Lets Talk About...
Over the summer and autumn Kent Humanists is making a bit of a departure from the format of our regular meetings. Instead of invited speakers we are running a series of five ‘conversations’ on topics that are currently hot topics in the news.
Starting in June we will be talking about our hereditary monarchy which seems quite apposite given the Jubilee celebrations that we have just participated in.
We will also be looking at the BBC and the future of public service broadcasting, how we can promote environmental sustainability by becoming good green consumers, is WOKE’ism a force for liberation or oppression? and then a look at War and Peace and the situation in Ukraine and our response to the war. Who knows what it will look like by September?
So join us and join in the conversation. All these meetings will be at St Stephen's Hall.
See you there!
Sunday 21 August 2022 @ 2:30pm to 4:00pm
‘Let’s talk about ‘Green Consumerism’
Our topic for conversation this month is green consumerism (aka eco-consumerism, conscious-consumerism, ethical consumption, ethical- purchasing, ethical-shopping, etc).
The question is whether we, as individual consumers, can have a real impact on sustainability simply by careful shopping or is the issue of global warming and environmental degradation too big for individual choices to make much impact.
It cannot be denied that ethical campaigning can have some effect as the introduction of the 5p charge on single use plastic bags in 2015 has shown. Within a year the demand for carrier bags dropped by 7 million and last year DEFRA announced that the charge has cut single-use carrier bag sales by 95% in the major supermarkets.
However, other voices in the green lobby argue that green consumerism is a dangerous distraction lulling us into a false sense of security. David Wallace Wells in his 2019 book The Uninhabitable Earth—Life After Warming, says:
“[C]onscious consumption is a cop-out, arising from that basic promise extended by neoliberalism: that consumer choices can be a substitute for political action, advertising not just political identity but political virtue; that the mutual end-goal of market and political forces should be the effective retirement of contentious politics at the hand of market consensus, which would displace ideological dispute; and that, in the meantime, in the supermarket aisle or department store, one can do good for the world simply by buying well.”
So what do you think? Come and have your say.
Dates for your diary
Sun 23 Jan 2022 — All about Happiness
Sun 20 Feb 2022 — Recreational Drugs, Ethics and Legislation
Sun 20 Mar 2022 — Does art make us better people?
Sun 24 Apr 2022 — Living Well — Introduction to the new set of Humanist practical ethics booklets (date shifted to avoid clash with Easter weekend)
Sun 22 May 2022 — MEETING CANCELLED
Sun 19 Jun 2022 —Let’s talk about heredity monarchy. What does it give us? Do we still need it?
Sun 17 Jul 2022 — Let’s talk about the BBC. What is the future of public broadcasting? In the modern age should all broadcasting be funded by subscription and advertising?
Sun 21 Aug 2022 — Let’s talk about ‘Green Consumerism’. How can we promote sustainability through what we buy and consume? Should we all go vegan as David Attenborough recommends?
Sun 18 Sep 2022 — Let’s talk about WOKE’ism and Political Correctness. Are these liberating or oppressive movements?
Sun 16 Oct 2022 — Let's talk about War and Peace. Can war ever be justified? We will look at the Just War theory and how it relates to Ukraine, Passivism, War Crimes, and how refugees should be treated.
Sun 20 Nov 2022 — Annual General Meeting
Sun 18 Dec 2022 — Christmas Social
About Kent Humanists
Kent Humanists meet on the third Sunday of each month at St Stephens Church Hall, Hales Drive, St Stephens, Canterbury, CT2 7AB. Our meetings are open to anyone interested in Humanism and are not restricted to members, we ask only for a nominal contribution towards the hire of the hall.
You can become a full member of Kent Humanists for an annual subscription of £15.00 or £10.00 if you are a member of the national organisation Humanists UK.
Students who take advantage of Humanists UK free subscription scheme may also join Kent Humanists for free. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Our Charity for the year 2022
At each AGM Kent Humanists choose a charity to support for the year. This year's charity is The Kitchen CT9, part of the charitable company, Thanet Iceberg Project. The Kitchen provides home cooked meals largely prepared from surplus food either for free or an affordable donation. It offers a community space, a warm place to spend the day, mental health support and creative activity. It also runs a community fridge scheme.
“You drop off good but unwanted food
We check it is safe to eat and packaging is undamaged
We relabel it with clear guidance on its use by date
We store it in the Fridge or Freezer as appropriate
Anyone can help themselves to what is on the shelf.”
There will be an opportunity to donate cash at our regular monthly meetings.
Kent Humanists are always pleased to consider requests to talk about any aspect of humanism to your group or society. Please contact us directly if this is of interest.
We also have a number of trained school speakers accredited by Humanists UK available for assemblies, classroom talks and diversity days with material suitable for all year groups. Please book through Humanists UK who will forward the request to us.
➤ Meetings Code of Conduct - Our speakers are invited guests; please treat them with courtesy and respect. Respect the diversity of views expressed and phrase disagreements politely. It is better to question than argue. Do not attempt to dominate the conversation. Defer to the chair; it is their role to manage the meeting.