From St Andrews to Russia: Decisions Need Diversity

With an ear to the radio or an eye on the papers, you have likely seen the recent news surrounding the Russia – Ukraine war. It would be wrong for us to ignore this entirely, especially as it impacts the cost of living and has very real consequences for international climate targets. Arguably, a country’s military is already its biggest polluter. The most problematic issue, however, is the inequality that lies behind it all. 

From the recent military call ups, where it is all happening is curious. Including places like Neryungri, Blogoveshchensk, and Dagestan, it is the poorer ethnic republics, not the more affluent areas, that are the frontline of Putin’s recent recruits. It is being reported that many Russians are jumping border lines to avoid conscription.

When we talk about climate change or the climate crisis do you ever feel like there is this end goal we are supposed to aim for? Are these goal posts ever going to stay put or will they inevitably shift? In recent years, I have come to realise that tackling climate change, like shifting an addiction, is a life long process. To quote an axiom: it is not about the destination, it is about the journey.

Every journey is based on a series of decisions and experiences. If Putin’s actions towards Ukraine do not include the diverse class and ethnic voices of his country, does he or the war truly represent all Russians? If climate action does not include the diverse voices of our community, does it truly represent the needs and visions of St Andrews as a whole?

Whether at the global, national or local level, let us get those unheard and marginalised voices to the table. Otherwise, climate justice or conflict resolution will remain in our minds, a shifting set of goal posts. For Transition this reality is an increasingly front and centre principle for the projects we run. Your voice matters to us, as so it should at every level.

As always, if you have any thoughts about what you read in this piece, get in touch: We love to hear from you!