The Drowned and the Saved


I don’t wish to invoke the memories of Primo Levi, a survivor of Auschwitz, in anything as banal as my blog yet this is how I feel about the plight of humanity sometimes. We are caught in a bind, trapped between the amazing, exciting world ahead of us and the very real threat of extinction due to our continued and pervasive abuse of our planet.

I thought this when I was speaking to John on a visit to Advance Northumberland. I have known him from our days working at Durham County Council. Both of us have moved on yet our paths keep crossing, this time it was to talk about the #CyberFest event in Alnwick that they are kindly sponsoring (tickets are available free of charge here.)

As we usually do, we got around to talking about what each of us is up to. There are so many things to get excited about within the region and in particular we talked about the Offshore Renewables Catapult at Blyth where one of the #CyberFest events was held last year. The work there is amazing, with seemingly endless possibilities to create renewable energy from wind and tidal power. This work will transform the way that we work and live and could position the region as a leading player in this important area.

If we have long enough…

Throughout the conversation, I couldn’t help thinking about the seismic changes that the world is going through and how much more we need to change to avoid a climate catastrophe. Technology may well provide the answer but it requires global leadership, something which is sorely lacking. Indeed I’m not sure our political system will allow such changes.

As I drove (ironically?) to my next meeting, the title of Primo Levi’s book came to mind.

I hope we have long enough…

Politics aside, read the book, it should be taught in school.

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