood: “hell or a future better than the human race has ever known.”
“The Paralympics was the perfect opportunity to unfurl the Climate Revolution banner,” Westwood writes in a blog post. “In 2008, the New Economics Foundation announced their ‘100 Months’ campaign—the amount of time they estimate we have to stabilize the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere before the risk of uncontrollable planet warming becomes unacceptably high.”
“We are now halfway through, with 50 more months to go,” she adds. “Therefore we have to do it by the next Olympics. We have a choice: hell or a future better than the human race has ever known.”
For Westwood, the revolution’s already begun. “The fact of manmade climate change is accepted by most people,” she says. “The fight is no longer between the classes or between rich and poor but between the idiots and the eco-conscious. We need a formal inauguration of the revolution and a plan of operation.”
Westwood’s “plan of operation” is four-fold. First, affirm the relationship between the financial crisis and climate change. Second, implement two measures “without which we cannot stop climate change”: establishing the Arctic Commons and protecting the rainforest. “Both of these are possible right now,” she says.
Westwood wants to “curb the corporations,” particularly extractive industries and agribusiness.
Third, tackle the need for clean energy, the quickest “safe” option of which is nuclear, according to Westwood. “The problem is that the public is against it,” she says. “We think this is because of false propaganda from the press who have massively misrepresented the facts to satisfy the thrill of a good scare story.” Not that you can’t be part of the revolution if you don’t agree, however. “It’s just that time is running out and we need to decide,” she adds.
Finally, the designer wants to “curb the corporations,” particularly extractive industries and agribusiness. “We shall now form a cabinet of operations so that we can rally the troops who are already forming,” she says.
For would-be revolutionaries, Westwood provides a 10-point checklist.
1. Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. (“I never waste money, I spend it.”—Oscar Wilde.) Maybe you’ll give a donation to an NGO or charity. You can give your support in other ways. Just by following one you will learn a lot, this is support.
2. Quality versus quantity.
3. Buy less, choose well, make it last (we don’t want the “latest thing” just for the sake of it.)
4. Prepare and cook your own food.
5. Cut out plastic.
6. Inform yourselves.
7. Consider the responsibility of not having or having children. Chances of survival will be clear by next Olympics.
8. Take an active part in events of the revolution as it starts to build.
9. Engage in art and culture.
10. Your own idea.
Clothes, what clothes?