Introducing System & Self

If I know about the flower, don’t I lose the flower and have only the knowledge?

D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love

I first read “Women in Love” in my teens and this particular sentence has stuck with me over the years.

D. H. Lawrence uses this metaphor to explore the pros and cons of education and whether imparting knowledge is a good thing. At about the same time I read “Gaia – a new look at life on earth” by James Lovelock and I think my mind was cross-pollinated by these seemingly un-related texts. To me the quote about the flower is a symbol for thinking about systems; a metaphor for holistic rather than reductionist thinking. We tend to focus on deconstructing things to understand them and then forget to look back at the whole and how the pieces fit together, i.e. we lose the flower. The Gaia hypothesis encourages us to see our planet as a whole living system of which we are a part. In order to tackle climate change effectively we need to be re-connected with that concept – we need to challenge ourselves to know about the systems within the “flower” and to see the “flower” as a whole, not one or the other but both.

In the final instalment of the current series of Climate Concepts videos, System and Self,  we explore the idea of the system we live in and how we as individuals can influence the system if we adopt the mindset that we are a part of the system. We have more power than we realise to effect changes that will have a positive impact on our climate. What change will you make today to start your climate journey?


Talking about Climate Change is one thing but if that is all we do then nothing will change and we will sit on the side-lines and watch our planet slowly deteriorate. Alternatively we can choose to step up and join the ever growing, global community of people who are actively making changes within their lives to start reducing their carbon footprint. Nearly everyone starts with something small and then adds more and more things along the way. Remember, we don’t have to do everything at once, it will takes years not weeks to establish a new way of doing things, but the sooner we act the more impact it will have. I started my Climate Journey by choosing to eat less meat and dairy and opting to use less carbon intensive forms of transport, such as walking, cycling, taking the train when I could. I also chose not to fly anywhere for my family holiday. Over the next few months I will be sharing more about my Climate Journey so far so stay tuned.

I hope you have found the Climate Concepts videos useful and have been inspired to take the first steps on your Climate Journey too. I would love to hear about the changes you are making so why not drop me a line via the Contact page.

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