I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a bit of a restless mind. As a result, I have accumulated a long list of ideas and projects over the years, most of which will never come to fruition. Featuring fairly consistently on that list for a long time has been a rather vague idea for some sort of ‘blitz’ week. Loosely speaking, the idea stemmed from an ongoing thought about how effective a large number of people could be if they were all doing one thing all at the same time.
Having read a lot about impressive feats of human ingenuity, namely the codebreakers during WW2 and of course the events surrounding the evacuation from Dunkirk (which gave rise to the phrase ‘Dunkirk Spirit’), it struck me that these all took place out of a collective necessity and did so via hard work and sacrifice, again on a collective scale.
With all the problems we face these days, it struck me that it would be kind of cool if everyone in the country could be mobilised and co-ordinated to do something positive. A lot of the problems we face both economically and environmentally are driven and amplified by the untapped potential that sits with all of us.
Energy is the best way to demonstrate this and, as I began to think more and more that this was quite a good idea, despite the indifference I faced from whoever I pitched it to, I calculated how much energy could be saved if one light bulb per household was switched off for 4 hours longer than usual each day for seven days. It was the equivalent of more than 55,000 barrels of oil. At a time when oil was becoming a real issue, I decided I had to follow this through and so, I made a website, had a logo created, then a video and am now trying to spread the word and make something out of this.
It’s a bit of a win win – I can’t really see a downside to it and of course, if people were to really buy into the no energy for a week, it’s my hope that people will save money, find it fun and maybe a bit exciting (think cosy nights with the family round a candle) and above all foster a bit more of a sense of cohesion and community that we have been lacking for a while now.
If successful, it can stand as an example to the rest of the world and there’s no reason to think it can’t be bigger than just a national endeavour focusing not just on energy but on other pressing matters that affect us all.
Lots of work to do then and it will probably start out as a local thing for now but you never know. It is what we all make of it.