Monday, 28 March 2011

Melting Ice-caps and Population Displacement

On March 8th 2011 NASA reported that the ice caps are melting at a faster rate than has been modelled by science and that by 2050 (just 39 years from now) the sea level will have risen by 12.5 inches.

The authors caution that considerable uncertainties remain in estimating future ice loss acceleration. However they also state that the rate of ice loss has been greater year on year for the past 18 years.

According to Google this means that by 2050 there will be 916,272 displaced people in the UK alone.
4,286,286 displaced in Europe.
10,653,789 in Asia.
A total of 29,982,661 displaced people across the world.

Look at the figures on the globalfloodmap for Japan. They suggest 2,158,444. The recent Earthquake and Tsunami is has caused an estimated 500,000 to be displaced. The predicted rise in sea level will cause 4.3 times as many people in Japan to loose their homes as the Tsunami did.

Where will all these people go?
29,082,661 people across the world.

Where will they all go? What are we doing globally to prevent disaster on an epic scale; to plan for where people will go and how they will be moved out of their current homes and what will happen to them financially as they loose their homes and possibly their jobs.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Worshipping at the altar of share-prices- like it or not- we all do!

I have been deeply moved over the last couple of weeks by the events reported from the Arab World and from Japan.

Japan was interesting in that it initially had no effect on me. I watched the news, the videos of events unfolding as an intellectual exercise, finding myself saying to myself, “that is awful!” but not ‘feeling’ anything.
My conditioning said to me “you are supposed to think this is terrible” so a voice in my head said “terrible” but I felt no empathy!

Then I picked up via facebook an incredible letter from the rubble of Sendai and I began to feel.

Now the emotions as I watched the newsreels from Japan, and those of the Libyan conflict were overwhelming; nothing else in life seemed relevant.
My business meeting had little meaning, price of Diesel, little meaning; my shopping spree, little meaning, my car into the garage for repair, little meaning: but what did hold meaning as I struggled with my churning emotions was checking for wildlife in the pond in the garden; watching the bees start to hum around the tulips, filling up the bird feeder and watching the robin and Blue Tits visit, placing my palm on my daughters swollen belly and feeling my unborn grandchild kicking.

There was talk on the radio of Japan’s stock exchange collapsing because of the nuclear threat. Then talk of inward investment into Japan being a good stock option because they have to rebuild. The markets continue to bounce around at the whim of a comment that sets the traders off and running to one cliff edge and then the other like the proverbial lemmings and businesses rush around as if they, and they alone hold importance; hold value.

So holding in contrast the stark life and death news reports that are hitting our awareness; the Middle Eastern conflicts, the recent floods in Australia, the earthquake in New Zealand, the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown threat in Japan, the icecaps melting far more rapidly than was expected; all of this held in contrast with the rapid and constant fluctuations of the financial markets, the stocks and shares games that people play is a strangely dreamlike state; and yet we rush around in our day to day world of business as if the markets hold more importance than any of these world events; and rightly so for indeed they do.

That rush around in business sucks you in, creates a feeling of importance; of reality; becoming ever more real as the treadmill of buy and buy of must have consumer products, must have financial products, must have, must have feeds the commute and the starting early and working late, slaves to the god called finance, the god called "share index". Slaves to our pension fund invested in futures, invested in oil; ensuring the banks that are too big to fail.

Whoever we are, whether in the corporate world or not share index rules our world and rules our lives. We run around, not even recognising the worship of this god and missing the “true” value of our lives. Worse, we impose this god on everything, on people, on land, on the sea; a god universally worshipped. A god made from a bunch of numbers in a computer that a very small number of people manipulate casino style. The economy and the markets should be there to serve Life, instead we live our lives in service of and ruled by the economy.

For a moment only; the eerie quiet that people report hit Japan stopped the god from ruling their individual least for one brief moment sanity returned. It has taken a disaster of such magnitude to briefly halt the worshipping.

Fiona Hayes