As some of you may have noticed from recent bombarding of posts, restless-me has embarked in yet another adventure: no, I don’t mean my Master in Climate Change at KCL, but crowdfunding.
For someone who is in a daily endeavour of covering up its fight against the monsters of low self-esteem, crowdfunding is possibly the most squirm-inducing, frightening, destabilizing experience ever. (Mainly because you have to convince yourself that you’re worth other people’s trust and I’m a tough sparring-partner) But you know what they say, “magic starts when you get out of your comfort zone”, and I can vouch– asking people to invest money (a lot of it) in yourself, is waaay out of anyone’s comfort zone. It’s is like the Mount Doom of personal insecurity; like the Trump of U.S. Presidents.
While preparing my crowdfunding page “#FromGinniToEarth” I have read loads of how-to articles, whose main take-home message was that a pitch has to last about 15sec, because that’s how long people listen to you. First of all: 15secs!? I expected better from you. Secondly, imagine how frightening this is for someone who felt the need to start her own blog to write about stuff in life. So, while I created my 15sec-read crowdfunding page, which is meant to address those of you who are not brave enough to read this blog, I have also created this annex, where I expand a little.
So let me tell you why I have embarked in this self-harm adventure nonetheless. The simple answer is that I have decided to do a MSc in Climate Change at King’s College London and UK-universities have the peculiar trait of asking for a kidney every time you set foot in their territory. But, as you know me, there is no territory I’d rather vacate, because if there is one resource that is never deployed, then it’s knowledge. And since studying is a great way to gain knowledge, I cannot but prolong my stay at university.
Let me note, however, that my approach towards uni has change significantly in the last year. These past years of studying philosophy in a world like the present, overwhelming us with information and a protension towards populism, increasingly led me towards the realisation that this kind of philosophy is somehow elitarian. Don’t misinterpret: I believe that academic paths have a fascinating autonomous life, and therein lies its necessity and beauty. But it’s precisely the isolation of academic philosophy in this turmoil-world that makes me wonder: is entering the bubble of academic philosophy really a responsible choice, if I’m always keen to look outside the bubble to intervene in the world? Probably not, and I feel like I need to get out there and face the present for a bit, at least. (In reality my closest friends, family and Nikita have become increasingly tolerant about my Vegan-0-waste-save-the-earth-noLet’sNotTakeAPlasticBagForThis10kgOfVeggiesWeJustBought rallies, and it’s just not that fun to annoy them anymore, so I have to expand to you).
But (this is particularly to mom, dad and bros) don’t do the “I told you so”-dance too soon yet, for I will keep something close to my heart in the study of climate science and policy: the methodological tools that philosophy (has taught and) teaches me every day, to analyse and scrutinise.
I believe we are overwhelmed with pieces of information, which we are mostly unable to critically assess. Climate change is hot (pun intended!)—it dominates most headlines, but we don’t have enough time, or the relevant tools to evaluate what we read about it. So we outsource our opinions by reading our favourite column in The Guardian, or maintain a forcedly superficial attitude towards the topic.
We often form uninformed, biased, or simplistic opinions, as we adopt opinions on climate change expressed by a columnist, who (as well informed as (s)he certainly is) may neither be a scientist, nor a policy-maker; or expressed by the head of a state, member of a political party, who instrumentalises the narrative to gain support and play us on our lack of knowledge. Let me articulate this as poshly as possible: I’m really fed up with this bollocks. I need to know, and I want others to know. I want people to trust that they are not trying to mutually manipulate each other, so I start with myself: I do this master to gain knowledge; I go into this course of study with one presupposition I am willing to doubt: there is something about the climate that is in fact changing. Maybe we caused part of this change, or maybe we did not–I want to get my narrative straight, by evaluating this hands-on, myself. And I want to get our narrative straight, whenever we are indoctrinated, or unknowledgeable. To do this, I will use this blog throughout my year of study, to give bite-size updates on what I have learnt. But to do so I need your support to pay my student fees (9990£).
This was my more-than-15sec-pitch. I got out of my comfort zone. If you want, you can get out of yours. You could start by sharing my crowdfunding page: #FromGinniToEarth, or by donating yourself.
Live consciously and spread the love.