About Ramblinactivist’s Blogs
OK, the above horrible (but necessary) self-promotional statement out of the way: Why do I blog?
Why “Ramblinactivist”? It wasn’t my idea. It was a label given to me in the peace movement during the middle-1980s, and it sort of stuck. I use it because, more than anything else, it very succinctly describes what it is I do.
I’ve been working with community groups for almost 40 years. 2021 marks thirty years since I left my ‘conventional’ job in engineering to become a ‘researcher & activist for hire’ – working first all around Britain, and then due to my IT skills, with development, education, and human rights projects in different countries. In all honesty though, what working with people from other countries taught me was how badly ‘over-developed’ people in Britain have become.
In all that time my focus on ecological issues has not changed from where it started out: Learning to live simply as a child; in a family generations of whom had lived that way; growing food at home and on allotments; keeping chickens; and foraging in the countryside. It made me an environmentalist. Of course, this lifestyle wasn’t about being ‘ecological’ or ‘green’. It’s simply the reality of growing up at the poor end of the traditional ‘semi-rural working class’ in Britain at that time – before consumerism came along and sought to eradicate that kind of lifestyle.
Curiously, I later found that this deeply ecological perspective was not welcomed in the movement who professed to represent that view point.
I ‘was there’ (associated at the time with The Green Party, Greenpeace, and especially Friends of the Earth) when the UK environment movement went mainstream around 1989-1996: I fought those battles; and lost.
Thirty years later the growing body of research evidence shows that the concept of “green”, trumpeted as the means to secure ecological change thirty years ago, is truly bankrupt. Unfortunately, having nailed themselves to ‘green consumerism’, the leaders of the mainstream eco-corporations are having problems unravelling those commitments now.
It’s how we move on from that situation, towards something truly progressive in terms of humans and their future relationship to the environment, which drives my work today.
In different ways all my blogs, like my work for the past thirty years, focus on the demonstrable reality (albeit unwelcome for today’s ‘affluent consumer society’) that the route to solving both the ecological crisis, and the growing downside of technological society, lies in living more simply.
Each blog represents a different facet of the same issue. Practical experience has shown me that people are more easily switched-on to change through different mechanisms which appeal to their personal outlook; and certainly these blogs look at ecological issues from outside the mainstream ecological perspective. More importantly though, as Jung emphasised a century ago, any process of change has to be routed in both ‘intellectual’ and ‘experiential’ perceptions; neither alone is able to convince people that change is required.
Finally I call all of my blogs, ‘occasional’; they are not produced according to any schedule. That’s because I only produce them when I have something to say, rather than just for the sake of saying something to echo something else going on in the world today. In a world already overloaded with information, I hope that you find what I do produce, when feel the need to speak, helps you to perceive more of this beautiful world around us.