I’ve been talking about this since 2015:
TL;DR: beautiful doable things are possible and sustainable and propose a world which is so much better than what exists that you desperately want to give it to those you love.
Years ago I heard about a project I’ve never been able to find; a former mine to be converted into a geothermal power source, the power then used to create light and heat for vertical farming in the old shaft, the consequence being that an immiserated, depleted mining community would live with a source of food and light in place of a gaping hole plunging into the dark.
Beautiful. And sufficiently appealing that in the angry depths of the UK’s Brexit debate in 2016 I was able to inspire delight in someone whose perceptions were diametrically opposed to mine. Wonder and hope are powerful offerings.
In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum I tried to pursue this kind of dreaming as a remedy for the despair I felt and the rancour that was (is) still part of the UK’s political discussion, but ultimately I had other things to do. For a few days, though, I toyed with ideas like a UK premised around a radical redesign of life which would invite water, fresh and salt, back into our lived experience. Stilt houses, flood plains, wave and tidal power, canals, river transport, home rainwater collection, grey water, aquaculture, even underwater orchards.
Whenever I see something like that, I think of the town around the corner from my parents’ old home in Cornwall: Mousehole. It’s a beautiful old fishing town which, given the fading of UK fishing, needs an additional purpose (or it’s ultimately going to turn into a hollowed-out tourist destination, with all the problems that entails.) Mousehole is built to the sea: literally everything about it looks at and is framed around the water and the harbour. So what could be done to take that lead and build a vibrant life with a sense of self-sufficiency and ownership of its own fate?
We have to start dreaming of bigger, more beautiful win conditions and end states so we can have nice things again.
Dreaming the future the way a nudibranch might dream of clouds. Join me.
" Wonder and hope are powerful offerings"
Wow, what a brilliant expression. We do indeed need some wonder and hope - locally, nationally and globally.
I nominate you as World President !!