Saturday, 18 May 2019

This is a Global Emergency: No more! Enough is Enough!

#ClimateEmergency #EcologicalBreakdown #BiodiversityLoss

Fridays For Future, Oslo.
Fridays For Future, Oslo.

Swedish schoolgirl and climate activist, Greta Thunberg came to the public attention through the school strikes for climate which she instigated, which have since spread around the world. It’s heart-warming news to see her courageously standing up on the world’s stage and speaking on behalf of her generation and the generations to come, of the dire climate crisis, ecological breakdown, and rapid and deep loss of biodiversity that we are now facing. Thunberg tells us that she is only bringing our attention to what climate scientists have been saying for years. Scientists now predict that we have a small window of opportunity – perhaps only 12 years – in which to reduce CO2 levels (carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels; etc) before we hit a tipping point and global heating really goes out of control. If the world’s climate (not weather patterns) heats up much more, then permafrost near the poles will thaw at an increasing rate, releasing huge amounts of previously-trapped methane into the atmosphere – and methane is a gas that has a far more potent and dangerous greenhouse effect than CO2.

The climate crisis is, of course, only part of the wider picture. Equally alarming is the ecological breakdown and loss of biodiversity, issues that have led to the prediction that the world is facing a sixth extinction or Anthropocene extinction, as a result of human activity. Indeed, with the ongoing extinction of many species, we have already entered the sixth extinction phase in Earth’s history, and in response to this, a new global movement of activists, Extinction Rebellion, has also been holding protests throughout the world and demanding change.

Mostly as a result of the work of activists like school strikes for climate and Extinction Rebellion, and meetings with politicians, several governments have declared climate emergencies. However, if further action is not taken by governments, industry and other key players, then the protests will continue and grow still further.

This is only one major part of a much wider picture, however ...

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The Cultural Creatives: Book Review

The Cultural Creatives
★★★★★ The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the World by sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson which came about after 15 years of extensive research is a fascinating, detailed, nuanced and easily-readable work.

This compelling book provides historical and detailed macroscopic overviews, interspersed with microscopic interviews with Cultural Creatives from many walks of life, and the fascinating and inspiring stories they each have to share.

It describes the three main categories of people in the Western world: the Moderns, the Traditionals, and the newly-emergent Cultural Creatives.

Just as Idries Shah's seminal work, The Sufis (about the Sufi mystical tradition) was in part a call to the "natural" Sufis in Western society, so this work is a call to the "natural" Cultural Creatives in the world – most of whom do not realize that there are so many others like them; who may feel isolated and misunderstood; perhaps round pegs in square holes; and who don't know how they turned out the way they are.

The modern mainstream, the Moderns, are still running the show after 500 years, and "standing pat"; accepting the system and doing the best they can with the Modern worldview; hanging in there (often unwilling or unable to change), in the face of increasing dysfunction.