I have always believed in people, but something shifted in the past decade. Perhaps it is my fault; perhaps Apple’s. Eleven years ago they invented the iPhone. I recall it well. My wife had a clunky mobile for work and I'd been wondering why Apple didn’t transform the phone market. After all, in 2001 they created the revolutionary iPod, which changed everything in the music business, and in 1987 they invented the extraordinary Newton, basically a modern smart phone without the phone bit and in a frame the size of a novel and accessed with a magic pencil. Then the iPhone arrived in 2007. At first people were bowled over by my wife and her new gimso, but within two years everyone had got it and the world went crazy for it. What the smart phone has done is remove us from reality by drawing us all inside it’s little frame where the world’s wonders and all sorts of magic erupt and capture us. And of course smart business minds, lets call them The iBrigade, got in there too and worked out how to entrap us into their wild-west vision of consumerism, the mad, mad rush to devour everything we are now involved in. Ensnared, we little folk naturally feel helpless, like the fly in the spider’s web. (skip to conclusion of the accademic article here) For a while I was partly caught up in this frenzy, but it quickly lost its appeal, I'm not very materialitic, and I love being out in the reality of nature far more. For the past 40 years, like many others, I've worked to wake the public up to the complex environmental catastrophe we now face. Almost everyone thought we were cranks, “Potty headed Environmentalist”, I’ve been called. But friends who pointed out the dangers and acted with power were chased around the country by the Police, who ought to protect us from danger. Today everyone everywhere, apart from the odd crank, knows that what we said then is fact. However, people assume the problem is too large and they ignore it. If they realised there are lots of little things we can do, they would probably respond. Yet it isn't easy. Hoping to gather people in our village together to brainstorm the serious environmental problems facing us all, I recently sent an email to our website and was told it was too political. I had written:- “Let’s meet and explore if there’s anything we can do, together and as individuals, about Climate Change and Species extinction.” A friend suggested trying another settlement more interested in these matters and this gave me the idea that we can all do this. Try enticing people in your area into a cafe. Expose your fears and work out what little things you can do. That’s perhaps the best overall plan - stir the public’s conscience. We have to. There’s little time. When you who read this blog arrange little informal meetings, together we will generate a momentum which could ripple around the world. Go on, be brave. It is better than being a wimp and watching us destroy everything.
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