Severe weather warnings? Who’s Listening?


Severe weather warnings? Who’s listening? In recent months, severe and unprecedented weather events have destroyed vast tracts of land in Pakistan and the US. In one region, families had limited choice but to stay in their homes, try to protect loved ones and hope the floods did not wash away their future. In the other, the levels of information available about impending storms meant people had the choice to stay and defend their homes, Wild West style, against the storms they were told were coming their way. And the outcome for both areas was the same – the weather won. People died, either through lack of options or through not taking their options seriously. Some people died saving the latter group, which is particularly tragic.

What is also tragic is that this happens all the time, in some part of the world. Climate changes, at mankind’s hand, are responsible for creating near-irreparable damage to land, sea and air. This has been documented for decades but has only in the last few years become largely-undisputed.  

The excellent film satire “Don’t Look Up” caricatured the widespread failure of the public, the media and a lot of other agencies to take seriously the impassioned pleas of scientists. The scientists in the film are treated as oddballs, doom-and-gloom merchants and most definitely Mavericks, where this term is not meant in any kind of good way. There is a moral to the tale which I will let you infer; watch the film and you’ll see what I mean.

Is there a role for the wilful independence of Maverick thinking to secure more attention for the climate crisis? There is a REAL urgency about the need for action NOW … and yet most families and businesses are patting themselves on the back for recycling their paper and perhaps buying “vintage” or “preloved” items rather than new. And then Black Friday Deals come around again and consumption involves more plastic, more minerals mined superfluously, more damage to the Earth for minimal real gain.

It feels to me that Mavericks could usefully be deployed to heighten the sense of urgency, to highlight the issue in new and compelling ways. Greta Thunberg’s a wonderful Maverick, yet even her “Our house is on fire” message to the UN and her school climate strike is now just so much blah blah in the background noise of our every day after three years of her efforts. Extinction Rebellion adopt approaches that some might view as Extreme Maverick [1], but their action polarises and disenchants. Their impact is limited and sometimes seen as counter-productive.

I am calling for some input here from the Socialised Mavericks [2]. How can we work together to craft a message which hits home, engages AND inspires? How can we use our skills, our aptitudes and our collective wisdom to shift the narrative from “Someone needs to do something” to “Who’s doing what, when?” and eventually to “I am doing this, today, because … and I will that tomorrow, because … Who’s with me?”

Mavericks are creatives, but we also deliver. It’s not just the ideas that are good, but the end product too. So how can we harness the energy from a world full of Mavericks, to make the difference?

I’m up for that discussion.  Want to join me?


[1][2] Extreme Maverick, Socialised Maverick – Judith Germain: The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders (PublishNation)