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ONE WORLD, ENDLESS IDEAS

ONE WORLD, ENDLESS IDEAS

 

Non-stop talk about the injustice and calamity of climate change could induce fatigue when what we need is action on the ideas.   Many people have taken on the challenge of conscious living but many more need to be convinced to engage in do-it-yourself sustainable living.

 

Over time scientists have brought to our attention the adverse effects of our actions and we made changes that yielded positive results.

 

In the 1970s we learned that the chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons, used to propel product from aerosol cans were accumulating in the environment and depleting the Earth’s ozone layer.   We worried about the negative effects of a hole in the ozone layer such as skin cancers, eye cataracts, and immune deficiency disorder.   Some people worried about losing their hairspray.*

 

The formula was changed to propellants that do not deplete the ozone layer.   The good news today is that 99% of ozone depleting substances was phased out and the ozone layer is on the path to recovery.   Scientists estimate that by 2060s the hole in the ozone layer will be no more.

 

The Clean Air Act became law in the U.K. in 1956 in response to London’s Great Smog of 1952.   In the U.S.A., The Clean Air Act became federal law in 1955.   The laws are updated regularly.

 

Polar bears are on the way to extinction, we are told, if global warming continues melting the oldest and thickest Arctic sea-ice (95% melted now).   Polar bears stand on the Arctic sea-ice from where they hunt for food (seals, walrus, and other species).   However, explorers discovered a genetically distinct group of several hundred polar bears in Southeast Greenland that has adapted to hunt from chunks of glacier ice in Denmark Strait.   Scientific research on this distinct group may reveal how polar bears survived previous warm periods over 500,000 years since they split evolutionarily from brown bears.

 

Mary Robinson, as Chair of the Elders, is attending COP27.   In a recent interview she said that we need a ‘positive narrative’ on taking the right climate actions.   “What if our best times are still ahead of us, and we are heading for our worst, worst times”, is a quote by a Native American woman climate activist living with her tribe in New Mexico, U.S.A.

 

A ‘positive narrative’ would be a nice change from the ‘fear appeal’ ads that are used to persuade those who dread the risk of potential dangers and harm that will befall them if they do not act appropriately.

 

I took a look at a slice of life that is not ever-present in our mainstream media to see what their stance is to influence people to take seriously their duty to climate action.  

 

Design TO is a festival showcasing Canadian designers/artists in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.   Ontario College of Art and Design collaborates with University of the Arts, London, England.   The artists and designers have become part of the climate change conversation because they are trained to engage in visualizing things that are intangible.   They make work to engage the public in interacting with the work and reacting to it.

 

One idea was to imagine that everything around us will change and what can people do to adapt themselves to be able to live in the changed world.   A group at the University imagined a dystopian world and their challenge was to go into that world and bring back an artefact for successful living.   They designed an elaborate breathing apparatus, a bit like a gas mask, with balloons filled with a supply of breathable air attached to it.

 

Another group set up a transhumanist pharmacy that offered pills to enhance the physical and mental human condition.   One of the pills would cause a hump to grow on a person’s back to store water, for a journey.   (Ordinarily, most of the water in the human body is stored inside our cells.)

 

These design teams went out to public spaces and got a lot of engagement from all segments of society.

 

I was amazed to find so much imaginative thinking on how to slow climate change and exploring how people will live and work in a future environment.

 

Human obsession with hybrid animals dates back centuries.   Nowadays, transhumanists advocate the enhancement of humans by developing and making available technologies that increase our lifespan and our cognition.   We even consider using pigs as organ donors for humans. 

 

 

I got so caught up in reading about transhumanism and transgenic techniques that I almost forgot to write a story.

 

Notes:

* On May 5, 2016, at a campaign rally in Charleston, Trump implied that the regulations on hairspray and coal mining are both unwarranted. At the rally, an official from the West Virginia Coal Association endorsed Trump and presented him with a hard hat. Trump tried on the hat, which prompted him to talk about his hair:

Trump, May 5: Give me a little spray. … You know you’re not allowed to use hairspray anymore because it affects the ozone, you know that, right? I said, you mean to tell me, cause you know hairspray’s not like it used to be, it used to be real good. … Today you put the hairspray on, it’s good for 12 minutes, right. … So if I take hairspray and I spray it in my apartment, which is all sealed, you’re telling me that affects the ozone layer? “Yes.” I say no way folks. No way. No way. That’s like a lot of the rules and regulations you people have in the mines, right, it’s the same kind of stuff.

 

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