In the 12-months of 2015, myself and 11 other comrades embarked on a commitment of Effective Altruism.
Our pledge was to donate a percentage of our monthly wages to charities that are capable of making the biggest impact at the lowest cost. Embodying the very nature of the phrase “more bang for your buck”, we paid money to those organisations who could save, or at least drastically improve, the most lives.
Continue reading “The Lives We Have Saved”
Despite the criticisms, the greed, the gluttony, and the rampant expenditure on unwanted or short-lived items, Christmas in the 21st century can still serve a purpose.
Though there are many aspects of a modern Christmas which are unappealing, and at times even damaging, it does not appear to be going anywhere any time soon, and for that reason, rather than fighting the festive mood, it may be best to embrace and subvert it.
What we now see as Christmas, the stress and struggle of buying presents, the financial hardship that inevitably follows a busy December period, the feasting on food and alcohol, it is not how it always was, and thus is not how it always has to be.
Continue reading “A Blueprint For A Merrier Christmas: Gifts That Defy Modern Consumerism”
On November 30th, politicians from around the world will meet in Paris to decide on the actions needed to combat climate change.
More than 190 countries will be represented at the conference with a legally binding climate treaty being the desired end goal.
The United Nations 21st Conference of Parties, or COP21 as it has come to be known, is not only the most important event of this year, but it is perhaps the most important event of this generation.
Continue reading “The Non-profit Sector Needs To Do To Fossil Fuels What It Did To Tobacco and Alcohol”
Five months on from its publication, it is time to revisit AKs and Lollipops.
It has been 161 days since the publication of AKs and Lollipops: Inside the Syrian Conflict and as far as I am aware, things are going well. Newspapers and TV channels aren’t harassing me over the phone and I am yet to be stopped in the street, but sales were never going to be huge. Passing the triple figures mark in terms of books sold is a milestone that I am happy to reach.
I would be dishonest if I were to say that book sales didn’t concern me because selfishly it would give me pride to know that I have published something that can be deemed even a minor success. More importantly though, and on a less selfish note, the more books that are the sold, the more money will go to charity. And that is what motivates me to plug my book when I can.
Continue reading “AKs and Lollipops – The Verdict So Far”
The title of this piece is a quote often wrongly attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, and though Gandhi never said such words, the message remains true enough.
I am a firm believer in the idea that if you are not an activist, you are an inactivist. If you do not actively pursue a life that attempts to change the system, then you are ultimately a part of the system itself. Complaining is not enough to redeem yourself, neither is voicing dissatisfaction online, and neither is voting once every five years. It is your actions, not your thoughts or opinions, who define who you are. And actions are conducted every hour of every day.
It is the widely held belief that we are unable to change anything that prevents many of us from trying. This belief provides a shield to those we would hope to usurp and a reassuring comfort to those of us who have thought the thought, but then shied away from acting. By telling ourselves that it would have made no difference anyway, we let ourselves off the hook. The guilt and perhaps even shame is removed and we can continue our day-to-day lives.
Continue reading “Be The Change You Want To See In The World”