One of my coworkers lives in Italy and he told me they’re going into lockdown from December 24th – 27th and then again from December 31st – January 3rd. This is the opposite of what’s happening in the UK where everyone is in lockdown now but we’re free to meet other households from the 23rd – 27th December. The Italian government is all, “No parties over Christmas. You’re all staying home” while the British government says, “You can meet up over Christmas but we’d rather you didn’t”.
I’m resigned to staying home for Christmas now. I’ve discovered we’re allowed to go for exercise up to 5 miles from our local authority boundary which for people in Aberdeen gets us as far as Crathes Castle in the south and the dunes at Menie in the north. This cheered me up immensely as it means we can go for walks at both Crathes and Drum castle and take a Boxing Day dip at Balmedie beach.
I just finished reading Dale Vince’s book, Manifesto. He’s a fascinating character and I enjoyed his book which is part biography and part, well, a manifesto on how to save the planet.
For those who have never heard of Dale Vince he’s the founder of Ecotricity, the first renewable energy supplier in the UK. He also owns a football club, Forest Green Rovers, the only vegan football club in the UK. This year he announced he’s been making diamonds by extracting carbon dioxide from the air; they’re called Skydiamonds and will go on sale next year. If you buy a copy of his book before the end of this month you can enter the competition to win a Skydiamond.
What really struck me is I expected someone like him, who has made incredible progress with wind technology – his wind turbines were the first of their kind in the UK – and now diamond manufacturing, to come from a strong academic background but that’s not the case at all for Dale. He left school at 15, never went to university, and spent his twenties as a traveller living in a caravan. He got into wind energy because he was good with engines and took that skill to build his own wind turbine for his caravan. He then went on to build wind turbines for other people and eventually Ecotricity was born. He had no interest in becoming rich and building a huge empire just for the sake of it. He was motivated by a desire to solve climate change knowing that one wind turbine for his own needs was not enough. Everyone has to be powered by renewables.
He has an amazing persistence and a can-do attitude even when a situation looks completely hopeless and everyone else doubts its success. Because of this I found his book quite hopeful. The second part of the book is a clear plan for what we need to do to solve the problem of climate change and it’s all doable. More than that, he’s doing it. So while others say it can’t be done or worse, or deny that climate change is happening at all, Dale is getting on with the solution and changing the world for the better. The world needs more people like Dale Vince.
My work put together this little video on what we want to recognise in 2020 and what we wish for in 2021.
Who or what do you want to recognise in 2020 and what do you wish for in 2021?