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Wake Up

No. 8 – ….. to others’ Marks and Voices

By Wake Up

Japanese Puffer fish –  to attract the best fish in the sea, male pufferfish, just twelve cm long when un-puffed, spend at least seven 24-hour days completing an intricate mating ritual that involves swimming their bodies into and through the seafloor to form ridges and trenches in the sand. If they pause too early, the entire ordeal gets washed away by currents. SEE HERE  

Banksy’s ‘Walled Off Hotel’ next to the Wall in Palestine  SEE HERE   AND HERE 

‘Opera !’ – a collaborative Art Project between Royal Opera House, Victoria and Albert Museum and Kings College, London  SEE HERE


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No.7 – Shoulder to Shoulder: with Refugees

By Wake Up

DAVOS 2017 – LEADERSHIP REPORT –  Rising nationalism, international tensions, runaway climate change. It’s tempting to despair of humanity at the start of 2017.  Instead of giving up, though, people are working to improve the world around them, whether through entrepreneurship, art, innovation or acts of personal courage.

INSPIRING people’s stories are here and include Tom Szaky and Yusra Mardini – HERE

Tom Szaky (photo above) – This man wants you to recycle everything. I mean everything: cigarette butts, diapers, toothbrushes. He’s the founder and CEO of Terracycle, a social enterprise that uses new technology to “up-cycle” waste into products, turning foil drink pouches into slouch bags, among other feats. His work has galvanized nearly 64 million people around the world into recycling action and offers an alternative business model at a time when research suggests there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.

Yusra Mardini – “Yes, I’m the girl who swam for her life, then swam at the Olympics. Now I want to tell you another story. It’s about my other name, my other identity. You see, my name is refugee. At least, that’s what they call me. Me and those 21 million others forced to flee persecution, war and violence.” Now living in Berlin and speaking up for the world’s displaced, Yusra tells her story HERE.

Refugee Statistics from UNHCR (2016) HERE (United Nations High Commission for Refugees)

  • We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record.
  • An unprecedented 6 million people around the world have been forced from home.
  • Among them are nearly 5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Of these – 17.2m UNHCR and 5.3m Palestinians UNRWA
  • There are also 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.
  • Refugees resettled in 2016 – 189,300
  • Where are the world’s displaced people being hosted – 30% Africa, 26% Middle East and North Africa, 17% Europe, 16% Americas, 11% Asia and Pacific
  • 55% of refugees worldwide came from 3 countries – South Sudan 1.4m, Afghanistan 2.5m and Syria 5.5m
  • Top Hosting countries – Turkey 2.9m, Pakistan 1.4m, Islamic Republic of Iran 979k, Uganda 941k, Ethiopia 792k
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No 6. – Why bottling up emotions is, erm, ludicrous ! – Campaign against Living Miserably

By Wake Up

One of our inspiring Stories in 2017, was a young friend’s commitment to raise £1,000 for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Now we read of the charity’s effective work to prevent suicide in the young-male population in the UK – READ MORE HERE

WATCH What happens when you put eight men in a room with The Duke of Cambridge – HERE

CALM’s new research shows:

  • 84% of men in the UK say they bottle up their emotions
  • Nearly half said they suppress their emotions often or at least once day
  • Almost two in three (62%) 18-24 year olds saying they regularly hide their true feelings
  • The most common reasons men cited for not opening up about their emotions were not wanting to worry anyone (43%) and preferring to sort it out themselves (49%)
  • Men were also found to be much less likely than women to open up face-to-face (63% v. 72%), over the phone (16% v. 27%) or by text (17% v. 27%) about their feelings
  • Many men are feeling the pressure to ‘man up’ and bottle up their emotions, despite the fact the majority of people (52%) feel comfortable when a man opens up and half of us say we’re glad that a man has opened up to us

(YouGov 2017)

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No 5. – Water concerns

By Wake Up

WAKE UP to dire information from UN Agencies and practical interventions by NGO & Local community groups :-

UN World Water Reports  – HERE

*1000 Under 5’s die every day globally, from diarrhoeal diseases.

WASH : Managed Water, Sanitation, Hygiene is a dedicated UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-6). 2010 accepted as a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT.

2.1 billion people lack safely managed drinking water. 4.5 billion people lack safely managed sanitation.

 * WaterAid UK –  1981 founded by UK Water Industry. Works in partnership with local organisation in 37 countries helping poor communities bring water and sanitation close to home. It also works to influence government water policies. President Prince Charles –  HERE

* History of Rainwater Harvesting –  HERE

* Waterharvest Charity, formerly Wells for India  – HERE

*UN 2017 Report : Waste Water in water reports – HERE

*Agriculture & meat production – HERE

Last 50 years increased useage – population growth & rising expectations in Western world. Agriculture is one largest footprints of water use eg nearly 1,800 gallons water to produce one pound beef; 576 gallons for one pound pork; 108 gallons for one pound corn.

*IFAD : International Fund Agricultural Development

Recognition of Indigenous people’s resourcefulness, including adapting to climate change. 370 million people worldwide. Sensitive to the environment, adaptive capacity, resilience, able to modify their behaviour  –  HERE


Cobra uses information & communication technologies. (ICT) to to help local communities document& promote their own solutions to sustainability challenges & inspire others locally, nationally, internationally – HERE . Watch the inspirational video: self- reliance & sustainability

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No. 4 – Butterflies

By Wake Up

WAKE UP ……. To the exquisite beauty of Butterflies,

To the engineering of their Gestation,

To the journeys that many make to Procreate: Painted Ladies flight from North Africa – HERE

  • plant Birch Trees – betula pendula, home for thousands of insects. Food for Siskins, Tits – HERE
  • Protect Ivy in churchyards , derelict places & gardens. Their nectar laden flowers feed Red Admirals, still alive in November – HERE
  • Sir David Attenborough , President, Butterfly Conservation says “spending time with Butterflies lifts the spirits & reinvigorates that sense of wonder in the Natural World” – HERE
  • Michael Gove,  Environment Secretary  encouraged by research into the harm to insects of NionicondricidesHERE    supports the EU ban ( outside greenhouses), thus reversing HMG’s previous rejection of the ban. This support makes it more likely that the ban will succeed –   HERE
  • danger of Glysophate , in weedkiller : danger to insects and humans (yet to confirmed) –  HERE
  • UK faces £ 228 million bill if this EU legislation is accepted – HERE

Other references:-

  • Butterfly Conservation – HERE
  • Buglife – HERE
  • Butterfly photos – HERE
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No. 3 – Centenary of the Balfour Declaration 7 November 2017

By Wake Up

Balfour Declaration. Letter to Lord Rothschild  from Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary  (2 November 1917)

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national  home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and political rights of existing non- Jewish communities in Palestine & the rights and political status of Jews in other countries”.

The 1917 Balfour Declaration was a first step towards the creation of a sanctuary for a persecuted people, the Jews.

It was also the start of a process which has rendered Palestinians stateless, living under occupation in their own land, in refugee camps, or scattered throughout the world.

Two gatherings  in London mark the Centenary. They demonstrate conflicting responses to the historic event. 

 ‘Britain’s Broken Promise’  31 October – organised by the Balfour Project who state:-

”An evening acknowledging Britain’s broken promise made in the Balfour Declaration; acknowledging Britain’s responsibilities in  the Middle East. An opportunity to commit ourselves to support Palestine and Israel in building a peaceful future based on equal rights for all.”   (Westminster Central Hall)

‘Partners in the Great Enterprise’   7 November  – organised by Balfour 100, a Christian organisation celebrating the Centenary who state :-

”During the evening Christian  leaders will help us remember, reconnect, recognise & rededicate to show our love and support for Israel & the Jewish people.” (Royal Albert Hall)

The Story (above), Take Two play and The Just Walk to Jerusalem ( Tales in Archives) open our minds to injustice in present day Palestine. 


ALSO  – Video of their meeting at the Jordan border – HERE

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No. 2 – India Taps Solar and Storage: echoes in UK

By Wake Up

India’s Government plans to invest $ 2.5 billion in solar & storage to get 300 million of its 11.3 billion people onto the grid by 2018. Meanwhile, plans are already in negotiation with Australian Government to import more coal, as the cheapest form of fuel for the poor. If Solar & Battery Storage technologies continue to advance on their current trajectory, they will undercut coal by end of the decade. Carbon dioxide emissions would then be reduced by 10%

In the U.K. the cost of Solar Power has reduced by 40% 2012 ( KPMG)  Energy experts argue that technological advances will soon make it as cheap as Fossil Fuel. There needs to be a transition away from centralised power generation, it is argued .

E.g. Nissan investment in Electric cars & Storage Battery technologies.

And note that the cost of the delayed Hinckley Point Nuclear Reactor may rise by  £ £21 bn.


Unearthed – Greenpeace – HERE

Alan Tovey Daily Telegraph Business Editor 15 May 2016 – HERE

TERI : Energy & Resource Institute. New Delhi –  HERE

Guardian 4 May 2017 Nissan investments Home Batteries – HERE

Melanie Klein Labour Party Conference 2017 International speaker – HERE

Photo – India Energy Storage Alliance – HERE


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No. 1 – Overseas Aid

By Wake Up

For every £100 made in U.K, 70p goes to make the Foreign Aid budget.

2013 first time UK achieved UN target of 0.7% of GNP (Gross National Product)

2015 UN target as U.K. law.  Government can’t be taken to court but Minister must report to Parliament on any infringement. 

Debate on efficacy of Aid:

  • £21.2 billion is 4 or 5 times shortfall costs of Care provision in U.K. in one estimate 
  • £21.1 billion is a bit less per household of cost of food thrown away, in another estimate 


 *Info. From FULL FACTS : independent fact finding charity HERE

 * Informative read. “Aid on the Edge of Chaos” Ben Ramalingham  pub. 2013 

ALNAP :  Strengthening humanitarian action through evaluation & learning. Hosted by Overseas Development Institute.

Picture acknowledgement – The Guardian (15/4/16) A woman herds her animals past the carcasses of livestock that died due to the drought in Somaliland. Photograph: Feisal Omar/Reuters

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