I was considering the weather this morning as I looked outside the window. The branches of trees were blown by a gusting wind loosening the autumnal leaves which carpeted the grass of the garden. I switched on the radio and heard that upwards of 70 mm of rain had fallen in parts of the north of England which was causing flooding. I know the previous evening 2 people had died as the remnants of hurricane Irma skirted across Scotland and the North West. It occurred to me that these localised weather conditions masked the much bigger question of CLIMATE CHANGE. They also made me feel for others less fortunate not just in the UK but in far more perilous locations struck by extreme weather. Weather that over TIME would be getting more erratic with greater amplitude delivering more destructive consequences for mankind.
Inclement weather however is intermixed with the constant background chatter of ‘Brexit’. Brexit being this constructed calamity which is brought to the UK as a divorce from Europe we have already fought two World wars over in the last century. Britain has been a part of Europe even since the migrations of Celts, never mind Romans, Vikings, Anglo Saxons, Norman invasions. Economically most of us travel to Europe or over Europe to reach holiday destinations. Brexit is ill named and ill conceived. What this does is distract our politicians away from the important issues like health, immigration and education. The broader context of Europe does not take account of the blood, sweat and tears already put into preserving some element of democracy over TIME.
The peril of individuals like Trump and Putin are also ignored and we are probably in one of the most perilous positions since the end of the second world war. Fake news can be delivered at the flick of a switch by social media. In the past TIME we did not have this capacity to disseminate propaganda at such speed.
Fascism, communism and it now appears even enlightened liberal democracies are failing. We tend to think that the ability of AI, BIG DATA and biotechnology may not lead to a better result for the whole of humanity. In just a short TIME of twenty years the top hundred people on earth in terms of wealth are worth the lowest 4 billion. The rich are getting richer, even if the poor are being born at an increasing rate. AI threatens the worst off also because it will replace low paid workers in emerging economies like India, China, Brazil and Turkey. It will only take jobs from the better paid as it evolves its own form of intelligence. Over TIME if AI develops its own consciousness it may supersede humanity. The ultra-creative genius humans may survive because they own the key to switch off the AI. Over time they have become creators or gods to the next step for humankind.
Which brings me back to the weather and the changes we see on our planet. Maybe our future intelligent selves will direct our energies to terraform a new world or colonise another nearby planet. Still like humanity itself I am sure our world has a superb capacity for self-healing if we give it TIME. On the other hand, it is equally that ability to self-heal that convinces many that we can carry on abusing it. If only there was an earth spirit that could make its presence felt and deliver a tremendous wake up call to the leaders and the general populace who live on our beautiful blue planet.
Only TIME will tell.
Group Creative Director