Governments are not listening to scientists. They tell us that once we pass the tipping point we will have runaway climate change, and the earth will migrate to a temperature of +5 degrees. At 5 degrees, we now refer to a map promulgated by Nasa – public information, if you draw a line level round the world at a point level with Paris, everything below that line is uninhabitable. That means that by the end of this century there’ll only be 1 billion people left. We don’t know if we’re passed the tipping point, all we know is we’re very close to it. It will all be very clear within the space of a generation.
The problem is Rot$ which is the name I give to the Rotten Financial System – monopoly capitalism. It’s the cause of climate change, and the financial crisis, and the solution is the One World Economy which is founded on the moral that what nature gives us free cannot be privately owned: not land, not airwaves, not underground. That this should take the form of rent which is paid into the public purse, one tax only (no income tax). Many economists are now moving towards this shift. But there isn’t time.
But there is a new hope, scientists are on the march, they have a plan to re-wild the world and this can happen so quickly, within the space of a human generation. Remember this timespan. It could be back to what it was 100, 200 years ago and this would give us time to transfer to a new economic system.
One thing for sure, if we do survive, we will have different values. What can you do to prepare for this? Just a couple of suggestions: if you don’t have a car, don’t get one. If you do have one, use it as little as possible and keep it for the rest of your life: don’t buy a new one. If you live in London you don’t need a car, a car is a box full of plastic, it’s invention is the biggest factor in the breakdown of communities – it means you don’t engage with the world, you just ride the world. Life is much more adventurous without it.
For example, a mother may take an hour every morning taking her children to their chosen school, much better if your children go to the local school, ok so it’s supposed to be a terrible school, not ticking the right boxes. I was a teacher, I still am, education is about giving children the confidence to self-educate, it’s not about ticking boxes, so you would have to engage with your child more, you’d have to help them with their education; and it would be great if you were also involved with the school to help bring up the standard of the school. In this case you’d get more involved with other parents. This is the new world: start now. We’ve got people working for us, whose wage covers the cost of childcare. You have to put your personal life before your job. Your biggest responsibility is your children.
Example two, I told Chiki and his friends: engage with the world. You have to read, you get out what you put in, a film is a story about other people, a book is a story about you. I gave Chiki three books to rotate with two of his friends. He’s mixed race American, so I chose books about white Americans, ‘Of Mice and Men’ John Steinbeck, ‘Catcher in the Rye’ Salinger and the third book, Pinocchio – all greats in world literature. Pinocchio’s been translated into more languages than the bible. Collodi, the author, was a theatre critic, and the writing is a model of the power of language. It was written for kids, it’s about a puppet who wanted to become a boy, what greater story could there be. My three friends have really got into this, I don’t know whether they’re going to extend their circle or just stay the three of them.
I sent them an article on Anthony Ray Hinton. He was a victim of misrule of law by government; an innocent man, arrested at random and convicted by a court in Alabama. He was on death-row for 50 years and formed a book club within the jail for his own sanity. In those years, the members of the club all went to the electric chair, but he was finally freed thanks to the Supreme Court unanimously overturning the conviction in 2015.
But there is talk of forming a band and featuring the story of Pinocchio. This is an easy thing to do and I want other kids to consider it, I’d be really happy if there were 10 bands in different parts of the world. And I hope other people form book clubs.