“Paper Promises” for “Moths to a Flame”

Paper, wire and netting, 14in x 36in
27 October 2021

From 31 October to 12 November, world leaders will be gathering in Glasgow around the issue of our burning planet. At COP26 we hope they will hammer out a deal that will save our life support system.

Throughout 2021, the Art and Energy collective have been using the moth as a metaphor for our relationship with energy, and hence with carbon emissions and climate. In their “Moths to a Flame” project, they have been exploring and observing the world of moths; thinking about energy and its possibilities; encouraging others to join in the creation of a mass-participation art installation; and as part of that recording a message of climate hope for the future to send to the world leaders at COP. I joined in a little with the early stages last year.

As I write this now, the collective is already in Glasgow setting up the installation, so I have missed out on being a part of that. But it is not to late to add my small voice to the project, so here are my fears and hopes:

I fear that we are already too late, and are committed to dangerous levels of global heating and climate breakdown.

I fear that the promises made – past, present and future – are only paper promises and will not result in real action.

I hope that world leaders will put aside self-aggrandisement, self-interest, and suspicion; that they listen to the people; realise that we really are all in it together; show up, and get down to work for the common good.

I hope that the promises made on paper at Glasgow result in real action.

I hope that we are not too late, that even though we are committed to a worrying increase in global temperatures, we can still reduce our emissions to net zero and below within the next few years; avert the worst of the changes and impacts, and eventually reverse them.

I hope that out of the darkness of despair, we can extend our wings and find our way to the light.