Speech by Clarion the Bear (& Bamber Hawes)
I am Clarion the Bear.
Or perhaps, I am not.
Perhaps I am a metaphor,
A poster boy for climate change.
I have been carried, or pulled on a small trolley by my creator, Bamber Hawes, from his home of Bishop’s Castle, in South Shropshire. Over 22 days we have travelled over 310 miles, with the help of local people along the way.
Why did we make this crazy journey?
In reply to this question Bamber said:
I am a maker of stuff, I have made all sorts of things over the last 40 years, so I decided to make a polar bear. Later, I came up with the idea of carrying him to COP26 on a Climate Crisis Pilgrimage. And, at this time I can not think of anything better to be doing.
I know that carrying a sculpture of a polar bear to COP is not going to change the world. The leaders at COP will not be aware of my effort, and they probably wouldn’t care if they did know of it. But perhaps this adventure will in some way change those who join in or help us along the way. All we can do is change ourselves, to turn our hearts and minds to a better, more just and regenerative new world.
Why did we people bother to join us?
Bamber replied by telling me some of the reasons people gave him:
– I liked the joyous ridiculousness of it all
– I wanted to do something to show that I think that this COP is important to me
– The bib on Clarion’s chest chimed with me…
Everything is One
Everything is Love
– When I read that it would not be a demonstration, and would not be raising money for a charity but would be a quiet, meditative day of walking and talking ~ I thought ‘This is for me’.
So what did I learn?
Well, I am just a helpless bear, just a volume of whiteness formed from bamboo, willow withies and tissue paper bonded together with external PVA. I learned to say still, and not wriggle. When I was carried upright by the humans I it was scary at first and I found that I collect leaves, berries and nuts in my ears when brushing under overhanging trees. When I am in the rain all day my skin gets whiter so I decided I didn’t mind the rain.
And what did Bamber learn?
How to graciously accept the generosity of strangers. They did not have to offer help, but if they did, it was presumably because they wanted to be part of this with their aid.
He also found his voice (and now he won’t shut up!) After a lifetime of worry about his boyhood stammer coming back, he found he could speak and be heard.
Also, he realised that most people do care about the climate and were supportive with waves, and cheers, and friendly car horn toots.
And over the weeks only about eight people were aggressive, rude or insulting.
Its all over now. We made it.
After more than three weeks of walking more than 14 miles every day, and a lot of Scottish rain, we finally got here.
And what have we achieved?
Well, we seemed to caught the imagination of the public and the media.
Partly because of my gigantic size, my beauty, my grace, my lovely quizzical expression, and less so because of the wet sweaty puny human manhandling me over this weird green, wet country, to this rocky city with its visiting leaders ~ those of them who could be bothered to come.
We stopped at many a primary schools along the way and Bamber spoke to the children about what we were doing. I hope that our visits will be remembered by those small humans and perhaps will spark an interest in climate change and a love for polar bears!
We met so many amazing people
Everyday we were joined by such lovely, wonderful people, they talked for hours and hours while transporting me, and it seemed to make them happy and maybe a little bit wiser.
I would like now to thank all my helpers:
my creator, Bamber (well of course I would say that, as he is putting these words in my mouth!)
Thank you Kusameh who has been with us all the way in your van, arranging beds for us and walkers to join us, and dealing with my fans!
Thank you Faith for the website and on going updating of it.
And finally, thank you to all those who walked, carried me, pulled me, put us up, and encouraged us.
What would I say to all the leaders at Cop 26?
Be bold with your promises of positive changes in the way your countries will act in the future.
Be fair and just to those in the less developed parts of the world, as ultimately we most all be ONE to survive.
The scientists and specialists should be your guides, not the economists, or the party activists who say it will be bad for your chances of re-election.
You know what you need to do.
You know how to achieve the results that will make a difference.
How stupid are you going to be not to just get on and do them?
This world is such a tiny speck of blue in the vastness of space.
It is so perfect.
It suits us so well – us bears, you humans, and all the wonderful living things that live here.
How mad would it be to lose it all?
I know that some rich humans may well be able to continue living here as the world become more and more uninhabitable to others, but they will all be cursing you everyday for not making the decisions that you need to make this week.
Please God that you are brave enough to do the work that you need to do.