By Jillian Godsil, journalist, broadcaster and former European Parliament candidate. She has gone viral several times. She has worked all over the world – UK, Australia, Singapore – and has written for business and technology publications globally. See more on her blog here.
I read a beautiful piece of writing today. It was by the American author Clarissa Pinkola Estes who penned the celebrated and exotically titled book called Women who Run with the Wolves.
Estes’ short is called We were Made for these Times. Contrary to our fears she argues we were made for today and triangulated a beautiful conceit in which we were meant to let our souls shine, that others would join in and like an army of glow worms we would spread out as a protective blanket over the worn old world. Each glow worm would attract and light the next worm in an exploding sea of beauty and enlightenment.
In her essay she argued we could become a flotilla that grew one by one. ‘Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do,’ she writes. And she encourages us to hold fast in a powerful statement. ‘When a great ship is in harbour and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.
The power of one multiplied into many is the glory cry of our lost generation. The Dalai Lama is supposed to have said that size is not important. He compared the impact of a single tiny mosquito when trapped with a human being inside the protective mosquito net. He challenged us to believe that we could be enough, be powerful enough and make that change.
And I do believe. I do believe in the power of one. I believe in the power of the underdog. I believe in the power of passion over cynicism, in the power of right over wrong, in power of believing I too can make a difference.
However, and this is a big however, just because I believe I can make a difference in my tiny world, it does not excuse the powerful from making a difference in theirs. In fact, I call upon the powerful to do much, much more than is currently being done.
This is where Norman Crowley enters the stage. A serial entrepreneur with a flotilla of extremely successful businesses of his own in his wake, he has stepped into the climate change arena. Founder of Crowley Carbon, this West Cork businessman has created a technology company that saves large companies hundreds of thousands in wasted energy. In fact, such is his determination to strong arm Captains of Industry to turn off the fossil fuel tap, he promises to pay them if he does not save them money.
It’s a no brainer so it would seem. Engage with Crowley Carbon and save up to 50percent of spiralling energy costs. And if that doesn’t happen, then Crowley Carbon will pay you the missed savings.
Except it’s not happening. Many, if not most, multinationals are stuck on small, single digit reductions in energy usage. They puff themselves up on their miniscule saving and present it proudly like a school child in show and tell.
Norman travels the world talking about the issues. He has put his own money where his mouth is. Hell, he has even founded a non for profit foundation opening in Powerscourt in early 2017. Called Cool Planet Experience it is Ireland’s first interactive climate change exhibition.
He tells the Captains of Industry that 97% of all scientists believe in global warming (sorry Mr Healy Rae). That global temperatures are increasing year on year. That half of the global ocean heat increase since records began has taken place since 1997. That tropical diseases are on the move. That climate has as much to do with refugee displacement – if not more – than war. That scientists predict the earth will be incompatible with organised human society by 2050.
He blames lizard brains. What else can make sense? We all have them. It reduces our concerns to the immediate, the necessary, to the end of the week. You think that those horrifying statistics might wake up the consciences of big business and big government capable of doing big things. But no, those pesky lizard brains means the current outbids the future. It is a losing bet and the house always wins.
— Crowley Carbon (@crowleycarbon) October 18, 2016
We have quotas imposed from every angle to restore our climate change. World bodies, political agencies and global coalitions impose regulations on countries, institutions, and businesses. We have quotas that are timid in their ambitions. Improvements and reductions are sought in low single digits steps.
And so hearing global executives talking big swinging mickey stories about their 2 percent achievements is risible. Even Trump would not boast about a two inch appendage. It is simply not enough.
It is time for the Big People to stand up and make a difference.
Norman Crowley was the keynote at the 2016 Energy Symposium held in Cong Ireland on 14 October.