'Tis the season of goodwill and festive cheer - and there was much of that to bouy our hardcore lineup of protestors marching from Millbank outside the Houses of Parliament up to Grosvenor Square. So what that it rained? Ach, but why didn't I think to wear wellies?
Soggy feet aside, rousing speeches were given by Michael Meacher, Phil Thornhill, Caroline Lucas and more. All head nodding stuff - yes, we need to cut emmissions, this government needs to support microgeneration, introduce feed-in-tariffs (and if they don't the Tories will), give teeth to the Climate Change Bill. What is needed is action, not just aspiration. Yes, we cheered.
The best speaker, however, was left to the last. By which time any meaningful connection with my feet had been lost. But suddenly it didn't matter. George Monbiot took to the podium and gave a compelling thought-piece on capitalism and the need for individual action. Politically, little is taking shape, he says. The Bali talks promise little more than a tinkering at the edges - and I tend to agree with him. Where goverments fail, the movement for change must come from below, from grass-roots community and individual action. Monbiot proffers a different vision of how we need to live, in a world where we need to live with less.
Each time I hear him speak is somewhat akin to soaking up a compelling read, and each time I am left hungry for the next chapter. So much has evolved in the past year alone that it is said Monbiot is to revise his book Heat. This is also a man who is not afraid to let his own thoughts evolve as his own knowledge grows. If his spoken word is anything to go by, it promises to be one of the most significant books of our time.
[top three photos by Andrew Steele, bottom photo from Marmaduke Dando - with thanks]