online: 23 april 2007
modified: 22, 23 april 2007

22 april 2007 earth day

19:59 ...Pryors Field, a wide meadow with a view of city towers beyond the surrounding forest... a still, summery evening in april... the sky is pale blue and pink except for some long blue grey clouds shaped like smiling lips... i can see two or three people in the distance but only one person nearby... a flight of geese is circling the trees and honking as it goes.. and now it or they are flying towards the ponds... i hear a woodpecker drilling into a tree and i see and hear a sequence of aeroplanes returning to Heathrow... and not making much noise (because, i suppose, jet engines have become quieter)... being Earth Day, Google has provided a questionnaire by which to discover one's ecological footprint... mine is about 6 hectares which is about the average for industrialised countries... if everyone lived as i do we'd need more than 3 earths... i thought i was living with less energy than that, but apparently not...

...Google asks us not to be shocked by the result but to keep calm and take effective action... as i experienced this obviously well-organised website i felt again (as i felt in the 1970's at discovering that there had by then been about 500 conferences on the environment) that the ecological problem will be solved as the degree of public awareness and competence is sufficient (or soon will be)... the underlying problem, as i see it, is how to organise for global action without the hierarchy and the specialisation that i think causes world problems (neglect of the whole) to arise in the first place... a dictator might solve the ecological problem, but not without worsening the political... the station:

...two people are throwing and catching a frisbee across the tracks, from one platform to the other... they are very skilled, each one directs the frisbee close to the other's catching hand and neither drops it...

...then two other people arrive with 6 plastic clubs with which they begin to juggle between them, seldom dropping any...

... i get in the train to find a boy sitting inside on a stunt bike... at the next stop he and the bike jump onto the platform and he does a (one) wheelie ride all along it...

...what do they tell me, those spontaneous performances?... that we are incredibly skilled, and can learn to do the most amazing things without commanders or teachers or experts (if motivated to do so)... good news for the earth and for everyone, once we see ourselves as capable beings and once green action becomes fashionable!...

(these pages are designed to be read with the window set to two-thirds of the screen width)

what's new



daffodil email newsletter

© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 john chris jones

You may transmit this text to anyone for any non-commercial purpose if you include the copyright line and this notice and if you respect the copyright of quotations.

If you wish to reproduce any of this text commercially please send a copyright permission request to jcj at