Friday was my son’s 11th birthday and so we went out for dinner — my ex-wife, my three children, and me.
Over dinner I found my ex-wife passing on some useful information. Well two pieces of information really, both of which are interesting on their own, and which taken together are really quite striking.
The first piece of information comes from the television programme Horizon. Apparently research has been done which shows that independent thinkers are more likely to survive in a disaster.
For example, in the Twin Towers attack of 9/11 the people who followed the official advice (that the buildings were safe) and remained in their offices died. The people who decided for themselves to get out straight-away, lived.
Horizon tested this with some research. Put a person in a room, blow smoke under the door, and most people will get up and leave. But put the same person the same room with five actors who pretend that nothing is happening, and the sixth person now feels so embarrassed to go against what everyone else is doing that they now effectively ‘burn to death’ than stand up and walk out. Such is the power of peer pressure.
You can watch the TV programme on the BBC here, until around 20 April:
To me this is so obviously what is happening with Climate Change.
Everyone knows there is a problem, but we look around, don’t see anybody else doing anything different, and so we carry on regardless. We sit in the room with the smoke coming under the door and do nothing.
The same applies to Peak Oil… except that fewer people are talking about it so even fewer people think it is going to happen.
But here is a place where people are doing something. Here is the second piece of information that my ex-wife passed on.
There is a town in West Yorkshire that has “invoked the Second World War spirit of digging for victory by attempting to become the first in Britain to become self-sufficient in vegetables.”
Self-sufficient in vegetables.
“Every square inch of available ground in Todmorden is being dug up and turned into a vegetable plot.”
Sounds like “thinking for yourself” to me!
And here is the site where they say it in their own words:
“Incredible Edible Todmorden aims to increase the amount of local food grown and eaten in the town. Businesses, schools, farmers and the community are all involved. Vegetables and fruit are springing up everywhere. Public flower beds being transformed into community herb gardens and vegetable patches.
Our aim is for the town to be self sufficient in vegetables by 2018.” (Their own bold.)
How exciting! 🙂