Welcome to the Decency & Survival project, and the project website. The project is about a ‘Sea of troubles’, or rather, the ‘Sea of troubles’ that arguably defines our times. By ‘Sea of troubles’, I mean that exercising the consciences of a good number of our scientists, religious and civic leaders, and concerned citizens around the world. That is, as indeed it seemed to me at the inception of the project, the fact that many, if not most of us, around the world are leading miserable lives, and are dying prematurely; all of us are threatened by nuclear weapons and their potential direct and indirect effects; and humanity as a species – that is, all children and grandchildren, and future generations – is also threatened by climate change and environmental breakdown. It is in these latter two senses, that these can be said to be our times.
‘To be or not to be’ is indeed then the question. Humanity now faces extinction, by its own hand; our choices – what we give the name of Action – collectively, and individually, will determine whether we live or die. The project aims to clarify the choices before us collectively and individually, by examining arguments and evidence as to where we are (the structure of the Earth System and current institutional and physical structure of the Human System), and where things are headed; where we need to go instead, and why we ought to; and how we can get there. The arguments and evidence considered are, at the outset, principally that gleaned from a selection of forty book-form and online English language sources (twenty of each, half from UK authors and institutions, and half from the rest of the world), based on my personal knowledge and experience. A variety of outputs is planned, including, at the time of writing, the website, Regional Rides, a podcast series, and book, a video blog, talks, exhibitions, (open) letters, and perhaps more besides.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Regional Rides, a thirteen part podcast series, and a book, presents my view of the choices facing us, developed on the basis of the arguments and evidence in a selection of sources from the UK and the rest of the world, and illustrated with original audio recordings and photographs mostly produced during a thirty-six day motorcycle roadtrip around the twelve regions – and four nations – of the main part of the country. More >>
In Conversation is a collection of conversations between myself and a variety of people encountered on the roadtrip, or spoken to subsequently in connection with the project. The conversations are largely presented here in full, with an original audio recording and accompanying transcript. More >>
A selection of original images – portraits, landscapes, and scenes – can be found in the Galleries, along with original maps and artist’s – my – impressions of Britain in the year 2043. (All can be found in the Archives.) More >>
The Bulletin uses the form and style of a BBC Radio News bulletin to describe the state of affairs as I saw it at the beginning of 2017. More >>
Several elements are likely to be completed during the production of Regional Rides : the Galleries and Archives have already been mentioned; In Conversation and the more general repository, Audio, will be brought up to date as audio files are uploaded; Indicators will present what I believe are amongst the most useful (time series) charts for monitoring the global and local states of affairs; and Resources will present my selection of the principal UK and foreign sources considered for the project, along with a variety of other resources.
The Monitor, a quarterly report on the global and local states of affairs, using the Indicators, and Log – likely a weekly dispatch, in both text and video formats – are more on the drawing board at the moment. Video will be updated if video content is indeed produced. The same goes for Letters.
I am also considering writing and producing a history of the world from an English vantagepoint, based on my own learning : the Education of an Englishman.