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James Martin's Lecture: Target Earth


12 Mar 2008 21 comment(s)


Following James Martin's lecture on 12 March, we are interested to know from those who attended the event what they think about the grand scale challenges of the 21st century.

Is this going to be humanity’s last century? Or will it be the century in which civilisation sets sail towards a far more spectacular future?

Has Dr Martin missed out any major challenges? Do you see alternatives to his suggestions for addressing them?

Submit your comments by clicking the "Add comment" link below. (Your email address will not be shown on the website.)


Comments:


Nick wrote on 09 Aug 2011 at 20:53

Rioting in London... not in the least surprising if you read Theodore Dalrymple.


Imran khan wrote on 28 Sep 2010 at 20:05

Nice Blog! well Written.


Cliff wrote on 13 Mar 2008 at 20:18

Glad that multi-disciplinary global perspectives are being given more attention, but very sad at the apparent poverty of thinking in key areas. Technological and scientific advances are indeed exciting and may enable a magnificent future for the species, but how we comprehend and manage the changes this will entail requires far more attention: collective maturation, development of consciousness, global mediation of resources- and power- imbalances. I found the words 'control' and 'tight management' used far more in the lecture than 'dialogue', 'embrace', 'welcome'. A truly magnificent future is more likely if we choose it; all of us. Including 'global governance' and 'conflict resolution' in the banner headlines is not very encouraging whilst James' comments betrayed very old-paradigm thinking in these areas. All credit to James Martin for what he is doing, but I do hope he recognises the inevitable paucity of thinking within the narrowness that is Oxford University, and take steps to broaden the intelligence-pool available to the 21st Century School.


Diana wrote on 24 Mar 2008 at 20:19

The real challenge is affecting change at a global level. As Dr Martin admitted in his fascinating lecture, we can see many of the soutions to the
pressing issues confronting the planet in the 21st century but persuading
you and I around the globe, and likewise companies, governments, and
nations to change is the key. So why is the School focussed on the former
when the need is to look at the latter? The Institutes only add to
a plehtora of research already being undertaken at Oxford
and elsewhere and with their very modest resources this seems both a
waste of the extraordinary generosity of Dr Martin and surely misses the
point of the School and where it has a real opportunity to add value. The
need is to look at how change can be affected in the extraordinarily
complex system that is our planet - the behavioural, social,
economic, commercial, governmental (and many other) drivers and
mechanisms that must be understood better and how to inflence decision
making at all levels.


Alison Stibbe wrote on 25 Mar 2008 at 20:09

This is an important comment. I am the Outreach Manager for the James Martin 21st Century School, and I agree that you are absolutely right about the need to effect change at the global level. The reason to fund the research initially is that James Martin strongly believes in the power of ideas and the need for developing new ways of thinking to address the unprecedented challenges that we face. No university has anything quite like this unique collaborative research effort, and you can hear in the Institute Directors' own words (http://www.21school.ox.ac.uk/r... just how much value is added to their research by this emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration.

As the 21st Century School moves to its next phase of development, the need for understanding and formulating new frameworks for generating positive global collective action has already been identified as a key priority among its aims. We recognise that no single solution will provide the answer to global problems. Our academics publish in peer-reviewed journals, produce academic reports, write books, articles and opinion editorials.

They speak to the media, engage with policymakers, sit on Select Committees, attend international conferences, participate in collaborative networks. All of these activities help to spread their research findings, build their ideas and identify pathways for real solutions. However, we still need to secure more funding to get leverage from Martin's original investment, to ensure that the School is enabled not only to address current challenges but also to reach the audiences who can develop the policies and initiate the practices that are needed to bring about positive change.


Frank Hajek wrote on 20 Oct 2008 at 20:29

Building on the comments about outreach and bringing about the necessary changes in human values that will lead to a more sustainable existence on earth, I think a JM Institute for Environmental Media and Advocacy could be quite productive. What do people think?


Nick wrote on 05 Aug 2009 at 20:32

James Martin, should you happen to read this, I?m hoping the following sort of thing is already well and truly in the pipeline, but the possibilities being vast, if nothing else I hope this will help to focus much needed attention.

Apparently, regarding a rock concert that Al Gore is organizing, Roger Daltrey (lead singer of The Who) said "We have problems with global warming, but the questions and the answers are so huge I don't know what a rock concert's ever going to do to help.?
"Everybody on this planet at the moment, unless they are living in the deepest rainforest in Brazil, knows about climate change.?

Where to focus?

Wikipedia ? a model, project, phenomenon that has surprised many. What I think we need to do is work at similarly modelling the earth online - google Earth?
Maybe? this model should be dedicated to the most pressing problems. Not just statistics like the World Clock thing, interesting though it is? let?s have visual data, intuitive, compelling. Zoom in/zoom out time lapse simulations etc iGlobe perhaps.

Take for instance what Daniel Goleman (recommend his discussion with Bill Moyers on youtube) is referring to as Radical Transparency (google Goodguide and Earthster).

I'd like to see the Life Cycle of products (maybe only a few examples would suffice - a compelling way to get people familiar with the process) input into software where you have an animation of this life cycle and all its impacts i.e. lines, maybe colour coded, moving across the surface of an Earth globe to represent the transport miles of the many various ingredients and estimated pollutants (destructive externalities) arising at the various stages (I know, a complex web even in the case of a glass jar).
At the end of this process the supply chain trail coalesces (visually drawn together) to represent all the information in compact form... the sort that could perhaps be stuck on products, maybe no different to the coding system that Good Guide has already devised.

I?ve not seen Inconvenient Truth, but I think it would good for this kind of thing to have that sort of attention.
On the more modest scale, campaign groups could have laptops displaying this sort of information in shopping areas, if it were visually arresting, people would soon become familiar with it and actually, I'd hope, be inspired by it.
People really ought to know as best as is realistic the true cost of their consumer lifestyle.


Nick wrote on 02 Sep 2009 at 20:55

James Martin spoke after the screening of the Meaning Of The 21 Century at the Phoenix, and Ian Goldin, quite rightly I suppose, and somewhat reassuringly, made clear that ?These are Jim's views, not those of the school.? I don?t recall his words exactly, he said something about neutrality and how ?the school is academic?.

Well, and recalling what Cliff said on Target Earth blog ?All credit to James Martin for what he is doing, but I do hope he recognises the inevitable paucity of thinking within the narrowness that is Oxford University??, nothings really neutral, and ?academic??
I don?t think of myself as particularly academic ? I?m all over the place, not specialized or particularly disciplined but I think James Martin is a man of vision and although it?s a while since I read Meaning Of The 21C and therefore not, at this point, directly responding to it? it covers so much ground that I do feel I can respond indirectly (nigh obliquely?) and keep it relevant.

When I read The Audacity Of Hope by Barack Obama it reinforced the sense that I had about him, that I dare say most people have about him? what you might describe as a breath of fresh air. For instance, Neal Lawson, in his book All Consuming, talks about the car salesman who uses ?very technical jargon about performance and handling that you won?t understand. He becomes a parental figure who takes us through threatening alien territory and ?helps us? buy what we ?need?.?

Sounds like a lot, the majority, of politicians (perhaps not so much the jargon, but the attitude) though I fear the salesman is more honest; but I don?t get that from Obama. I?m sure there are many who would argue that ?that?s what?s so insidious about his ?paternalism?.? I think they?re wrong.

Of course, this is where academia needs to take care also. Not to be what Daniel Pink http://www.danpink.com/ would call L-Directed, keepers of the SAT-ocracy.
It?s not simple, and I really don?t know if the James Martin School is failing or succeeding in this respect ? I?m quite sure at least some members are that way inclined, but over all, for what it?s worth, I think it?s on the right track. I dare say, I could do with being more L-Directed.

But anyway? what was it I was saying on the previous blog comment? ?I think people have way underestimated the scale and particularly the nature of the global crisis.?

Particularly the nature... well, underestimating the scale yes, but people understand the nature.

Quoting Theodore Dalrymple

>I asked him whether he had any other children.
"Four," he replied.
"How many mothers?"
"Three."
"Do you see any of your children?"
He shook his head. It is supposedly the duty of the doctor not to pass judgment on how his patients have elected to live, but I think I may have raised my eyebrows slightly. At any rate, the patient caught a whiff of my disapproval.
"I know," he said. "I know. Don't tell me."

These words were a complete confession of guilt. I have had hundreds of conversations with men who have abandoned their children in this fashion, and they all know perfectly well what the consequences are for the mother and, more important, for the children. They all know that they are condemning their children to lives of brutality, poverty, abuse, and hopelessness. They tell me so themselves. And yet they do it over and over again, to such an extent that I should guess that nearly a quarter of British children are now brought up this way.

and

??if members of the elite acknowledged the social disaster brought about by their ideological libertinism, they might feel called upon to place restraints upon their own behavior, for you cannot long demand of others what you balk at doing yourself.?

http://www.city-journal.org/ht...

This is the stumbling block, the wilful blind spot

?We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.?
Laplace

Well, such power is not possible and nor, surely, would it be desirable.

Know Thy Butterflies
There?s this, I?d say rather meaningless, notion that the flap of a butterfly?s wing could cause (be an essential link in a chain that leads to) a hurricane on the other side of the world.

What could, should, we know of the consequences of our daily actions?
I think the following link, the documentary, says probably more about what the vast majority of people already know, but wilfully deny, about how fundamental this issue is to the global crisis. It is so appalling, it is almost surreal.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programme...

as Dalrymple say?s
?The problem of upholding virtue and denouncing vice without appearing priggish, killjoy, bigoted, and narrow-minded has become so acute that intellectuals are now inclined either to deny that there is a distinction between the two or to invert their value. There is no higher word of praise in an art critic?s vocabulary, for example, than ?transgressive,? as if transgression were in itself good, regardless of what is being transgressed. Likewise, to break a taboo is to be a hero, irrespective of the content of the taboo. Who is more contemned than he who clings stubbornly to old moral insights??


Nick wrote on 30 Nov 2009 at 20:09

To quote englishhermit comment on cif blog

http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi...

"It was Gandalf who said that despair is for those who see the future without any doubt. We do not so there is room for hope - a fool's hope perhaps, but hope nonetheless.
Here's the outline of a plan for survival and a green economy which requires green business models and green products and services for those business models. In the first place it requires ideas. Where are those ideas going to come from? Not top down and not from the politicians that's for sure.
My proposal is conscription. Yes, compulsory national service. Two years in the Royal Land Army with military style discipline.
The first year will be spent planting, sowing, deslugging, harvesting and caring for the soil out in the open air eating proper food. It is about reconnecting to the planet and there will be plenty of time for thinking, away from the trivial distractions of modern life. There will be training and lectures, not just about horticulture and ecology but enterprise and technology too. This will act as a seed bed for the ideas.
The second year will be more of the same except for those who have come up with viable ideas or those who choose to undergo training in survival support like flood relief. These will be supported and funded so that by the end of that year there will be embryonic green businesses springing up all over the place with a labour force in tune with the ethos of green enterprise.
Certainly there will be failures. That's not necessarily a bad thing as failure is one of life's best teachers.
This will be a Royal Land Army run by the monarchy, not by the government. The monarchy has the influence to persuade the aristocratic landowners to make the land available whereas the government would only run into a brick wall of obfuscation and red tape.
This is a uniquely British solution and that is why it will work. We still have some of the finest minds on the planet. They need to be nurtured.
Dig For Victory!"

This is a long the lines of what If you think about it, probably most people in this country (probably in the 'West') probably the vast majority have been really very irresponsible, wishful thinking, with their finances, and more besides. They have, in effect, relinquished their rights over their destiny - the above type proposals are the least they deserve (to a large extent 'we', though I personally consider myself relatively responsible, frugal etc).

For some years, in my twenties, I was rather reclusive (still are, by most people's lack of standards, in rich nations anyway) for three years of that period I lived at a fairly remote Youth Hostel - Lots of school groups would stay over for several days at a time and the children apparently really enjoyed being without their modcons etc.
You've got to somehow get people out of their usual habits and preferably at fairly regular intervals. I know only too well what it's like getting into a rut, so to speak. It doesn't help when your world view consists largely of thinking of your everyday actions in terms of 'What's if everybody did this?' 'or that?'
Everyday comments such as 'what they don't know won't hurt them' or 'so long as you're happy, that's all that matters' become rather wearing, to say the least; I tend to withdraw into my 'rut'.


Nick wrote on 30 Nov 2009 at 20:16

If my last comment began "This is a long the lines of what If you think about it, probably most people in this...

It was meant to go This is a long the lines of what I've had in mind. If you think about it, probably most people in this...


Nick wrote on 31 Jan 2011 at 20:28

"I think the following link, the documentary, says probably more about what the vast majority of people already know, but wilfully deny, about how fundamental this issue is to the global crisis. It is so appalling, it is almost surreal."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programme...

I've recently discovered an interesting book on this issue. I'm not so sure about it being a 'feminist' issue, this is a human tragedy.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/life...


Cliff wrote on 26 Feb 2010 at 20:48

Glad that multi-disciplinary global perspectives are being given more attention, but very sad at the apparent poverty of thinking in key areas. Technological and scientific advances are indeed exciting and may enable a magnificent future for the species, but how we comprehend and manage the changes this will entail requires far more attention: collective maturation, development of consciousness, global mediation of resources- and power- imbalances. I found the words 'control' and 'tight management' used far more in the lecture than 'dialogue', 'embrace', 'welcome'. A truly magnificent future is more likely if we choose it; all of us. Including 'global governance' and 'conflict resolution' in the banner headlines is not very encouraging whilst James' comments betrayed very old-paradigm thinking in these areas. All credit to James Martin for what he is doing, but I do hope he recognises the inevitable paucity of thinking within the narrowness that is Oxford University, and take steps to broaden the intelligence-pool available to the 21st Century School.


Imran khan wrote on 01 Jun 2011 at 20:58

Nice Blog! well Written.


Frank Hajek wrote on 08 Jun 2010 at 20:42

Building on the comments about outreach and bringing about the necessary changes in human values that will lead to a more sustainable existence on earth, I think a JM Institute for Environmental Media and Advocacy could be quite productive. What do people think?


Diana wrote on 19 Nov 2009 at 20:00

The real challenge is affecting change at a global level. As Dr Martin admitted in his fascinating lecture, we can see many of the soutions to the
pressing issues confronting the planet in the 21st century but persuading
you and I around the globe, and likewise companies, governments, and
nations to change is the key. So why is the School focussed on the former
when the need is to look at the latter? The Institutes only add to
a plehtora of research already being undertaken at Oxford
and elsewhere and with their very modest resources this seems both a
waste of the extraordinary generosity of Dr Martin and surely misses the
point of the School and where it has a real opportunity to add value. The
need is to look at how change can be affected in the extraordinarily
complex system that is our planet - the behavioural, social,
economic, commercial, governmental (and many other) drivers and
mechanisms that must be understood better and how to inflence decision
making at all levels.


Alison Stibbe wrote on 23 May 2008 at 20:00

This is an important comment. I am the Outreach Manager for the James Martin 21st Century School, and I agree that you are absolutely right about the need to effect change at the global level. The reason to fund the research initially is that James Martin strongly believes in the power of ideas and the need for developing new ways of thinking to address the unprecedented challenges that we face. No university has anything quite like this unique collaborative research effort, and you can hear in the Institute Directors' own words (http://www.21school.ox.ac.uk/r... just how much value is added to their research by this emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration.

As the 21st Century School moves to its next phase of development, the need for understanding and formulating new frameworks for generating positive global collective action has already been identified as a key priority among its aims. We recognise that no single solution will provide the answer to global problems. Our academics publish in peer-reviewed journals, produce academic reports, write books, articles and opinion editorials.

They speak to the media, engage with policymakers, sit on Select Committees, attend international conferences, participate in collaborative networks. All of these activities help to spread their research findings, build their ideas and identify pathways for real solutions. However, we still need to secure more funding to get leverage from Martin's original investment, to ensure that the School is enabled not only to address current challenges but also to reach the audiences who can develop the policies and initiate the practices that are needed to bring about positive change.


Nick wrote on 07 May 2009 at 20:54

James Martin, should you happen to read this, I?m hoping the following sort of thing is already well and truly in the pipeline, but the possibilities being vast, if nothing else I hope this will help to focus much needed attention.

Apparently, regarding a rock concert that Al Gore is organizing, Roger Daltrey (lead singer of The Who) said "We have problems with global warming, but the questions and the answers are so huge I don't know what a rock concert's ever going to do to help.?
"Everybody on this planet at the moment, unless they are living in the deepest rainforest in Brazil, knows about climate change.?

Where to focus?

Wikipedia ? a model, project, phenomenon that has surprised many. What I think we need to do is work at similarly modelling the earth online - google Earth?
Maybe? this model should be dedicated to the most pressing problems. Not just statistics like the World Clock thing, interesting though it is? let?s have visual data, intuitive, compelling. Zoom in/zoom out time lapse simulations etc iGlobe perhaps.

Take for instance what Daniel Goleman (recommend his discussion with Bill Moyers on youtube) is referring to as Radical Transparency (google Goodguide and Earthster).

I'd like to see the Life Cycle of products (maybe only a few examples would suffice - a compelling way to get people familiar with the process) input into software where you have an animation of this life cycle and all its impacts i.e. lines, maybe colour coded, moving across the surface of an Earth globe to represent the transport miles of the many various ingredients and estimated pollutants (destructive externalities) arising at the various stages (I know, a complex web even in the case of a glass jar).
At the end of this process the supply chain trail coalesces (visually drawn together) to represent all the information in compact form... the sort that could perhaps be stuck on products, maybe no different to the coding system that Good Guide has already devised.

I?ve not seen Inconvenient Truth, but I think it would good for this kind of thing to have that sort of attention.
On the more modest scale, campaign groups could have laptops displaying this sort of information in shopping areas, if it were visually arresting, people would soon become familiar with it and actually, I'd hope, be inspired by it.
People really ought to know as best as is realistic the true cost of their consumer lifestyle.


Nick wrote on 05 Mar 2010 at 20:16

James Martin spoke after the screening of the Meaning Of The 21 Century at the Phoenix, and Ian Goldin, quite rightly I suppose, and somewhat reassuringly, made clear that ?These are Jim's views, not those of the school.? I don?t recall his words exactly, he said something about neutrality and how ?the school is academic?.

Well, and recalling what Cliff said on Target Earth blog ?All credit to James Martin for what he is doing, but I do hope he recognises the inevitable paucity of thinking within the narrowness that is Oxford University??, nothings really neutral, and ?academic??
I don?t think of myself as particularly academic ? I?m all over the place, not specialized or particularly disciplined but I think James Martin is a man of vision and although it?s a while since I read Meaning Of The 21C and therefore not, at this point, directly responding to it? it covers so much ground that I do feel I can respond indirectly (nigh obliquely?) and keep it relevant.

When I read The Audacity Of Hope by Barack Obama it reinforced the sense that I had about him, that I dare say most people have about him? what you might describe as a breath of fresh air. For instance, Neal Lawson, in his book All Consuming, talks about the car salesman who uses ?very technical jargon about performance and handling that you won?t understand. He becomes a parental figure who takes us through threatening alien territory and ?helps us? buy what we ?need?.?

Sounds like a lot, the majority, of politicians (perhaps not so much the jargon, but the attitude) though I fear the salesman is more honest; but I don?t get that from Obama. I?m sure there are many who would argue that ?that?s what?s so insidious about his ?paternalism?.? I think they?re wrong.

Of course, this is where academia needs to take care also. Not to be what Daniel Pink http://www.danpink.com/ would call L-Directed, keepers of the SAT-ocracy.
It?s not simple, and I really don?t know if the James Martin School is failing or succeeding in this respect ? I?m quite sure at least some members are that way inclined, but over all, for what it?s worth, I think it?s on the right track. I dare say, I could do with being more L-Directed.

But anyway? what was it I was saying on the previous blog comment? ?I think people have way underestimated the scale and particularly the nature of the global crisis.?

Particularly the nature... well, underestimating the scale yes, but people understand the nature.

Quoting Theodore Dalrymple

>I asked him whether he had any other children.
"Four," he replied.
"How many mothers?"
"Three."
"Do you see any of your children?"
He shook his head. It is supposedly the duty of the doctor not to pass judgment on how his patients have elected to live, but I think I may have raised my eyebrows slightly. At any rate, the patient caught a whiff of my disapproval.
"I know," he said. "I know. Don't tell me."

These words were a complete confession of guilt. I have had hundreds of conversations with men who have abandoned their children in this fashion, and they all know perfectly well what the consequences are for the mother and, more important, for the children. They all know that they are condemning their children to lives of brutality, poverty, abuse, and hopelessness. They tell me so themselves. And yet they do it over and over again, to such an extent that I should guess that nearly a quarter of British children are now brought up this way.

and

??if members of the elite acknowledged the social disaster brought about by their ideological libertinism, they might feel called upon to place restraints upon their own behavior, for you cannot long demand of others what you balk at doing yourself.?

http://www.city-journal.org/ht...

This is the stumbling block, the wilful blind spot

?We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.?
Laplace

Well, such power is not possible and nor, surely, would it be desirable.

Know Thy Butterflies
There?s this, I?d say rather meaningless, notion that the flap of a butterfly?s wing could cause (be an essential link in a chain that leads to) a hurricane on the other side of the world.

What could, should, we know of the consequences of our daily actions?
I think the following link, the documentary, says probably more about what the vast majority of people already know, but wilfully deny, about how fundamental this issue is to the global crisis. It is so appalling, it is almost surreal.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programme...

as Dalrymple say?s
?The problem of upholding virtue and denouncing vice without appearing priggish, killjoy, bigoted, and narrow-minded has become so acute that intellectuals are now inclined either to deny that there is a distinction between the two or to invert their value. There is no higher word of praise in an art critic?s vocabulary, for example, than ?transgressive,? as if transgression were in itself good, regardless of what is being transgressed. Likewise, to break a taboo is to be a hero, irrespective of the content of the taboo. Who is more contemned than he who clings stubbornly to old moral insights??


Nick wrote on 18 Feb 2011 at 20:23

To quote englishhermit comment on cif blog

http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi...

"It was Gandalf who said that despair is for those who see the future without any doubt. We do not so there is room for hope - a fool's hope perhaps, but hope nonetheless.
Here's the outline of a plan for survival and a green economy which requires green business models and green products and services for those business models. In the first place it requires ideas. Where are those ideas going to come from? Not top down and not from the politicians that's for sure.
My proposal is conscription. Yes, compulsory national service. Two years in the Royal Land Army with military style discipline.
The first year will be spent planting, sowing, deslugging, harvesting and caring for the soil out in the open air eating proper food. It is about reconnecting to the planet and there will be plenty of time for thinking, away from the trivial distractions of modern life. There will be training and lectures, not just about horticulture and ecology but enterprise and technology too. This will act as a seed bed for the ideas.
The second year will be more of the same except for those who have come up with viable ideas or those who choose to undergo training in survival support like flood relief. These will be supported and funded so that by the end of that year there will be embryonic green businesses springing up all over the place with a labour force in tune with the ethos of green enterprise.
Certainly there will be failures. That's not necessarily a bad thing as failure is one of life's best teachers.
This will be a Royal Land Army run by the monarchy, not by the government. The monarchy has the influence to persuade the aristocratic landowners to make the land available whereas the government would only run into a brick wall of obfuscation and red tape.
This is a uniquely British solution and that is why it will work. We still have some of the finest minds on the planet. They need to be nurtured.
Dig For Victory!"

This is a long the lines of what If you think about it, probably most people in this country (probably in the 'West') probably the vast majority have been really very irresponsible, wishful thinking, with their finances, and more besides. They have, in effect, relinquished their rights over their destiny - the above type proposals are the least they deserve (to a large extent 'we', though I personally consider myself relatively responsible, frugal etc).

For some years, in my twenties, I was rather reclusive (still are, by most people's lack of standards, in rich nations anyway) for three years of that period I lived at a fairly remote Youth Hostel - Lots of school groups would stay over for several days at a time and the children apparently really enjoyed being without their modcons etc.
You've got to somehow get people out of their usual habits and preferably at fairly regular intervals. I know only too well what it's like getting into a rut, so to speak. It doesn't help when your world view consists largely of thinking of your everyday actions in terms of 'What's if everybody did this?' 'or that?'
Everyday comments such as 'what they don't know won't hurt them' or 'so long as you're happy, that's all that matters' become rather wearing, to say the least; I tend to withdraw into my 'rut'.


Nick wrote on 12 Mar 2010 at 20:15

If my last comment began "This is a long the lines of what If you think about it, probably most people in this...

It was meant to go This is a long the lines of what I've had in mind. If you think about it, probably most people in this...


Nick wrote on 22 Jan 2010 at 20:13

"I think the following link, the documentary, says probably more about what the vast majority of people already know, but wilfully deny, about how fundamental this issue is to the global crisis. It is so appalling, it is almost surreal."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programme...

I've recently discovered an interesting book on this issue. I'm not so sure about it being a 'feminist' issue, this is a human tragedy.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/life...