“They are running out of lies, we are running out of time”

Ludovico Caminati Engstrom explains why this week’s Stirling Climate Festival is happening

The reality of the climate breakdown is becoming more and more relevant as time goes by. Younger generations are disillusioned by the worldwide political elite that has ignored our demands while the “business as usual” neoliberal model is perpetuated and globally pushed by corporate interests.

The reinvention of capitalism under the banner of a new green market solution does not address any of the climate-related issues hanging over the heads of young people fighting for a sustainable and viable future.

“You are running out of lies, we are running out of time” is a slogan often seen at climate strikes on banners and placards. It mirrors perfectly the feelings of a generation that promotes the need for radical and bold change toward an economy and a society that cares about the planet and puts people above profits.

Stirling Climate Festival is the response of concerned citizens and campaigners in the Stirling area to all the lies of the corrupt political and corporate establishment. The world is tired of empty promises and so are we.

The festival is the civil society’s counter-attack against the shallow and populist narrative of neoliberalism. Here at the SCF, we understand and support the need for bold and systemic action to achieve the goal of keeping the global temperature below 1.5 C.

From the 11th to the 17th of October, two weeks before COP26, students in Stirling have organised a week-long festival with over 40 events of all kinds, all focusing on the climate crisis. The events range from talks and debates to yoga sessions and film screenings, from art exhibitions to craft workshops.

The festival aims at raising awareness and positive engagement in the local community while highlighting the intersectionality of climate change, which is the reason why we have such a diverse range of organisations, individuals, and societies coming from varied backgrounds, thus showing different perspectives of the climate emergency. The whole festival has been organised bearing in mind that COP26 is being hosted in Glasgow at the start of November, to inspire people to mobilise for the UN climate panel.

The eclectic range of events will feature the Charities Expo in the town centre on Saturday with some amazing organisations such as Greenpeace, Forthbike, Extinction Rebellion, Transition Stirling, and many more.  An art exhibition has also been installed as part of the festival with over 20 submissions from 15 different local artists. The core of the exhibition centres on art as a provocative medium to inspire climate action.

The festival will finish off with the Closing Ceremony on the 17th that will feature inspiring speakers such as the Director of Global Justice Now, Nick Dearden, and Stirling MP Alyn Smith. The Closing Ceremony will also feature spoken-word poetry by Charli Morachnick, a climate-related show by Stirling Musical Theatre, and an overview of the week. The night will end with a ceilidh with drinks. We are hoping that this will be the beginning of a new tradition in Stirling, to have a Climate Festival every year until intersectional climate justice is achieved. 

Ludovico Caminati Engstrom is a member of the SCF Organising team

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