Much has changed. I work in a job which sounds almost too wondrous to be true. Ensconced in the London Science Museum, I am working with spaceships and zombies and particle accelerators. My colleagues are as good a bunch as I could ask for and I have a world of intriguing events and people closer than ever. I’ve had the opportunity to work on the first international Green Steps course, and had an injection of motivation from that.
But the world has changed too. That time, two years ago, held political optimism for those on the left and the environmental movement. Strange but interesting coalitions were in power in Australia and the UK, and Obama hadn’t yet lost the House. Now, somehow, we’ve not just gone backward, but aggressively so. Politicians who are shamelessly selfish and shortsighted are not just visible, but thriving. And it’s against a backdrop of global warning signs, loud and clear, that societies and the planet are ready to boil over.
An important and deep part of me is not happy. How can I be when the world I love, the world I want to experience and share with the people in it, is being run even further off the track by the rich and powerful?
Maybe one day I’ll be able to make peace with that voice inside me. But for now, all I can do is draw motivation from it. So, I am using the anniversary of my leaving Australia to set a few goals. They sound a bit outlandish to me now, but I want to know if I can practice what I preach.
In the next two years, I will:
- Track my carbon footprint for a year and keep it below the UK average
- Spend at least 3 months experiencing cultures outside my own
- Work on environmental projects whenever I can
- Leave no stone unturned exploring what this old megacity can offer, because I’ll be leaving before two years are out
- Be politically active
- Move gracefully through middle age of my science communicating life (I kid. Kind of)
I was asked in an interview in May where I saw myself in 5 years. It was impossible for me to answer. Australia is probably the bookmakers’ favourite, at least in the country stakes. But beyond that? I can’t even hazard a guess. This is a post, a stone by the roadside, I’ll look back on to see how much has changed.
Oh, and see Samsara. It will blow your mind, reassemble it, shatter it, glue it back together, then vapourise it.
Do it now. Use Google and find out if it’s playing at a cinema near you, steel yourself, and keep your eyes and mind open. I’ll explain why later.