In love and rage

Caroline Hartnell

Philanthropy needs to deploy rage along with love if it is to tackle the existential threat of climate change

Charles asked me to write about my journey from philanthropy to climate activism. ‘Philanthropy’ literally means ‘the love of humanity’. Extinction Rebellion’s signature message is ‘in love and rage’. What do these words mean? Don’t they contradict each other? Where does the rage come from?

In September 2007 Alliance published its first-ever special feature on a ‘single issue’ – though, as my editorial made clear, ‘climate change is not a single issue, it’s an issue that will affect all the work funders support.

Over the last year I have gone on the same 2.5-mile walk on nearby Tooting Common in south London countless times. Boring? Never. Keeping away from well-trodden paths among little strips of woodland and surprise glades, I am struck by the day-to-day miracle of the changing seasons. I feel a more intense love than ever before for the beauty and wonder of the natural world. At the same time I feel a sickening fear that it’s already too late to save it and a rage that we should have let things come to this pass.

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