DAISY GREENWELLDaisy Greenwell is a journalist who spent the last decade at The Times, and is now working on a new climate movement for mothers worried about the planet called Mothership. She’s a mother to three children under five, and is rewilding a small farm in Suffolk.
LAUNCHING A NEW MOVEMENTFor the previous decade I was an editor at The Times, but once I became a mother and began to wake up to the climate emergency, the excitement of coming up with stories for the newspaper began to wane. I was too scared, to be frank, to spend my days keeping abreast of the daily news churn, as the sixth mass extinction silently took place around us (let’s not even go there with the famously ‘quiet’ voice on climate change of the Murdoch press). So now I’m using my journalism experience to help launch a new movement aimed at mothers who are worried about climate change, but not yet sure what they can do about it.
HELPING MOTHERS CHANGE THE FUTUREIt’s called Mothership, and we want to help mothers realise the power they have to change the future by arming them with tools, inspiration and community. It’s a platform for us to imagine and then create the future we’re all dreaming of for our children. Every mother I’ve ever spoken to is worried about how climate change will impact their kids’ lives. In the playground, at the school gate, on whatsapp groups, mothers are discussing this problem, growing in awareness and wondering what they can do. They are recycling, reusing, composting and buying second hand, doing amazingly creative things to reduce their family’s carbon footprints. But it feels like a drop in the ocean compared to the global nature of this problem, and they don’t know what more they can do, or even if it’s their job to do it. We want to show mothers that collectively their power is huge. By their very nature, mothers are good activists, they are practical doers, they are collaborators, and they are linked by a common purpose that crosses all boundaries of race, class and nation, and they will do whatever is necessary to protect their kids. If we can help them to figure out where their influence lies, what their power is, and how best they can use it – be it at home, on their street, at the school gate or in the workplace – we can begin to remake the world our kids will inherit.
Every mother I’ve ever spoken to is worried about how climate change will impact their kids’ lives. In the playground, at the school gate, on whatsapp groups, mothers are discussing this problem, growing in awareness and wondering what they can do.
CHANGE FROM THE GROUND UPAs anyone working in the world of environmentalism will tell you, we already have the solutions to this problem, what we need is the political will, and that drive for change must come from the ground up. If we can harness that incredible mother energy, whose strength can be stronger than natural laws, the impossible becomes possible. Mothership isn’t just for mothers, it’s for godmothers, aunties, best mates and dads – anyone who really cares what happens to the next generation. Motherhood is the lens through which we’re looking at this huge problem we all face. We realise that what the world needs most right now is it’s mum – that nurturing mother energy that we all, whether we’re parents or not, have experienced and know in our hearts. This movement is founded by Jessie Brinton, a former Sunday Times columnist and writer, alongside her friend and lifelong climate activist Tamsin Omond. It’s a grassroots movement, taking place over Zoom on a shoestring, but I leave every call with them deeply inspired and hopeful for all our futures. After a year of discussing it, it was exciting to finally launch on instagram a few weeks ago, and to start talking with all the mothers already doing so much out there. Our main goal over the coming months is to activate British mums in the run up to COP 26 in November, when the world’s leaders will meet to decide how we cut carbon emissions in half by 2030.
Mothership isn’t just for mothers, it’s for godmothers, aunties, best mates and dads – anyone who really cares what happens to the next generation.
MAKING OUR VOICES HEARDMany mothers don’t realise the immense power they have in their hands at this moment. If Boris Johnson is going to take the committed climate action that is needed to avert catastrophe, he needs to feel immense pressure on him to do so, and British mothers are perfectly placed to apply it. They are in homes across the country, at the heart of their communities, and they will let nothing stand in their way of ensuring the future for their kids. Our job is to help them realise this, and bring them together to form one voice. The past year has exposed the fragility of the old story and the opportunity to create a new one, as well as the power of imagination to make reality. It’s a surreal moment, but we can feel the zeitgeist changing and we totally believe in mothers. We do so much, we are the creators on this planet. Our voices need to be heard and if our kids are to survive, this new world needs to be born from a mother’s love.
HOW TO HELP Mothership is a shoestring operation, coming to life from kitchen tables in between school pickups and drop offs, and welcomes all offers of help. Follow @heymothership and tell your friends Start talking about COP, the climate and your feelings as a mum or as someone who loves kids on your social media posts (tag @HeyMothership) Make an audio talking about your mother, being a mother or an amazing mum that you know and want to celebrate, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org Share Mothership posts on your IG Stories and/or post about Mothership on your grid Ask for an Zoom briefing to learn more about the plan – email@example.com Mothership is a newly registered non profit and if you can help with funding, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.