One thousand years ago (well, next year it will be anyway) there lived a King. A king who not only ruled over England and Scotland but a large part of Northern Europe including Denmark and Norway.
He was not, as popular history would have it, a madman but a devout Christian. When the English establishment gurus told him that any king of England had authority and command over the seas, he decided to show them that was not true by placing his throne at the English sea shore and while sitting on it (his seat of power) he spoke to the waves telling them of his authority and how they were not to come up over his land and wet him. Well, as expected, he got wet.
That was of course, King Canute (or Cnut) and the experience of that day should have settled the matter. But, not twenty years later, some barmy Pom wrote the song: ‘Rule Brittania, Brittania rule the waves…’, which the English still sing at times of either stress or national pride, with all of the gusto that they can muster.
As irrelevant and blatantly incorrect as holding on to that position and belief may be, they, or some of them, still firmly cling to it.
This is not however, a purely English trait. A prominent and pertinent example of that would be that the whole world, or those portions of its population whose lives are so entwined in the modern world economy that they require and fully expect it to continue as they have always known it, purely because they think that they own and have control of it, whether that be in a very small or a great and powerful way. They share the same mindset that held eminence in the English establishment of Cnut’s time. And that is damnably difficult to shift.
Such reticence to perceive and accept reality can usually only be shifted when it is finally overcome by a much more powerful force, often a force of nature. Much as the ocean dis-contemptuously dealt with the expectations of the English when Cnut was King.
We stand today at the foreshore of reality, firmly in the belief that our civilisation, our economy, our modern way of life, our technology, our culture, our species even, is in total control of our own destiny and that we control or hold in abeyance the forces of the Natural World. After all, we have two centuries or so of ample evidence to that effect to back up our position. We have done pretty much whatever we have damn well liked over that term and Nature has not batted an eyelid in its own defense or given any indication that it cares or is in any way worried about the situation.
Or has it? Maybe subtly at first, but growing now in intensity, Nature is letting us know that it may not always tolerate what we are doing. More overtly it is gathering its forces to potentially show us just who is in charge.
I have said in the past that the year 2014 was to be the year everything changed. I think that was our ‘Last Chance Saloon’ event. We missed it.
I have also said that this year 2015 is the year the upheaval begins, and I see no reason to change that projection. Others have also come to the same conclusion.
Here is one.
Paul Gilding, an Independent writer & advisor on sustainability and owner of The Cockatoo Chronicles blog, who, from his own bio:
“has spent 35 years trying to change the world, doing everything he can think off. He’s served in the Australian military, chased nuclear armed aircraft carriers in small inflatable boats, plugged up industrial waste discharge pipes, been global CEO of Greenpeace, taught at Cambridge University, owned and run two ground-breaking sustainability focused companies and been a close confidant and advisor to the CEOs of some the world’s largest companies.”
Paul last year published the book The Great Disruption which I have just purchased, and therefore cannot comment on until I have read it, has also just published this blog post, which is well worth the read, since it deals with what I have been talking about above. Not so much what Nature has to say to us, but how the change in global mindset is about to alter, or be altered.
We alter, or we get altered. That is where Nature comes in. Actually I will rephrase that. We get altered whether we alter or not. Any upheaval will not just be down to Nature but will also emanate from the forced or voluntary move away from the fossil fuel industry, which in reality means all modern industry. That cannot be described in any other way than by using words like ‘upheaval’ and ‘disruption”.
One quotation from this piece:
“Black and white getting blacker and whiter can’t influence those who don’t want to see.”
I think this may be the longest introduction I have ever made.
This is the year the “dam of denial” will break and the momentum for climate action will become an unstoppable flood. It will be messy, confusing and endlessly debated but with historical hindsight, 2015 will be the year. The year the world turned, primarily because the market woke up to the economic threat posed by climate change and the economic opportunity in the inevitable decline of fossil fuels. That shift will in turn unlock government policy and public opinion because the previous resistance to action argued on economic grounds, will reverse to favour action on economic grounds.
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