Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gaining Hope

This week's events in Egypt give us hope. I have hope for the end of repression both within Egypt and throughout the region. And I have regained some hope for the power of the people. No one knows where it will end, but these events clearly show that if enough people get excited enough and angry enough and connected enough, they can make a difference.

Sometimes I/we lose sight of that fact. 

And, I for one, didn't see it coming.


What lessons can take from the last three weeks with Egypt on the world stage? Well, I'm no political scientist, but that won't stop me from speculating. And I welcome corrections and clarifications.

  1. It seemingly happened overnight, but it really didn't. The issues have been simmering for decades. Somehow, a tipping point was reached. 
  2. Communication technologies helped. Twitter, Facebook, youtube and Al Jazeera all clearly mattered and none of them alone were likely sufficient.
  3. People got off their butts and into the streets. And onto Facebook, Twitter, Al Jazeera and such. Simmering anger alone doesn't do much. Communicating alone does a bit more. 
  4. Most of the participants didn't do a lot of planning. But my guess is that a few people did more than we have a sense of.
How does that translate to understanding climate? From the Essential Principles of Climate Science:
Guiding Principle for Informed Climate Decision: Humans can take actions to reduce climate change and its impacts.
What are those actions? They surely vary tremendously in their nature, but it does seem like we ought to be able from Egypt. What do you think?

And, please: Keep hope alive.

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