Speech at Hyde Park Speakers Corner on Friday 2nd at 6pm about how we can make a Better Century!

Hi everyone,

I’m speaking at Hyde Park corner about how we can this century one to be proud of. Come and support if you’re available. It would be great to meet some of you all in person!

Here’s the facebook event:

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How annoying! I work just down the road, but I’m not in the office tomorrow! Hope it goes well.

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So, I thought I’d write up the speech for everyone so they had access and embed a sound recording (may do something in video if it look good).

I hope I’ve made you all proud. This has been a great practice for me and it will be improved.

The Written Speech

I’m going to speak about:

  • The challenges of this century
  • The failure of our system to tackle them
  • What we could achieve if we put our collective mind and spirit together
  • How we can start doing that today
  • And what we need to do to make this a Better Century, one which we can be proud of.

But before I begin I want to reflect on our recent past.

We have a lot to be proud of about human civilization today. In the 20th century, we recovered from two world wars, and healed, we have since:

Dramatically improved literacy rates. Infant mortality has fallen (70/1,000 to 30/1,000). Number of deaths from guns has dropped dramatically. Fertility (number of children per women) has fallen from 5 to 2.5.

We’ve averted some important crisise with technology and cooperation for instance; AIDs, Nuclear Conflict, Ozone layer depletion.

However we have been left with some unprecedented challegnes and to overcome them we are going to need to be the bravest generation!

Climate change - concentration of CO2 - 335ppm (1970) - 415ppm (Today) - unknown in 14 million years! 20 of the hottest years on record have be in the last 22

We are at a tipping point - already signs of negative feedback loops of this climate problem are here.

The Arctic Tundra is burning naturally, the arctic sea ice is at it’s lowest recorded level.

Already we are seeing dramatic weather events here in Britain - the heat wave followed by recent freak flooding is a great example of it.

But onto of climate breakdown we are seeing an ecosystem breakdown

60% of the total weight of all insect has dropped since 1970 mainly because of agriculatural and development pressures. We are in the 6th extinction level event known in fossil history. In the UK alone 10% of species are on the red list (at risk of going extinct), with 56% in decline.

On top of all of this our population is on the rise

  • 2.5 billion in 1050
  • 7 billion today
  • 9 billion by 2050

What we’ve achieved to date could all be undone leaving the possible legacy of a greedy species that destroyed our planet and degraded every honourable sense of human morals on the way out.

Already the super rich are meeting to discuss what they will do ‘in the event’

Already national security report to the likes of the Australian government are of a breakdown of civilization as we know it.

Already countries like the UK and China are either hand pollinating crops or are importing bees.

Let’s wake the hell up - this is a crisis!

“It is not a drill” shout extinction rebellion “Tell the truth” says Greta Thurnberg

And most people accept this century will be one of disaster. That makes me ask 'What is the bloody point of anything we do?"

Let’s bring it home

Between 2030 and 2050 London is likely to have average summer temperatures of 35 degrees - our parks will be grey or yellow, not green. Regular flood events will destroy communities. We will need to withdraw from the coasts. Food will escalate in price. Poisoned whales and dolphins will be washed up on our shores

And abroad - well, it will be a lot worse! And they will want to come here!

Across the world we already have the evidence of climate driven migrations. 16 million people were displaced in Syria between 2002 and 2016, before war broke out.

Punjab in India known as the ‘bread basket of India’ has lost huge swathes of productive farming land due to climate change and people are migrating.

Regular floods in Bangladesh, which will soon be under water, are making people destitute.

Islands like the Maldives are having to build natural flood protection and are working very hard on the world stage to tackle this problem, because they know they are going to sink.

The coral reefs across our world are being bleached as the sea heats and rises.

Somewhere between 2040 and 2050 sea level will rise by about a meter as unprecedented melting of arctic and antarctic ice fills our oceans.

By the end of the century this rise in sea level could be 4 meters, engulfing huge areas of London, Kent and probably the whole of the Netherlands and Denmark.

What gets me is that we have all of the solutions!

With having solar panels on just 1% of our nation (2,635 km2) we could power out whole country with electricity. That’s 1%, already 5.9% has been built on and we could just that area.

Wind power in the north sea could power 80% of our energy needs. Wave and tidal 20%.

We have affordable, effective electric cars we could move to much earlier than 2040.

Air source and ground source heat pumps alongside an array of energy efficiency measures could reduce the heating energy needed in our housing stock by 40%, whilst we power all houses with 100% renewable energy.

Recent studies have found that we could decentralize the national grid, with 95% of power being sourced and stored locally.

If we allowed just 10% of our land to rewild we could absorb 20% of our current carbon budget whilst restoring biodiversity and soils in our country so that we have a carbon neutral economy that will be able to farm into the future.

Already due to advances in technology we can replace the use of herbicides with weeding robots.

We know that by attracting natural solutions to pest control we can have similar economic results to the use of pesticides.

We can implement zero till regimes (no ploughing) so that microbes survive helping soil quality, whilst maintaining production.

We can reduce food waste, which represents 40% of all food produced!

We can use biodegradable materials instead of plastics, even for our tires, which account for 50% of all plastic pollution and a huge contributor to climate change and air quality.

So what is stopping this most obvious change?

Complacency, politics and a combination of them both.

Complacency - we have a natural desire at this stage in human history to get short term rewards.

We want the endorphin rush of getting things quickly and easily.

We want to be lazy as when we have an abundance that’s what our bodies are programmed to do.

We a means to feed our lust and vanity by spending time on social media getting likes and shares.

Our politics is short term and therefore short sited. Since 1982 we have known about this crisis!

Our systems are not created to respond to long term, unprecedented challenges.

Our politicians are driven by the desire to be re-elected therefore they support our short term desires and are funded by those that want to maintain the status quo.

These things together create a toxic negative spiral!

With the forces at play as the currently are; with migration on our doorsteps and short term views in our minds, politics is dividing and people’s attitudes are becoming either protectionist or liberal.

The extremes of politics are being played out in front of our very eyes already with a big driver being migration… We are clearly reaching the limits of what our planet can provide to sustaining our lifestyles.

I liken the state of the human race to a single human being. It is like we are 21, we want things quickly. We like to consume and party. We aren’t quite ready to grow up and face the challenges so we are becoming more hedonistic as the pressure builds.

But… Our bank balance is running low. In fact our bank manager wants to call in the debts. We are now threatening with not being able to feed ourselves.

The question that now is posed to us, is - will we serve our addictive lifestyles by unwholesome means resulting in an ever degrading way of life or will we decide to grow up and live a meaningful existence?

We are like the billions of cells in that body. The difference is we have a say, and that body has to respond to our demands…

Will we remain complacent and complicit in supporting a system that is depleting our reserves or will we make a future bearable for our children and grandchildren? Possibly a better world than how we have found it ourselves, one that is truly sustainable…

How are we going to do it and is it possible?

These are the hurdles always thrown in front of me:

  • What about the rest of the world - we can’t trust them to help out!
  • Human beings are inherently greedy - they can’t be changed!
  • Short term politics locks us into disaster - Brexit has to be more important!
  • We need a disaster to get people to wake up!
  • Our politicians have to implement policy then I’ll do it!
  • I can’t contribute - I’m too busy…

Now is the time to create a movement of positivity. To coalesce around an idea. We CAN make a century which is better for our children and grand-children, than any other century known in history!

But… how is this possible?

We need to occupy change at every level. People need the knowledge of things they can do to make change, and they need support.

People need to see others change and they will then be encouraged to do the same.

We need a means to take our ideas and collective wisdom to our governments and demand support in making a future we can all be proud of!

This challenge is one for everyone to lead on - we all have to lead my example… It is this simple… What will our children think of us if we do not!

I have started the kernal, the seed of this change just 7 weeks ago. Already 150 people have come in solidarity to join the Better Century community. Already we have the kind of experience and knowledge in our community which could help anyone make a significant contribution in their own way.

We do not demand that people become vegan or wear sandals. Quite the opposite. We are inclusive as we believe whatever contribution that can be made in our busy lives should be supported.

You can already get advice from our community about reducing your use of plastic, making your homes more energy efficient, moving to 100% renewable energy supply, making ethical investments, using electric vehicles, using a bike in day to day travel, putting up solar panels, installing an air source heat pump and much much more!

This collective knowledge base is a game changer. The encouragements people could experience from doing something good, could transform what we do online and in our lives.

If we build a big enough community not only will we have the knowledge but the political will to push politicians. Whole communities could be pulled together by Better Century. Communities that provide solutions as well as challenging politicians. Communities empowered with knowledge and experience to make change.

I ask you - can we really trust short term politics with the crisis ahead? Isn’t it time we took matters into our own hands? Isn’t it time that we, the people, make the change we want to see in the world rather than sitting around idly?

We then… let’s make a Better Century!

My friends it would be beautiful! Our children would be so proud!

My vision of a Better Century is this (but you can have your own vision):

  • No more geopolitical issues because we are self sufficient and don’t rely on oil and gas
  • Reduced use of resources giving us more time for community and family
  • More stable economics not making us rich BUT happy
  • A thriving, bio diverse ecosystem around to inspire our day to day lives.
  • Cleaner air and water which improves our health
  • A feeling that we work every day to create a beautiful improved future.

Today I invite you to make a Better Century, to join a community that is committed to transform our hopes.

To support a business like no other which is both a movement, a reference point, a support system, a lobby and social change maker.

A new form of social media that doesn’t promote vanity but compassion and care…

Your contributions will make change in the following ways.

By sharing you will encourage others. By learning you will find a way to be part of the solution. By acting you will be the change you want to see in the world. And by participated you will fund and enable change.

My promise to you as founder is we will do everything we can to make a century where all life thrives!