Archives for the month of: February, 2014

(So chuffed the lovely folks at 10:10 flagged this recent post of mine yesterday, so here it is again, as a wee blog.)

Never mind sins of past emissions; never mind how you are going to get through the working week, without a sniff of the black stuff.

The question we can all ask ourselves right now is whether there is any single gram of CO2 that we can politely, peacefully and purposefully turn down, in this moment.  One happy gram at a time.

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Credit: SweetOnVeg/Creative Commons

Each weeny gram of CO2 averted today, is a teeny random act of kindness, one that no-one will ever notice, but which will build (aggregation of marginal gains, Olympic cyclists Dave Brailsford style) into a cathedral, of a millions of tons, built by us all, altogether, for our grandchildren’s safety.

Nobody need wait another second, to start to Come Off It

Each unit of leccy saved (15p) = 500gm
Each 15p of gas saved = 1000gms
Each 0.1 litre of petrol (15p) saved = 250gm

Hope that helps you bake a happy low carbon carbon cake
Right here, right now.

Oh, and for completeness, every hour *not spent* in the air saves another wee 200,000 grams.
Yes, that’s per passenger.

Yes wee can?

(After all, we don’t want to be pissing in our own pool* now do we?
*The atmosphere, the ocean of air we live and breathe within.)

Sexism, Racism, and …  Environmentalism ? 

Wanted, Fully Alive: Environmentalists…
7 billion of them

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Photo Credit- Pim Stouten (Creative Commons BY NC)

Do you know a company that hires “token environmentalists”?

Do you often sense environmental tokenism?

Do you feel oppressed by environmentalists?

Or are you an oppressed environmentalist?

Stop!

It doesn’t have to be this way!
Everyone is an environmentalist at heart.

“Wisdom enables us to comprehend our interconnectedness and see that it is not really a battle between good guys and bad guys at all, but rather that the line between good and evil runs through the landscape of every human heart.” – Joanna Macy

http://www.warriorone.com/about-warrior-one/whats-in-a-name/the-shambhala-story-by-joanna-macy/

Are you an Ethic minority?

Have you ever felt – as a ‘green’ – that you are in a ethic minority*?
That no one understands you, welcomes you, celebrates you?   (*An ethical minority, rather than an ethnic one?)

Have your beliefs about others, e.g. about politicians, corporations, banks and ‘baddies’ ever lead you to a place of (perfectly logical, justified and righteous) separation; from other?  Into a lonely place of being ‘right’ – but all alone?
Does ‘green crap’ get in the way of your happiness?

Or does green make you smile?  🙂

I used to enjoy speaking of “Keeping Up with the Greens’es”
Of greener lifestyles being an aspirational thing.  “Pull” not “push”.  Free will, not dogma.

After all, the only person in the world who’s environmental impacts are (any of) “my business” is… me.
Likewise your impacts are entirely your business.

To impose my eco beliefs on others, even my wife and kids, could easily be an act of mild bullying, or even violence.  The only person in the world who I am entitled to change is, me.  And I can change me.  You can’t.  Even if you can see the carbon ‘plank’ in my eye!

I’m proud to be an environmentalist.

Proud to be green, environmental, Green, a greenie, a passionate green, a deep green, dark green, bright green, light green, pale green, noveaux green, an environmentalist, and a professional environmentalist, a tree hugger, an amateur, an activist, a hippy, campaigner, a diplomat, an eco-warrior… and a Chartered Environmentalist. (C Env)

I see no division; all these are One.  There’s no need to judge each other.  Or judge our self (ie!)

All shades of green are welcome here.  Inclusivity. 

All of the aforementioned graded grains of greens are my friends.   Now that’s environmentally FRIEND-ly.

There is no place for jealousy on this one beautiful green Earth.

I’m an Environmentalist through and through – and proud of it.  But here’s the exciting bit:  So are you!

I’m not judging you, see.   Everyone is an environmentalist.  Come as you are. Welcome to the party – of at least 40 shades of green.

You are almost certainly as green as you can possibly be, at this point in time, and at this point in your journey, and you may well be much greener than me.  Or much less green.  But I bet you care.  I know you do.  Everyone does; underneath that superficial makeover.  We can make up.

I just love the fact that you and I are fellow Environmentalists (now).
We are re-connected.  We never were that different.  Group Hug.

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Shades of green Creative Commons Image credit to Gabriela Ruellan

Grown up green

For decades I used to repeat the mantra that it paid to be green; that green saves money; green makes money, and that we can ‘do well by doing good’.  But until I/you truly internalise that belief, green stays just a hobby.   But when we truly believe that we and the world can thrive and prosper, from peaceful, proper, professional greening of the established order, then we can make a living.  Not from bringing the system crashing down, but from rapidly re-engineering it from within. Then we become environmental professionals.  Billions of them!

On my tomb stone one day, rather than Spike Milligan’s “See, I told you I was ill” I would like “Here lies (the carbon ashes of) Dave Hampton – an Environmentalist.”

I’m aware that psychologically speaking I am “projecting” all good things onto the E-word: Environment.  And what’s wrong with that?  In an ideal world we can all project all good things onto “Environment” “Nature” – and onto all beings. Our true Nature.  One.

My spiritual belief system is that plants, beings, soil, water and air are sacred.

“I believe in God it’s just that I spell it  N a t u r e”  – Frank Lloyd Wright.

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Creative commons Image Credit- spunfunkster under CC-BY-NC-SA

If what we see ‘out there’ in the world is bad people, doing bad things, in a bad system, then guess what?  We won’t be welcomed in to ‘change’ anything.  If, on the other side of our heart, we see compassionate people doing the best they can, in difficult circumstances, it becomes so much easier, to effect deep, lasting change.  Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about.  Be kind.

Be kinda green?

FOUND:
Big Hearted Friendly Environmentalists.
7 billion of them.

(((((((green hug)))))))

Is this part of the key to unlock just why Governments so often dys-function?

There is a vast body of (e.g. spirit level) evidence that increasing the “rich-poor” divide makes us sick, unhappy, and fearful.  Pursuing policies that make the rich even richer is not just wrong, (although wrong’s enough, in my book) but also illogical in terms of the self-interest of the rich. It is the politics of self-harm. And those who lead this way need our compassion. They need help!

Supposing this is ‘just’ a cock-up – Abilene style – rather than a conspiracy of a few bad men?

“The Abilene paradox is a paradox in which a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of any of the individuals in the group. It involves a common breakdown of group communication in which each member mistakenly believes that their own preferences are counter to the group’s and, therefore, does not raise objections. A common phrase relating to the Abilene paradox is a desire to not “rock the boat”

Interstingly  – “not rocking the boat” (sorry for those enduring floods today) – was an expression that I heard more during the 7 years as part of the Civil Service (early 1990s) – than at ANY other time in my life.  A clue perhaps?

When the governmental lifeboat has big holes in it – rocking the boat helps us progress.

(Imagining)  An Extraordinary Speech from the Prime Minister of Great Britain 
February 6th 2014 – check against (future?) delivery

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Dear People of Britain

 

It is with heavy heart that I speak to you today.

 

The British Isles are under attack.

 

We have no foreigners to blame, no scapegoat, no opposition.

 

Our attacker is extreme weather, and it is here to stay, for generations.

 

Many saw this coming; indeed the first warnings were fifty years ago. And I should like to offer an apology, as one of the many consecutive Prime Ministers who, over that period, felt we had to turn a blind eye, deny all reality, and instead speak to the more pressing ‘urgent’ (but ultimately, on a dead planet, unimportant) issues of the day, like “retail sales data” or “talking up the housing market (bubble)”. Prime Minsters and their advisers have, until now, mistaken the ‘urgent’ for the ‘important’. We ignored the latter. All I can do now is apologise. And speak today about what is important.

 

As you well know, I chaired a COBRA meeting yesterday, about the floods and storm damage. The normal pattern of parliamentary events (normal over the last half century) would be to issue a press release stating, very firmly, that Your Government is taking Immediate Action to ensure that the (perfectly predictable) tragedies you see on your televisions can “Never ever happen again”. In turn, you the people pretend to have short memories, and we move on.

 

But we all know this old approach fools no one – and is utterly broken. The truth is that extreme weather events will happen again, and again, with devastating regularity, severity, ferocity even. This much we know.

 

It is hard, as your PM, to say this to you, but:-

 

I . am . powerless . to . stop . this .

 

We could have prepared much better for these times. But we are where we are.

 

There are two things any PM could do now. One can be done in secret, without your support or participation. And already is, I am ashamed to confess. That is the deployment of state or private wealth, at the level of the individual or gated community, to try to buttress ourselves from the worst. At National scale we can establish “Fortress Britain” which probably sounds an attractive option to many of you. But sadly there is more bad news. There is no fund large enough to provide for inclusion of 63 million of you.

 

The truth is that hard decisions will have to be taken (already are being taken), behind closed doors, to ‘write off’ some parts of the previously-United Kingdom. It will become more and more obvious to you that ‘your’ government is presiding over a Divided Britain. Where a few percent of you are gated, protected, and nurtured. (A bit like ‘Westminster village’ may appear on TV.) And the rest of you? Left to rot.

 

I simply cannot continue in that role. When I wrote this speech I wondered if I would be escorted from the stage at this point, and the plugs pulled on the BBC cameras, but it appears I have another minute or so… to I shall continue… to speak from the heart…

 

I can’t continue to lead a Britain for the few. Not just because it would be wrong and unfair, though perhaps that is reason enough, but because ultimately it would fail. No fortress wall could ever be built strong enough.

 

In our hearts we know – as humans – the truth that all ‘beings’ are interconnected. Watching people or animals die – outside – would kill us – inside. Metaphorically and literally. No thanks.

 

And here is the hardest thing for you to hear: I invite you to wake, and open your hearts and eyes to the reality that ‘Fortress Britain’- for a wealthy few, is not just a **future** possibility, it is already here. It is the Britain we have gotten used to, these last 50 years. Watching poorer communities drown, starve, bake or otherwise go under. We are the rich 1 percent, globally. Being aware of this sets us free. So what is to be done?

 

If you wish me to continue as your PM – here is what I will do.

 

I will start to refocus all of our famous British ingenuity, creativity, resilience and effort towards realising how – all of us – that’s 7 billion of us – can live a decent life in ecological balance with our beautiful home planet. I would of course work with other heads of state on this.

 

This may lead to considerably less ‘luxury’ at home for all of us, right now, but how much is enough? Food and clean water on the table? A roof over our heads? That is achievable for us all. Imagine the prospect of participating in a decade or two of a great effort – in order to reestablish a working basis for productive ecological livelihoods – on this fertile planet – that can be sustained ever more. What a brave legacy that could be, for all who follow us.

 

I would work to immediately secure a global climate peace deal – acceptance of fair, binding and radical targets, for the phase out of all forms of pollution. All this can be agreed tomorrow, without one more day of dither and delay. This fossil fuelled delusion ends here. And a bright green future starts. (Yet we can’t be sure what it will look like.)

 

We can build a pathway into the future for our grandkids: we can build a bridge – to a future world – for all children, of all species, of all nations, for all time. Can we build it? Of course we can. We are a proud nation of Bob The Builder’s.

 

Many of us will not live to see the fruits of our labours, but we can set sail; with new resolve and determination, and address all the upstream causes of our major “falling-out” with the Mother of all Nature, the Earth that we ultimately – and utterly – depend upon. This is like building the foundations – of a new whole-Earth “Cathedral”. It may take generations to build. But it will be worth it. Imagine the pride when it is finished.

 

We can re-establish how we live, interconnected with one another, even the poorest, and with Nature once again. There’s no alternative. Not a living one, at least.

 

So today I ask – will you back me in this – or sack me.

 

Will you demand that I start to address the upstream causes of the many and various unfolding collapsing flooding consequences of our divided kingdom – and phoney civilisation?

 

– or –

 

will you kick me out of your fortress, and spend your savings building a wall. Higher still. The same wall that will divide you from your own survival.

 

Listen to your heart. I did. It wrote this speech for me.

All by itself. Maybe it speaks to you. Thank you.