On a similar theme of last week’s Global Awareness Campaign, I came across the developing idea of a “Global Earth Hour”. Surely it is a good idea to spend one hour a year thinking about the Earth?
Started in Australia in 2004, this BIG SWITCH OFF is now held annually on the last Saturday of March every year – so you have two days to prepare yourself!
Worth taking time out to think about how dependent we are on electricity – and it does not take much effort to join in. Just switch off all your electrical appliances from 20.30 to 21.30 this Saturday – and think about the Earth – or whatever else comes to mind!
The video below is so cute, I had to reproduce it. Might also convince you to vote for some of the pledges on the site:
I had a meeting early yesterday morning at the Frontline Club in Paddington. As I was leaving, some NHS folk were outside the entrance to St Mary’s Hospital demonstrating and making a noise. I did not go up to them and chat – I just took a picture. The window in the top left corner is where Sir Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin. As I walked away, I wondered what Fleming would have thought of all the noise?
I headed off to have lunch with an old friend at a restaurant in Paternoster Square – just by St Paul’s. It was a good lunch – and surprisingly crowded (when I had been told that all the traders in Paternoster Square had nearly gone out of business). After lunch, I had a bit of time before my next appointment, so I decided to walk from St Paul’s down to Victoria.
I could only leave Paternoster Square by one exit – which was the one I came in on. Normally crowded with tourists and city folk, the square has been blockaded in by a squad of policemen and other less official-looking people who seem to be from the tented camp of the Occupy Movement.
I was surprised to see the tented camp still pitched around St Pauls. I wondered how long they will hang on out there (particularly now the weather is turning)? Still, give the Occupy St Paul’s encampment some credit, they were pretty well organised and all seemed quite peaceful.
As I walked down towards The Aldwich, the whole of Fleet Street had been blocked by police cars, police vans and trucks with large sandbags. It was a very strange atmosphere which I later realised was the end of the TUC march down the embankment.
A bit further on some folk were clearing barriers and a strange tent-like contraption came around the corner that posed for some TV cameras. The banner said “Occupy Everywhere” obscuring the sign for the Royal Courts of Justice. And it got me thinking.
With the world’s population recently increasing to over 7,000,000,000 people (or 7bn for short), in a strange way, we DO occupy everywhere already! That’s the problem! And we aren’t doing too well at organising ourselves to reduce the population size. And there are now so many people getting heated up about all the problems that the planet itself is heating up more than we anticipated a few years ago.
So what’s to be done? The politicians can’t seem to fix it. The international banks and muti-national companies can’t seem to fix it. The Occupy Movement doesn’t seem to be fixing it. Yet we continue with the old patterns of marching, demonstrating (for pensions that will never appear) – and thinking that someone else will fix it.
So whilst we surely do Occupy Everywhere already, we need better ways to occupy ourselves so we all feel a sense of purpose and usefulness – without having to rely on the consumer-centric values that have held the Western world together for the past 50 years.
Interesting times. Not sure anyone has the answer. But I am sure we will work it out somehow! After all, Fleming discovered Penicillin by going on holiday. The story goes that some tropical medicine folk were researching on the floor below and penicillin floated up to his labs whilst he was away. Strange things happen when you bring diverse ideas together and go on holiday. Can’t wait for the Christmas break!
As the honeybee swarming season is ending, I have been reflecting on the four swarms we have caught this season and the phenomenon that some call “swarm consciousness”. In researching more about the subject, I came across this short set of PBS videos describing a new way of thinking described as “emergence”. It not only describes the magic forces of nature that science somehow struggles with, it also gives a great explanation on how we learn. It is encouraging to hear that current computer design has a long way to go – and that the human brain still wins on its “connectedness”. Encouraging to think that swarm intelligence in humans is FAR greater than any political leader or dictator. Worth watching both clips and reflecting on them: