A Movember Collage, an Exciting Scottish Bank, and the New Climate Czar – Weekly Blog #6

The Men of Movember – A Collage 

This is the last Friday in Movember, so I thought I’d share some of the boy’s attempts to grow a sweet stache. 

We have strong efforts right across the board, except maybe myself. I look kind of like a teenage Borat. 

But the point isn’t to look good, the point is to raise awareness of men’s mental health, prostate and testicular cancer. A few of the boys have raised a good load of cash. And I’ve definitely thought and written about the cause far more often than usual. I’ve also checked my prostate every day this month.

Great work team. There’s so much to do for men’s mental health especially. A man a minute takes his own life. Good causes like Movember save an untold number of lives, and I’m so proud of all the boys doing their bit. 

*And a shoutout to PJ. He’s almost finished his 3000 push-up challenge and has raised far more than he set out to. We’re all looking forward to the topless pics.*


A Scottish Bank to Save the World

Some good news came in the announcement of the Scottish National Investment Bank or the “SNIB”. The name doesn’t elicit much excitement, but it’s a big deal. 

“One of the most significant developments in the lifetime of this parliament” – Nicola Sturgeon

The SNIB has £2 billion to stimulate growth in technology, social equality, and most importantly, combat climate change. 

Their first investment was £12.5 million in a Glasgow based company, M Squared, which are involved in cutting edge technologies such as quantum computer hardware development. 

At the official launch, Sturgeon said: “Climate change is the biggest challenge and opportunity facing the world right now.” 

Not only is it encouraging to hear the leader of Scotland prioritising climate change, to say it’s an “opportunity” is forward-thinking. As much as climate change a threat to human existence, we do stand to make massive gains in the quest for net-zero emissions and beyond. 

For example, the ability to generate all of our electricity from renewable sources will be a huge step forward in human development. 

It’s encouraging to see the Scottish government investing in such key areas. Industries like technology need investment to be competitive, and the SNIB is well placed and well-funded to provide the capital. 

Nice work Sturgeon. #Indyref2 is seeming more likely by the day. 


John Kerry – The Climate Czar 

John Kerry – looks like the kind of guy that’ll take the job seriously.

Another piece of good political news came in Joe Biden’s appointment of John Kerry as his “Climate Czar” – a new position created specifically to combat climate change. 

The re-brand is likely a move to signal how seriously Biden is taking climate change during his presidency. Everyone knows you don’t fuck with a Czar. 

You don’t fuck with John Kerry either. If the re-brand suggested Biden was serious, the appointment confirms it. Kerry is a political behemoth. He was Obama’s Secretary of State (equivalent to the UK’s Foreign Secretary) and played a key role in the Paris Climate Agreement, which the US is expected to rejoin under President Biden. 

Kerry is 76 years old, a Vietnam veteran, attended Yale, and has been in politics since the early 1980s. His appointment shows Biden is taking the climate crisis seriously, and is another glimmer of hope in the fight to save the human race. 

John Kerry – don’t fuck this up. 


The Brilliant “Island” by Aldous Huxley 

Going from politics to literature, I finished “Island” last week and wanted to pass on my thoughts. 

The premise of the novel is a journalist is taken on a tour of an island in the south Pacific called “Pala”. The Palanese managed to dodge the horrors of colonialism and the industrial revolution, and have created a utopian society. 

They blend Western science and Eastern philosophy, with their main goal to maximise human happiness and prosperity. They grow plenty of food for everyone, but no one spends their lives breaking their backs in the fields. They engage in the yoga of love, without the shame attached to sexuality as in the Western world. And their hospitals save lives while focusing on preventative measures, rather than just curing disease. 

Not only do they value human prosperity, they also respect the natural world:

“We shall be permitted to live on this planet only for as long as we treat all nature with compassion and intelligence.”

They understand where western society has gone wrong:

“Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence—those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.”

And Huxley manages to sum up what would take the average person a dissertation, in just two sentences:

“Electricity minus heavy industry plus birth control equals democracy and plenty. Electricity plus heavy industry minus birth control equals misery, totalitarianism and war.”

In the final chapter, Will Farnaby is allowed to experience the “moksha-medicine, the reality revealer,  the truth-and -beauty pill”, which is a fungus Palanese use to “catch a glimpse of the world as it looks to someone who has been liberated from his bondage to the ego.”

 If you know, you know. 

“Island” receives the Ross Blog seal of approval. Huxley’s utopian island of Pala is inspiring and thought-provoking. You can’t help but wonder whether it’s possible. 


A quote to ponder over the weekend 

 “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”

– Maya Mendoza

Thanks

And a special thank you to you, my loyal readers. The internet is full of people battling for your attention, so thank you for giving me yours. 

Last week’s post was probably my weakest so far, but I felt better about this one. I’m fine-tuning my style and I hope providing some value as I do so. 

If nothing else, I’m fighting The Resistance and shipping my work. 

See you all next week.

Ross 

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