Together we can journey to a brighter future
Don’t you know that its true
That for me and for you
The world is a ghetto
Given that the word ghetto has evolved from meaning “a slum occupied by minority groups” to “a neighbourhood characterized by poverty, run down and occupied by the powerless”, the words of the song might ring more truly than we realise:
- Climate change and chemical pollutants are rendering our world less healthy for life and society as we would like it to be;
- Plastic in every form is turning up in the food we eat and the most pristine environments in the world;
- Food shortages are exacerbated by the conflict playing out in Ukraine and the drought in California with 49m people facing famine this year;
- The shifting geopolitics of energy also play a role. The USA now produces more oil than any other country. Russian might is being undermined by the EU’s plans and China produces minimal oil per head of population;
- The increasing disconnect between the financial and the real economy threatens global pensions and a recession in the USA.
In the face of this depressing global scenario, reprised in the political economy of SA, many are acting to mitigate these trends. With this newsletter we begin a series titled “Fellows in the Arena” referencing one of the most challenging readings of our Seminars. We will reflect on the journeys of our Fellows and what they come to do in our world to build a future different to the one predicted above. Please nominate anyone you think could be an example of who this network is comprised and what we do. It will encourage others and contribute to the tasks we face.
A thought: When we despair that individuals “can do nothing”, that only government and big business can act with any impact, remember this: The UK has 30 million home gardeners. If each one plants a medium sized tree and lets it grow to maturity they would store as much carbon as emitted by driving 450 billion kilometers. Joint action by large numbers works.
Help write a different song for our future!