If they won’t get it done, then we’ll do it ourselves.
Chaytan Inman is uninspired by politics. The computer science student was fed up hearing energy-blind and materials-blind promises made by big political names, promises of unlimited economic growth on a finite planet and infinitely available renewable energy, all tied up in the language of “Net Zero”. Chaytan didn’t see anyone running on a political platform which promised a liveable future. So he decided to run for Governor of Washington State.
“We cannot consume our way out of an overconsumption problem.”
Chaytan joined me to discuss his decision and his political platform: Enshrining the rights of nature in the state constitution. He aims to ensure the Pacific Northwest will “still have rain, trees, food and water” for the future, envisioning a radical shift in how natural resources are valued by giving nature the same rights as people, and embedding citizenship in the state’s natural ecosystem. He also reveals two other policies around taxation and agriculture, offering a true degrowth platform for Washington residents.
Chaytan is young—and he says he truly does not want to have to run for governor—but his elders have failed his generation. It's truly heartbreaking to see how many young people are having to put themselves on the line because of this failure. We should have a society of elders that knows how to lead, that can use all of their life experience to seed their imagination with possibilities for the future. Elders know when it's time to move on. In such a society, young people should have the freedom to be idealists, not burdened with the pressure of being realists. But, in our world, we are led by no one, and run by idiots and ideologues. This crisis demands leadership. It may come from surprising places.
© Rachel Donald
Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it. Support the project with a paid subscription.